Waco is in central McLennan County about seventy miles south of Dallas near the confluence of the Brazos and Bosque rivers. The city's transportation links include Interstate Highway 35, U.S. highways 84 and 77, State Highway 6, the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and the St. Louis Southwestern Railway. The city is built on the site of an ancient agricultural village of Waco Indians. About 1830 a group of Cherokee Indians moved into the area and drove the Wacos from the village. Fort Fisher, a Texas Rangers outpost and the first White settlement in the area, was established in 1837, but was abandoned after only a few months. In 1844 George Barnard began operating Torrey's Trading Post No. 2 on a small tributary of Tehuacana Creek, eight miles south of the old Waco village (see TORREY TRADING HOUSES). A year later Neil McLennan moved onto land nearby on the South Bosque River. A log smithy was erected at the present site of East Waco in 1846 by Jesse Sutton, a blacksmith. In 1848 Gen. Thomas J. Chambers sold a two-league grant of land, including the old Waco village site, to John S. Sydnor of Galveston. Sydnor struck a deal with land agent Jacob De Cordova to divide the property and dispose of it at a dollar an acre. George B. Erath, who had first visited the area as one of the rangers stationed at the old 1837 outpost, was one of De Cordova's surveyors, and he urged that the new townsite be placed at the former Indian village. In 1848 the tract was sold to Nathaniel A. Ware and Jonas Butler of Galveston; they became De Cordova's partners in the venture.
Waco at a Glance
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Waco by the Numbers
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|139,324||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|124,805||2010||Texas Demographic Center|
|113,726||2000||Texas Demographic Center|
|103,590||1990||Texas Demographic Center|
|101,261||1980||Texas Demographic Center|
|95,326||1970||Texas Demographic Center|
|97,808||1960||Texas Demographic Center|
|84,706||1950||Texas Demographic Center|
|55,982||1940||Texas Demographic Center|
|52,848||1930||Texas Demographic Center|
|38,500||1920||Texas Demographic Center|
|26,425||1910||Texas Demographic Center|
|20,686||1900||Texas Demographic Center|
|14,445||1890||Texas Demographic Center|
|7,295||1880||Texas Demographic Center|
|3,008||1870||Texas Demographic Center|
|749||1858||Texas Demographic Center|