Waco, Texas

Waco, Texas

Waco, Texas Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

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.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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Place type

Waco is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [-Village]


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Waco by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
138,486 2020 United States Census Bureau
139,324 2019 Texas Demographic Center
124,805 2010 United States Census Bureau
113,726 2000 United States Census Bureau
103,590 1990 United States Census Bureau
101,261 1980 United States Census Bureau
95,326 1970 United States Census Bureau
97,808 1960 United States Census Bureau
84,706 1950 United States Census Bureau
55,982 1940 United States Census Bureau
52,848 1930 United States Census Bureau
38,500 1920 United States Census Bureau
26,425 1910 United States Census Bureau
20,686 1900 United States Census Bureau
14,445 1890 United States Census Bureau
7,295 1880 United States Census Bureau
3,008 1870 United States Census Bureau
749 1858 Texas Demographic Center