Washington-on-the-Brazos, officially named Washington, in the upper northeastern corner of what is now Washington County, was a major political and commercial center in early Texas. The town was originally named Washington and began to be called Washington-on-the-Brazos or Old Washington only after the Civil War. Washington was one mile southwest of the junction of the Brazos and Navasota rivers, where the La Bahía Road crossed the Brazos River, seventy miles northwest of Houston and nearly 200 miles up the Brazos from the coast. The major part of the original townsite is at the intersection of Farm Road 912 and Park Road 12 within Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historical Site. Washington's historic townsite also includes the section of Washington that borders Washington-on-the-Brazos at the intersection of State Highway 105 and Farm Road 1155. In 1821 Andrew Robinson's family and other members of the Old Three Hundred settled near the future townsite. By 1822 Robinson was operating a ferry at the La Bahía crossing; in 1824 he obtained a grant of a half league from the Mexican government. A settlement named La Bahía developed at the much-traveled ferry crossing. In 1831 Robinson gave one-quarter league to his daughter Patsy and son-in-law John W. Hall. Recognizing the site's commercial potential, Hall surveyed and laid out a town in December 1833, when Methodist leader John W. Kenney built its first residence. After Captain Hall bought the remainder of Robinson's grant, he established the Washington Town Company in 1835 with Dr. Asa Hoxey, Thomas Gay, and the Miller and Somervell Company to promote sales of town lots. Hoxey, a former resident of Washington, Wilkes County, Georgia, named the new town after his hometown.

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

Washington is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [-on-the-Brazos]
  • [Old-]
  • (La Bahia 2)


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Washington by the Numbers

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Pop. Year Source
100 2009 Local Officials