The McLennan County courthouse in Waco
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
|Named for||Neil McLennan|
|• Total||1,060 sq mi (2,700 km2)|
|• Land||1,037 sq mi (2,690 km2)|
|• Water||23 sq mi (60 km2) 2.2%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||227/sq mi (88/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
McLennan County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in Central Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 234,906.Its county seat and largest city is Waco. The U.S. census 2019 county population estimate is 256,623. The county is named for Neil McLennan, an early settler.
McLennan County is included in the Waco Metropolitan Statistical Area.
McLennan County was created by the Texas Legislature in 1850 out of Milam County. The county seat, Waco, had been founded as an outpost of the Texas Rangers. It was laid out by George B. Erath, and was known by 1850 as Waco Village.
Popular carbonated beverage Dr Pepper was developed in Waco by pharmacist Charles Alderton in the 1880s. Dr Pepper was headquartered in Waco, until moved to Dallas, Texas. Waco is also home to the Dr Pepper Museum, housed in the 1906 building that was the first stand-alone facility used to bottle Dr Pepper.
According to local lore, the first sustained flight did not occur in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, but just outside Tokio (a small community in McLennan County) by a man flying a gyrocopter. During World War I, McLennan County was home to at least one military airfield, Rich Field. In the aftermath of World War I, when social tensions were high as veterans returned, white racial violence broke out against blacks.
McLennan County's contributions to World War II include the reopening of Rich Field for use by the Air Force, and the opening of James Connally Air Force Base, now the home of TSTC Waco Airport and Texas State Technical College. Doris Miller from the county was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism at Pearl Harbor; he was the first African American to earn such distinction. Local man James Connally became known as a World War II fighter pilot.
The current County Courthouse is located in the county seat, Waco, Texas, and is the county's fourth courthouse. Completed in 1902 in the Beaux Arts Style, it is the next-to-last example of Architect James Riely Gordon's Texas courthouses. Of the eighteen he designed, thirteen remain standing. The first county courthouse was completed in 1851 for $500, and was a two story log cabin that was 30' x 30'. McLennan's second courthouse was a two story brick building completed in 1857 for $11,000. The third courthouse was styled after Second Empire by Architect W.C._Dodson, and completed in 1877 at a cost of $24,894.50.
In 1886, Baylor University relocated from Independence, Texas, to Waco and absorbed Waco University. During the early 20th century, McLennan County was home to as many as five colleges; in addition to Baylor, the other colleges included the predecessor to what is now known as Texas Christian University (now in Fort Worth), Paul Quinn College (relocated since to Dallas), and two other short-lived colleges.
In the 1960s, the Texas Legislature authorized McLennan Community College, the first community college to use those words in the name. Around the same time, what is now the flagship institution of Texas State Technical College was founded as James Connally Technical Institute, as a member of the Texas A&M University System. Today, Baylor, McLennan Community College, and Texas State Technical College continue to operate in McLennan County. They educate a large portion of the college-bound high-school graduates from the county and the surrounding areas. McLennan Community College has also partnered Tarleton State University, Texas Tech University, University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and Midwestern State University to offer more than 50 bachelor's or master's degrees.
Crush, Texas, was a temporary "city" in McLennan County, about 15 miles (24 km) north of Waco. It was established to stage a publicity stunt concocted by William George Crush and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. The stunt involved the collision of two 35-ton steam locomotives in front of spectators, whom the railway transported to the event for $2 each. After strong promotion, on September 15, 1896, the event was delayed by an hour as the police maneuvered the crowd of more than 40,000 back to what was thought to be a safe distance.
The crews of the two engines tied the throttles open and jumped off. The two engines, pulling wagons filled with railroad ties, traveled a 4-mile (6.4 km) track and thunderously crashed into each other at a combined speed up to 120 mph (190 km/h). The boilers exploded and sent steam and flying debris into the crowd. Three people were killed and about six were injured, including event photographer Jarvis "Joe" Deane, who lost an eye because of a flying bolt.
Ragtime composer Scott Joplin commemorated the event with "The Great Crush Collision March"; Joplin dedicated the composition to the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railway.Texas composer and singer Brian Burns wrote and recorded a song about the collision, "The Crash at Crush" (2001).
On May 17, 2015, motorcycle clubs gathered at the Twin Peaks Restaurant in Waco for a Confederation of Clubs meeting. Upon arrival of a large contingent of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, mass violence erupted in the parking lot of Twin Peaks between members of the Bandidos and members of the Cossasks Motorcycle Club. This resulted in 9 dead and 18 wounded in the melee between the rival outlaw motorcycle gangs. In 2019, all remaining charges were dropped by the new District Attorney, Barry Johnson.
|United States Congress, District 17||Pete Sessions||2019 – Present|
|State Senator, District 22||Brian Birdwell||2010 – Present|
|State Representative, District 56||Charles Doc Anderson||2005 – Present|
|State Representative, District 12||Kyle Kacal||2011 – Present|
|County Elected Leadership||Name||Service|
|County Judge||Scott Felton||2012 – Present|
|County Commissioner Pct 1||Jim Smith||2009 – Present|
|County Commissioner Pct 2||Pat Chisolm-Miller||2019 – Present|
|County Commissioner Pct 3||Will Jones||2013 – Present|
|County Commissioner Pct 4||Ben Perry||2011 – Present|
|District Attorney||Barry Johnson||2019 – Present|
|District Clerk||Jon Gimble||2015 – Present|
|County Clerk||Andy Harwell||1995 – Present|
|County Sheriff||Parnell McNamara||2013 – Present|
|County Tax Assessor-Collector||Randy Riggs||2012 – Present|
|County Treasurer||Bill Helton||2012 – Present, 1991 - 2010|
|Tenth Court of Appeals, Chief||Tom Gray||2003 – Present, 1999 - 2003 Associate Justice|
|Tenth court of Appeals, Place 2||Matt Johnson||2021 – Present, 2007 - 2020 Judge 54TH District Court|
|Tenth court of Appeals, Place 3||John Neil||2019 – Present, 1998 - 2019 Judge 18TH District Court|
|State District Judge, 19TH Court||Thomas West||2021 – Present|
|State District Judge, 54TH Court||Susan Kelly||2021 – Present|
|State District Judge, 74TH Court||Gary Coley, Jr.||2009 – Present|
|State District Judge, 170TH Court||Jim Meyer||2003 – Present|
|State District Judge, 414TH Court||Vicki Menard||2006 – Present, Local Administrative Judge|
|County Court at Law Judge, Court 1||Vikram 'Vik' Deivanayagam||2018 – Present|
|County Court at Law Judge, Court 2||Brad Cates||2011 – Present|
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,060 square miles (2,700 km2), of which 1,037 square miles (2,690 km2) are land and 23 square miles (60 km2) (2.2%) are covered by water.
|U.S. Decennial Census |
As of the census of 2000, mile (31/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 72.17% White, 15.19% Black or African American, 0.49% Native American, 1.07% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 9.21% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. About 17.91% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race; 12.8% were of German, 11.0% American, 8.0% English, and 6.9% Irish ancestry.213,517 people, 78,859 households, and 52,914 families resided in the county. The population density was 205 people per square mile (79/km2). The 84,795 housing units averaged 81 per square
Of the 78,859 households, 33.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.70% were married couples living together, 13.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.90% were not families. About 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.59 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the county, the population was distributed as 26.60% under the age of 18, 14.60% from 18 to 24, 26.40% from 25 to 44, 19.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $33,560, and for a family was $41,414. Males had a median income of $30,906 versus $21,978 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,174. About 12.40% of families and 17.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.70% of those under age 18 and 11.30% of those age 65 or over.
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Temple is a city in Bell County, Texas, United States. As of 2019, the city has a population of 78,439 according to a US census estimate, making it the second largest of Bell County's three principal cities after Killeen.
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Sherman is a U.S. city in and the county seat of Grayson County, Texas. The city's population in 2010 was 38,521. It is one of the two principal cities in the Sherman–Denison metropolitan statistical area, and it is part of the Texoma region of North Texas and southern Oklahoma.
Hillsboro is a city in and the county seat of Hill County, Texas, United States. The population was 8,456 at the 2010 census.
Lacy Lakeview is a city in McLennan County, Texas, United States. It is part of the Waco Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 6,489 at the 2010 census.
Waco is the county seat of McLennan County, Texas, United States. It is situated along the Brazos River and I-35, halfway between Dallas and Austin. The city had a 2010 population of 124,805, making it the 22nd-most populous city in the state. The 2019 population estimate for the city was 139,236. The Waco metropolitan statistical area consists of McLennan and Falls counties, which had a 2010 population of 234,906. Falls County was added to the Waco MSA in 2013. The 2019 U.S. census population estimate for the Waco metropolitan area was 273,920.
Goldthwaite is a small city located in Mills County in Central Texas. The population was 1,878 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Mills County, which is named for John T. Mills, a justice of the Supreme Court for the Third, Seventh, and Eighth districts of the former Republic of Texas. Goldthwaite is located in the western portion of the Texas Hill Country. The elevation is 1,580 feet (480 m). Goldthwaite is situated at the intersections of U.S. Highways 84 and 183, Texas State Highway 16, and Texas Farm-to-Market Roads 572 and 574.
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McGregor is a city in McLennan and Coryell counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 4,987 at the 2010 census.
Bruceville-Eddy is a city in McLennan and Falls Counties in the U.S. state of Texas. Its population was 1,475 at the 2010 census.
Golinda is a city in Falls and McLennan counties in the U.S. state of Texas. The population was 559 at the 2010 census, up from 423 at the 2000 census.
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