Waxahachie, Texas

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Waxahachie, Texas
Ellis County Courthouse (1 of 1).jpg
The uniquely designed Ellis County Courthouse in Waxahachie
"Crape Myrtle Capital", "The Gingerbread City", "Hachie"
Location of Waxahachie, Texas
Ellis County Waxahachie.svg
Coordinates: 32°23′59″N96°50′50″W / 32.39972°N 96.84722°W / 32.39972; -96.84722 Coordinates: 32°23′59″N96°50′50″W / 32.39972°N 96.84722°W / 32.39972; -96.84722
Country United States
State Texas
County Ellis
  Type Council-Manager
   City Council Mayor David Hill
Mayor Pro Tem Mary Lou Shipley
Chuck Beatty
Kevin Strength
Melissa Olson [1]
   City Manager Michael Scott
  Total48.9 sq mi (126.6 km2)
  Land47.6 sq mi (123.4 km2)
  Water1.2 sq mi (3.2 km2)
558 ft (170 m)
  Density679/sq mi (262.1/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
  Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
75165, 75167, 75168
Area code(s) 972
FIPS code 48-76816 [2]
GNIS feature ID1349560 [3]
Website www.waxahachie.com

Waxahachie ( /ˌwɒksəˈhæi/ ) is the county seat of Ellis County, Texas, United States, it is located just beyond the southern suburbs of Dallas and is part of the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The population was 29,621 at the 2010 census, [4] with an estimated population of 32,344 in 2014. [5]

A county seat is an administrative center, seat of government, or capital city of a county or civil parish. The term is used in Canada, China, Romania, Taiwan and the United States. County towns have a similar function in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, and historically in Jamaica.

Ellis County, Texas County in the United States

Ellis County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 149,610. The county seat is Waxahachie. The county was founded in 1849 and organized the next year. It is named for Richard Ellis, president of the convention that produced the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Dallas City in Texas, United States

Dallas is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin, Denton, Kaufman and Rockwall counties. With an estimated 2018 population of 1,345,047, it is the ninth most-populous city in the U.S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. Located in North Texas, the city of Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States and the largest inland metropolitan area in the U.S. that lacks any navigable link to the sea. It is the most populous city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country at 7.5 million people as of 2018. The city's combined statistical area is the seventh-largest in the U.S. as of 2017, with 7,846,293 residents.



Waxahachie, TX welcome sign IMG 5588.JPG

Some sources state that the name means "cow" or "buffalo" in an unspecified Native American language. [6] One possible Native American origin is the Alabama language, originally spoken in the area of Alabama around Waxahatchee Creek by the Alabama-Coushatta people, who had migrated by the 1850s to eastern Texas. In the Alabama language, waakasi hachi means "calf's tail" (the Alabama word waaka being a loan from Spanish vaca). [7]

Native Americans in the United States Indigenous peoples of the United States (except Hawaii)

Native Americans, also known as American Indians, Indigenous Americans and other terms, are the indigenous peoples of the United States, except Hawaii and territories of the United States. More than 570 federally recognized tribes live within the US, about half of which are associated with Indian reservations. The term "American Indian" excludes Native Hawaiians and some Alaskan Natives, while "Native Americans" are American Indians, plus Alaska Natives of all ethnicities. The US Census does not include Native Hawaiians or Chamorro, instead being included in the Census grouping of "Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander".

Alabama is a Native American language, spoken by the Alabama-Coushatta tribe of Texas. It was once spoken by the Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town of Oklahoma, but there are no more Alabama speakers in Oklahoma. It is a Muskogean language, and is believed to have been related to the Muklasa and Tuskegee languages, which are no longer extant. Alabama is closely related to Koasati and Apalachee, and more distantly to other Muskogean languages like Hitchiti, Chickasaw and Choctaw.

Alabama people Southeastern culture people of Native Americans

The Alabama or Alibamu are a Southeastern culture people of Native Americans, originally from Alabama. They were members of the Muscogee Creek Confederacy, a loose trade and military organization of autonomous towns; their home lands were on the upper Alabama River.

That there is a Waxahatchee Creek near present-day Shelby, Alabama, suggests that Waxahachie, Texas, shares the same name etymology. Many place names in Texas and Oklahoma have their origins in the Southeastern United States, largely due to forced removal of various southeastern Indian tribes. The area in central Alabama that includes Waxahatchee Creek was for hundreds of years the home of the Upper Creek moiety of the Muscogee Creek Nation. Again, this would suggest a Muscogee Creek language origin of Waxahachie. "Waxahachie" therefore may be an anglicized pronunciation of the Muscogee compound word Wakvhvce from the Muscogee words Wakv (meaning "cow" derived from the Spanish vaca) and the Muscogee word Hvce (meaning "tail"). [8]

Shelby, Alabama Census-designated place in Alabama, United States

Shelby is a census-designated place and unincorporated community in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. Its population was 1,044 as of the 2010 census. The area is near Lay Lake and Waxahatchee Creek. Shelby Iron Park is located at the heart of the area. Two sites in Shelby, The Brick House and the Old Shelby Hotel, are listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Muscogee Native American people traditionally from the southeastern US

The Muscogee, also known as the Mvskoke, Creek and the Muscogee Creek Confederacy, are a related group of indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodlands. Mvskoke is their autonym. Their original homelands are in what now comprises southern Tennessee, all of Alabama, western Georgia and part of northern Florida.

A second etymology that has been suggested for the name is insisted on by speakers of Wichita, the language of the tribe which used to live in the area but now lives mostly around Anadarko, Oklahoma. Wichita people claim the name comes from their word waks'ahe:ts'i (the apostrophe represents a glottal stop, like the middle sound in "oh oh"; "a" is schwa ("uh"); "e:" sounds almost like the "a" of "hat"; "ts" before "i" in this language often sounds like "ch" to English speaking ears; "i" has the continental value, like the one in English "machine"). It means "fat wildcat". [9]

Wichita language language

Wichita is an extinct Caddoan language once spoken in Oklahoma by the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes. The last fluent heritage speaker, Doris Lamar-McLemore, died in 2016, although in 2007 there were three first-language speakers alive. This has rendered Wichita functionally extinct; however, the tribe offers classes to revitalize the language and works in partnership with the Wichita Documentation Project of the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Anadarko, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, United States

Anadarko is a city in Caddo County, Oklahoma, United States. This city is fifty miles southwest of Oklahoma City. The population was 6,762 at the 2010 census, a 1.8 percent gain from 6,645 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Caddo County.

Glottal stop Sound made by stopping airflow in the glottis

The glottal stop or glottal plosive is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages, produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract or, more precisely, the glottis. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʔ⟩.


Aerial view of Waxahachie, looking north, about 1908 PostcardAerialViewLookingNorthWaxahachieTXCirca1908.jpg
Aerial view of Waxahachie, looking north, about 1908
The United Daughters of the Confederacy Monument was unveiled in 1912 at the Ellis County Courthouse in Waxahachie. Confederate Monument, Waxahachie, TX IMG 5589.JPG
The United Daughters of the Confederacy Monument was unveiled in 1912 at the Ellis County Courthouse in Waxahachie.
A glimpse of downtown Waxahachie across from the courthouse Glimpse of downtown Waxahachie, TX IMG 5609.JPG
A glimpse of downtown Waxahachie across from the courthouse
The Texas Theater across from the courthouse hosts community events in Waxahachie. Texas Theater in Waxahachie IMG 5603.JPG
The Texas Theater across from the courthouse hosts community events in Waxahachie.
Historic Rogers Hotel is adjacent to the courthouse in Waxahachie. Rogers Hotel of Waxahachie, TX IMG 5607.JPG
Historic Rogers Hotel is adjacent to the courthouse in Waxahachie.
Waxahachie City Hall Revised, Waxahachie, TX, City Hall IMG 5612.JPG
Waxahachie City Hall
Waxahachie Daily Light newspaper office at 200 West Marvin Avenue Revised, Waxahachie Daily Light office IMG 5613.JPG
Waxahachie Daily Light newspaper office at 200 West Marvin Avenue
Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie Sagu.jpg
Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie
Second Trinity University Campus 1 Second Trinity University Campus 1.JPG
Second Trinity University Campus 1

Waxahachie was founded in August 1850 as the seat of the newly established Ellis County on a donated tract of land given by early settler Emory W. Rogers, a native of Lawrence County, Alabama, who migrated to Texas in 1839. [6] [10] It was incorporated on April 28, 1871, and in 1875 the state legislature granted investors the right to operate a rail line from Waxahachie Tap Railroad to Garrett, Texas, which greatly increased the population of Waxahachie. [6]

Lawrence County, Alabama County in the United States

Lawrence County is a county in the northern part of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 34,339. This county has the highest number of residents who identify as Native American of any county in the state. The county seat is Moulton. The county was named after James Lawrence, a captain in the United States Navy from New Jersey.

Garrett, Texas Town in Texas, United States

Garrett is a town in Ellis County, Texas, United States. The population was 806 at the 2010 census, up from 448 at the 2000 census.

From 1902 to 1942, Waxahachie was the 2nd home of Trinity University, which was a Presbyterian-affiliated institution founded in 1869. Then-Trinity's main administration and classroom building is today the Farmer Administration Building of Southwestern Assemblies of God University. Trinity's present-day location is San Antonio.

Trinity University (Texas) University in San Antonio, Texas

Trinity University is a private liberal arts university in San Antonio, Texas. Founded in 1869, its campus is located in the Monte Vista Historic District adjacent to Brackenridge Park. The campus is three miles north of downtown San Antonio and the River Walk and six miles south of the San Antonio International Airport. The student body consists of approximately 2,300 undergraduate and 200 graduate students. Trinity offers 42 majors and 57 minors among 6 degree programs and has an endowment of $1.29 billion, the 89th largest in the U.S.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University Christian private university in Waxahachie, Texas

Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is a private Christian university and seminary in Waxahachie, Texas. SAGU is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and officially endorsed by the Assemblies of God USA. It is the only Assemblies of God university in Texas. The university offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in liberal arts, Bible, and Church ministry.

San Antonio City in Texas, United States

San Antonio, officially the City of San Antonio, is the seventh-most populous city in the United States, and the second-most populous city in both Texas and the Southern United States, with more than 1.5 million residents. Founded as a Spanish mission and colonial outpost in 1718, the city became the first chartered civil settlement in present-day Texas in 1731. The area was still part of the Spanish Empire, and later of the Mexican Republic. Today it is the state's oldest municipality, having celebrated its 300th anniversary on May 1, 2018.

The town is the namesake of the former United States Naval Ship Waxahachie (YTB-814).

In 1988, the area around Waxahachie was chosen as the site for the Superconducting Super Collider, which was to be the world's largest and most energetic particle accelerator, with a planned ring circumference of 54.1 miles (87.1 km). Seventeen shafts were sunk and 14.6 miles (23.5 km) of tunnel were bored [11] before the project was canceled by Congress in 1993.



The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Waxahachie has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. [12]


Historical population
1880 1,354
1890 3,076127.2%
1900 4,21537.0%
1910 6,20547.2%
1920 7,95828.3%
1930 8,0421.1%
1940 8,6557.6%
1950 11,20429.5%
1960 12,74913.8%
1970 13,4525.5%
1980 14,6248.7%
1990 18,16824.2%
2000 21,42617.9%
2010 29,62138.2%
Est. 201836,807 [13] 24.3%
U.S. Decennial Census [14]

As of the census [2] of 2010, there were 29,621 people residing in the city. The population density was 536.1 people per square mile (207.0/km²). There were 7,909 housing units at an average density of 197.9 per square mile (76.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 57.00% White, 14.20% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 0.10% from other races, and 2.20% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 26.00% of the population. The total estimated population as of 2016 was 34,345. [15]

There were 7,325 households of which 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.3% were non-families. 21.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the city, the population was spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 13.3% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $43,213, and the median income for a family was $50,048. Males had a median income of $32,597 versus $23,838 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,003. About 10.5% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.3% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.


Employment opportunities in the city are highly oriented toward industry. Owens Corning, Georgia-Pacific, Fortra Fiber Cement (James Hardie), GMP/GPPAW RockTenn, AEP Industries, Magnablend, Dart Container are located within a few miles of each other. Non-industrial employers include Baylor Scott & White Health, Waxahachie Independent School District, Walgreen Distribution Center, Wal-Mart, HEB Grocery, Navarro College, and Southwestern Assemblies of God University. [16]

Arts and culture

Annual cultural events

The Scarborough Renaissance Festival (also called Scarborough Faire), a Renaissance fair theme park, is located southwest of the town. It opens annually during the months of April and May and has been in operation since 1981. [17] The city's annual Gingerbread Trail Festival features tours of many of the Gingerbread homes. [18]

Bethlehem Revisited (Located Behind Central Presbyterian Church). Step back in time, over 2000 years ago, and walk the streets of ancient Bethlehem as Mary and Joseph did on the night of Christ's birth. On your journey to the site of the Nativity, you will meet innkeepers, merchants, craftsmen, tradesmen, clergy, and many other citizens as they portray daily life in the City of Bethlehem, complete with sheep, camels, and donkeys. You can also visit Herod's Court and await the nightly parade of the three kings bringing their treasures to Bethlehem's newest citizen. Regularly voted one of the top holiday attractions in North Texas. [19]

Texas Country Reporter Festival (hosted by Bob Phillips) The Texas Country Reporter Festival features artists, craftsmen, music, and food from all over the Lone Star State – much of it featured on TCR over the years. It's free, family-friendly, and fun! Pets are welcome, but they must be leashed. With an average attendance of over 30,000 [20]


Waxahachie is locally known for its elaborate Richardsonian Romanesque courthouse. [21] The town also features many examples of Victorian architecture and Gingerbread homes, several of which have been converted into bed and breakfasts. Ellis County Art Association ART On The Square (Cultural Attractions- Events- & Facilities; 113 West Franklin Street).

Waxahachie 'Gingerbread City Sign' WaxahachieGingerbreadCity.jpg
Waxahachie 'Gingerbread City Sign'

Parks and recreation

Parks in Waxahachie include Spring Park, Getzendaner Memorial Park, Richards Park, Sheaffer Full Life Center - Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Southwestern Assemblies of God University Football Field, Lumpkin Stadium, Southwestern Assemblies of God University Baseball Fields, Chapman Park. [22]


The city of Waxahachie is a voluntary member of the North Central Texas Council of Governments association, the purpose of which is to coordinate individual and collective local governments and facilitate regional solutions, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and enable joint decisions.

State government

Waxahachie is represented in the Texas Senate by Republican Brian Birdwell, District 22, and in the Texas House of Representatives by Republican John Wray, District 10.

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the Waxahachie District Parole Office in Sherman. [23]

Federal government

At the federal level, the two U.S. senators from Texas are Republicans John Cornyn and Ted Cruz; since 2003 Waxahachie has been part of Texas' 6th Congressional District, which is currently represented by Republican Joe Barton.

The United States Postal Service operates the Waxahachie Post Office. [24]


Primary and secondary

Waxahachie is served by the Waxahachie Independent School District. There are currently eight elementary campuses, three middle school campuses, and two high schools. WISD aims to offer all of its students a well-rounded education and offers AP and Dual Credit courses as well as varied Career and Technology courses.

Waxahachie High School is classified as 6A and offers a range of extracurricular activities to its students, including football, volleyball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, concert and marching band, drama, choir, drill team, and dozens of academic teams and clubs. WISD offers several CTSO's to its students including FFA, Skills USA and TSA.

Several of the school's programs have achieved national recognition in recent years. The football program has made the playoffs every year from 1989 to 2010.

Waxahachie Global High School, an ECHS T-STEM school emphasizing instruction in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a small-learning-community environment, as well as an Early College High School, opened on August 27, 2007. During the first decade of their incorporation, the school has produced many students recognizable for their achievements, including a National Merit finalist.

In addition to the district schools, Life School, a public charter school system, operates the 7-12 Waxahachie campus. [25] On April 15, 2014, Life School broke ground on a new high school in Waxahachie planned to accommodate approximately 1,000 9th-12th graders. [26]

Private schools

The area is also served by several private schools, including Waxahachie Preparatory Academy (WPA), St Joseph Catholic School and First Christian Day School. WPA and the First Christian Day School offer a K–12 education, while St Joseph only has K-8.[ citation needed ]

Colleges and universities

Two post-secondary educational institutions have campuses in the city of Waxahachie. Navarro College, a community college based in Corsicana, Texas, has a campus in Waxahachie.

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private four-year university affiliated with the Assemblies of God offering accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees.


The Waxahachie Daily Light has served the town since 1891, [27] and the first newspaper in Waxahachie, the Waxahachie Argus, was established in 1870. [6] Additionally, there are 47 radio stations within close listening range of Waxahachie. [28]


Health care

Both Altus Emergency Center and Baylor Scott & White Health at Waxahachie provide emergency services locally, as does Ennis Regional Medical Center, approximately 14 miles away in Ennis. [22] Between 2003 and 2010, Waxahachie's healthcare industry added 555 jobs, making it the city's fourth largest employment sector. [29]

Notable people

In movies

In the mid-1980s Waxahachie became a filming location for the movie industry.

The majority of Tender Mercies , a 1983 film about a country western singer, was filmed in Waxahachie. Director Bruce Beresford deliberately avoided the city's picturesque elements and Victorian architecture, and instead filmed more rural locations that more closely resembled the West Texas area. The Texas town portrayed in Tender Mercies is never specifically identified. [30] Tender Mercies starred Robert Duvall, who won the 1983 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the film.

The 1984 film Places in the Heart starring Sally Field was also filmed in Waxahachie. Unlike Tender Mercies, it was filmed deliberately in the town square and utilized the Victorian and plantation homes still intact in the area. Field won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1985 for her role in the film.

The 1985 film The Trip to Bountiful starring Geraldine Page was also filmed in Waxahachie. Page won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1986 for her role in Bountiful.

Other movies made in or around Waxahachie are:

Additionally, the long-running television series Walker, Texas Ranger , starring Chuck Norris, was filmed in Waxahachie on occasion. Some scenes in Prison Break were filmed in Waxahachie. Scenes from Bonnie and Clyde (1967) were also shot here. [32]

In 2018, an animated short film from Crypt TV titled Dark Vessel featured the town as its 1977 based setting. [33]

Sister cities

Sabinas in Coahuila, Mexico, has been proposed as Waxahachie's sister city. Sabinas is located about 70 miles (110 km) south of Eagle Pass, Texas. [34]

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Lumpkins Stadium is a stadium in Waxahachie, Texas. It is primarily used for American football, and is the home field of the Waxahachie Indians. The stadium is named for Stuart B. Lumpkins, a former superintendent of Waxahachie Independent School District. In 2011, the stadium received renovations that were funded through a city bond. In addition to serving as the home field for the Waxahachie Indians football team, Lumpkins also hosts Waxahachie Indian soccer and an annual track and field meet. The stadium has also been used as a neutral site for University Interscholastic League playoff games in both football and soccer. Southwestern Assemblies of God University also holds its home football games at the stadium.


  1. http://www.waxahachie.com/Government/CityCouncil
  2. 1 2 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau . Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Waxahachie city, Texas". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
  5. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014" . Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Felty, Margaret L. "Waxahachie". Handbook of Texas . Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  7. "On-line Alabama-English Dictionary". unt.edu.
  8. Many place names in the Southern U.S. end with "hatchee" or "hachie" such as, famously, "Tallahatchie Bridge". Whether "hatchee" or "hachie", these names oftentimes derive from either the Muscogee word hvce (tail) or hvcce (a river or a stream). For example, 'Tvlvhvcce (English "Tallahatchie") may be interpreted as "River City" from 'Tvlv (city or town) and "hvcce" (river or stream).
  9. Dr. David S. Rood, linguist at the University of Colorado, who has been studying the Wichita language since 1965.
  10. "Our History". City of Waxahachie, Texas. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  11. Staff, Wire services (December 29, 2009). "Q & A: Texas supercollider project scrapped". tampabay.com. St. Petersburg Times . Retrieved 2010-07-11.
  12. "Waxahachie, Texas Köppen Climate Classification (Weatherbase)". Weatherbase.
  13. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" . Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  14. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  15. http://www.waxahachie.com/Departments/PlanningandZoning/ComprehensivePlan
  16. "Top Employers - Waxahachie Economic Development". www.crossroadsoftx.com.
  17. "Scarborough Renaissance Festival". Scarborough Renaissance Festival. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
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