Brenham, Texas

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Brenham, Texas
Blue Bell Creameries Life Size Logo
Blue Bell Creameries Life Size Logo
Location of Brenham, Texas
Location of Brenham, Texas
Coordinates: 30°9′43″N 96°23′49″W / 30.16194°N 96.39694°W / 30.16194; -96.39694Coordinates: 30°9′43″N 96°23′49″W / 30.16194°N 96.39694°W / 30.16194; -96.39694
CountryUnited States
 • MayorMilton Y. Tate, Jr.
 • Total13.03 sq mi (33.74 km2)
 • Land12.98 sq mi (33.61 km2)
 • Water0.05 sq mi (0.13 km2)
341 ft (104 m)
 • Total17,369
 • Density1,376.51/sq mi (531.48/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)979
FIPS code48-10156[2]
GNIS feature ID1331223[3]
Map of the city 1873

Brenham (/ˈbrɛnəm/ BREH-nəm) is a city in east-central Texas in Washington County, United States, with a population of 17,369 according to the 2020 U.S. census. It is the county seat of Washington County.[4]

Washington County is known as the "Birthplace of Texas," as it contains the site of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836 in the town of Washington-on-the-Brazos. This is now a state historic site.

Brenham is also known for its annual German heritage festival that takes place each May called Maifest, similar to Volksfest.[5] Numerous German immigrants settled here in the mid-nineteenth century, following the Revolutions in German states in 1848. Brenham is also the Home of "The World's Largest BBQ Pit" on 290 West.


Brenham is located at 30°9′43″N 96°23′49″W / 30.16194°N 96.39694°W / 30.16194; -96.39694 (30.161901, –96.397004).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.8 square miles (22.7 km2), all of it land.


The area surrounding Brenham was occupied by various Native American tribes through the nineteenth century. The Brenham area was part of the Old Three Hundred, the first authorized colonization of Texas by Anglo-Americans led by Stephen F. Austin. In the 1820s and 1830s, several small communities developed in the area. In 1843, the Hickory Grove community was renamed Brenham in memory of a local physician, Richard Fox Brenham, who died while serving in the Texian militia during the Mier Expedition. On February 4, 1844, Washington County voters selected Brenham to become the county seat. German immigrants settled in Brenham as early as 1846. With the exception of the Civil War years, the German-born population of Brenham increased throughout the second half of the nineteenth century. The largest numbers of German immigrants arrived between 1880 and 1883. Jewish immigrants settled in Brenham beginning in the 1860s and established one of the first Orthodox congregations in Texas in 1885.[7]


Washington County Boys' Corn Club mounted and in parade, May 26, 1910
Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
Brenham racial composition as of 2020[9]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 8,820 50.78%
Black or African American (NH) 3,841 22.11%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 36 0.21%
Asian (NH) 434 2.5%
Pacific Islander (NH) 14 0.08%
Some Other Race (NH) 62 0.36%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 534 3.07%
Hispanic or Latino 3,628 20.89%
Total 17,369

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 17,639 people, 6,197 households, and 3,606 families residing in the city.

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 13,507 people, 4,907 households, and 3,115 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,541.5 people per square mile (595.3/km2). There were 5,317 housing units at an average density of 606.8 per square mile (234.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 69.99% White, 21.91% African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.86% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 4.75% from other races, and 1.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.25% of the population. There were 4,907 households, out of which 30.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.5% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 22.5% under the age of 18, 15.9% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 18.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,198, and the median income for a family was $41,486. Males had a median income of $31,133 versus $22,152 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,351. About 12.8% of families and 17.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.9% of those under age 18 and 20.7% of those age 65 or over.


Stop N'Save, which had served as the terminal for Greyhound Lines-affiliated operations

Until 2009 Greyhound Lines offered bus services from the Stop N'Save at 601 East Main Street, but as of 2015 Brenham is not served by intercity bus.[citation needed]


The Blue Bell factory in Brenham.

Brenham is the home of and headquarters for Blue Bell Creameries. Blue Bell is the 4th best-selling ice cream brand in the United States, and is sold in 16 states.[citation needed]

Brenham is also home to a large Valmont Industries industrial plant, where metal poles are manufactured.

The city is the site of the Brenham State Supported Living Center, the largest facility in Texas for providing housing and care to intellectually disabled persons.


The City of Brenham's primary education is provided by Brenham Independent School District (BISD) and various private schools. The public schools in BISD include Brenham Elementary, Krause Elementary, Alton Elementary, Brenham Middle School, Brenham Junior High, and Brenham High School. The mascot for Brenham high school is the lion cub.

Brenham is also the home of Blinn College, the oldest county-owned junior college in Texas. Blinn has campuses also in Bryan, Schulenburg, and Sealy.

St. Mary's Catholic Church -- Brenham, Texas

Notable people[edit]

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The city elects its mayor and city council.

Mayors of the City of Brenham, Texas:

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services operates the Brenham State Supported Living Center (formerly Brenham State School).[12]

The United States Postal Service operates the Brenham Post Office.[13]


The climate in this area is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. The Köppen Climate System describes the weather as humid subtropical, and uses the abbreviation Cfa.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". 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. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. ^ Texas State Historical Commission. "The Brenham Maifest, Texas State Historical Marker".
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  7. ^ "City of Brenham" (PDF). Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 26 April 2022.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  12. ^ "Brenham State Supported Living Center" Archived August 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. Retrieved on August 8, 2010.
  13. ^ "Post Office Location - BRENHAM Archived July 15, 2010, at the Wayback Machine." United States Postal Service. Retrieved on August 8, 2010.
  14. ^ Climate Summary for Brenham, Texas
  1. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[10][11]

External links[edit]