McLennan County, Texas

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McLennan County
The McLennan County courthouse in Waco
The McLennan County courthouse in Waco
Map of Texas highlighting McLennan County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 31°33′N 97°12′W / 31.55°N 97.2°W / 31.55; -97.2
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1850
Named forNeil McLennan
SeatWaco
Largest cityWaco
Area
 • Total1,060 sq mi (2,700 km2)
 • Land1,037 sq mi (2,690 km2)
 • Water23 sq mi (60 km2)  2.2%%
Population
 • Estimate 
(2018)
254,607
 • Density227/sq mi (88/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district17th
Websitewww.co.mclennan.tx.us

McLennan County is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in Central Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 234,906.[1] Its county seat is Waco.[2] The U.S. census 2018 county population estimate is 254,607.[3] The county is named for Neil McLennan,[4] an early settler.

McLennan County is included in the Waco Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

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 1880's. 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.

Institutions of higher education[edit]

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 University, Texas Tech University, University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and Midwestern State University to offer more than fifty bachelors or masters year degrees.

Crash at Crush[edit]

Crush, Texas, was a short-lived town 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 several hours as the police maneuvered the crowd of more than 40,000 back to what was thought to be a safe distance.[5]

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.[5]

Ragtime composer Scott Joplin commemorated the event with "The Great Crush Collision March"; Joplin dedicated the composition to the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railway.[6] Texas composer and singer Brian Burns wrote and recorded a song about the collision, "The Crash at Crush" (2001).

West fertilizer plant explosion[edit]

Waco siege[edit]

Twin Peaks biker shootout[edit]

In 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. Twenty-Six bikers still have pending charges in the county's two District Courts that hear felonies.

Elected Leadership[edit]

Legislative Representation Name Service
United States Congress, District 17 Bill Flores 2011 – 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 Kelly Snell 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 [7]
Local Judiciary Name Service
Tenth Court of Appeals, Chief Tom Gray 2003 – Present, 1999 - 2003 Associate Justice
Tenth court of Appeals, Place 2 Rex Davis 2008 – Present, 1996 - 2003 Chief Justice
Tenth court of Appeals, Place 3 John Neil 2019 – Present
State District Judge, 19TH Court Ralph Strother 1999 – Present
State District Judge, 54TH Court Matt Johnson 2007 – 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
County Court at Law Judge, Court 1 Vikram 'Vik' Deivanayagam 2018 – Present
County Court at Law Judge, Court 2 Brad Cates 2011 – Present

Politics[edit]

Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results[8]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2016 61.0% 48,260 34.2% 27,063 4.8% 3,752
2012 64.3% 47,903 34.5% 25,694 1.3% 944
2008 61.6% 49,044 37.7% 29,998 0.8% 632
2004 65.7% 52,090 33.8% 26,760 0.5% 404
2000 63.9% 43,955 34.1% 23,462 2.0% 1,372
1996 48.6% 30,666 42.9% 27,050 8.5% 5,367
1992 40.7% 28,473 37.0% 25,903 22.3% 15,640
1988 58.1% 38,606 41.5% 27,545 0.4% 272
1984 64.4% 42,232 35.4% 23,206 0.2% 140
1980 53.7% 31,968 44.2% 26,305 2.1% 1,242
1976 45.3% 25,370 53.8% 30,091 0.9% 509
1972 67.5% 33,377 32.2% 15,947 0.3% 161
1968 34.2% 15,958 48.0% 22,388 17.8% 8,293
1964 27.7% 10,892 72.3% 28,429 0.1% 25
1960 42.5% 14,926 57.2% 20,100 0.4% 130
1956 48.9% 15,561 50.8% 16,181 0.4% 111
1952 46.4% 14,974 53.5% 17,251 0.2% 53
1948 15.3% 3,088 79.6% 16,034 5.1% 1,035
1944 9.0% 1,668 82.3% 15,336 8.7% 1,627
1940 12.0% 2,178 87.8% 15,952 0.2% 35
1936 8.1% 1,116 90.8% 12,489 1.1% 154
1932 8.4% 1,108 90.8% 11,972 0.8% 105
1928 51.8% 5,744 48.1% 5,330 0.1% 13
1924 22.2% 2,384 73.5% 7,882 4.2% 455
1920 21.2% 1,655 63.7% 4,975 15.1% 1,179
1916 15.5% 940 82.3% 4,979 2.2% 134
1912 6.4% 295 82.8% 3,829 10.8% 501

Geography[edit]

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.[9]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18606,206
187013,500117.5%
188026,93499.5%
189039,20445.6%
190059,77252.5%
191073,25022.5%
192082,92113.2%
193098,68219.0%
1940101,8983.3%
1950130,19427.8%
1960150,09115.3%
1970147,553−1.7%
1980170,75515.7%
1990189,12310.8%
2000213,51712.9%
2010234,90610.0%
Est. 2016247,934[10]5.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
1850–2010[12] 2010–2014[1]

As of the census of 2000,[13] 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 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.

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.

Education[edit]

Colleges[edit]

Public school districts[edit]

Communities[edit]

Cities (multiple counties)[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved December 21, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. ^ Cumulative Estimates of Resident Population Change and Rankings: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018 Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division Release Date: April 2019
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 194.
  5. ^ a b "The Crash at the Crush". Texas Historical Commission. Archived from the original on 2015-11-21. Retrieved 26 November 2011.
  6. ^ Scott Joplin, "The Great Crush Collision" sheet music (Temple, TX: John R. Fuller, 1896). See Bill Edwards, Rags and Pieces by Scott Joplin. Archived June 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ https://www.wacotrib.com/news/commissioners-name-new-county-judge-treasurer/article_4784ebb9-f9e4-5da5-870f-5201de2ebbc4.html
  8. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2018-07-26.
  9. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2011-05-14.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°33′N 97°12′W / 31.55°N 97.20°W / 31.55; -97.20