a Pecan Shell
Early was the original
site of Brownwood. The county was organized and Brownwood made the
county seat in 1857. Growth was slow until the 1880s and the dawn
of the 20th century saw 4,000 residents in Brownwood. The courthouse
burned in 1880, the first railroad came through in 1885.
The second came through in 1891. Howard Payne College opened
in 1889, the same year as Daniel Baker College that later
became part of Howard Payne College in 1953.
1900 saw Brownwood as the biggest cotton
center west of Fort
Worth. An oil boom in the 20s didn't hurt the town, but
it was nothing compared to the boom brought about by the building
of Camp Bowie.
not to be confused with the WWI
Camp Bowie near Fort
Worth, was to become the largest training camp in Texas.
The Brownwood population of 1940 (13,000) was more than matched
just by the workers at the Camp. The severe housing shortage for
military dependants and workers turned various buildings and even
movie theaters into dormitories.
The Camp also
served as a prisoner-of-war camp beginning in 1942, that
held 3,000 German prisoners. Camp Bowie was deactivated in September
of 1946. (See also World
City of Brownwood
(first site 1 mile
E; second, 5 miles SE, present location)
Settled 1857. Acquired a post office 1858. An oil vein ruined 1860s
water well of townsite donor Greenleaf Fisk. Wagon-yard keeper Martin
Meinsinger sold medicinal oil from 1878 well. Commercial drilling
began 1889. Farming, cotton sales, business town since 1880s; was
reached by Santa Fe Railroad, 1885; Frisco, 1890. Two colleges --
and Howard Payne
-- were situated here in 1889. Camp Bowie, World
War II Military Post, operated in Brownwood from 1940 to 1946.
Center for agriculture-retail sales-industry. Has a coliseum, parks,
110 miles of lake shore.
Landmarks / Attractions / Images:
"This looks like it would be a great
Texas town to live in. These are just the highlights of Brownwood."
courtesy Jason Grant
was an opera house, then first run films and now reopened as a community
theater. This one is beside the Lyric Theater, with Center
Avenue behind us. Year is 1943 and from left to right: Robert Taylor,
the manager, girl usher, Joe Swan, Bill Lequay, and Britt Towery"
E. Towery, Jr.
Academy of Freedom
Affiliated with Howard Payne University.
The museum contains MacArthur memorabilia and a larger-than-life
statue of MacArthur by sculptor Waldine Tauch.
Austin Avenue and Coggin - 325-646-2502
| Santa Fe R.
R. Depot, Brownwood, Texas
Postcard courtesy rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
|Phillips 66 Gas
Station Sign and Lion Gas Pump
Dobson Photo, September 2017
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, April 2015
Memorial Park - Burnett Drive and Travis Road
Cemetery near Brownwood -
"Sometimes called Texas’ greatest woman writer, [Katherine
Anne] Porter died September 18, 1980, in a nursing home at College
Park, Maryland, after a series of strokes. She was buried beside
her mother’s grave in the Indian Creek Cemetery near Brownwood."
Anne Porter by Bob Bowman
Brownwood State Park
Brownwood Tourist Information
Brownwood Chamber of Commerce:
In the recently restored railroad depot.
600A Depot Street - 325-646-9535
Rufus F. Hardin High School &
the Rufus F. Hardin Elementary School
Founder George Smith,
Educator Rufus F. Hardin and the building.
Jacinto vets and Brown County by Mike Cox
" In 1836, as Texas colonists faced the largest Army in North
America, no one of European decent lived in what would become Brown
But the struggle against Mexico had a lasting impact on the future
956.9-square mile political subdivision along the as-yet-unnamed
tributary of the Colorado that later came to be called Pecan Bayou.
The Texas Revolution set in motion events that eventually shaped
the county's property lines and attracted some of the men who guided
the county's early governmental, religious and educational development."
The Fence Cutter
War (From "Owen
Wister" by Mike Cox)
"Less than a decade before, Brownwood had been the epicenter
of what came to be known as the Fence Cutter War, a bloody feud
between those opposed to the end of the old free range days and
those who enclosed their acreage with barbed wire.
The worst of the violence occurred in the mid to late 1880s, but
as recently as three years prior to his arrival, Wister wrote, “this
part of the country was in a high state of disorder…In 18 months
there were 34 murders.”
Those suspected of fence cutting and or cattle rustling often received
a letter giving them 10 days to vacate the area, he noted.
“The results that followed upon neglecting the hint were so uniform
that a man upon being given 10 days…was heard to exclaim, ‘I’ll
let ‘em have nine days back.’”
Some of those involving in issuing the warnings, Wister hinted darkly,
later purchased land vacated by those who heeded the dreaded notification."
Many Lives of Ray Bourbon by Clay Coppedge
Brownwood had never seen anybody quite like Ray Bourbon, an aging
female impersonator, actor and comedian whose best days-most of
his days, actually-were already behind him when he landed in the
Brown County jail awaiting a decision on his appeal of a 99-year
sentence for conspiracy to commit murder. Bourbon wasn't so much
famous as he was notorious... more
by Maggie Van Ostrand
J.W. Epperson, a carpenter by trade, lived at 1601 First Street
in Brownwood Texas, though he wasn't always a carpenter and he didn't
always live in Brownwood. He was once a newsboy and lived in Washington
DC. This does not sound all that memorable except for one fact:
He was selling newspapers at Ford's Theatre on the night of April
14, 1865... more
Boy With Two Tombstones Or Iraan's “Little Boy Lost.”
by Mike Cox
Perhealth found that an Isreal Ellis Clements, born March 3, 1870
in Brown County
to Israel and Harriet C. Anderson Clements, died on Nov. 28, 1872
and is buried in the Roberts Cemetery on private property north
of Brownwood. Perhealth checked the cemetery and discovered that
the child indeed still has a tombstone bearing that information.
That, of course, brought on the next mystery: If the little boy
has one tombstone, why did he need another? And why was it more
than 200 miles from Brown County? more
It was a Fable, Let It Continue by Britt Towery
There was a certain pride of station when I wore the maroon uniform
of a Lyric Theater usher. That was a time when theater ushers actually
helped people find a seat during the film...
Fried Steak: An Unbiased Recommendation by Britt Towery
One thing I have tired to do through the years is to visit Underwood's
Bar-B-Q when near Brownwood. Pity the poor traveler who is in Brownwood
on a Wednesday...
learned from the silver screen by Britt Towery
I was fortunate to get an early start on study of the history of
the world. Every Saturday night mother took my sister and I to a
double-feature at the one-aisled Queen Theater on Brownwood’s Center
has a lot to be proud about by Britt Towery
Artist Blanche Westerman Springer
Book Hotel > Brownwood
courtesy Donna Chevalier, June 2007
|Ghost signs in
courtesy Donna Chevalier, June 2007
More Ghost Signs
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