Life in Waco

Waco, TX

  • Seat of McLennan County
  • Population: 129,030[1]
  • Founded in 1849
  • Home of Dr Pepper[2]

Waco, TX is where I was born and raised. A key city along north-south travel routes for years, Waco is a hub among a range of highways running in various directions.

  • I-35 runs N-S connecting Austin and Dallas
  • State HW-6 runs NW-SE down from the Oklahoma border to Galveston
  • US HW-84 runs E-W coming out of Louisiana heading out towards Lubbock.
  • US RT-77 runs N-S coming up from the SE Texas coast and follows I-35 north.

And historically, Waco was a major crossing point across the Brazos River for cattle drives up the Chisholm Trail. These paths help Waco lay claim to the title “Heart of Texas”.

I’ll always call Waco a large small town. Although the city is of fair size and significance within the state, it still has a small town mentality in different ways. This stretches from the way the city council runs its business down to the way citizens interact with each other.

Aside from anything I’ll post on the site, you can find more information about the Waco on the city’s webpage, the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce’s website, or the Waco Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website.

Growth and Development

One thing I’ve learned is that the city is very much constantly growing and changing. I never noticed this much until I moved to Dallas. Now I can be gone two or three weeks and return to find some business closed down or some new development is going up. Much of this recent growth is triggered by two factors.

  • 1) Baylor University. As the university has grown in both physical size and size of the student body, it has brought a tremendous amount of growth and development around the university. This became especially true when the university returned the football stadium to campus with the opening of McLane Stadium in 2014.
  • 2) New Wacoans. It seems the city has experienced an influx of new families and younger professionals in recent years due to a) Baylor and b) new business developments. With this city leaders realized they needed to do more to draw in and keep people in these demographics. This has included revitalizing downtown and spurring growth in high-traffic retail areas such as the Central Texas Marketplace at the intersection of I-35 and SH-6.

We’ll see where much of this goes.

[1] Waco, TX QuickFacts; 2013 Estimate
[2] The lack of a period after Dr is not a typo. The trademarked name does not include the period.