Seat, Texas Panhandle
At the juncture of Hwys 84 and 377
Just W of Hwy 183
82 miles SE of Abilene
via Hwy 84
131 miles SW of Fort
Worth via Hwy 377
Population: 18,813 (2000)
in a Pecan Shell
Present day 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.
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.
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 War II)
Hotel > Brownwood
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 -- Daniel Baker 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.
County Museum of History
Located in the old jail in the 200 block of
Open Thursday & Friday 9 to 5, Saturday 10 to 4.
Bowie Memorial Park - Burnett Drive and Travis Road
MacArthur 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
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
Hotel > Brownwood
Chamber of Commerce:
In the recently restored railroad depot.
Street - 325-646-9535
The Fence Cutter War
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
Those suspected of fence cutting and or cattle rustling often
received a letter giving them 10 days to vacate the area, he noted.
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."
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
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
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
has a lot to be proud about by Britt Towery
Artist Blanche Westerman
Boy With Two Tombstones
Or Iraan's “Little Boy Lost.” by Mike Cox
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?
Hotel > Brownwood
courtesy Donna Chevalier, June 2007|
signs in Brownwood|
Photo courtesy Donna Chevalier, June 2007
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
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