Brenham, Texas, USA
(Hickory Grove Community)
Population: 11,952 in 1990

Brenham, Texas is located on U.S. Highway 290, seventy-two miles northwest of Houston. The town was the Hickory Grove Community before changing its name in 1843. She became the county seat of Washington County in February, 1844 and was incorporated in 1858. The photo on the left is main street circa 1909. Click on it for a larger view.
In 1860, the Washington County Railroad was established helping the economy of the town and with the arrival of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway in 1880, Brenham became significant as a regional marketing center. Trains played an important role in Brenham's history. Immigration, mostly Germans peaked in the early 1880s as most of them arrived by ship into Galveston and traveled by train to Brenham. The photo is the Union Depot in about 1900. Click on it for a larger view.
The towns position as a regional economic center has been preserved through merchandising, marketing, and processing industries of cottonseed oil, mattress manufacturing, broom manufacturing, food and fiber processing, metal fabricating, and the Blue Bell Creameries. The photo on the left is Blue Bell's first creamery about 1900. Click on it for a larger view.
Some of the hazards the town has lived through was the yellow fever epidemic in 1867, the burning of commercial buildings by federal occupation troops during the Reconstruction, two destructive fires in 1873 and 1877, and a brief reign of terror by the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s.

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