History      

 

 

 

Brown County, near the geographic center of Texas, is bordered on the north by Eastland County, on the west by Coleman County, on the south by McCulloch and San Saba counties, and on the east by Comanche and Mills counties. The center of the county lies at 3145' north latitude and 9900' west longitude, sixty-five miles southeast of Abilene. The county is named for Capt. Henry Stevenson Brown, a company commander in the battle of Velasco, a delegate to the Convention of 1832, and one of the first Anglo-Americans in the area.

The county was formed on the western frontier in 1856 from Comanche and Travis counties and organized in 1858, with Brownwood designated as the county seat; the town was also awarded the county's first post office that year with Wiley B. Brown as postmaster. In 1860 the United States census found 244 people living in the county, none of them slaveholders. The census also counted 2,070 cattle in the area, and ninety-one acres of land was classified as "improved." The county developed slowly between its founding and the 1870s, primarily because conditions were not secure for settlement until the late 1870s or early 1880s, as settlers were harassed by Indians and white predators for twenty years after the county was formed.

Development of the county was accelerated in the 1890s and early 1900s when two railroads built tracks into the area, providing a stimulus to area farmers and helping maintain an atmosphere favorable to experiments in crop diversification. The Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railway reached the county in 1892; the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe line built into Brownwood in 1895, and by 1903 had extended its tracks to Menard. The new railroad connections helped Brownwood to prosper, since the absence of railroad facilities in southern Eastland and Callahan counties led farmers from those areas to Brownwood to do their marketing.

Read the rest of the Brown County History from the Handbook of Texas Online.

 
Texas Disasters includes these Brown County Train Wrecks, Tornadoes, Fires & other disasters:
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bullet Brownwood, TX Train Wreck, May 1908
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bullet Zephyr, TX Train Wreck, Sept 1902
bullet Zephyr, TX Tornado, May 1909
 

Carnegie Library, Brownwood

Brownwood Public Library
600 Carnegie
Brownwood TX 76801
325-646-0155
The library has a genealogy room and does not do interlibrary loans on their genealogy collections. Has most of the issues of the Brownwood Bulletin available on microfilm dating back to 1890's.
Hours are: Monday 9 am-6 pm; Tuesday 9 am-8 pm; Wednesday 9 am-6 pm; Thursday 9 am-6 pm; Friday 9 am-6 pm; Saturday 9 am-1 pm
Walker Memorial Library
1000 Fisk St.
Brownwood TX 76801
325-649-8602
The library is located on the campus of Howard Payne University. Research is not limited to students. Has great genealogy collections.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Family History Center
4503 4th St.
Brownwood TX 76801
Hours are: Tuesday 9 am-5 pm; Thursday 5 pm-9 pm; Saturday 10 am-4 pm

 

The Promised Land, The History of Brown County Texas 1941.  Read it online.
Brown County History Site encompasses the Brown County Historical Commission, Brown County Historical Society and the Brown County Museum of History.  History, photos.  Great site!
History Books available from the Brown County Historical Society
Brownwood History from Brownwood TX Feels Like Home
Byrds History
 

Post Office, Brownwood 1950s

Postmasters and Post Offices of Brown County, 1858-1930
Postmasters & Post Offices of Brown County, Texas 1858-1930
Sheriffs of Brown County
 
1919 Worley's Brownwood City Directory excerpts
1928 Worley's Brownwood City Directory excerpts
1938 Curry's Brownwood City Directory excerpts
 

Cotton Compress, Brownwood, early 1900s

Brown County Records available on microfilm at the Family History Library
Executions in Texas, 1819-forward