Texas Midwest 2022 Visitors Guide

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Population 5,666 - (page 28) The town originated about 1854 and was called Picketville. When the county was organized in 1876, the town was made county seat and renamed Breckenridge after John C. Breckinridge, U.S. Senator from Kentucky and U.S. Vice President, although the spelling of the name was altered. Breckenridge served as the court and local trading center for several quiet decades until 1916–17, when oil discoveries at Ranger occurred. Drilling started at the Breckenridge field in 1918, but the boom did not really get underway until 1920 when the town saw the arrival of thousands of workers and speculators who threw up acres of tents and shacks in the classic oil boomtown manner. From a population estimated at 1,500 in January 1920 the town grew to 30,000 within a year. Activity was frenzied as some 200 wells were put down inside the city limits; hordes of gamblers, liquor sellers and houses of ill repute could be found to provide recreation. Today the economy is based on oil and gas, ranching, service, retail, as well as a diversity of manufacturing facilities. Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce, P O Box 1466, Breckenridge, 76424, 254-559-2301, chamber@breckenridgetexas.com


Population 999 Bronte, on U.S. Highway 277 at its junction with State Highway 158 in east central Coke County, was founded in the late 1880s and named for the English novelist Charlotte Bronte. J.B. McCutchen drove a herd of cattle into the area from Santa Anna in 1889, and other settlers followed, including Dr. W. F. Key, who started the town. Lumber was hauled from Ballinger for the community’s early buildings. Oso and Bronco were the town’s original names, but the post office rejected Bronco to avoid confusion with another town. Bronte had a post office by 1890; also two churches and a school. The Kansas City, Mexico and Orient Railway was completed through the area in 1907; subsequently Bronte was moved a mile to be near the track to become a shipping point on the railroad. The first train ran in 1909. By 1910, the town had numerous businesses, two cotton gins, a bank, and a newspaper. City Hall, 325-473-3501, brontetx@wcc.net


Population 19,288 - (page 31) Brown County was formed on the western frontier in 1856 and was organized in 1858, with Brownwood designated as the county seat. Once the frontier was secure from hostile Indians, the area began to grow, economically spurred by the railroad, agriculture, and oil. During WWII, Brownwood was home to Camp Bowie, the largest training facility in the nation and a German POW camp. Today, Brownwood’s economy remains strong. Camp Bowie is now the National Guard training facility, as well as the Industrial Park, Sports Complex, Aquatic Center, and Medical Complex. Rich in history and steeped in tradition, Brown County residents enjoy a relaxed way of life that revolves around family and friends. Brownwood is a sportsman’s paradise, with excellent hunting, beautiful Lake Brownwood and an abundance of outdoor activities. With over 50 annual events, entertainment and culture abound with festivals, performances, and art exhibits. For more information contact the Brownwood Chamber of Commerce 600 E. Depot, 325-646-9535, communications@brownwoodchamber.org


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