Gulf Coast
2010 Census - 5,770
2000 Census - 4,654
Hempstead, Texas
Hempstead Texas History:
In 1856, Dr. Richard Peebles and his wife Mary Ann Groce Peebles contributed 2,000 acres near the projected site of the Houston and Texas Central Railway for the town of Hempstead which Mary helped lay out. Dr. Peebles and James W. McDade marketed town lots through their Hempstead Town Company. The Hempstead post office was established in 1857. The Houston and Texas Central Railroad arrived in 1858 linking Hempstead with the gulf coast. That same year Hempstead incorporated, and the Washington County Railroad built a line between Hempstead and Brenham increasing Hempstead’s importance as a transportation center linking the Texas gulf coast with interior Texas. Hempstead was an important Confederate supply and manufacturing center during the Civil War. A confederate military hospital was located in Hempstead, and three Confederate camps were located in the area. Hempstead prospered after the Civil War. Area farmers produced large cotton crops; the availability of railroad transportation facilitated the growth of textile manufacturing and cotton processing industries. In 1873, Hempstead was elected the Waller County Seat. The town was disincorporated on February 13, 1899, and reincorporated on June 10, 1935. During the 1890s the lack of banking facilities slowed the retail sector; Citizen’s State Bank was chartered in 1906. During the early 20th Century all was not calm in Hempstead; violent settlement of disputes, often fueled by political and social disagreements involving the Ku Klux Klan, Radical Republicans, Greenbackers, Populists, and prohibitionists roiled the community. In 1966 Hempstead had 1,505 residents; the population reached 3,782 by 1988. Proximity to Houston accounts for much of the town's growth. The largest employers in 1990 were auto sales, government, and educational institutions; the dealership closed in 2009. Hempstead is located just east of the Brazos River at the junction of U.S. 290, SH 6 and SH 159, 53 miles northwest of Houston, 38 miles northwest of Addicks, 33 miles northwest of Katy, 21.3 miles northwest of Pattison, 25 miles northwest of Brookshire, 16 miles northwest of Hockley, 9.5 miles northwest of Waller, 7 miles northwest of Prairie View, 62 miles north of Wharton, 45 miles northeast of Eagle Lake, 30 miles north of San Felipe, 15.7 miles northeast of Bellville, 44 miles northeast of Fayetteville, 60 miles northeast of La Grange, 45.5 miles southeast of College Station, 39 miles southeast of Somerville, 22.3 miles southeast of Brenham, 29 miles southeast of Washington, 21 miles south of Navasota, and 47 miles southwest of Conroe, Texas.
Waller County Courthouse, 1955:
The beautiful 1894 courthouse was razed in 1955 to make way for this modern courthouse designed by architect Herbert Voelcker. “A History of Waller County,” published in 1973, stated that the 1894 structure "was torn down for a larger and even more attractive brick three-story building in 1955." The clock tower’s clock and clockworks have been restored. The Waller County Historical Society is accepting donations for the Clock Restoration Project. The clock tower is located on the front west lawn of the county courthouse. The 2010 Waller County census was 43,205. (979) 826-7700. 836 Austin Street.