Praries & Lakes
2010 Census - 4,459
2000 Census - 4,690
Hearne, Texas
Hearne Texas History:
Hearne is located on the former 1930 Mexican land grant given to Fort Tenoxtitlán commander Francisco Ruiz. During the 1840s, Code Brown’s tavern and general store was a stage stop and area post office. During the 1850s, Ebenezer and Horatio Hearne purchased 10,000 acres and established cotton plantations. In1858, Christopher Columbus Hearne offered railroad promoters a right-of-way and land for a townsite, but the Civil War prevented the construction of a line to Hearne. After the war, Hearne’s widow deeded 700 acres to the Houston and Texas Central Railway which completed its line to Hearn in 1868, and platted the town in 1870. After the arrival of the railroad, the town began to grow as residents and businesses moved in. The Hearne post office was established in 1869. In 1870 the International-Great Northern railroad completed construction of an east to west line in Robertson County; this line intersected the Houston and Texas Central Railway’s line in Hearne. The railroads allowed Hearne to become an area shipping center for cotton. Hearne incorporated in 1871. Hearne was the site of a POW camp during World War II. Hearne is billed as the “Cross Roads of Texas.” Today Hearne is a marketing center for agricultural, manufacturing and petroleum products. Hearne is located just east of the Brazos River at the intersections of SH 6 (Market Street), U.S. 79, U.S. 190, FM 485 and FM 391, 53 miles north of Somerville and Lake Somerville, 29.6 miles northeast of Rockdale, 36.7 miles southeast of Marlin, 22.8 miles southeast of Bremond, 8.5 miles southeast of Calvert, 62 miles south of Mexia, 49 miles south of Groesbeck and Lake Limestone, 54 miles southwest of Buffalo, 51.4 miles southwest of Centerville and Fort Boggy State Park, 17 miles southwest of New Baden, 13.4 miles southwest of Franklin, 17.2 miles southwest of New Baden, 54 miles southwest of Madisonville, 26 miles northwest of College Station, and 20 miles northwest of Bryan, Texas.
Camp Hearne World War II Prisoner of War Camp, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“During the Second World War, Allied troops captured large numbers of Axis soldiers and transported them to prisoner of war camps established throughout the United States. More than 70 camps in Texas housed some 50,000 prisoners. In March 1942, Hearne Chamber of Commerce President Roy Henry contacted Congressman Luther Johnson to request that a camp be located here. Within a month, U.S. Army staff had inspected the area and selected 720 acres as a prison site. Construction of the camp began in September 1942 and was completed in six months. It was laid out in three sections, each of which included a mess hall, lavatory, company office and eight barracks. The first of almost 5,000 prisoners of war (POWs) arrived in June 1943. Most of the POWs housed here were non-commissioned officers (NCOs) of the famed German Afrika Korps captured in Tunisia. Because NCOs were not required to work in prison camps according to the Geneva Convention, they spent most of their time in recreational and educational activities while the bulk of the work in the camp fell to enlisted men who comprised about twenty percent of the prison population. In 1944, Camp Hearne became the central mail distribution point for all German POWs in the U.S., but poor supervision allowed a small group of Nazi sympathizers to infiltrate the system and intimidate and terrorize both prisoners and their families back in Germany until the scheme was discovered and the operation shut down in July 1945. A few hundred Japanese prisoners were brought here in the summer of 1945 shortly before the end of the war. All POWs were gone and the camp closed by January 1946.”
Hearne Railroad Depot Museum, 1901:
The Hearne Railroad Passenger Depot was constructed in 1901 as a joint venture by the north-south Houston & Texas Central (H&TC) Railroad and east-west International & Great Northern (I&GN) Railroad. A Harvey House restaurant was once located adjacent to the depot. In 2001, the Hearne Depot was moved 660 feet across SH 6. The restored depot now houses the Hearn visitors center and museum. It is furnished with period pieces, and railroad and local history exhibits including a telegraph office, bricks from the depot’s original walkways, an old circular concrete railroad telephone booth, Hearne's restored original interlocker console, and the old Hearne Lumber Co. entrance gates. Vintage Hearne photos are displayed in the former baggage room. Open Wed-Sat, 11am-4pm. (979) 279-2351. 304 S. Market Street (SH 6), Hearne, TX 77859. Email     
Camp Hearne Park & Visitors Center:
This World War II prisoner of war camp operated outside of Hearne on FM 485 West from 1942 until 1947. The camp housed up to 5,000 German, Italian, and Japanese prisoners of war. The camp's water tower, a POW built pond, garden fountains, outdoor theater seating, and the foundations of many dismantled buildings remain. Several of the original barracks are still intact. These include the barracks that are currently used as classrooms at Hearne's Blackshear Elementary School. A reconstructed army barrack currently houses the visitor center and exhibits depicting the daily life of the POWs including memorabilia, uniforms, furniture, photos and a full scale model of Camp Hearne. Several brochures are available. A guard tower and a permanent visitor and exhibit center will be constructed on the site. The Visitor Center is open Wed-Sat, 11am-4pm. (979) 314-7012. Email  
Smith-Welch Memorial Library:
The library is located in a restored 1892 building; it is one of the most ornate buildings in the downtown area; it features a pressed metal on wood frame façade. The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. Open Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5:30pm. (979) 279-5191. 105 W. 4th Street.