Panhandle Plains
2010 Census - 19,288
2000 Census - 18,813
Brownwood, Texas
Brownwood Texas History:
Ranchers and farmers moved into the area and developed the small town of Brownsville on the east side of Pecan Bayou. In 1857, Brownwood was chosen the county seat of the newly formed Brown County. The town post office was established the next year. In the late 1860s the town moved to the west side of Pecan Bayou on 60 acres donated by Greenleaf Fisk. In 1872 the town had two general stores, a log courthouse and five cabins. In 1873, John Y. Rankin began building homes in the business district. This area became known as the Rankin Addition. By 1876, the town had grown to 120 residents and had three churches, a bank, a schoolhouse, stores and saloons. The businesses served the cowboys who rode the Western Trail. The courthouse burned in 1880 and was replaced. By 1877, the State of Texas was offering farmers land and a cotton gin opened to serve the cotton farmers. Brownwood incorporated in 1884. The following year the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad built a line through Brownwood. By 1890, the town had five churches, a school, an icehouse, an opera house, a fire department, a waterworks, newspapers, a sanitarium and 2,176 residents. The Fort Worth and Rio Grande Railway built through Brownwood in 1891. Daniel Baker College and Howard Payne College opened in 1889. In 1900, Brownwood’s main industry was cotton. In spite of the boll weevil infestation and other problems in the cotton industry, the city was the largest cotton-buying center west of Fort Worth by 1920 when it had 8,223 residents. Oil production added to the economic base in the early 1920s, and the establishment of Camp Bowie during World War II added more economic growth as Camp Bowie became the largest training camp in Texas. After the war the town’s economy suffered from a seven year drought and the closing of Camp Bowie. In the 1980s important businesses included meat packing, commercial printing, and the manufacture of plumbing fixtures, leather gloves, and oilfield machinery and construction equipment. Today the city remains an important commercial and distributing center for the county and the region. Brownwood is located on the Pecan Bayou a few miles south of Lake Brownwood at the intersections of U.S. 84/U.S. 67, SH 279, U.S. 183 and U.S. 377, 61 miles east of Ballinger, 22 miles southeast of Santa Anna, 31 miles southeast of Coleman, 35 miles southeast of Cross Plains, 49 miles south of Cisco, 59 miles southwest of Eastland, 40 miles southwest of Proctor and Proctor Lake, 28 miles southwest of Comanche, 49 miles northwest of San Saba, 36 miles northwest of Goldthwaite, 53 miles northeast of the O.H. Ivie Reservoir, and 46 miles northeast of Brady, Texas.
Historic Camp Bowie, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Huge World War II training base, Camp Bowie was a home of the "Texas" 36th Division and trained many other units, including the "Dixie" 31st, 4th, and 13th Armored; and 113th Cavalry. It was also Seventh Headquarters of Special Troops, Fourth Army. Here, too, Gen. Walter Krueger was Commander of the VIII Corps Area Troops. The camp had a capacity of 45,000. Commanders were Col. K.L. Berry, Gen. C.V. Birkhead, Col. F.E. Bonney, Col. A.G. Brown, and Col. K.F. Hanst. Camp operated Sept. 1940 to 1946, when 45th Div. was deactivated. It was named for James Bowie, hero of the Alamo siege, 1836.” The camp was established 1.5 miles southwest of Brownwood. Today the campsite has become a medical center and an area inhabited by industries. Texas Military Forces still conduct training exercises at Lake Brownwood off FM 45. The marker is located at the entrance to the 36th Division Memorial Park on Burnett Street, near Morris Sheppard Road. More History
Brown County Courthouse, 1917:
The 1917 courthouse is a remodeled version of the 1884 one. According to TheCourthouses of Texas book by Donald Dyal and Mavis Kelsey, the remodeling was so complete that only the vault was left untouched. The brick courthouse was remodeled in classical revival style by architect Henry T. Phelps of San Antonio. The 2010 Brown County census was 38,106. (325) 643-2828. 200 South Broadway Street. 
Brown County Jail, 1901-1902:
This wonderful castle-like jail was designed and constructed by Youngblood Brothers of Troy, Alabama, and by Martin Moodie & Company of Comanche, Texas for $24,925.60. William Hood was the local architect and contractor. Lumber was only used on the first floor to prevent prisoners from setting the jail on fire. The 18 inch thick walls are made of sandstone, sand and cement. The sandstone was obtained from local quarries and from Round Mountain, Texas. The sheriff’s family and the jailer’s family lived in apartments on the first floor. The large caged “Bull Pen” room in the center of the second floor caged the prisoners when they were being visited by family. The upstairs jail cells are still intact. The jail now houses the Brown County Museum of History. It is a Texas Historical Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (325) 641-1926. 209 North Broadway Street. Email