McLennan County is located in east central Texas, bordered by Hill, Limestone, Falls, Bell, Coryell, and Bosque counties. Waco, the county seat, is on the Brazos River at the intersection of Interstate Highway 35 and U.S Highway 84, ninety miles south of Dallas and 100 miles north of Austin.

Cities, Towns & Communities

Bellmead | Beverly Hills | Bosqueville | Bruceville-Eddy | Crawford | Gholson | Hallsburg | Hewitt | Lacy Lakeview | Leroy | Lorena | Mart | McGregor | Moody | Riesel | Robinson | Ross | Waco – county seat | West (Bold Springs) | Woodway


McLennan County was established by the Texas legislature on January 22, 1850, and named for Neil McLennan, one of the early settlers. The county government was organized in August 1850 with Waco as its county seat. The county originally included its present area, as well as the land to the northwest as far as the northern boundary of the Robertson colony; it was reduced to its present size in 1854, when Bosque County was established. Although McLennan County was organized too late to be included in the 1850 census, its population at that time has been estimated at several hundred. Rapid growth was possible because, within two years of the establishment of Waco Village, the frontier was pushed well to the northwest of the area. Aside from Waco, the earliest communities in the county were at Bosqueville and Bold Springs (later called West). The county was divided into school districts in 1854. Early public schools were located near the center of their district and generally carried the same name as the nearby settlement. Districts usually charged tuition to raise money to pay their teachers. Population growth made redistricting necessary in 1867 and again in 1884. Large-scale consolidation of common school districts into independent school districts took place in the 1930s and 1940s. Several private schools, such as the Bosqueville Male and Female College and the Trinity River High School (later Waco University) added to the educational opportunities in the county. Paul Quinn College moved to Waco from Austin in 1881. Waco was also chosen as the site of Baylor University when Waco University and Baylor University at Independence were consolidated in 1886. McLennan Community College was established at Waco in 1965. Read McLennan County History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>

County Histories

The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas, 1972, edited by Dayton Kelley.

McLennan County Before 1980, 1981, by William Robert Poage.

Our Land, Our Lives: A Pictorial History of McLennan County, 1986, by Patricia Ward Wallace.


McLennan County Postcards and Photographs >>


McClennan County Government Website

Waco-McLennan County Library


Waco, TX 31° 32′ 57.5988″ N, 97° 8′ 48.012″ W