In the late 1800’s, Waco, Texas was ranked as one of the largest cities in Texas, along with Dallas, Fort Worth and El Paso, due in part to the Waco Suspension Bridge, the largest single span bridge in the United States. Also contributing to Waco’s large population was the Waco Tap Railroad which tapped into the Houston and Texas Central Railroad from Houston to Dallas.

Waco aspired to have a Fall Festival which would promote the city. In 1894 Waco residents raised the money to build an exposition hall with seating for 5,000. On November 8, 1894, Governor James Hogg was guest of honor on opening day of the month-long festival. The event included a parade, agricultural exhibit, amusement area, orators, and musicians. The first Exhibition was a grand success, bringing visitors from all over the state. Unfortunately, six weeks later the building burned.

In 1970, the celebratory Exhibition event was revived by residents of Waco. It became an energetic stage production that recounted the history of Waco. Today, the Festival on the Brazos features a brief historical production featuring local citizens who chronicle and celebrate the history of the city bringing Waco’s history to life.

Memorials for Margaret Brown may be made by donating to the Festival on the Brazos Educational Fund using the button below.