Texas was once an independent country: After winning its independence from Mexico in 1836, Texas became its own country, known as the Republic of Texas. It existed as an independent nation for nine years before being annexed by the United States in 1845.
Waller County, located in southeast Texas, has a rich and diverse history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by several Native American tribes, including the Karankawa and Atakapa, who relied on the region's abundant natural resources for sustenance and trade.

In the 1820s, Anglo-American settlers began arriving in the area, attracted by the fertile land and opportunities for agriculture. Waller County was officially established in 1873 and named after Edwin Waller, one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. The county's first courthouse was built in Hempstead, which remains its county seat to this day.

Like many parts of Texas, Waller County played a significant role in the Civil War. The area's economy was heavily dependent on cotton production, and many residents owned slaves. The county sent numerous soldiers to fight for the Confederacy, and after the war, the region experienced a period of Reconstruction and healing.

Throughout the 20th century, Waller County gradually transformed from an agricultural-based economy to one that embraced industry and education. The development of transportation infrastructure, such as railroads and highways, enabled the county to expand its reach and attract businesses. The establishment of Prairie View A&M University, an historically black college, in 1876 further contributed to the county's growth.

Today, Waller County is known for its diverse economy, which includes agriculture, oil and gas, manufacturing, and education. It remains a vibrant community that values its history while striving for progress and prosperity.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Waller County, Texas.

  • 1837: Waller County is established as part of the Republic of Texas
  • 1838: The town of Hempstead is founded as the county seat
  • 1850s: The county's economy thrives on cotton production and slave labor
  • 1861-1865: Waller County residents actively participate in the Civil War
  • 1873: The Houston and Texas Central Railroad reaches Waller County, spurring growth
  • 1885: Prairie View A&M University, the first state-funded college for African Americans, is established in Waller County
  • 1899: The Santa Fe Railroad is completed in Waller County, further boosting commerce
  • 20th century: Waller County experiences ups and downs in agriculture, oil, and gas industries
  • 1998: Tragic death of Sandra Bland in a Waller County jail attracts national attention and sparks discussions on racial injustice and police misconduct