History of Bryan, TX
Bryan, TX is a city with a unique and rich history. Closely intertwined with its twin city, College Station, the two cities are referred to as the Bryan-College Station metropolitan area, or just BCS, and have a combined population of over 250,000.
Simple Beginnings in Bryan
The area that became Bryan started out as land owned by the Spanish. It was given to Moses Austin through a land grant, but Austin was not able to finish colonizing the Texas land by the time he fell ill. It’s said that it was his dying wish for his son, Stephen F. Austin, to complete his task, and the latter did. Among those who ended up settling in the area was Stephen F. Austin’s nephew, William Joel Bryan, who was a soldier when Texas declared its independence from Mexico. He helped to feed troops during the American Civil War. After allowing a railroad to be built on his property, a project townsite was named after him.
Just a few years after the city was formed, Texas A&M was founded just south of the town. An interurban railroad was designed to connect Bryan and College Station, but the project was quickly abandoned. It was soon connected by State Highway 6.
Important Milestones in Bryan, TX
1. The early land where the city sits was one of many short stops along the path of the railroads.
Small spur tracks ran all the way through to the Brazos River bottom. It linked rich cotton-producing lands to the city’s two cotton yards and bolstered other commercial infrastructures. Thanks to the connection with the railway business, the city was connected with the rest of the country. The downtown grew into a business hub for the large surrounding area.
2. The founding of the Agriculture and Mechanical College (Texas A&M) was a great benefit to the town.
Located a mere four miles outside of the city, the institution attracted people with more intellectual pursuits to the town. The city developed its first newspaper, which resulted in much more. The Carnegie Library was founded and in public use until the opening of the Bryan Public Library. The addition of the college increased intellect in the region.
3. In 1958, Townshire became the area’s first major shopping center.
The addition of shopping centers that were built outside the downtown area created a strain on the district’s center of commerce. The downtown area slowly began to decline during this time, but revitalization began in the late 1980s. It was in 1992 the city became a Texas Main Street City. This recognition allowed it to start benefiting from technical and design assistance provided by the Texas Historical Commission.
The Future of Bryan, TX
We at SaveOnPaving.com believe Bryan boasts a robust economy, safe neighborhoods, quality schools, and state-of-the-art health care. The original parameters of the town now stretch more than 43.4 square miles. The population has grown from a few hundred people to over 85,000.
A master plan is in the works to develop the city even more with an innovative and unified plan for the downtown. The vision for the city is a collaboration between the city staff, consultant, and the public so that the future can see a better Bryan.
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