Brown County Courthouse
Location within the state of Texas
Brownwood is a city in and the county seat of Brown County, Texas, United States. The population was 19,288 at the 2010 census.
The original site of the Brown County seat of Brownwood was east of Pecan Bayou. A dispute arose over land and water rights, and the settlers were forced to find a new location. Greenleaf Fisk donated 60 acres (24 ha) to relocate the county seat to the west side of the bayou, on what is now the current site of Brownwood, and 100 additional acres for county use. The town was incorporated in 1884.
During the Second World War, Brownwood was the location of U.S. ArmyCamp Bowie, which had a peak complement of over 80,000 soldiers. Camp Bowie serves as a training camp today at the intersection Farm-to-Market roads 45 and 2126.
On 19 April 1976, an F5 tornado struck near Brownwood, causing extensive damage, with 11 reported injuries, but no fatalities.
Brownwood's census figures were re-evaluated after the 2000 census from 18,813 to reflect more accurate figures of 20,407. The city was categorized in 2003 as a Micropolitan Statistical Area. The federal Office of Management and Budget has issued a definition of Micropolitan Statistical Areas as "an urban cluster of at least 10,000, but less than 50,000 population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core, as measured by commuting ties."
A dispute over water rights created the adjacent city of Early. The two cities are separated by the Pecan Bayou, one of five major tributaries of theColorado River of Texas.
Lake Brownwood is located 7 miles (11 km) north of the city. The lake is a 7,300-acre (30 km2) reservoir created by damming the Pecan Bayou. A wide variety of fish occur in the lake: largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, striped bass, white crappie, yellow and flathead catfish, sunfish (perch), and alligator gar. Camping, water skiing, jet skiing, and boating are available. It is home of Lake Brownwood State Park, a 538-acre (2.18 km2) area which opened in 1938.
The Pecan Bayou is a major tributary of the Colorado River. Due to the damming of the area to form Lake Brownwood, the Pecan Bayou has a shallow depth and little flow downstream from Brownwood. During heavy rains, the bayou often floods. It runs northwest to southeast and serves as a boundary between the cities of Brownwood and Early.
The city lies within the Brownwood Independent School District. Brownwood High School has a strong tradition of nonsportsUIL participation, including academic competitions and drama (one-act plays). Other opportunities for student participation include band, DECA, FFA, drill team (the Lionettes), Key Club, student council, Students Against Destructive Decisions, andNational Honor Society.
The BHS mascot is the lion, with school colors of maroon and white. The school was tied for most state championships in high school football, with seven, the last coming in 1981, until Celina won their eighth state championship in 2007. Gordon Wood, who coached at Brownwood High for a quarter-century, retired in 1985 as one of the greatest coaches in Texas history, with 396 wins. He was recently surpassed by former Celina and Pilot Point coach G. A. Moore. Many athletes from surrounding communities move to Brownwood to play for the maroon and white.
Brownwood is home to Howard Payne University. The university's teams achieved national championship status in 1957 and 1964 in NAIA Cross Country, and in 2008 with NCAA Division III Women's Basketball. The Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom, a museum with recreations of famous rooms in American history, such as Independence Hall, and a 32-foot-high (9.8 m) mural depicting Biblical history, is located on the Howard Payne campus.
Brownwood is also the home of a West Texas campus of the Texas State Technical College System. Computer-aided drafting and design, digital imaging and design, software and business accounting, associate degree nursing, chemical dependency counseling, health information technology, computer network systems and administration, computer science database and web programming technology, emergency medical technology (paramedics), mechatronics, and welding technology are some of the courses offered at the TSTC campus.
Brownwood is served by the following highways: US 67, US 84, US 183, US 377, and Texas State Highway 279. TheBurlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, Fort Worth and Western Railroad and Texas Rock Crusher Railway also serve the Brownwood area.
Brownwood is served by Brownwood Regional Airport. The airport currently has two runways: 17/35, a 5599 × 150-ft (1707 × 46-m) asphalt runway (30,000 lb per wheel), and 13/31, a 4596 × 100-ft (1401 × 30-m) asphalt runway (25,000 lb per wheel). Mostly cargo and private air operations take place at the airport, although in the past, Mesa Airlines offered regional connections.