In February 1837, Fort Fisher was built alongside the west side of the Brazos River. Captain Thomas H. Barron's company established the fort in an area that had previously been the home of the Waco Indians. The fort was named after William S. Fisher who at the time was the Secretary of War. The original fort consisted of a few shanties that were used as barracks near the river for the Barron's troops. Several other Rangers were assigned to the fort and headquartered there; however, the fort was abandoned in June of 1837 because of its remote location that was too far out to be effective. In 1968, they reconstructed the old fort as the Colonel Homer Garrison Museum and are the current headquarters of the Texas Rangers. Within this, museum can be seen an exceptional collection of weapons that encompass the history of the Texas Rangers. Nearby is the popular Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum.
The first white settlers started moving into the area now known as Waco Texas about twelve years after the establishment of fort Griffin. For a short period of time, there were large plantations located along the Brazos River. However, these were destroyed during the Civil war. As the frontier started to grow the town now known as Waco was nicknamed "Six Shooter Junction" in 1850 the first newspaper was published the Waco Era. In 1856, the town of Waco was incorporated from Waco Village to the city of Waco. Waco became a stopping spot for cattlemen and cowboys along the trail for needed supplies and other activities. Waco became the sixth largest town in Texas in 1900.
Currently, Waco is known for its varied educational, cultural and recreational venues. There are three major colleges in Waco, Baylor University, College, Texas State Technical College, and McLennan Community. For entertainment, there are several great museums in the area, awesome dining facilities and in October the Heart O' Texas Fair and Rodeo. The rodeo attracts visitors from all around the area with its professional rodeo, horse and livestock shows, performers and varied exhibits.