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Waxahachie, Texas facts for kids

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Waxahachie, Texas
The Ellis County Courthouse in Waxahachie
The Ellis County Courthouse in Waxahachie
"Crape Myrtle Capital", "The Gingerbread City", "Hachie"
Location of Waxahachie, Texas
Location of Waxahachie, Texas
Ellis County Waxahachie.svg
Country United States
State Texas
County Ellis
Founded 1850
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Total 50.73 sq mi (131.40 km2)
 • Land 49.50 sq mi (128.21 km2)
 • Water 1.23 sq mi (3.19 km2)
558 ft (170 m)
 • Total 29,621
 • Estimate 
 • Density 767.43/sq mi (296.31/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
75165, 75167, 75168
Area code(s) 972
FIPS code 48-76816
GNIS feature ID 1349560

Waxahachie ( WOK-sə-HA-chee) is the county seat of Ellis County, Texas, United States. Its population was 29,621 at the 2010 census, with an estimated population of 37,988 in 2019.


Waxahachie, TX welcome sign IMG 5588

Some sources state that the name means "cow" or "buffalo" in an unspecified Native American language. One possible Native American origin is the Alabama language, originally spoken in the area of Alabama around Waxahatchee Creek by the Alabama-Coushatta people, who had migrated by the 1850s to eastern Texas. In the Alabama language, waakasi hachi means "calf's tail" (the Alabama word waaka being a loan from Spanish vaca).

That there is a Waxahatchee Creek near present-day Shelby, Alabama, suggests that Waxahachie, Texas, shares the same name etymology. Many place names in Texas and Oklahoma have their origins in the Southeastern United States, largely due to migration and/or forced removal of various southeastern Indian tribes. The area in central Alabama that includes Waxahatchee Creek was for hundreds of years the home of the Upper Creek moiety of the Muscogee Creek Nation. Again, this would suggest a Muscogee Creek language origin of Waxahachie. "Waxahachie" therefore may be an anglicized pronunciation of the Muscogee compound word Wakvhvce from the Muscogee words Wakv (meaning "cow" derived from the Spanish vaca) and the Muscogee word Hvce (meaning "tail").

A second etymology that has been suggested for the name is insisted on by speakers of Wichita, the language of the tribe which used to live in the area but now lives mostly around Anadarko, Oklahoma. Wichita people claim the name comes from their word waks'ahe:ts'i (the apostrophe represents a glottal stop, like the middle sound in "oh oh"; "a" is schwa ("uh"); "e:" sounds almost like the "a" of "hat"; "ts" before "i" in this language often sounds like "ch" to English speaking ears; "i" has the continental value, like the one in English "machine"). It means "fat wildcat".


Aerial view of Waxahachie, looking north, about 1908
Confederate Monument, Waxahachie, TX IMG 5589
The United Daughters of the Confederacy Monument was unveiled in 1912 at the Ellis County Courthouse in Waxahachie.
Glimpse of downtown Waxahachie, TX IMG 5609
A glimpse of downtown Waxahachie across from the courthouse
Texas Theater in Waxahachie IMG 5603
The Texas Theater across from the courthouse hosts community events in Waxahachie.
Rogers Hotel of Waxahachie, TX IMG 5607
Historic Rogers Hotel is adjacent to the courthouse in Waxahachie.
Revised, Waxahachie, TX, City Hall IMG 5612
Waxahachie City Hall
Revised, Waxahachie Daily Light office IMG 5613
Waxahachie Daily Light newspaper office at 200 West Marvin Avenue
Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie

Waxahachie was founded in August 1850 as the seat of the newly established Ellis County on a donated tract of land given by early settler Emory W. Rogers, a native of Lawrence County, Alabama, who migrated to Texas in 1839. It was incorporated on April 28, 1871, and in 1875 the state legislature granted investors the right to operate a rail line from Waxahachie Tap Railroad to Garrett, Texas, which greatly increased the population of Waxahachie.

From 1902 to 1942, Waxahachie was the home of Trinity University, which was a Presbyterian-affiliated institution founded in 1869. Its present-day location is San Antonio.

The town is the namesake of the former United States Naval Ship Waxahachie (YTB-814).

In 1988, the area around Waxahachie was chosen as the site for the Superconducting Super Collider, which was to be the world's largest and most energetic particle accelerator, with a planned ring circumference of 54.1 miles (87.1 km). Seventeen shafts were sunk and 14.6 miles (23.5 km) of tunnel were bored before the project was canceled by Congress in 1993.



The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Waxahachie has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,354
1890 3,076 127.2%
1900 4,215 37.0%
1910 6,205 47.2%
1920 7,958 28.3%
1930 8,042 1.1%
1940 8,655 7.6%
1950 11,204 29.5%
1960 12,749 13.8%
1970 13,452 5.5%
1980 14,624 8.7%
1990 18,168 24.2%
2000 21,426 17.9%
2010 29,621 38.2%
2020 41,140 38.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2010, 29,621 people were living in the city. The population density was 536.1 people per sq mi (207.0/km2). The 7,909 housing units averaged 197.9/sq mi (76.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.9% White, 14.2% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 0.10% from other races, and 2.20% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 26.0% of the population.

The total estimated population as of 2016 was 34,345.

Of the 7,325 households, 36.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.3% were not families. Of all households, 21.9% were made up of individuals, and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.73, and the average family size was 3.18.

In the city, the age distribution was 26.9% under 18, 13.3% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $43,213, and for a family was $50,048. Males had a median income of $32,597 versus $23,838 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,003. About 10.5% of families and 12.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.3% of those under age 18 and 11.1% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

Annual cultural events

The Scarborough Renaissance Festival (also called Scarborough Faire), a popular Renaissance fair theme park, is located southwest of the town. It opens annually during the months of April and May and has been in operation since 1981. The city's annual Gingerbread Trail Festival features tours of many of the Gingerbread homes.

Bethlehem Revisited (Located Behind Central Presbyterian Church). Step back in time, over 2000 years ago, and walk the streets of ancient Bethlehem as Mary and Joseph did on the night of Christ’s birth. On your journey to the site of the Nativity, you will meet innkeepers, merchants, craftsmen, tradesmen, clergy, and many other citizens as they portray daily life in the City of Bethlehem, complete with sheep, camels, and donkeys. You can also visit Herod’s Court and await the nightly parade of the three kings bringing their treasures to Bethlehem’s newest citizen. Regularly voted one of the top holiday attractions in North Texas.

Texas Country Reporter Festival (hosted by Bob Phillips) The Texas Country Reporter Festival features artists, craftsmen, music, and food from all over the Lone Star State – much of it featured on TCR over the years. It’s free, family-friendly, and fun! Pets are welcome, but they must be leashed. With an average attendance of over 30,000


Waxahachie is locally known for its elaborate Richardsonian Romanesque courthouse, considered by many to be among the most beautiful of Texas's older courthouses. The town also features many examples of Victorian architecture and Gingerbread homes, several of which have been converted into bed and breakfasts. Ellis County Art Association & Museum (Cultural Attractions- Events- & Facilities; 501 West Main Street).

Parks and recreation

Parks in Waxahachie include Spring Park, Getzendaner Memorial Park, Richards Park, Sheaffer Full Life Center - Southwestern Assemblies of God University, Southwestern Assemblies of God University Football Field, Lumpkin Stadium, Southwestern Assemblies of God University Baseball Fields, Chapman Park.

In movies

In the mid-1980s Waxahachie became popular with the movie industry.

The majority of Tender Mercies, a 1983 film about a country western singer, was filmed in Waxahachie. Director Bruce Beresford deliberately avoided the city's picturesque elements and Victorian architecture, and instead filmed more rural locations that more closely resembled the West Texas area. The Texas town portrayed in Tender Mercies is never specifically identified. Mercies starred Robert Duvall, who won the 1983 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the film.

The 1984 film Places in the Heart starring Sally Field was also filmed in Waxahachie. Unlike Mercies, it was filmed deliberately in the town square and utilized the Victorian and plantation homes still intact in the area. Field won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1985 for her role in the film.

The 1985 film The Trip to Bountiful starring Geraldine Page was also filmed in Waxahachie. Page won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1986 for her role in Bountiful.

Other movies made in or around Waxahachie are:

  • 1918, directed by Ken Harrison, tells of the severe flu outbreak after soldiers returned from World War I. Local talent in the film include L.T. Felty, a former high school principal and local actor, who was cast as the mayor.
  • On Valentine's Day, also directed by Ken Harrison, the central film in Horton Foote's semi-autobiographical trilogy that also includes Courtship and 1918. It is a nearly verbatim retelling of his stage play and the sets and costumes.
  • Missionary Man stars Dolph Lundgren and was filmed in downtown Waxahachie around the Rogers Hotel and vicinity.

Additionally, the long-running television series Walker, Texas Ranger, starring Chuck Norris, was filmed in Waxahachie on occasion. Some scenes in Prison Break were filmed in Waxahachie.

Sister cities

Sabinas in Coahuila, Mexico, has been proposed as Waxahachie's sister city. Sabinas is located about 70 miles (110 km) south of Eagle Pass, Texas.


Employment opportunities in the city are highly oriented toward industry. Owens Corning, Georgia-Pacific, International Paper, James Hardie Industries, Berry Global, Americase, Cardinal Glass, Magnablend, and Dart Container are located within a few miles of each other. Nonindustrial employers include Baylor Scott & White Health, Waxahachie Independent School District, Walgreen Distribution Center, Wal-Mart, HEB Grocery, Navarro College, and Southwestern Assemblies of God University.


Primary and secondary

Waxahachie is served by the Waxahachie Independent School District (WISD), which currently has eight elementary campuses, three middle school campuses, and two high schools. WISD aims to offer all of its students a well-rounded education and offers advanced-placement and dual-credit courses, as well as varied career and technology courses.

Waxahachie High School, classified as 6A, offers a range of extracurricular activities to its students, including football, volleyball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, concert and marching band, drama, choir, drill team, and dozens of academic teams and clubs. The football program made the playoffs every year from 1989 to 2010.Waxahachie Global High School, an ECHS T-STEM school emphasizing instruction in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in a small-learning-community environment, opened on August 27, 2007. In addition to the district schools, Life School, a public charter-school system, operates the 7–12 Waxahachie campus. On April 15, 2014, Life School broke ground on a new high school in Waxahachie, planned to accommodate about 1,000 9th–12th graders.

Private schools

There are several private schools including Waxahachie Preparatory Academy (WPA), St Joseph Catholic School, and First Christian Day School. WPA and the First Christian Day School offer a kindergarten–grade 12 education, while St Joseph only has grades Pre-K–8.

Colleges and universities

Two postsecondary educational institutions have campuses in the city of Waxahachie. Navarro College, a community college based in Corsicana, Texas, has a campus in Waxahachie. Southwestern Assemblies of God University, a private, four-year university affiliated with the Assemblies of God, offers accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees.



  • I-35E (TX).svg Interstate 35E is a major north-south freeway serving as a bypass around the west side of Waxahachie. The freeway connects with Red Oak, Desoto/Lancaster, and Dallas to the north; Italy, Hillsboro, and Waco to the south.
  • US 287.svg U.S. Route 287, also a freeway, runs in a northwest-southeast direction through the north side of the city. The freeway connects with Midlothian, Mansfield, and Fort Worth to the west and Ennis to the east.
  • US 77.svg U.S. Route 77, a north-south highway, serves as the main thoroughfare through the city, passing through downtown and the north side of the city. The highway parallels Interstate 35 and reconnects with the interstate just outside the city limits. Many of the city's commercial developments line Highway 77.

Notable people

  • Robert Benton, won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Places in the Heart, which was filmed in Waxahachie
  • Jammal Brown, professional football player
  • Tevin Campbell, Grammy-nominated R&B singer
  • Emanuel Cleaver, U.S. Representative
  • Bessie Coleman, first female African-American pilot (born in Atlanta, Texas; moved to Waxahachie at age 2)
  • Elizabeth Otis Dannelly, poet
  • Frederic Forrest, Oscar-nominated actor
  • Josie Briggs Hall, author of A Scroll of Facts and Advice (Houx’s Printery, 1905), the first book published by a black woman Texan
  • Bill Ham, manager for ZZ Top
  • Dale Hansen, sports anchor WFAA-TV Channel 8 Dallas, Texas
  • Desmond Mason, professional basketball player
  • Julie Miller, songwriter, singer, and recording artist
  • Dick Murdoch, professional wrestler
  • Byron Nelson, professional golfer
  • Jim Pitts, former member of the Texas House of Representatives
  • Paul Richards, Major League Baseball player, manager and executive
  • Broderick Sargent, professional football player
  • Brian Waters, professional football player
  • John Wray, former member of the Texas House of Representatives and former mayor of Waxahachie

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Waxahachie (Texas) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Distinguished Hispanic diplomats
Bill Richardson
Horacio Rivero Jr
Julissa Reynoso Pantaleón
Edward C. Prado
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