Brownwood, Texas

Brownwood is a city in and the county seat of Brown County, Texas, United States.[5] The population was 18,862 as of the 2020 census.[6] Brownwood is located in the Northern Texas Hill Country[clarification needed] and is home to Howard Payne University, which was founded in 1889.[7]

Brownwood, Texas
Brown County Courthouse
Brown County Courthouse
Location within the state of Texas
Location within the state of Texas
Brown County Brownwood.svg
Coordinates: 31°42′29″N 98°58′57″W / 31.70806°N 98.98250°W / 31.70806; -98.98250Coordinates: 31°42′29″N 98°58′57″W / 31.70806°N 98.98250°W / 31.70806; -98.98250
CountryUnited States
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • City CouncilMayor Stephen Haynes
H. D. Jones
Ed McMillian
Melody Nowowiejski
Draco Miller
Walker Willey
 • City ManagerEmily Crawford
 • Total14.99 sq mi (38.83 km2)
 • Land14.97 sq mi (38.76 km2)
 • Water0.03 sq mi (0.07 km2)
1,365 ft (416 m)
 • Total19,644
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,233.13/sq mi (476.11/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-6 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
Area code325
FIPS code48-10780[3]
GNIS feature ID1372753[4]


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,[8] and 100 additional acres for county use. The town was incorporated in 1884.[9]

During the Second World War, Brownwood was the location of U.S. Army Camp 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 April 19, 1976, an F5 tornado struck near Brownwood, causing extensive damage, with 11 reported injuries, but no fatalities.[10]

Brownwood's census figures were re-evaluated after the 2000 census from 18,813 to reflect more accurate figures of 20,407.[11] 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 the Colorado River of Texas.


Brownwood is located south of the center of Brown County, west of the Pecan Bayou. It is bordered to the east by the city of Early. Several U.S. Highways pass through the city. Routes 84 and 67 lead west towards Bangs and Santa Anna. U.S. Route 377 leads southwest towards Brady. All three highways head east into Early, where 67 and 377 continue northeast towards Comanche, while 84 leads southeast towards Goldthwaite. Just over the city line in Early, U.S. Route 183 leads north 46 miles (74 km) to Cisco and Interstate 20, the closest Interstate highway.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Brownwood has a total area of 14.9 square miles (38.5 km2), of which 14.8 square miles (38.4 km2) are land and 0.04 sq mi (0.1 km2), or 0.17%, is covered by water.[6]

Water bodiesEdit

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 occurs 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 that opened in 1938.

Pecan Bayou is a major tributary of the Colorado River. Due to the damming of the area to form Lake Brownwood, the 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.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)18,455[2]−4.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

2020 censusEdit

Brownwood racial composition[13]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 11,611 61.56%
Black or African American (NH) 948 5.03%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 35 0.19%
Asian (NH) 146 0.77%
Pacific Islander (NH) 27 0.14%
Some Other Race (NH) 66 0.35%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 628 3.33%
Hispanic or Latino 5,401 28.63%
Total 18,862

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 18,862 people, 7,167 households, and 4,367 families residing in the city.

2000 censusEdit

As of the census[3] of 2000, 18,813 people, 7,110 households, and 4,664 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,493.2 people per square mile (576.5/km2). The 8,169 housing units averaged 648.4 per square mile (250.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.74% White, 5.51% African American, 0.61% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 8.47% from other races, and 2.07% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 21.34% of the population.

Of the 7,110 households, 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were not families. About 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city, the population was distributed as 27.5% under the age of 18, 12.8% from 18 to 24, 24.3% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $27,325, and for a family was $33,991. Males had a median income of $29,090 versus $18,905 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,158. About 18.2% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.9% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructureEdit

The Texas Juvenile Justice Department operates the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex in Brownwood.[16]

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice operates the Brownwood District Parole Office in the city.[17]

The United States Postal Service operates the Brownwood Post Office.[18]


Brownwood High School has a strong tradition of nonsports UIL 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, and National 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. The Burlington 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.

Notable peopleEdit


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen climate classification, Brownwood has a humid subtropical climate, Cfa on climate maps.[19]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Brownwood city, Texas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
  7. ^ "History".
  8. ^ Aston, B.W; Taylor, Ira Donathon (1997). Along the Texas Forts Trail. University of North Texas Press. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-57441-035-8.
  9. ^ Odintz, Mark. "Brownwood, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved February 18, 2011.
  10. ^ A Severe Weather and Flood Climatology of West Central Texas. Retrieved July 16, 2010.
  11. ^ "Brownwood TX 76803 (Brown County)". Retrieved January 15, 2022.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  14. ^[not specific enough to verify]
  15. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  16. ^ "Facility Address List Archived 2010-07-25 at the Wayback Machine." Texas Youth Commission. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  17. ^ "Parole Division Region V Archived September 26, 2011, at the Wayback Machine." Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  18. ^ "Post Office Location – BROWNWOOD Archived June 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine." United States Postal Service. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  19. ^ Climate Summary for Brownwood, Texas
  1. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[14][15]

External linksEdit