While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Mark Odintz

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS. College Station, the home of Texas A&M University, is located just south of Bryan in southwest central Brazos County, and is crossed by State Highway 6, Farm roads 2154, 2347, 2818 and 60, and the Southern Pacific Railroad. Bryan and College Station adjoin to form the urban heart of Brazos County. The Houston and Texas Central Railway built through the area in 1860. In 1871 the site was chosen as the location of the proposed Texas A&M College, which opened in 1876. In 1877 a post office, College Station, was opened in a building near the railroad tracks, and the community took its name from the post office. A railroad depot was constructed in 1883; By 1884 the community had 350 inhabitants and two general stores. Faculty members generally lived on campus in housing provided by the university. College Station received electrical service in the 1890s; the population was 391 in 1900.

One of many electric interurban railways in Texas was established between Bryan and College Station in 1910, and over the next ten years the area just north of the campus developed as a business district. The interurban was replaced by a bus system in the 1920s. Children from the community attended school in neighboring school districts until 1920, when the A&M Consolidated School was established by the college to enhance its teacher-education programs. In the 1920s and 1930s, as the college grew, the community built in all directions. In the early 1930s the North Oakwood subdivision, at the northern end of College Station, voted to incorporate with Bryan.

In 1938 College Station incorporated, with John H. Binney as the first mayor. A zoning commission was established in 1939, and the city has maintained a tradition of managed growth. That same year the remaining faculty living on campus were told to move, and the need for housing in College Station grew more. In 1940 the town had 2,184 inhabitants (not including students) and sixty businesses, and a new school building was completed. In 1942 Ernest Langford, called by some the "Father of College Station," was elected mayor, an office he held for the next twenty-six years, during which he emphasized developing city services over commercial expansion. Lincoln High School for blacks was completed in 1942. College Station moved to council-manager city government in 1943. By 1950 it had 7,898 inhabitants, including students.

Texas A&M initiated a major expansion program in the 1960s, and College Station has grown with the school. The community grew from a population of 11,396 in 1960 to 17,676 in 1970, 30,449 in 1980, 52,456 in 1990, and 67,890 in 2000, thus increasing almost sixfold in forty years. School desegregation was achieved rapidly after the black high school burned down in 1966, and a number of new schools have been built since the 1960s to accommodate population growth. Through its ties with the university, College Station has developed high-tech manufacturing industries and become a major research center.

Glenna Fourman Brundidge, Brazos County History: Rich Past-Bright Future (Bryan, Texas: Family History Foundation, 1986).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Mark Odintz, "COLLEGE STATION, TX," accessed May 30, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hdc02.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on TexasAlmanac.com!
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...