The geographical center of Texas is an imaginary midpoint in the US state. The center is situated near the city of Brady, in McCulloch County. The coordinates that mark the state’s center divide Texas into four roughly equal parts. Although the exact location sits on private land, a marker containing tourist information stands on Highway 377, five miles from the actual geographical center.
Brady is fondly referred to as “The Heart of Texas” due to its central location in the Central-Southern state of Texas. The city is approximately 15 miles away from the actual geographic center of Texas. The city derives its name from Brady Creek, which flows through the township. Brady is also the administrative center of McCulloch County. The city occupies an area of 11.5 square miles, 9.2 square miles of which is land, while water covers approximately 2.3 square miles. Brady is located at an elevation of approximately 1,677 feet above sea level.
History of Brady
Brady was founded in approximately 1870. The earliest settlers in the area reared cattle, poultry, sheep, and goats, and also farmed cotton. At the start of the 20th century, Brady was a key shipping location for Central Texas, which resulted in the town’s rapid growth. The city was incorporated in 1906. Brady maintained its steady growth until 1959, when a section of the railway line that runs across the town was abandoned, and this led to a decline in the city’s growth. The Texas Highway Department mounted a plaque indicating Brady as Texas' geographical center in 1963.
People of Brady
In 1890, Brady had an estimated population of 300 residents. By 1914, the number had grown to approximately 2,600 residents. The city’s population was highest in 1958, when it hit 6,000 residents. Brady's population later slowly declined to 5,425 people in 2016. In terms of demographics, the majority of residents in the city are White, followed by Latinos and Hispanics. African Americans residents make up 2.2% of the population, while Asians account for 0.4%.
Brady was established as a ranching and farming settlement area in the late 19th century. The town’s humid sub-tropical climate makes it suitable for agriculture. In addition to rearing livestock, the inhabitants of Brady grow cotton, potatoes, and corn. Brady residents also engage in other economic ventures such as administrative services, mining, oil extraction, retail trade, forestry and fishing, and transportation and warehousing.
Notable Sites in Brady
One of the most notable sites in Brady is the area with the ‘Geographical Center of Texas Marker.’ The marker is a popular tourist attraction in the city. Additionally, Brady is home to the famous museum called 'Heart of Texas Country Music Museum,' which showcases the history of country music and provides comprehensive information on the country music industry. The old McCulloch Jail is another historically significant site. The jail was built in 1910 as a correctional center, and in 1974 the old building was converted into a museum and renamed 'The Heart of Texas Historical Museum.' The museum has a wealth of historical information on the city of Brady.