HEMPSTEAD Population - 3,657 Altitude - 251


Hempstead, Texas is currently the county seat of Waller County. This small town was established in 1856 as a railroad town when the Hempstead Town Company offered lots and blocks to the city of Houston and the Texas Central Railroad as an inducement for a major line to run through this town. Because the railroad made Hempstead an important shipping and receiving area during the Civil War, several camps were established in the vicinity.

Long known as "Six Shooter junction" because of an era of violence around the turn of the century that gave it a nickname. A most exciting fight shocked the nation in 1905 when U.S. Congressman John Pinckney, his brother, and two others were gunned down in the courthouse while meeting with prohibitionists,who had recently won a major battle in their attempts to ban alcohol. Heckling began, and in less than two minutes, four people were dead. The Waller County Courthouse was riddled with more than 75 shots in the heated and unexpected gun-fight.

Today, the Hempstead economy is based on primarily farms, ranches, oil and gas. The close proximity to Houston (52 miles) offers opportunity for cosmopolitan city activities.

For water fountains, yard statuary, or bird baths, stop by Frazier's Ornamental and Architectural Concrete on Business U.S. 290. They have acres of concrete products from estate-sized entry pieces to tabletop creations. Open daily, except Wed.

Liendo Plantation-

Inside an elegant living room of the Liendo Plantation.

Built in 1853 by Leonard Waller Groce, son of Jared Groce, who was one of the largest land owners in Texas. Originally a Spanish land grant of 67,000 acres assigned to Justo Liendo, plantation's namesake. One of Texas' earliest cotton plantations. Liendo was occupied by sculptress Elisabet Ney and her husband, Dr. Edmond Montgomery from 1873 to 1911. Both are buried on the grounds.

Liendo is a Texas historic landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Private residence; however, tours offered the first Sat. of the month at 10 & 11:30 a.m., & 1 p.m. F.M. 1488 NE approximately 2.5 miles to Wyatt Chapel Rd. Turn right to entrance. Admission. Not wheelchair accessible. Also, downtown is the plantation's tearoom. For information, call 979-826-3126.



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