College Station, TX

By: Mark Odintz

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: September 9, 2020

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).

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

Mark Odintz, “College Station, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 08, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

September 9, 2020

College Station
Currently Exists
Place Type
Town Fields
  • Has post office: Yes
  • Is Incorporated: Yes
Belongs to
  • Brazos County
  • Latitude: 30.58810150°
  • Longitude: -96.29529600°
Population Counts
People Year
2,184 1940
7,925 1950
11,396 1960
17,676 1970
37,272 1980
52,443 1990
67,890 2000
93,857 2010
116,998 2019