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.
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,