Waco is a city in and the county seat of McLennan County, Texas, United States. It is situated along the Brazos River and on the I-35 corridor, halfway between Dallas and Austin. The city had a 2010 population of 124,805, an increase of almost 10 percent since the 2000 census, making it the twenty-second most populous city in the state. The Waco Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of just McLennan County, which had a 2010 population of 234,906. Prior to the founding of Waco in 1849, a Wichita Native American group known as the 'Waco' (Spanish: Hueco or Huaco) lived on the land of present-day downtown Waco. In 1824 Thomas M. Duke explored the area and reported to Stephen F. Austin describing the village: 'This town is situated on the West Bank of the River. They have a spring almost as cold as ice itself. All we want is some Brandy and Sugar to have Ice Toddy. They have about 400 acres (1.