JOE B. FRANTZ
ON OCTOBER 25, 1966, CENTRAL TEXAS FRIENDS OF AUSTIN'S
Driskill Hotel gathered in its Brazos Street entranceway
to see and hear its dedication as an official historic site
of Texas. Governor John Connally, Austin's Mayor Lester
Palmer, Judge J. M. Watson, and other dignitaries paid tribute;
relatives of the hotel's first owner, Colonel Jesse Driskill, were
introduced; and a general historic occasion was enjoyed under
the direction of Mrs. Jessie McIlroy Smith and Mrs. Alfred W.
Negley. The moving moment, however, came just before the
plaques were uncovered. Walter Long, Mr. Austin to generations
now, read the closing remarks. They were so appropriate and
evocative that I asked for a copy of them to run here. I would
suggest that you read them aloud, imagining the cluster of people
gathered around the markers and the still resonant voice that
Austinites have been hearing for eighty years.
In this day of fading gratitude I shall not bore you Faithful,
who are conscious of your heritage, with too many words about
the history of this living monument of Austin's past, and present.
Perhaps its tomorrow will be a parking lot!
I am "much obliged" to Jessie McIlroy Smith, Mrs. Jim Hart,
and their fellow workers, who hold their tireless hands in the leaking
dikes of a great nation's civilization. The only fundamental teacher
Col. Jesse L. Driskill bought three lots from Sir William J.
Oliphant, a Scotsman from Dimfirmallun, Scotland, early in the
188o's, and on six lots began construction of the Driskill in 1885
which opened December 2oth, 1886. It cost $400,000 with a large
debt against it.
The bust of Col. Driskill faces South, that of his son "Tobe" faces
West, and "Bud" faces East.
The grandfather of Ed St. John, a noted stone mason of the
70's and 8o's, directed all the stone work in this building of
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 70, July 1966 - April, 1967. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101199/. Accessed July 1, 2015.