The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966 Page: 266
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
in 1839, the site of Austin was on the frontier of Anglo-Amer-
ican settlement in Texas.
The year before, Edward Burleson had laid out Waterloo
on the north bank of the Colorado on a portion of the same site."
Surveying the site,4 however, was one thing; settling it, another.
It was Reuben Hornsby who apparently made the first Anglo-
American settlement in the vicinity. Hornsby's place was de-
scribed by Noah Smithwick, a settler in the area by i839, as the
first settlement made above Bastrop, a town about forty miles
down the Colorado from Austin.5 Frank Brown fixed the date of
the Hornsby establishment as 1832 and declared it the farthest
settlement up the Colorado as late as 1833.6 The settlement, ac-
cording to the grant awarded Hornsby in 1838, was thirty miles
up the east side of the Colorado from Bastrop, or about ten miles
In 1836, five families were living in the vicinity of the Hornsby
home." They were, in addition to the Hornsbys, the Jacob Har-
rells, the Joseph Dutys, the Isaac Casners, and the J. F. Webbers.
The Webbers, ironically enough, gave their name to the prairie
between the Hornsby home and the site of Austin and to the
settlement that subsequently developed east of Austin, yet were
forced to quit the area in the 1840's because of objections to
their marriage across racial lines."
Settlement advanced up the Colorado by 1839 to what later be-
came the Montopolis area of southeastern Austin. The area was
surveyed that year with six men as witnesses-J. C. Tannehill,
"Frank Brown, Annals of Travis County and of the City of Austin From the
Earliest Times to the Close of 1875 (typescript, Archives, University of Texas
Library), V, 3o.
'The area that Burleson surveyed was pinpointed in 1956 as at the intersection
of the Colorado and Shoal Creek. Note of Robert J. Potts, Jr., Assistant City
Attorney of Austin, 1956, in Special Term of Court Held at the Courthouse in the
Town of Bastrop on the Third Day of April, 1839 (MS., Police Court Records,
Bastrop County, County Clerk's Office, Bastrop), A, 53.
"Noah Smithwick (Nanna Smithwick Donaldson, comp.), The Evolution of a
State: Recollections of Early Texas Days (Austin, 1900), 259.
Brown, Annals of Travis County, III, 29, 44-
7Bastrop First Class Certificate of R. Hornsby (MS., Title Certificates, General
Land Office, Austin), File 140o.
sBrown, Annals of Travis County, IV, 60.
9Noah Smithwick, "Webber's Prairie," Galveston Semi-Weekly News, July 31, 1897.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966, periodical, 1966; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/m1/326/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.