History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 210
HISTORY OP TEXAS.
CITIES AND PRINCIPAL TOWNS.
Abilene, with a population of 4,300, is
situated on the Texas & Pacific Railroad, 160
miles west of Fort Worth, and at about the
center of the "Abilene country." Its estimated
trade for 1891 was about $1,800,000,
the average freight receipts at the depot
teing about $22,000 per month. During
the year 1890 nineteen brick business houses
were erected. There are three national banks,
with an aggregate capital and surplus of
$375,000, and the city has also water-works,
electric lights, ice factory, etc.
Austin, the capital of the State, is located
near the geographical center of Travis county.
Its topography is distinctively unique, having
in general the grade of an inclined plane
broken by superficial waves, which seem
from their regularity to be the work of art
rather than the formation of nature. It is
located at the foot of a range of mountains
and )ossesses all local advantages that the
most refined taste could desire. In sight of
the city and a short distance from it Mount
Barker and Mount Bonnell lift their towering
heads-the former to an altitude of 398,
and the latter 372 feet above the streets of
the city. At the entrance of a fertile plain,
on the banks of a beautiful stream, it unites
the convenience of a commercial town with
the romantic beauty of a spot admired by all
for its pre-eminent loveliness. Its environments
present every shade of refined beauty
and cultivated elegance. Austin is regarded
by general consent as the most beautifully
located city in the State. The site was
selected by a committee appointed by President
Lamar in 1839 to locate a permanent
seat of government. It was know at that
time as the hamlet of Waterloo, and had a
population consisting of three families. What
an enchanting picture must have presented
itself to the committee! Here was a combination
of chllarms that delighted the senses,
embracing the majesty of mountain scenery,
the spreading prairie, the lofty forest, .the
charming valleys and bounding streams.
The city was splendidly laid out with
broad and imposing avenues, which- received
their names from the forest trees and streams
of the State. Its corporate limits embrace
an area of sixteen and three-tenths square
miles. It has an efficient electric street railway
system, with its ramifications reaching
the principal points of interest. It has also
a dummy line in successful operation, extending
to the darn. The illumination by
gas and electricity gives the place an air of
convenience and security.
Austin has greatly increased in population
during the past few years. In 1880 the
population, according to the United States
census, was 11,013; in 1891 it was 25,000.
The assessed values of property during the
same period increased from $5,044,224 to
The population comprises some of the
most enterprising and energetic as well as
the most conservative to be found in the
State. As a result of this Austin is a beautiful
city, abundantly provided with every convenience
which has been called into being by
the wants of man.
While Austin is not yet distinctively a
manufacturing city, recent investigations
showing its possibilities as a manufacturing
center, and the proximity of valuable building
stone and an abundance of clay for brickmaking
near at hand, have encouraged improvements
of all kinds, and a general feeling
of confidence for the city's future prevails.
In 1890 the tax-paying voters of the city
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/215/ocr/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .