Austin County Facts
- Austin County is named for Stephen Fuller Austin, also known as the “Father of Texas.”
- Austin County was selected by Stephen F. Austin in 1823 as the central site for his colony, the first Anglo-American settlement in Texas.
- Austin County is one of the oldest counties in Texas, organized in 1837 during the Republic of Texas.
- San Felipe was the County Seat of Austin County until 1848 when it was moved to Bellville.
- Total area in square miles is 663.
The County Firsts
- The first capital of Texas was in San Felipe. A log cabin replica of Stephen F. Austin’s home is in San Felipe.
- First newspaper, The Gazette, founded in 1829.
- First book published in Texas was printed at San Felipe.
- First postal system.
- First organized police force, which became the Texas Rangers. The Texas Rangers had their beginning in San Felipe’s committees of public safety for protection against Indians.
- First flag and the official flag of independence.
- First Sunday School.
- First English-speaking school funded in 1829.
- Bellville – Became county seat in 1848. Named for the Bell family. Historical marker placed at Concordia Hall for 108-year-old German Singing Society.
- Nelsonville – Nearby is the Joseph L. Leshikar house. The first Czech home built in Austin County in 1854 has a historical marker.
- Industry – Oldest German settlement in Texas established in 1830 when Frederick Ernst settled there. Historical marker three miles off FM 109 in pasture.
- New Ulm – Settled in early 1830s when German settlers came into this area. Historical marker on school grounds.
- Milheim – The German spelling of the name was Muelheim. Water mill for grinding corn was in the creek. Town settled in early 1830’s. Creek became known as Mill Creek.
- Cat Spring – Town established near springs in early 1830s. Historical marker on the grounds of the Cat Spring Agricultural Society Hall, organized in 1856.
- Piney – In 1850 Concordia Gesangverein organized in the home of Fritz Schlect. (German Singing Society) Concordia Hall is now in Bellville.
- Sealy – founded on 11,635 acre tract of land conveyed by the Corporation of San Felipe de Austin (out of original 22,000 acre Mexican land grant of 1824 for San Felipe) to George Sealy in 1879 for whom it was named.
- Frydek – Czech town established in 1890 named by its early settlers for Silesian city of same name. Frydek means “Friendly Corner.”
- San Felipe De Austin – Established in 1824. Translated means “Saint Phillip” believed to have been the patron saint of Luciano Garcia, Governor of this Province of Mexico, who named the town. Capital of Anglo-American Colonists 1824-1836. Burned on orders of General Sam Houston about three weeks prior to battle of San Jacinto. Three homes, town hall, church, cabin and museum have historical markers. Official marker for town site on FM 1458 at entrance to town.
- Stephen F. Austin Park Association – Organized 1928. Established memorial park for Stephen F. Austin, 12 acres now in historical are of state park.
- Stephen F. Austin State Park – Corporation of San Felipe de Austin gave 657 acres to the State of Texas in 1940 for the recreational area. Both parts of the park are operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.