Museum in
Austin County, Texas

The first oil well in the United States was drilled in Texas in 1859. The discovery of oil transformed the economy of the state and helped to make Texas one of the wealthiest states in the nation.
Austin County, located in the southeastern part of Texas, has a rich and diverse history that dates back to the early 19th century. The area was initially inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Karankawa and the Akokisa. In the early 1820s, the Mexican government granted land to Stephen F. Austin, also known as the "Father of Texas," who established the first Anglo-American settlements in the region.

In 1824, Austin County was officially created as one of the original 23 counties of Texas. The county was named in honor of Stephen F. Austin and served as a major center for the colonization of Texas. During this time, settlers began to arrive and establish farms, bringing with them their unique cultures and traditions.

Austin County also played a significant role in the Texas Revolution. In 1832, local colonists held the Turtle Bayou Resolutions, which voiced their support for Antonio López de Santa Anna, who was then the leader of Mexico. However, as tensions escalated, the colonists became part of the rebellion against Mexican rule, leading to the famous Battle of San Jacinto in 1836. This battle marked a major turning point in Texas history, resulting in the defeat of Santa Anna's forces and the eventual independence of Texas.

Throughout the years, Austin County continued to develop and thrive. The county seat, Bellville, was established in 1848 and has remained an important cultural and economic center. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century further contributed to the growth of the county, connecting it with other regions. Today, Austin County is known for its rich agricultural heritage, historical landmarks, and vibrant community, making it a unique and significant part of Texas history.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Austin County, Texas.

  • 1821 - Austin County is established as one of the original 23 counties in Texas.
  • 1831 - Stephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas", passes away and is buried in Austin County.
  • 1836 - Texas gains independence from Mexico, leading to an influx of settlers in Austin County.
  • 1856 - The town of Bellville is established as the county seat of Austin County.
  • 1861-1865 - Austin County residents actively participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1878 - The Texas state legislature formally recognizes Austin County as the "Cradle of the Republic".
  • 1887 - The San Felipe and Southwestern Railroad connects Austin County to the rest of Texas.
  • 1907 - The Brazos River floods Austin County, causing significant damage and loss of life.
  • 1965 - The Stephen F. Austin State Park is established in Austin County.
  • 1992 - The Austin County Historical Commission is formed to preserve the county's history and heritage.
  • Present - Austin County continues to thrive as an agricultural and historic region in Texas.