Travis County: Icons & Ideas

A full-color photography book showcasing Travis County, Texas, paired with the histories of companies, institutions, and organizations that have made the county great.

A full-color photography book showcasing Travis County, Texas, paired with the histories of companies, institutions, and organizations that have made the county great.


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I<br />

TR AV IS<br />

COUNTY<br />

I<br />

cons<br />

Photography by John R. Rogers<br />

Text by Mike Cox<br />

deas<br />

A publication of the <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> Government

Thank you for your interest in this HPNbooks publication. For more information about other<br />

HPNbooks publications, or information about producing your own book with us, please visit www.hpnbooks.com.

I<br />

TRAVIS<br />

COUNTY<br />

cons<br />

I<br />

deas<br />

Photography by John R. Rogers<br />

Text by Mike Cox<br />

A publication of the<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> Government<br />

HPNbooks<br />

A division of Lammert Incorporated<br />

San Antonio, Texas


3 Chapter 1 Building Blocks of the Past<br />

13 Chapter 2 Creating the Atmosphere for Growth<br />

25 Chapter 3 Places to Live, Work, Grow<br />

37 Chapter 4 A Style All Its Own<br />

55 Chapter 5 People Living, Working and Playing Together<br />

73 <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> Partners<br />

111 About the Photographer<br />

112 About the Author<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> and the City of Austin will soon be celebrating<br />

their 175th anniversaries. The twin anniversaries are<br />

December, 2014 (Austin) and January, 2015 (<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>).<br />

First Edition<br />

Copyright © 2015 HPNbooks<br />

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, without permission in writing<br />

from the publisher. All inquiries should be addressed to HPNbooks, 11535 Galm Road, Suite 101, San Antonio, Texas, 78254, (800) 749-9790, www.hpnbooks.com.<br />

ISBN: 978-1-939300-78-2<br />

Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: 2014960323<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>: <strong>Icons</strong> & <strong>Ideas</strong><br />

photographer: John R. Rogers<br />

author: Mike Cox<br />

designer: Glenda Tarazon Krouse<br />

contributing writer for <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> partners: Garnette Bane<br />

HPNbooks<br />

president: Ron Lammert<br />

project managers: Joe Bowman, Larry Sunderland, Paul Tidrick<br />

administration: Donna M. Mata, Melissa G. Quinn<br />

book sales: Dee Steidle<br />

production: Colin Hart, Evelyn Hart, Tony Quinn, Tim Lippard<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


Building Blocks of the Past<br />

1<br />

Historians can look at the events leading to the organization of Texas’ 254 counties and see<br />

that most of them came into being when a particular community finally gained enough<br />

residents to have a need for local government. Other counties existed as nothing but<br />

empty boxes on a map until people finally arrived to settle them.<br />

✯<br />

Left: Austin got its name from<br />

Texas colonizer Stephen F. Austin,<br />

later buried in the State Cemetery.<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> got its name from<br />

Alamo legend William <strong>Travis</strong>, whose<br />

body was burned at the Alamo.<br />

Below: The Republic of Texas made<br />

Austin its capital in 1839, creating<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> shortly thereafter<br />

in 1840.<br />

C H A P T E R 1<br />


✯<br />

Top: The cattle industry played an important role in the<br />

development of Texas, with the historic Chisholm Trail<br />

crossing <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

Above: Oldest structure in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>, the French<br />

Legation dates to Texas’ time as an independent republic.<br />

Left: Built in 1857, the Governor’s Mansion still serves<br />

as the home for the Texas chief executive.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


But <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>—celebrating its 175th birthday—has a<br />

unique creation story, its origin tracing to something that<br />

continues to define it: Its principle city was chosen as a<br />

national, and later, a state capital. The way that came to be<br />

involved one man’s political aspirations. And a dead buffalo.<br />

Of course, with a major river coursing through it, the area<br />

had a human population long before Europeans first trod<br />

the soil of future Texas. Archeologists believe pre-historic<br />

people lived near Barton Springs and other good water<br />

sources in the area as early as 8,000 B.C.<br />

In the eighteenth century, Spanish explorers travelling<br />

through Central Texas also spent some time in the future<br />

county. They even established a mission near Barton Springs<br />

in 1730, but did not maintain it for long. If they had stayed<br />

around, the area likely would have had a very different<br />

history, perhaps developing more like San Antonio.<br />

✯<br />

Right: Men on horseback played a pivotal<br />

role in shaping <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s history.<br />

Below: Spaniards briefly established a mission<br />

at Barton Springs in the early 1730s. This Capitol<br />

monument recognizes the state’s rich Hispanic heritage.<br />

C H A P T E R 1<br />


Spain lost Texas to the new Republic of<br />

Mexico in 1821, and soon colonists from the<br />

adjacent United States started arriving. Reuben<br />

Hornsby, the first Anglo settler of future <strong>Travis</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong>, built a cabin at a bend of the Colorado<br />

River in 1832. Three years later, Joseph Harrell<br />

and his family joined the Hornsbys, but Harrell<br />

soon took a notion to move farther north,<br />

settling on the east side of Shoal Creek near<br />

where the stream empties into the Colorado.<br />

At the time, Harrell’s cabin stood as the most<br />

remote outpost of settlement in the Mexican<br />

province of Coahuila y Texas. Following the<br />

1835-1836 revolution that led to an independent<br />

Texas republic, Texas Rangers constructed a<br />

wooden stockade called Fort Coleman, the first<br />

government facility in the future county. By<br />

1838, a few other settlers had begun improving<br />

land along the river above Bastrop, and that<br />

summer, Edward Burleson had a town site<br />

surveyed on the river between Shoal and Waller<br />

Creeks. He called it Waterloo and Harrell became<br />

the village’s first postmaster.<br />

Pre-<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> was too attractive an area<br />

not to have started growing sooner or later, but<br />

what happened that fall changed everything.<br />

✯<br />

Top: The Bob Bullock Texas History Museum chronicles Texas’<br />

colorful history.<br />

Left and below: The Driskill Hotel took in its first guests in 1886.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

Above: The Paramount Theater on Congress Avenue, opened in 1913,<br />

continues to entertain residents and visitors.<br />

Left: From Vaudeville to Greater Tuna, the Paramount has seen it all.<br />

Below: Located on historic East Sixth Street, the Driskill remains one<br />

of <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s most elegant hostelries.<br />

C H A P T E R 1<br />


A Georgian with an imposing name and even<br />

bigger dreams, Mirabeau Bonaparte Lamar, came to<br />

Texas in 1835 and fought in the Battle of San Jacinto,<br />

the short but bloody fight on April 21, 1836, that<br />

assured Texas’ independence from Mexico. The man<br />

who led Texas forces in that battle, Sam Houston,<br />

soon gained election as the first president of the<br />

Republic of Texas. Lamar was his vice president.<br />

But by the nascent nation’s constitution, a president<br />

could not succeed himself in office.<br />

What happened next has often been told, with one<br />

notable omission.<br />

✯<br />

Left: Being the seat of Texas’ government has been one of <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s<br />

major economic drivers.<br />

Below: Texans dedicated the present capitol in 1888.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


The relatively well-known part of the story is that in the fall of<br />

1838, escorted by a detail of Texas Rangers, Lamar and his private<br />

secretary traveled to the frontier and stayed at Harrell’s cabin.<br />

When Harrell’s son burst in at breakfast one morning to announce<br />

that buffalo covered the prairie north of the river, Lamar, Harrell<br />

and the rangers saddled up for a buffalo hunt.<br />

They charged into the herd, which milled in the area that later<br />

became Congress Avenue. With a pistol, Lamar took down a big<br />

bull at what is now Eighth and Congress. The riders had separated<br />

during the excitement of the hunt, but afterward regrouped on a<br />

hill affording a good view of the river valley below. There, admiring<br />

the view, Lamar famously said,<br />

“Gentlemen, this should be the seat of future empire.”<br />

✯<br />

Above: The Capitol at night seen from the underground extension.<br />

Right: As Texas grew, the Capitol complex continued to expand, including construction<br />

of an underground addition. <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s history includes much of the state’s history,<br />

with numerous historical milestones commemorated by statuary on the Capitol grounds.<br />

C H A P T E R 1<br />


✯<br />

Above: The current <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

Courthouse, in use since 1931,<br />

is the third structure built to house<br />

the county’s courts and<br />

government offices.<br />

Below: A classic example of Art Deco<br />

design, the Fifty-Third District Court<br />

has had many trials over the years.<br />

The lesser-known kicker to this tale is<br />

that Lamar’s visit to Waterloo had absolutely<br />

nothing to do with simply having a hardy<br />

outdoor adventure. In modern parlance, it was<br />

nothing but a campaign stop. In a day when<br />

news spread no quicker than the fastest horse,<br />

Lamar had been out pressing the flesh, hoping<br />

to drum up votes. And Lamar’s bringing down<br />

a big buffalo with a pistol was the Texas<br />

beginning of a continuing political ritual—the<br />

candidate goes hunting to prove he’s got the<br />

right stuff.<br />

Lamar got elected, but for future <strong>Travis</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> the importance of the vice president’s<br />

visit went far beyond his political victory.<br />

Geography affects history just as the events<br />

that eventually become history impact geography.<br />

The area where Harrell had chosen to<br />

live, remote and dangerous as it was, was well<br />

suited for settlement. That’s why Burleson had<br />

founded Waterloo. The river and the two large<br />

creeks that flowed into it (later named Shoal<br />

Creek and Waller Creek) provided water for<br />

man and animal, not to mention fish to eat. The<br />

“mountains” (as most early visitors called them)<br />

west of Shoal Creek stood covered with juniper<br />

and oak trees while the prairie spreading eastward<br />

from what is now known as the Balcones<br />

Escarpment covered rich, black soil that early<br />

visitors must have felt practically begged for a<br />

plow. Too, the area had no shortage of limestone<br />

from which homes and businesses could<br />

be built, and beyond the mountains, legend<br />

had it that gold and silver waited to be mined.<br />

Clearly suitable for settlement, the area either<br />

side of the mid-Colorado, a hilly expanse of<br />

nature’s artistry at its best, called to a man at a<br />

deeper level.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


“I must consider this the most beautiful country I ever saw,”<br />

a visitor named Thomas Bell wrote his brother a year after Lamar’s<br />

visit. “There is some of the most beautiful lands [sic] I ever beheld<br />

or ever expect to.”<br />

Soon after being sworn in, Lamar appointed a commission to<br />

come up with a location for the new country’s seat of government.<br />

Lamar said Waterloo was one of the places they needed to check.<br />

The fix may have been in from the start, but however it happened,<br />

the commission selected the place that had captivated Lamar.<br />

A new city named for colonist Stephen F. Austin was laid out<br />

between Shoal and Waller Creeks, workers threw up a wooden<br />

capitol and a house for the president and on December 27, 1839,<br />

the city was incorporated.<br />

On January 25, 1840, Congress created <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>—named<br />

for Alamo legend William B. <strong>Travis</strong>—by legislatively slicing off the<br />

western half of Bastrop <strong>County</strong>. Over time, <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> would be<br />

whittled down to its present size, in the process creating a dozen<br />

additional counties.<br />

✯<br />

Above: All faiths are represented in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

This is All Saint’s Episcopal Church.<br />

Left: Replica of Lyndon Baines Johnson Oval Office<br />

at the LBJ Presidential Library.<br />

Below: Library housing President Lyndon B. Johnson’s<br />

papers was dedicated in 1972. Though born in the<br />

Hill Country, LBJ was a driving political force in<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>, Texas, the nation and the world.<br />

C H A P T E R 1<br />

1 1

Austin and <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> endured an<br />

attempt by Sam Houston during his second<br />

term in office to remove the capital to<br />

Houston, a city he felt had been particularly<br />

well named. It also survived an 1850 election<br />

that could have made another Texas town the<br />

capital, and yet another capital-selection vote<br />

in 1872. The town’s first railroad had arrived<br />

in 1871, and once the votes were counted in<br />

the following year’s polling, Austin and its<br />

host county slowly began to grow.<br />

By the late 1880s, Austin had its two prime<br />

icons—a red granite state house dedicated<br />

in 1888 that is taller than the national capitol,<br />

and the University of Texas, opened in 1883.<br />

✯<br />

Top. left: This old cotton field eventually gave way to bluebonnets.<br />

Top, right: Opened in 1883, the University of Texas has remained a<br />

hugely powerful force in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s development.<br />

Above: Sam Houston tried to move the capital to the city named in his<br />

honor, but <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> residents resorted to force and stopped it.<br />

Right: Mount Bonnell is one of the highest points in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>,<br />

as well as one of the most historic and legend-steeped.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


Creating the Atmosphere<br />

2<br />

for Growth<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> and Austin are ranked at or near the top of so many best-this and best-that<br />

lists that it is challenging to keep score. But the take home is easy to summarize: The county, along<br />

with its principal city, is a hot place to do business and a cool place to visit.<br />

Already with a population of 885,400 (2013 estimate), Austin is the fastest growing city in the nation.<br />

In 2014, it was adding an average of 110 residents every twenty-four hours. <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>, with an<br />

additional quarter million-plus residents living outside Austin, is one of the faster growing American<br />

counties as well. The county enjoys one of the nation’s more robust economies, and is considered a great<br />

place to locate a new company or expand an existing one, not to mention being a fine place to live.<br />

It has not always been that way.<br />

✯<br />

Left: As <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> has grown,<br />

so has the county’s need for office<br />

space. This high-rise at Seventh<br />

and Lavaca is home to the <strong>Travis</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> Commissioner’s Court<br />

and other county offices.<br />

Below: Thanks to the many<br />

factors contributing to <strong>Travis</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong>’s atmosphere for<br />

growth, it is one of the nation’s<br />

fastest growing areas.<br />

C H A P T E R 2<br />

1 3

✯<br />

Above: In addition to state government, <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> hosts a federal district court and<br />

numerous other federal offices.<br />

Below: <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> Commissioners meet every Tuesday morning.<br />

Opposite, top: <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s seal is a central feature inside the seven-story structure.<br />

Opposite, bottom: <strong>County</strong> Judge Sam Biscoe presiding over a commissioner’s<br />

court meeting.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


In 1940, a century after its founding, only 89,000 people<br />

lived in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>, most of them in Austin.<br />

A large county in area, back then <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> was<br />

decidedly more rural than urban. Forty-Fifth Street marked<br />

the northern edge of Austin and not much of the city at all<br />

extended south of the Colorado. On the eve of World War<br />

Two, the county had 3,187 farms, including 150 dairies<br />

(contented cows gave down their milk in pastures that<br />

eventually became north Central Austin) and mostly cattle<br />

ranches in the western half of the county. In fact, excluding<br />

state government and the university, agriculture and mining<br />

(mostly limestone and clay) drove the county’s economy.<br />

Cotton was the biggest crop, but the rich black soil east of<br />

the Balcones Escarpment produced everything from corn to<br />

hay to fruit.<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> has always been a place where an energetic<br />

person could make a living, but it sure helped if you worked<br />

for the state or the University of Texas.<br />

For years, the Austin Chamber of Commerce longed for<br />

industrialization, but it just did not happen. Well into the<br />

1960s, the county supported only a modest level of light<br />

industry: A brick business, a chili cannery, a vanilla extract<br />

producer and that was about it.<br />

C H A P T E R 2<br />

1 5

Growth came slowly at first, and even after the county started gaining<br />

businesses and people, well-intentioned if not particularly capitalistic<br />

activists fought hard to slow the pace. In the hippy-dippy days of the late<br />

1960s and early 1970s, protestors climbed a giant oak tree trying to keep<br />

it from being bulldozed in the name of progress. Others fought to save<br />

Victorian-era houses earmarked for demolition to make room for parking<br />

lots or new office buildings. In the 1990s, environmentally concerned<br />

Austinites rallied to protect Barton Springs from pollution born of<br />

upstream development. Because of the political pressure these and other<br />

movements generated, when economic development did begin to gain<br />

momentum, <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> did more than many areas across the country<br />

to grow responsibly.<br />

What eventually transformed <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> can be summed up in one<br />

word: Education. Thanks to the discovery in the 1920s of prodigious<br />

amounts of oil beneath a million-plus acres of UT-owned land in West<br />

Texas, the university finally achieved its constitutional mandate of being a<br />

“university of the first class.” The school became a fusion reactor for ideas,<br />

a factory of innovation. In addition to UT, St. Edward’s University,<br />

Concordia College and Huston-Tillotson University added to the pool of<br />

bright minds. Later, Austin Community College, a two-year school with<br />

numerous satellite campuses, would have nearly as many students as UT.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

Opposite, clockwise starting from the top:<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> is the home of St. Edward’s University, founded in 1888.<br />

The discovery of oil in West Texas provided an ongoing source of revenue for UT.<br />

The University of Texas has educated generations of Texans and made<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> what it is today, a center of innovation.<br />

UT is No. 1 in Texas in terms of size, and three times a national champion<br />

in college football.<br />

Above: St. Edward’s new Munday Library.<br />

Right: Today’s libraries are a mixture of the analog (books) and<br />

the digital (computers) world.<br />

Below: <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s third major university is Huston-Tillotson.<br />

C H A P T E R 2<br />

1 7

Mixing a well-educated population made up of<br />

academicians and job-hungry recent graduates with<br />

an attractive, enjoyable place to live and raise a family<br />

is a formula for smokestack-free industry—businesses<br />

which produce new things based on new thinking,<br />

not necessarily traditional widgets. <strong>Ideas</strong> became a<br />

natural resource.<br />

The beginning of this transformation was relatively<br />

low-key. Indeed, most folks in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> did not<br />

pay much attention to it or notice it at all. In 1955,<br />

a group of UT physicists started a company that would<br />

become Tracor, the first Austin startup to make it to<br />

the New York Stock Exchange. Eleven years after<br />

Tracor began as a defense contractor focused on<br />

research and development, IBM announced plans in<br />

1966 to open a plant in Austin that would make a<br />

piece of equipment used in offset printing. Then, in<br />

the early 1970s, Dallas-based Texas Instruments<br />

opened a facility to make electric calculators, a device<br />

that soon made slide rules extinct.<br />

✯<br />

Right: Thanks to <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s abundant pool of educated workers<br />

and favorable economic environment, it has become the home of many<br />

high-tech companies.<br />

Below: As <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s high-tech footprint continued to expand,<br />

some wag dubbed the area “Silicon Hills.”<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


When Apple began marketing the first desktop computer in<br />

1981, Texas and the nation began moving toward a new, digital<br />

world. At first, the pace was as slow as an old dial-up internet<br />

modem, but growth of the so-called high-tech industry increased<br />

along with bandwidth. Now, with industry giants like Dell (formed<br />

in 1983 by UT dropout Michael Dell) and Freescale Industries, the<br />

Austin-<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> area is discussed in the same breath as Silicon<br />

Valley or Massachusetts’s techy Route 128 outside Boston.<br />

By 2014, <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> had more than 2,200 high tech<br />

businesses employing more than a third of Austin’s workforce. While<br />

some areas of the nation are still struggling in the wake of the Great<br />

Recession that began in 2008, in the summer of 2014, the county’s<br />

unemployment rate amounted to only 3.7 percent. Annual job growth<br />

was 2.8 percent, with a projected ten-year job growth of 41.9 percent.<br />

On top of that, new industry attracts more new businesses and more<br />

people, creating what amounts to something that so far has continued<br />

to elude science—a perpetual motion machine.<br />

Just as Barton Springs continues to bubble forth cold water,<br />

the people of Austin and <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> generate ideas. <strong>Ideas</strong> are<br />

hard to quantify, but the metropolitan area ranks ninth in the<br />

number of patents issued per capita. And not all those ideas are<br />

coming from the left side of the brain. When you see someone in<br />

a coffee house nursing a latte and lost in their laptop computer,<br />

you never really know if they are tweaking a new piece of<br />

software, testing a video game they developed or adding a new<br />

scene to their screenplay.<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> is increasingly known as a haven for creativity,<br />

from studio-produced art to outdoor murals to live theater<br />

to poetry, song and story from aspiring or professional writers.<br />

A 2012 study by the Washington-based non-profit Americans<br />

for the Arts concluded that the non-profit arts and cultural<br />

entities in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> amount to a $235.1 million industry<br />

supporting 7,315 jobs and generating $23 million in local and<br />

state tax revenue.<br />

✯<br />

Right: Headquartered in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>, Freescale<br />

Semiconductor employs 17,000 people world-wide.<br />

Below: Michael Dell founded his now-giant computer<br />

company in a UT dorm room in the early 1980s.<br />

C H A P T E R 2<br />

1 9

While high tech industries spawned by the<br />

digital revolution added a huge new component<br />

to <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s economy, local, county, state<br />

and federal offices still employ some 170,000<br />

people in the metropolitan area. Another<br />

100,000-plus residents hold jobs in education<br />

or healthcare.<br />

With baby boomers aging, and given <strong>Travis</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong>’s growth in general, healthcare is a<br />

rapidly expanding component of the area’s<br />

economy. <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> has the only Level 1<br />

trauma center for the ten-county Central Texas<br />

area, University Medical Center Breckenridge.<br />

In addition to that large facility, the county has<br />

numerous healthcare facilities operated by two<br />

different large hospital corporations. Planning is<br />

underway for a new medical school that will be<br />

part of the UT System.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

Opposite, top: A healthcare technician analyzes a blood sample<br />

at a St. David’s HealthCare facility.<br />

Opposite, middle: Built on the site of Austin’s original airport,<br />

the Dell Children’s Hospital serves Central Texas kids.<br />

Opposite, bottom: <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> has become one of the state’s<br />

major healthcare centers.<br />

Above: First responder personnel train in rugged terrain<br />

rescue techniques.<br />

Right: <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> provides Level 1 trauma care for ten<br />

Central Texas counties. Here a county Starflight crew rushes<br />

someone into an emergency room.<br />

C H A P T E R 2<br />

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Top, left: Interstate 35, an asphalt Mississippi, has made <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> a major<br />

center of transportation.<br />

Opposite, top left: <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> residents have been able to fly non-stop to London<br />

since early 2014 along with numerous other international destinations.<br />

Top, right: Austin Bergstrom International Airport handles hundreds of domestic and<br />

international departures and arrivals daily.<br />

Opposite, top right: The railroad first came to <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> in 1871, with local<br />

light rail added in the first decade of the twenty-first century.<br />

Below: <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s iconic Pennybacker Bridge carries Loop 360 traffic across<br />

Lake Austin.<br />

Opposite, bottom: Congress Avenue was the county’s first “urban” thoroughfare and<br />

still bustles with commerce.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


Another factor in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s<br />

economy is transportation. Though<br />

locals and newcomers alike enjoy<br />

grumbling about vehicular congestion<br />

on the county’s roadways, the county<br />

is served by a world-class airport<br />

offering a growing number of direct<br />

domestic flights (to thirty U.S. cities)<br />

as well as international routes. British<br />

Airways, for example, began service<br />

from Austin to London in 2014.<br />

Austin also has a light rail system with<br />

planning underway for its expansion.<br />

For those who prefer a slower pace,<br />

the downtown area is served by<br />

human-powered pedi-cabs and for<br />

the more romantically inclined, horsedrawn<br />

carriages.<br />

C H A P T E R 2<br />

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✯<br />

Not all of <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s industries are high-tech.<br />

The county has numerous breweries and wineries,<br />

including this micro-brewery.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


Places to Live, Work Grow<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> covers 1,022.06 square miles (31.76 of those being under water<br />

in non-drought years). While the physical size of the county has not changed in<br />

generations, the city limits of Austin has continued to expand and, excluding parks<br />

and conservation areas, the county’s rural landscape has continued to decrease.<br />

Many an Austin baby boomer remembers hunting whitetail deer or dove in<br />

areas long since covered with houses and businesses. Today, urban areas cover a<br />

substantial percentage of the county. The cedar-covered hills west of the city are<br />

now mostly dotted with expensive homes, condos, apartments and office buildings.<br />

3<br />

✯<br />

Above: Webberville is <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s secondoldest<br />

community.<br />

Inset: Located on the Colorado River, Webberville<br />

is a popular put-in spot for canoers and kayakers.<br />

Bottom: Spring wildflowers abound in rural areas<br />

of <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

C H A P T E R 3<br />

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✯<br />

Above and left: Manor was an early-day <strong>Travis</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> cotton farming town. Today, bisected by<br />

U.S. 290, Manor is a fast-growing community.<br />

Opposite, top: From a wide-spot-in-the-road,<br />

predominantly German-Texan burg, Pflugerville<br />

has grown into <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s second-largest city.<br />

Opposite, middle: A single Indian Blanket flower.<br />

Opposite, bottom: Aerial view of Pflugerville shows<br />

its extensive growth.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


Despite Austin’s size, the county does have<br />

other distinctive communities, some that have<br />

been around for a good while, other places that<br />

are comparative newcomers to the map.<br />

Dating back to the time when it took all<br />

day to travel 30 miles by horseback, or only<br />

12 miles sitting in a wagon, <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

was dotted with small communities—places<br />

where farmers could go for supplies, pick up<br />

their mail or send their kids to school without<br />

having to go all the way in to Austin. Early-day<br />

rural communities included Anderson Mill<br />

(1850s), Bee Cave (1870), Creedmoor (1880),<br />

Del Valle (1878), Elroy (1892), Garfield (1881),<br />

Littig (1883), Manchaca (1851), Manda (1885),<br />

Manor (1859), New Sweden (1873), Oak Hill<br />

(1860s), Pflugerville (1860s), Pilot Knob<br />

(1870s), Volente (1886), Watters Park (1872)<br />

and Webberville (1846).<br />

Of those older communities, the two largest<br />

always were Manor and Pflugerville. However,<br />

“largest” is a relative term. As recently as<br />

the 1970s, both towns were basically just wide<br />

spots in the road. Federal census enumerators<br />

counted only 940 residents in Manor and<br />

549 people in Pflugerville in 1970.<br />

Not so today. Pflugerville is now the county’s<br />

second-largest city with 51,894 residents (part<br />

of the city now extends into nearby Williamson<br />

<strong>County</strong>) and gaining more residents daily.<br />

Manor has nearly 6,000 residents and also is<br />

growing fast.<br />

C H A P T E R 3<br />

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✯<br />

Above: Despite its growth, <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> still has small rural<br />

communities, including New Sweden in the northeastern part of<br />

the county.<br />

Right: Originally a retirement community, Lakeway is one of<br />

several communities developed over the years along Lake <strong>Travis</strong>.<br />

Other communities in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> came<br />

later, including in the 1950s Rollingwood and<br />

Westlake Hills; and San Leanna and Sunset<br />

Valley, two subdivisions adjoining Austin on<br />

its southwestern side, in the 1960s. Five communities<br />

in the western part of the county,<br />

Briarcliff, Jonestown, Lago Vista, Lakeway, Point<br />

Venture and Village of the Hills owe their<br />

existence to the development of Lake <strong>Travis</strong>.<br />

Wells Branch, a subdivision developed in the<br />

1980s, is operated as a municipal utility district.<br />

A sense of place involves more than cities<br />

and towns. <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> has numerous natural<br />

features that have shaped its identity, from<br />

Austin’s legend-steeped Mount Bonnell to Lake<br />

<strong>Travis</strong>’s Hippie Hollow, a cove where skinny<br />

dipping is tolerated if not legally sanctioned.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

Above: Members of this church on Ranch Road 620 can enjoy a spectacular view of Lake <strong>Travis</strong> along with the services.<br />

Right: Fields of bluebonnets and poppies brighten the county’s open spaces in the spring.<br />

Below: Jet skier enjoys the amenities at Rough Hollow Yacht Club on Lake <strong>Travis</strong>.<br />

C H A P T E R 3<br />

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T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

Opposite, top: Westlake Hills was<br />

developed just west of the Capital City in<br />

the 1950s.<br />

Opposite, middle: Rollingwood is another<br />

of <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s bedroom communities.<br />

Opposite, bottom: Located on the<br />

southeastern edge of Austin, Del Valle<br />

is noted for its school system.<br />

Right: Named for a once-noted geographic<br />

feature in western <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>, Bee Cave<br />

is another of the county’s outlying towns.<br />

Below: Originally a narrow lane,<br />

Bee Cave Road is a heavily traveled route<br />

to Lake <strong>Travis</strong> and the western part of<br />

the county.<br />

C H A P T E R 3<br />

3 1

The scenic beauty of <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> is what attracted<br />

Mirabeau B. Lamar in 1838, and no matter its<br />

explosive growth, residents and visitors alike can still<br />

cherish what nature has to offer. The county has 334<br />

parks, including such scenic spots as Hamilton Pool<br />

and the 227-acre Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.<br />

Austin has 287 parks, ranging from 1-2-acre pocket<br />

parks to 1,872-acre Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park.<br />

Pflugerville has an additional 21 city-operated parks.<br />

The river that watered a frontier capital was<br />

dammed just below downtown Austin in 1960,<br />

creating Lady Bird Lake. Originally called Town<br />

Lake, the water body was renamed after her death<br />

for Claudia Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson, who, when<br />

she and her husband Lyndon came home from<br />

Washington in 1969 began pushing for the beautification<br />

of the lake. Today, the lake features 10.15<br />

miles of hike and bike trails, landscaping, public<br />

artwork (including an iconic statue of noted Austin<br />

blues musician Stevie Ray Vaughan) and ample surface<br />

acres for canoeing, kayaking or paddle boarding.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

Opposite, top: <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> residents have<br />

become accustomed to an ever-changing skyline,<br />

the growth rate leading to the local joke that the<br />

official state bird should be the construction crane.<br />

Opposite, bottom: While definitely a part of<br />

Austin, the South Congress area feels like a<br />

separate community.<br />

Above: Residents of <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> and visitors<br />

have many entertainment options, including the<br />

state-of-the-art Long Center on Lady Bird Lake.<br />

Right: Pedestrians have their own bridge across<br />

Lady Bird Lake.<br />

Below: The county has miles of hike and bike<br />

trails, including along the shore of Lady Bird Lake.<br />

C H A P T E R 3<br />

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✯<br />

Clockwise, starting from the top, left:<br />

Visitors and locals alike descend on East Sixth Street for dining,<br />

live music and other entertainment.<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> has an ever-increasing downtown population with<br />

many residents living in high-rise condominiums and apartments.<br />

Downtown residents have the option of walking to grocery stores,<br />

theaters and numerous other retail outlets.<br />

Residents of <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> not interested in living downtown may<br />

opt for hillside homes with expansive views.<br />

Before the county had a downtown lake, it had Lake Austin<br />

and Lake <strong>Travis</strong>, the next-to-last link in a chain of impoundments<br />

dating back to the late 1930s that became known as the Highland<br />

Lakes. Though mostly lined with houses, restaurants and resorts,<br />

Lake Austin is one of the hottest bass fishing lakes in the state,<br />

producing lunkers that sometimes exceed thirteen pounds.<br />

Lake <strong>Travis</strong>, though susceptible to the vagaries of drought, is<br />

a perennial favorite for recreational boating and swimming.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

The Austonian, a residential skyscraper<br />

is the tallest building in Austin.<br />

C H A P T E R 3<br />

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T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


A Style All Its Own<br />

When President Barack Obama delivered a speech at the Paramount Theatre<br />

in downtown Austin on July 10, 2014, he warmed up the crowd<br />

by pointing out how much he likes the local barbeque.<br />

And before he jetted back to the White House later<br />

that day, he proved it, buying from a nationally<br />

known pit in East Austin $300 worth of brisket<br />

and ribs for himself and some of the people he<br />

cut ahead of in line.<br />

Nor was Obama the first sitting President to fill<br />

up on good ‘cue in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>. Lyndon B. Johnson,<br />

George Herbert Walker Bush, Bill Clinton and George W.<br />

Bush at various times all enjoyed local brisket and the trimmings.<br />

4<br />

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People will stand in line for hours for barbeque.<br />

C H A P T E R 4<br />

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As newspaper humor columnist John Kelso observed, these<br />

days <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> offers cuisine. In earlier decades, it was<br />

just groceries, albeit good groceries. Since the first general<br />

store opened in Austin in a log building back when it was<br />

capital of a nation, residents and visitors have always<br />

been able to rustle up what they wanted for their meals.<br />

(Some Texans still remember when lunch was “dinner” and<br />

dinner was “supper.”)<br />

Whatever you called meal time, when it came to eating out,<br />

for years you had three basic choices: Barbecue, burgers or<br />

Mexican food. Of course, the county also had—and still<br />

does—places to get a good steak or seafood, but as late as the<br />

early 1960s, Austin only had one Italian place that made<br />

pizza. <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> residents had one non-franchise fried<br />

chicken restaurant (and not until the mid-60s was there a<br />

franchise chicken place), only one pancake house and only a<br />

couple of Chinese eateries. Requesting any other fare would<br />

only have drawn blank stares.<br />

But that was then. As <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> has grown, so has the<br />

variety of available food. Today, someone can partake of just<br />

about any type of food, from staples as American as the<br />

proverbial apple pie to Indian to Vietnamese. Nor do you have<br />

to confine yourself to a restaurant if you want to enjoy good<br />

eats. Scores of food trucks clustered in various parts of town<br />

offer everything from cupcakes to gyros to tacos and more.<br />

The food is only one of many things that give <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

and its largest city a growing national and international<br />

reputation as a neat place to live or visit.<br />

✯<br />

Above: <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> has a substantial<br />

and growing Asian population.<br />

Right: Trailer vendors offer all varieties<br />

of food, from cupcakes to tapas.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

The Frisco Night Hawk Diner<br />

serving Austin since 1953.<br />

C H A P T E R 4<br />

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Top: The Blind Pig serving the SXSW crowd.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />

40<br />

Bottom: Fonda San Miguel, one of the finest<br />

Mexican restaurants in the county.

✯<br />

Above: Tex-Mex is one of the basic food groups in<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

Left: This four-legged creature near the University of Texas<br />

campus even has its own Facebook page.<br />

Much of what makes <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

different has evolved over time, but a lot of<br />

it has to do with the prevailing mindset of<br />

the community. A popular bumper sticker<br />

sums it up: “Keep Austin Weird.” What<br />

constitutes weird must be left to the eye of<br />

the beholder, but those three words really<br />

reflect that this is a place with an attitude.<br />

That mindset includes tolerance, a passion<br />

for learning, a high level of creativity, and<br />

a willingness to work hard and play hard.<br />

C H A P T E R 4<br />

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✯<br />

Top, left: Statue of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan<br />

stands on the south side of Lady Bird Lake with<br />

the city’s skyline in the background.<br />

Top, right: Public art throughout downtown celebrates<br />

the county’s musical heritage. This guitar sculpture is<br />

titled Sixth String.<br />

Left: Fall is Austin City Limits Music Festival time in<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

Opposite, top: Vibrancy, a guitar sculpture from the<br />

Austin GuitarTown Project, in front of the Frost Bank<br />

Building on Congress Avenue.<br />

Opposite, bottom: The Continental Club on South Congress<br />

Avenue has been providing live music longer than any<br />

other venue in Austin.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


Speaking of playing, another slogan often<br />

applied to Austin is “Live Music Capital of the<br />

World.” Elvis Presley and other rising pop stars<br />

of the ‘50s played at <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s famous<br />

Dessau Hall, and in the ‘60s, folk singers,<br />

hillbilly bands, yodelers, blues and jazz players<br />

and rock groups offered college students and<br />

locals a reasonable choice in live music. But the<br />

music scene went off the chart in the 1970s with<br />

the growing popularity of Willie Nelson and<br />

other musically talented native-born performers<br />

or got-to-Texas-as-soon-as-they-coulds. Many<br />

of the nation’s top artists played at the now<br />

legendary but long-gone Armadillo World<br />

Headquarters, Austin Weird personified.<br />

Starting in the fall of 1974, Austin’s public<br />

television station, KLRU, began airing a<br />

show called Austin City Limits. At first it<br />

featured mostly local talent (though the pilot<br />

spotlighted Willie Nelson), but as its popularity<br />

rose and it went national, everyone from<br />

B. B. King to Freddy Fender to Garrison Keillor<br />

appeared on the show. Though the Austin<br />

skyline in the background on the set was<br />

and is still fake, the nationally syndicated<br />

show—now the longest-running musical show<br />

in U.S. history—made more and more people<br />

want to come to <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> to enjoy<br />

the music.<br />

In 2001, promoters began staging an annual<br />

outdoor music festival in Zilker Park (not a new<br />

concept in Austin, where Willie Nelson held<br />

his first Texas-style “Woodstock” back in the<br />

1970s). With 130-plus performers booked each<br />

year it now draws 75,000 or more music fans<br />

every fall for each day of its three-day run.<br />

Large or small, be it tip jar gigs or wristband<br />

extravaganzas, <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> today offers<br />

more than 250 music venues, from long-time<br />

hangouts like the Continental Club on South<br />

Congress Avenue (a part of town now known<br />

as “SoCo”) to trendy places on East Sixth Street.<br />

For visitors, the music scene starts the moment<br />

they step off their plane at Austin Bergstrom<br />

International Airport, where the city often<br />

books performers.<br />

C H A P T E R 4<br />

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✯<br />

Right: Visitors from around the<br />

world come to <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> for<br />

its live music, the first vestige of<br />

which they see at Austin Bergstrom<br />

International Airport.<br />

Below: Singer-songwriter<br />

Billy Joe Shaver performs at<br />

Austin’s Waterloo Records.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

Left: Por Vida, a guitar sculpture on display at<br />

the Austin Bergstrom International Airport.<br />

Below: Gold and platinum hits produced in<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> line the walls of this recording studio,<br />

one of many in Austin.<br />

Neither of the area’s famous slogans really<br />

captures <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>. More accurate, but<br />

harder to boil down to a bumper sticker, is that<br />

the county is at once country and cosmopolitan,<br />

small-town and big-town, classic Texas and<br />

world class.<br />

The county still retains enough of its<br />

old Texas roots for the jeans and boots types.<br />

But techies, from chip makers to video game<br />

builders, fit right in. As do professors, students,<br />

politicians, nurses and doctors, actors, fitness<br />

buffs, and on and on. Name a career, lifestyle,<br />

or cause and it can be found and pursued in<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

C H A P T E R 4<br />

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T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

Opposite, top: This example of<br />

privately owned public art is behind a<br />

retail shop on South Lamar Boulevard.<br />

Opposite, bottom: Austin’s eclectic<br />

graffiti park has become one of the<br />

most photographed scenes in<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

Right: Wall art adds to the ambiance<br />

of this East Austin convenience store.<br />

Below: Unusual works of public art<br />

are scattered throughout Austin.<br />

C H A P T E R 4<br />

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✯<br />

Above: At the legendary Broken Spoke, visitors can eat<br />

barbeque and dance to country western music.<br />

Right: Few if any weekends go by without some sort of<br />

festival in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>. This event celebrates hot sauce.<br />

Below: You can get your boot-scooting boots on<br />

South Congress just a short scoot away from the Spoke.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

Above: Founded by the late Rudy Cisneros, Cisco’s Bakery is<br />

an East Austin landmark popular with everyone from politicos<br />

to savvy visitors.<br />

Right: The daily bat flight from beneath the Congress Avenue<br />

Bridge has become one of the county’s top tourist draws.<br />

Austin may not be the event capital of the<br />

world, but it surely is close. No weekend and<br />

few days go by without something fun going<br />

on. From the annual O. Henry Pun-off outside<br />

a Victorian cottage on East Fifth Street where<br />

the short story writer O. Henry once lived<br />

to an annual Bat Festival centered around<br />

Austin’s famous Congress Avenue Bridge bat<br />

colony, <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> residents and visitors<br />

have no shortage of things to do.<br />

C H A P T E R 4<br />

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✯<br />

Above: Splash Day Festival at<br />

Hippie Hollow.<br />

Right: The Circuit of the Americas<br />

race track near the <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

community of Elroy hosts international<br />

events like the F1 Grand Prix race and<br />

the X Games.<br />

The county’s first major festival launched in<br />

the early 1960s. To celebrate Town Lake and<br />

promote Central Texas’ other lakes, an annual<br />

event called Aqua Festival debuted in 1962. As<br />

its name implied, the early August celebration<br />

emphasized the area’s water recreation opportunities.<br />

Aqua Fest, as it was popularly known,<br />

ran its course and stopped in 1998. By then,<br />

however, the figurative flood gates had opened<br />

when it came to coming up with an excuse to<br />

party in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

Big and small, Austin and <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> have<br />

events and festivals celebrating almost anything.<br />

Starting in March every year the community<br />

hosts South by Southwest, a once-small event<br />

focusing on Austin music that by the turn of<br />

the twenty-first century had become an internationally<br />

recognized happening—a combination<br />

high-tech showcase and gigantic party.<br />

In 2007, a startup called Twitter got its first<br />

significant exposure at SXSW, the beginning of<br />

a virtual communication revolution.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

Above: <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> offers something for everyone, including skinny dipping at McGregor/Hippie Hollow Park on Lake <strong>Travis</strong>.<br />

C H A P T E R 4<br />

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✯<br />

The annual Capital 10K race draws<br />

professional and amateur runners<br />

and walkers from around the nation.<br />

In 2014, Austin became one of only four<br />

U.S. cities to host an international action sports<br />

competition called the X Games, an event best<br />

described as the skateboarding Olympics. The<br />

first Austin event drew roughly 160,000 people.<br />

In early summer every year, some 30,000<br />

avid motorcyclists roll into <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> for<br />

the Republic of Texas Rally, filling the air with<br />

loud varooms and county cash registers with<br />

plenty of out-of-town dollars. It is the largest<br />

motorcycle event in Texas, and the largest ticketed<br />

motorcycle rally in the nation.<br />

Another vehicle-centric event came to <strong>Travis</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> in 2012. The small community of Elroy<br />

southeast of Austin is now home to the 375-acre<br />

Circuit of the Americas, a 3.4 mile, state-of-art<br />

race track that each fall hosts the Formula 1<br />

United States Grand Prix. Spectators from around<br />

the world come to Austin to take in the race and<br />

other events throughout the year.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

Every summer, thousands of motorcyclists roll to <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> for the Republic of Texas Rally.<br />

C H A P T E R 4<br />

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✯<br />

Above: Hot air balloons fill the<br />

sky at the Lake <strong>Travis</strong> Hot Air<br />

Balloon Festival.<br />

Below: The county offers numerous<br />

opportunities for outdoor recreation.<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> offers plenty of activities that<br />

can be taken in as a spectator, but also ample<br />

opportunity to get moving. Each February, the<br />

Austin Marathon and Half-Marathon draws<br />

20,000 runners, and in March, the Capital 10K<br />

draws runners and walkers, young and old.<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> has nearly fifty miles of trails,<br />

most of which are also accessible to cyclists,<br />

including the hike and bike trails along Lady<br />

Bird Lake.<br />

Visitors to <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>—and those who<br />

make their home there—are more likely to<br />

run out of time before they run out of things<br />

to do.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


People Living, Working<br />

and Playing Together<br />

5<br />

The population of <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> is large and growing larger every day. But while more and<br />

more people are calling Austin, Pflugerville, Manor and the county’s other communities home,<br />

they are increasingly diverse.<br />

✯<br />

For generations, the cool, clear water<br />

of Barton Springs has drawn visitors.<br />

C H A P T E R 5<br />

5 5

✯<br />

At a family reunion at <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s<br />

East Metro Park, folks enjoy the zerogigabyte<br />

pace of dominoes.<br />

In fact, the white, non-Hispanic segment of<br />

the population is now below 50 percent. The<br />

county’s Hispanic population is 35 percent and<br />

projected to equal the white, non-Hispanic<br />

population in 25 years. The number of Asian<br />

households is also growing faster than white<br />

households. The African-American population<br />

is 8 percent. Ethnicity aside, <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> is<br />

young, the median age only 31.<br />

The county also has a growing international<br />

feel, with more than 19 percent of its residents<br />

foreign born. They come to Central Texas for a<br />

variety of reasons, but two of the top draws are<br />

UT and the county’s large high tech industry.<br />

Because of that, there is no longer a distinctive<br />

Texas look as clothing in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> ranges<br />

from colorful, flowing saris to tight-fitting<br />

Spandex to faded jeans and t-shirt, footwear<br />

varying from sandals to running shoes to custommade<br />

cowboy boots, and headgear from hijabs<br />

to gimme caps to retro-looking snap brims.<br />

The county’s diverse population affords residents<br />

and visitors ample opportunity to enjoy<br />

different cultures. Cinco de Mayo, Mexico’s<br />

celebration of its independence from Spain, is a<br />

big holiday in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>, as is Juneteenth<br />

(June 19), the date shortly after the end of the<br />

Civil War that African-American slaves in Texas<br />

learned they were free. Indeed, every culture<br />

that is part of the county’s rich mix has its<br />

holidays and traditions, from Chinese New Year<br />

celebrations to Brazil’s carnival.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

Right: <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> has plenty of<br />

fishing holes, from this spot on Lady<br />

Bird Lake to Lakes Austin and <strong>Travis</strong><br />

and numerous creeks and tanks.<br />

Below: Fishing at a family reunion<br />

includes coaching and cheering too.<br />

C H A P T E R 5<br />

5 7

Nationality aside, many people who call<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> home are household names. It<br />

is not unusual to look up from your meal in<br />

a local eatery and see someone you last saw<br />

on the big or little screen quietly enjoying<br />

a meal at the table across from you. Or you<br />

run into them at the grocery store or on<br />

one of the county’s many hike and bike trails.<br />

✯<br />

Below: Running or biking either competitively or just to maintain good<br />

health is a major part of the <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> lifestyle.<br />

Opposite, top: Visitors to East Sixth Street have no shortage of mobility<br />

choices, from horse-drawn carriages to scooters and pedi-cabs.<br />

Opposite, bottom: Things are seldom dull of East Sixth Street.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


C H A P T E R 5<br />

5 9

✯<br />

Above: The Jazz Pharoahs.<br />

Left: Music is where you find it in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

Below: The world comes to <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> every<br />

March for the South by Southwest Festival events.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


C H A P T E R 5<br />

6 1

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia lists more than 200 “Notable current and former residents of<br />

Austin, Texas” (which also includes people who live or did live elsewhere in the county.) The list<br />

is a mixture of iconic personalities and contemporary celebrities, but it has some gaps, for some<br />

reason not listing baseball great Reuben Hornsby or the actor Zachary Scott or comedian and radio-<br />

TV personality Cactus Pryor or his brother Wally, who announced UT football games for decades.<br />

✯<br />

Above: The <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> Expo Center near Lake Walter P. Long Park hosts everything from rodeos to motorcycle rallies.<br />

Opposite: ROT, Republic of Texas Biker Rally.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


C H A P T E R 5<br />

6 3

✯<br />

Above: With the Austin Symphony providing<br />

the soundtrack, fireworks compete with lights of<br />

the Austin skyline on the Fourth of July.<br />

Opposite, top: The Trail of Lights brightens the<br />

holiday season in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

Opposite, bottom: For years, the Allandale neighborhood<br />

in North Austin has staged a Fourth of July parade.<br />

Most of those who have become Austin icons<br />

were not born and raised in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>, but to<br />

tweak a popular Texas expression often invoked<br />

by newcomers, they got to <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

as soon as they could.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


C H A P T E R 5<br />

6 5

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

Opposite, top: One of <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s most striking parks, Hamilton Pool<br />

is a great place to swim or reflect.<br />

Opposite, bottom: Spectacular sunsets come with the meal at this popular<br />

outdoor restaurant and watering hole overlooking Lake <strong>Travis</strong>.<br />

Top, left: Windy Point Park.<br />

Top. right: The City of Lakeway has a airpark.<br />

Right: Tubing is a great way to stay cool in the summer.<br />

Below: Lake <strong>Travis</strong> is a boater’s paradise.<br />

C H A P T E R 5<br />

6 7

✯<br />

Above: Fall is football time in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

Below: Schoolboy football in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> develops talent for university and professional teams.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


✯<br />

Above: A golfer tees off at Austin’s Municipal Golf Course.<br />

Below: Zilker Park affords plenty of room for everything from soccer to music festivals and kite flying.<br />

C H A P T E R 5<br />

6 9

✯<br />

Above: <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s always been a great place to enjoy life.<br />

Left: The Capital City boasts numerous outdoor eateries.<br />

Opposite, top: The riverboat Lone Star plies the waters of<br />

Lady Bird Lake.<br />

Opposite, bottom: Kayakers on Lady Bird Lake can fish,<br />

play water polo or just paddle around.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


C H A P T E R 5<br />

7 1

P r o f i l e s o f b u s i n e s s e s , o r g a n i z a t i o n s , a n d f a m i l i e s<br />

t h a t h a v e c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e d e v e l o p m e n t a n d<br />

e c o n o m i c b a s e o f Tr a v i s C o u n t y<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />




Branch Banking & Tr ust Company ..................................7 4<br />

Zapalac/Reed Construction Company, LP ..........................7 6<br />

Wayne ........................................................................7 8<br />

St. David’s HealthCare ..................................................8 0<br />

Manor Independent School District (Manor ISD) ...............8 2<br />

Texas School for the Deaf ..............................................8 4<br />

Wells Fargo .................................................................8 6<br />

Emerson Process Management ........................................8 8<br />

Seton Healthcare Family ...............................................9 0<br />

thirteen23 ...................................................................9 2<br />

Texas State University ..................................................9 4<br />

City of Lago Vista ........................................................9 6<br />

Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce .............................9 7<br />

Development 2000 ........................................................9 8<br />

HNTB Corporation .......................................................9 9<br />

Samsung ...................................................................1 0 0<br />

Circuit of the Americas ...............................................1 0 1<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> Credit Union .........................................1 0 2<br />

The Driskill ..............................................................1 0 3<br />

Koetter Fire Protection of Austin LLC ............................1 0 4<br />

The Light Bulb Shop ...................................................1 0 5<br />

Intel Corporation .......................................................1 0 6<br />

Vintage IT Services .....................................................1 0 7<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> Government ...........................................1 0 8<br />

Industrial Composites, Inc ...........................................1 0 9<br />

John R. Rogers Photography .........................................1 1 0<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

7 3

✯<br />


Branch Banking & Trust at<br />

601 West Fifth Street.<br />



Nearly 150 years ago, a young man and<br />

entrepreneur who had left his home in Halifax<br />

<strong>County</strong>, North Carolina, to attend a military<br />

school in nearby Wilson, paved the way for<br />

today’s Branch Bank & Trust.<br />

It was Alpheus Branch, the son of a wealthy<br />

planter who established a small mercantile business<br />

known as Branch and Company. Through<br />

his business and community involvement,<br />

he became acquainted with Thomas Jefferson<br />

Hadley. The friends joined forces in 1872 to<br />

create a banking institution that people could<br />

believe in—Branch and Hadley.<br />

As private bankers, they accepted time<br />

deposits, paid interest and loaned money<br />

to assist in rebuilding the farms and small<br />

businesses in their community that had been<br />

devastated by the Civil War. This area of<br />

Eastern North Carolina was a prime target for<br />

profiteers and politicians bent on destroying<br />

what little remained. There was no money,<br />

no law, and precious little trust or faith in<br />

the once proud institutions of the South.<br />

They provided a place where people could<br />

borrow money at reasonable interest to buy<br />

seed and fertilizer and begin to plant cotton.<br />

It also allowed the farmers to experiment<br />

with tobacco, seen as a new money crop.<br />

Branch bought Hadley’s interest in the bank<br />

for $81,000 in 1887 and changed the name<br />

to Branch and Company, Bankers.<br />

In 1913 the charter was amended to Branch<br />

Banking and Trust—BB&T. The bank’s assets<br />

grew with government bonds, investments<br />

from other banks, and realized an increase in<br />

personal deposits (wartime shortages meant<br />

that people had little to do with their money<br />

except save it.)<br />

During WWI, BB&T engaged in the sale of<br />

Liberty Bonds, making loans in a growing<br />

economy and gaining a reputation as one of<br />

North Carolina’s “big banks.” By 1923, BB&T<br />

had exceeded $4 million in assets, a 307<br />

percent increase since 1914. Four new offices<br />

were established, an insurance department<br />

opened in 1922, and the mortgage loan<br />

department began in 1923.<br />

With the stock market crash of 1929,<br />

banks that had invested heavily in stocks<br />

began to fail. Over the next couple of years,<br />

131 banks in North Carolina failed. By<br />

December 30, 1931, the other seven banks in<br />

Wilson had closed. At BB&T, many customers<br />

withdrew funds to deposit at the Post Office<br />

in Postal Savings, the only apparent investment.<br />

What they did not know was that<br />

postal officials took that same money and<br />

deposited in BB&T. While public confidence<br />

in banks had disintegrated, the government’s<br />

faith in BB&T had not.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


In 1995, BB&T and Winston-Salem-based<br />

Southern National Corporation, the state’s fifth<br />

largest bank-holding company, completed a<br />

“merger of equals,” resulting in 437 branches<br />

in 220 cities in the Carolinas and Virginia, all<br />

carrying the BB&T name and headquartered<br />

in Winston-Salem. Since then the company<br />

has grown rapidly outside its stronghold in<br />

the Carolinas.<br />

In 1997, BB&T purchased Fidelity Federal<br />

Bancshares and Virginia First Financial of<br />

Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia. In<br />

1998 it acquired Maryland Federal Bancorp<br />

of Hyattsville, Maryland, and Franklin<br />

Bancorporation of Washington, D.C., giving<br />

BB&T entry into those markets. In 1999,<br />

BB&T completed acquisition of MainStreet<br />

Financial Corp. of Martinsville, Virginia; First<br />

Citizens Corp of Newnan, Georgia; Mason-<br />

Dixon Bancshares of Westminster, Maryland;<br />

Matewan Bancshares of Williamson, West<br />

Virginia; and First Liberty of Macon, Georgia.<br />

The twenty-first century prompted other<br />

acquisitions throughout those states, and<br />

enabled it to expand into Tennessee, Kentucky,<br />

and Florida. In 2009, BB&T established offices<br />

in Alabama and Texas with the acquisition of<br />

Colonial Bank. In 2012 it announced a major<br />

expansion in Texas with the opening of thirty<br />

new financial centers focusing on commercial<br />

and small business lending.<br />

Today, BB&T is one of the largest financial<br />

services holding companies, having grown<br />

from $270 in 1898 to more than $181 billion<br />

in assets and market capitalization of $23.8<br />

billion as of September 30, 2013. A Fortune<br />

500 company, BB&T, with 35,000 associates,<br />

is consistently recognized for outstanding<br />

client satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates,<br />

the U.S. Small Business Administration,<br />

Greenwich Associates, among others.<br />

It operates approximately 1,851 financial<br />

centers in twelve states and Washington,<br />

and offers a full-range of consumer and<br />

commercial banking, securities, brokerage,<br />

asset management, mortgage and insurance<br />

products and services.<br />

Among its key strategic objectives are:<br />

Deliver the BB&T Value Promise, thereby creating<br />

the perfect client experience, ensuring a<br />

strong associate value proposition, accelerating<br />

revenue growth in a tough environment,<br />

continuing execution of risk management<br />

strategies and maintaining expense discipline.<br />

BB&T’s mission statement is simple: To make<br />

the world a better place to live, by helping<br />

clients achieve economic success and financial<br />

security, creating a place where employees can<br />

learn, grow, and be fulfilled in the work, making<br />

the communities in which it we (employees)<br />

work better places. Carrying out this mission<br />

optimizes the long-term return to shareholders,<br />

while providing a safe and sound investment.<br />

BB&T’s corporate headquarters remains in<br />

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with regional<br />

headquarters established in Houston, Texas.<br />

✯<br />

Branch Banking & Trust at<br />

2702 Bee Cave Road.<br />



T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

7 5




✯<br />

Above: Zapalac/Reed was the construction<br />

manager for the expansion of the Hill<br />

Country Galleria.<br />

Below: The entryway at the offices of Wiss<br />

Janney Elstner Associates, Inc.<br />

For nearly forty years, the “Reed” name<br />

has been associated with quality general<br />

construction in Central Texas. The name for<br />

the Austin branch office was changed to<br />

Zapalac/Reed Construction Company, LLP, in<br />

1996 when Bill Zapalac and Gene Reed<br />

combined resources to found the company<br />

bearing both their names for the central<br />

Texas construction community. The original<br />

company, E. E. Reed Construction Company<br />

was formed in 1977 with affiliates in Austin<br />

and Houston, Texas; Herndon, Virginia; and<br />

San Diego, California.<br />

When the partnership was formed in<br />

1996, the privately held branch office became<br />

a diverse, commercial general contractor/<br />

construction management firm and now<br />

continues with another generation of<br />

management with Shad Zapalac.<br />

The company’s mission statement focuses<br />

on superior construction services that exceed<br />

client’s expectations through the use of<br />

communication, production, quality, and ontime<br />

performance.<br />

“We base our work on quality, value,<br />

and meeting project completion dates,”<br />

says President Zapalac. “We foster a working<br />

relationship between our owners, consultants,<br />

and subcontractors to support mutual goals<br />

instead of adversarial positions. We view our<br />

clients as partners, working closely with them<br />

to provide the standard they have come<br />

to know and expect. The best contract<br />

relationship we can have is one in which the<br />

contract is placed in a file the day it is<br />

executed, and no one has to refer to the<br />

contract again. Each contractual partner<br />

fulfills his obligations and, in return, receives<br />

the prompt delivery and/or payment. This<br />

partnering creates a ‘win/win’ relationship<br />

with the ability to manage change while<br />

maintaining project delivery goals.”<br />

Zapalac/Reed has established itself in the<br />

marketplace as a reputable firm that provides<br />

services to maximize partners’ return on<br />

investment (ROI). “We view a partner’s overall<br />

needs as a project that must maintain delivery<br />

dates as well as project economy—all the<br />

time,” he adds. “Because we have the<br />

leadership and experience to support many<br />

different types of construction projects, we<br />

take pride in making that happen.” He adds<br />

that the company has built a reputation of<br />

providing strong preconstruction services. “We<br />

keep our partners apprised of all information<br />

relating to their projects throughout the job—<br />

from costs to completion. Our preconstruction<br />

services provide Early, Accurate and Reliable<br />

information, which lead to project success and<br />

client satisfaction.”<br />

Zapalac/Reed realizes that its success as a<br />

company is dependent solely on its personnel.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


Its field supervision is among the best in the<br />

industry. In fact, its project superintendents<br />

have a combined 183 years, which averages<br />

to about a 17-year tenure for each.<br />

Exceptional office support plays a key role in<br />

satisfied clients. Zapalac says that, “Satisfied<br />

client/partners mean repeat business, and<br />

offers word-of-mouth advertising for us.<br />

That concept drives employees to deliver<br />

‘beyond’ expectations.”<br />

The company is positioned to fulfill the<br />

entire spectrum within the construction<br />

industry. Its services can be contracted and<br />

tailored to suit the needs of its partners. It<br />

relies on a mixture of traditional lump sum<br />

bid awards, negotiated (design/assist, CM<br />

with Gmax,) or design/build contracts in<br />

which it provides preconstruction services<br />

for the opportunity to construct the project.<br />

The company’s partnering philosophy has led<br />

to success for both the client/partners and<br />

Zapalac/Reed.<br />

Project management functions the company<br />

provides are: LEED accredited professionals that<br />

enhance the use of sustainable materials, one<br />

hundred percent OSHA-trained management<br />

staff and field forces, trained supervision<br />

that can self-perform critical elements of a<br />

project, Internet based bid solicitation systems,<br />

quality control procedures that complement<br />

project completion, and a comprehensive and<br />

integrated project management system that is<br />

available at the office, in the field or from the<br />

cloud. All of these management elements have<br />

contributed to the success of a project and,<br />

in turn, to the organization.<br />

With nearly twenty years of experience<br />

under the Zapalac/Reed banner, the company<br />

focuses on a variety of needs, including those<br />

for office, industrial, retail, educational,<br />

healthcare, parking, religious, interiors,<br />

renovations and civic/community. The<br />

company’s skilled craft personnel will selfperform<br />

structural earthwork, structural<br />

concrete frames, architectural concrete and<br />

rough carpentry work to acquire ‘best-value.’<br />

“We have found that, by self-performing these<br />

tasks, Zapalac/Reed sets the pace and quality<br />

of construction for the project.”<br />

The qualification of Zapalac/Reed’s<br />

extensive history is what gives the company<br />

the experience and knowledge to join the<br />

HPI Real Estate team as construction manager<br />

for their new addition to San Clemente and<br />

to Hill Country Galleria with their office and<br />

hotel additions.<br />

The management of Zapalac/Reed maintains<br />

a conservative approach in building the<br />

financial strength of the company. Bonding<br />

limits have increased each year and that<br />

has continued strong even through everchanging<br />

economies. This approach insures<br />

the company’s financial stability.<br />

Client testimonials continually repeat a<br />

theme of satisfaction and an expectation to<br />

continue their business relationship with<br />

Zapalac/Reed. More appropriately said<br />

through one of their testimonials, “Given a<br />

chance to work with them again, I would do<br />

it in a heartbeat!”<br />

✯<br />

Above: Regents, Austin, Texas.<br />

Below: Sonesta.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

7 7

WAYNE<br />

✯<br />

Above: Model 280 one gallon handoperated<br />

pump.<br />

Below: Wayne supports mobile payment<br />

wallets to pay for gas directly at the pump<br />

using a smartphone.<br />

A global leader in the design and manufacturing<br />

of gas station fueling solutions,<br />

Wayne, headquartered in north Austin, has<br />

pioneered a trail for gas stations and the fuel<br />

industry for over 120 years. Continuously<br />

building a legacy of fuel dispensing technology,<br />

Wayne has introduced many industry<br />

firsts including the first fuel pump in 1891—<br />

before the invention of the car. Since then,<br />

Wayne has delivered countless innovations<br />

for motorists and gas station owners, alike.<br />

Premiering the first self-measuring fuel<br />

pump, Wayne transformed the way motorists<br />

would see and control the quantity of<br />

gasoline going in their vehicle tanks. Later, in<br />

the 1930s, they developed the first pump<br />

that calculated the cost of a gallon of gas,<br />

giving motorists financial peace of mind<br />

during tough economic times. And by<br />

introducing a pump that automatically<br />

blended fuel types, Wayne forged the way<br />

for fuel retailers to build smarter and less<br />

costly stations. Capitalizing on the age of<br />

technology in the 1970s, they presented the<br />

original electronic computing pump that<br />

included a payment terminal activated by the<br />

customer—paving the way for self-service<br />

and pay-at-the pump gas stations.<br />

Today, because of their innovative technological<br />

advancements, motorists around the<br />

world enjoy a safe, accurate, and convenient<br />

fueling environment. Wayne pumps have a<br />

“face” that looks much like an automated<br />

teller machine (ATM) to help customers<br />

become familiar with paying at the pump.<br />

This fueling industry-first features a keypad,<br />

a card reader, and a display instruction<br />

screen. By following friendly prompts with<br />

a quick card swipe and a few keystrokes,<br />

customers were soon won over by the<br />

new, easy-to-use payment system when<br />

pumping gas.<br />

Wayne engineered one of the most<br />

secure gas pumps worldwide that<br />

addressed possible security risks with<br />

the introduction of new payment technology.<br />

The pump has tamper-resistant<br />

doors with sensors and alarms to help<br />

prevent unauthorized access to the<br />

sensitive electronics inside. Should a<br />

security breach occur, the sensors<br />

take the pump offline, protecting the<br />

consumer and site owner from fraud.<br />

Wayne pumps can be equipped with the<br />

sophisticated Wayne iX Pay secure<br />

payment platform, which safely protects<br />

consumers from identity theft and fraud<br />

by encrypting payment data the moment<br />

customers enter it into the keypad or<br />

swipes their cards.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


Expanding into digital and mobile commerce<br />

technology, Wayne designed pumps<br />

offering an option of mobile payment with<br />

advanced chip and contactless payment<br />

technology. This allows customers to pay<br />

quickly and conveniently by tapping<br />

their smartphones on the pump sensor.<br />

Consumers can use their mobile devices<br />

like a wallet, allowing them to pay, receive<br />

alerts, and earn valuable rewards through<br />

loyalty programs.<br />

Wayne provides a convenient gas station<br />

fueling experience that customers and station<br />

owners appreciate. Motorists value the ease<br />

of driving up to the gas pump knowing<br />

that fuel is available, what it costs, and that<br />

they can make a secure payment. Thanks to<br />

these conveniences, station owners can now<br />

provide better service to customers instead<br />

of fretting with the intricacies of gas station<br />

operations in-and-out of the store.<br />

The Wayne Fusion forecourt system<br />

satisfies both demands with an easy-to-use<br />

device that links the station’s pumps and<br />

tanks with the cash register and office<br />

computers, making it easier for owners to<br />

post gas prices, identify issues with pumps,<br />

or notify them about low fuel volumes from<br />

underground tanks. It also provides store<br />

performance information to help owners<br />

improve customers’ experiences and monitor<br />

fueling operations. With Wayne iSense<br />

remote monitoring, station owners receive<br />

real-time equipment and sales notifications<br />

from virtually anywhere using their PCs<br />

or mobile devices. Capable of monitoring<br />

maintenance issues, customer traffic, and<br />

fuel sales remotely, it enables owners to<br />

make adjustments quickly to improve the<br />

speed and reliability of their pumps. Retailers<br />

know when pumps dispense fuel faster<br />

it gives customers the convenience they<br />

are seeking.<br />

To further enhance the gas station fueling<br />

experience for motorists and retailers alike,<br />

Wayne offers entertainment at the pump<br />

with full color video display. Customers<br />

can watch current news, local weather,<br />

and see offers of in-store promotions and<br />

specials through Wayne iX Media and<br />

the inOvationTV media platform, while<br />

waiting for their tanks to fill. These powerful<br />

tools help station owners offer additional<br />

products and services and build better relationships<br />

with customers. Loyal consumers<br />

are rewarded with specials and promotional<br />

offers upon return visits.<br />

To meet tomorrow’s growing fueling<br />

demands today, Wayne is on the forefront<br />

of utilizing emerging technologies. For<br />

instance, cloud-based computing provides<br />

a secure Internet connection by sharing<br />

computing resources (instead of dedicated,<br />

local connections), in order to deliver a<br />

full range of fueling services for motorists<br />

and fuel retailers. And employing diverse and<br />

talented hardware and software engineers,<br />

developers, technicians, product specialists,<br />

and professionals, not just in Austin, but also<br />

worldwide, positions Wayne to grow with<br />

new ideas and concepts that drive future<br />

technologies. That is just one of the many<br />

reasons Wayne has been voted to be among<br />

the Top 10 places to work in Austin. The fact<br />

that Wayne’s fueling technologies are used<br />

today throughout the world is testament to<br />

its legacy of quality and commitment to being<br />

a groundbreaking industry leader. Its trusted<br />

innovative technology has helped shape the<br />

look and functionality of modern-day service<br />

stations and is ready to meet any future<br />

fueling challenges.<br />

✯<br />

Above: Austin is a great area with a wealth<br />

of diverse and talented engineers and<br />

technicians that Wayne employs.<br />

Below: The Wayne Ovation 2<br />

fuel dispenser.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

7 9

ST. DAVID’S<br />


✯<br />

Below: St. David’s Hospital in 1924.<br />

What is known as St. David’s HealthCare—<br />

a seven-hospital healthcare system serving<br />

Central Texas residents—is actually a unique<br />

partnership between a local nonprofit,<br />

St. David’s Foundation, and a hospital management<br />

company. With more than ninety<br />

sites across the region, including hospitals,<br />

freestanding emergency departments, urgent<br />

care clinics, physician offices and ambulatory<br />

surgery centers, St. David’s HealthCare is<br />

the perfect prescription for the Lone Star<br />

State’s Central Texas residents.<br />

With 1,375 patient beds and a geographic<br />

footprint spanning more than 2,700 square<br />

miles, St. David’s HealthCare serves more<br />

patients than any other health system in<br />

Central Texas and is one of the largest healthcare<br />

systems in the state. In fact, six out of<br />

every ten babies born in Central Texas are<br />

delivered at a St. David’s HealthCare facility.<br />

The St. David’s HealthCare story began in<br />

the heart of <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>. Five area physicians<br />

partnered with St. David’s Episcopal Church<br />

in 1924 to establish a hospital that could<br />

meet the growing needs of Austin’s residents.<br />

St. David’s Hospital operated as a single nonprofit<br />

hospital for more than seventy years.<br />

The original hospital building, located at<br />

Seventeenth and Rio Grande, was a large<br />

Victorian house that was converted into a<br />

functional facility. Over time, hospital leaders<br />

began building a small campus on the<br />

surrounding property to accommodate the<br />

needs of the expanding population.<br />

In the early 1950s, in order to provide<br />

Austinites with access to more modern medical<br />

care, hospital leaders began constructing<br />

a much larger hospital on Thirty-Second<br />

and East Avenue (now IH-35). The 104 bed,<br />

state-of-the-art facility (of its time), opened its<br />

doors in 1955. The campus has continually<br />

grown over the years and has become what is<br />

known today as St. David’s Medical Center,<br />

the flagship campus of St. David’s HealthCare.<br />

Over the next decades, the healthcare landscape<br />

in Central Texas changed dramatically.<br />

Numerous hospital systems emerged, and as<br />

competition increased, market dynamics shifted.<br />

By the 1990s, there was rapid consolidation<br />

across Austin’s complex healthcare market. The<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> area went from six different<br />

hospital systems to two in five years. At the<br />

same time, the healthcare industry across the<br />

country was encountering major policy reform.<br />

By 1996, St. David’s Hospital, having grown<br />

significantly in size, attracted the attention of<br />

the hospital management company Hospital<br />

Corporation of America (HCA). As a result of<br />

the changing healthcare climate, St. David’s<br />

Hospital leaders knew that a partnership with<br />

a hospital management company would better<br />

equip them to successfully navigate the changes<br />

in the healthcare industry.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


St. David’s Hospital and HCA, which at<br />

the time owned present-day St. David’s South<br />

Austin Medical Center, St. David’s North<br />

Austin Medical Center and St. David’s Round<br />

Rock Medical Center, contributed local assets<br />

to a joint venture with St. David’s Foundation.<br />

St. David’s Foundation and HCA became<br />

co-owners of what was named St. David’s<br />

HealthCare. In an effort to retain autonomy<br />

and maintain the unique spirit that St. David’s<br />

Hospital had become known for within the<br />

community, St. David’s Foundation, which was<br />

originally created to raise funds for the hospital,<br />

began operating as an independent, nonprofit<br />

organization designed to continue meeting the<br />

needs of underserved Central Texans.<br />

Over the next decade, St. David’s HealthCare<br />

experienced unprecedented growth. In a relatively<br />

short time, what had begun as a small<br />

band of four community hospitals grew into one<br />

of the largest hospital partnerships in the<br />

country. Georgetown Health Foundation joined<br />

the partnership when St. David’s HealthCare<br />

acquired St. David’s Georgetown Hospital; Texas<br />

Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute and NeuroTexas<br />

Institute were established at St. David’s Medical<br />

Center; Austin Heart and Heart Hospital of<br />

Austin were both acquired by St. David’s<br />

HealthCare; and St. David’s North Austin<br />

Medical Center opened St. David’s Women’s<br />

Center of Texas and the Texas Institute for<br />

Robotic Surgery. St. David’s HealthCare began to<br />

position Austin as a national and international<br />

healthcare destination, drawing patients from<br />

across Texas and around the world.<br />

St. David’s HealthCare has continually been<br />

ranked among the top healthcare systems in<br />

the United States for high-quality patient care.<br />

In 2012, St. David’s HealthCare was named<br />

among the top fifteen health systems in the<br />

country by Thomson Reuters. In 2013, three<br />

of the system’s facilities—St. David’s Medical<br />

Center, which includes St. David’s Georgetown<br />

Hospital, and St. David’s North Austin Medical<br />

Center—were named among the nation’s 100<br />

Top Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics; and<br />

that year, St. David’s Medical Center—including<br />

Heart Hospital of Austin—was named a<br />

Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital.<br />

The care and service St. David’s HealthCare<br />

provides to the community extend far beyond<br />

the walls of its hospitals. Proceeds from the<br />

operations of St. David’s HealthCare’s hospitals<br />

and facilities directly fund St. David’s<br />

Foundation with the Foundation investing<br />

those dollars right back into the community.<br />

Since its inception in 1996, St. David’s<br />

Foundation has given approximately $218<br />

million to agencies and local safety net clinics<br />

throughout the region to improve health and<br />

healthcare for all Central Texans.<br />

✯<br />

Above and below: St. David’s HealthCare’s<br />

mission—to provide exceptional care to<br />

every patient every day with a spirit of<br />

warmth, friendliness and personal<br />

pride—is setting the Central Texas<br />

healthcare system on a trajectory to<br />

achieve its vision of becoming the finest<br />

care and service organization in the world.<br />

And, it all started in Central Texas.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

8 1

MANOR<br />



(MANOR ISD)<br />

✯<br />

Left: Manor High School football team<br />

enters football field ready to play against<br />

Fort Bend Marshall in San Antonio, Texas.<br />

Right: Manor ISD student uses iPad from<br />

One to One iPad incentive.<br />

While some educators strive for, and often<br />

promise quality curriculums that will prepare<br />

youth for challenging careers in math, science,<br />

technology, and the arts, Manor Independent<br />

School District (Manor ISD) actively does something<br />

about it.<br />

Doing more than giving lip service to quality<br />

education, Manor ISD makes that goal part of<br />

its mission statement and implements it districtwide<br />

to prepare students from Pre-K through<br />

grade twelve. In fact, its mission is:<br />

To provide a positive and academicallychallenging<br />

environment with high standards<br />

and measurable goals. Manor ISD, in partnership<br />

with parents and the community, is<br />

committed to closing the achievement gap<br />

by implementing exceptional curriculum<br />

with excellent instruction.<br />

Like most schools started in the mid-1800s,<br />

Manor, Texas, schools grew from humble<br />

beginnings. A boys school began operation<br />

in 1854, northwest of the present Manor<br />

High School complex, followed four years<br />

later by a school for girls near the present<br />

Manor Elementary School. Land for the girls<br />

school—originally known as Parson’s Female<br />

Seminary in honor of Silas Parsons, a primary<br />

contributor—was given by James Manor to help<br />

assure a proper education for his daughters.<br />

A Masonic Lodge was organized about<br />

the same time, and occupied the second floor<br />

of the school. The boys school closed in 1861<br />

during the Civil War, but boys eventually<br />

were admitted to the seminary. The seminary’s<br />

name was then changed to Parsons Seminary<br />

and later on became Parsons Academy. It<br />

continued to serve both boys and girls as one<br />

of the leading private educational institutions<br />

in the area until the public school system<br />

was developed and deeded to the Manor<br />

Public School in 1890.<br />

Much has changed since that time but<br />

quality education has continued to be a<br />

major commitment of the families who call<br />

the city of Manor and surrounding areas<br />

home. Covering about 100 square miles,<br />

Manor ISD currently serves approximately<br />

8,600 students in 7 elementary schools,<br />

2 middle schools, 2 high schools, and 1 alternative<br />

academy. Manor ISD strives for<br />

excellence through strong partnerships and a<br />

culture of continuous improvement resulting<br />

in innovative, proficient, empowered, forwardlooking<br />

students.<br />

During the 2012-2013 school year, Manor<br />

ISD launched a One-to-One iPad initiative.<br />

Students in all three district high schools<br />

received iPads to use at school as well as at<br />

home, while sixth grade students at Decker<br />

Middle School and third, fourth, and fifth<br />

grade students at Decker Elementary received<br />

them to use at school. Beginning in 2013,<br />

all students at Decker Middle School received<br />

them to use during the instructional day.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


Further promoting quality education<br />

in Manor, the district has<br />

seen a record enrollment in the<br />

athletic and fine arts programs in<br />

recent years. In 2012, for instance,<br />

Manor High School’s football team<br />

was a state semifinalist. In April<br />

2013, Manor New Technology High<br />

School’s robotics team competed on<br />

a national level and a group of<br />

eighteen dedicated students traveled<br />

to Dayton, Ohio, to compete in<br />

the Winter Guard International<br />

World Championships.<br />

On May 9, 2013, Manor ISD<br />

hosted President Barack Obama to<br />

launch his “Middle Class Jobs and<br />

Opportunity Tour” at Manor New<br />

Technology High School where students<br />

are prepared by learning real-world skills<br />

they will need to be successful in the global<br />

twenty-first century job market. Manor New<br />

Technology High School opened August 27,<br />

2007, as a small, project-based learning campus<br />

with a science, technology, engineering,<br />

and mathematics (STEM) focus.<br />

Manor ISD has also launched The Manor<br />

Express, a community news publication<br />

distributed to all Manor ISD campuses and<br />

throughout the Manor community. It is written<br />

by Manor High School students under the<br />

direction of Shannon Park. Students cover<br />

individual and group achievements; provide<br />

information about programs and organizations;<br />

and share community news and events.<br />

The district’s goals include:<br />

• Manor ISD students will demonstrate academic<br />

success, and eliminate achievement<br />

gaps between student groups through a<br />

relevant and well-balanced curriculum<br />

supported by technology;<br />

• Students will demonstrate behaviors to<br />

support academic success in a safe,<br />

challenging, and nurturing environment;<br />

• Manor ISD will provide strategic alignment<br />

and sound stewardship of resources,<br />

including funding, personnel, technology,<br />

and facilities to ensure academic success;<br />

• The District will recruit, develop and retain<br />

highly effective staff at all levels; and<br />

• Students will demonstrate knowledge, skills,<br />

and attitudes at each grade level that<br />

predict success in post-secondary education<br />

and the workplace within an ever-changing<br />

global society.<br />

The city of Manor continues to grow with<br />

the construction of the Manor Expressway,<br />

attracting national chain retailers including<br />

Walmart and McDonald’s. Since 2004-2005,<br />

Manor ISD enrollment has increased ninetytwo<br />

percent and is exceeding growth expectations<br />

annually. District enrollment is expected<br />

to double by 2022.<br />

✯<br />

Above: Manor New Technology High School<br />

Robotics team showcases their winning<br />

project at the 2013 Alamos Regional<br />

FIRST Robotics Competition.<br />

Left: President Barack Obama speaks<br />

at Manor New Technology High School<br />

launching his 2013 “Middle Class Jobs and<br />

Opportunity Tour.”<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

8 3



✯<br />

Above: A working farm and dairy when the<br />

Texas School for the Deaf was established in<br />

1857, the school’s iconic “Mule Ears” towers<br />

stood as prevalent as the statehouse on the<br />

capitol city’s horizon in 1908 as dormitory<br />

additions are being constructed on the<br />

campus grounds.<br />

Below: Produced and printed by the<br />

school and now published quarterly—the<br />

Lone Star Journal—the Texas School for<br />

the Deaf’s school publication has chronicled<br />

the school's activities since its first run in<br />

1893 when the Lone Star Weekly was<br />

established as its official publication.<br />

Since 1856, the Texas School for the Deaf<br />

(TSD) has offered students of Texas who are<br />

deaf and hard of hearing an exceptional education<br />

designed to meet their individual<br />

needs, and a unique opportunity to form an<br />

identity based upon their personal strengths<br />

and talents, rather than their disabilities.<br />

While visiting Austin in the fall of 1856,<br />

Matthew Clark, a deaf man inquired with Texas<br />

leaders about the lack of a deaf school in the<br />

state. In response, the Texas Legislature established<br />

TSD. The legislators then charged Clark<br />

to ride on horseback to the surrounding<br />

counties to find deaf children and convince<br />

their parents to send them to the Austin school.<br />

When TSD opened its doors, the entire<br />

student body of three boys was taught in a<br />

repurposed smokehouse/school on a farm<br />

rented by the state. The farmland was<br />

later purchased for $5,500 and was the<br />

first parcel of the school property that<br />

TSD still occupies just south of downtown<br />

Austin. From these meager beginnings, TSD<br />

has grown into a leading-edge institution<br />

of learning, with a national reputation for<br />

excellence in deaf education.<br />

TSD has a legacy rich with long-lasting<br />

success and groundbreaking firsts. TSD was<br />

the first public school in the United States to<br />

have a deaf female principal (1875) and to<br />

hire deaf African-American teachers (1887).<br />

TSD remains the oldest continuously operating,<br />

publicly funded school in Texas.<br />

Today, TSD’s sixty-seven acre campus hosts<br />

state-of-the-art facilities and educates almost<br />

600 students onsite. Like generations of deaf<br />

and hard of hearing children before them,<br />

TSD students achieve personal excellence<br />

among the school’s vibrant community of<br />

diverse learners. TSD’s highly qualified staff<br />

brings experience and expertise to every<br />

classroom—from toddlers to high school—<br />

including transitional post-secondary services.<br />

Each student’s academic growth is supported<br />

through innovative related and support services.<br />

TSD’s all-encompassing campus life fosters<br />

each student’s self-esteem, confidence and identity,<br />

and offers a sense of belonging with opportunities<br />

to develop lasting friendships, play on<br />

a team, and audition for a role on the stage.<br />

TSD takes great pride in providing students<br />

with a community of extraordinary role models<br />

where more than fifty percent of the faculty<br />

and staff are deaf and many are graduates of<br />

the school. TSD operates a twenty-four hour,<br />

six day a week residential program with a full<br />

scope of direct educational and support services,<br />

including comprehensive diagnostic,<br />

medical, and social services, sports and recreational<br />

opportunities. TSD’s environment and<br />

education are designed to meet the individual<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


needs of the student and<br />

develop the whole person—<br />

physically, intellectually, emotionally<br />

and socially.<br />

The state of Texas charges<br />

TSD with a dual mission.<br />

While providing direct educational<br />

services to its students<br />

on the Austin campus, TSD is<br />

also responsible to stakeholders statewide.<br />

Through outreach, the Educational Resource<br />

Center on Deafness (ERCOD) extends TSD’s<br />

resources, expertise and technical assistance<br />

to students, families, and professionals across<br />

Texas. By working with parents and collaborating<br />

with Texas’ larger network of statewide<br />

educational partners and agencies, ERCOD<br />

strives to optimize outcomes for all students<br />

of Texas who are deaf and hard of hearing.<br />

Anecdotes and fun facts:<br />

• In 1949, TSD was recognized as an educational<br />

institution and the name of the<br />

school was changed from Texas Institute<br />

for the Deaf and Dumb to Texas School<br />

for the Deaf. At the same time, the Texas<br />

legislature directed that the State Board<br />

of Education would govern the school.<br />

In 1979 the legislature transferred the<br />

responsibility of governing TSD from the<br />

State Board of Education to a nine-member<br />

governing board of trustees, appointed by<br />

the governor and confirmed by the senate.<br />

The TSD board of trustees was directed<br />

to organize and conduct itself like an<br />

independent school district’s board that<br />

must consist of fifty-one percent deaf<br />

individuals and include parents, alumni<br />

and professionals in deafness.<br />

• Because TSD was a self-sufficient farm and<br />

dairy, it was the only school that did not<br />

shut down during the war.<br />

• In 1953 the name of TSD’s football team<br />

was changed from the Silents to the<br />

Rangers. The great and glorious history<br />

of the Texas Rangers furnished a very<br />

appealing name that was embraced by the<br />

student community.<br />

• TSD’s iconic Twin Towers—known affectionately<br />

as Mule Ears to the deaf community—was<br />

a remarkable landmark on the<br />

Austin horizon, which was demolished in<br />

1956. Mule Ears reigned supreme over<br />

the TSD campus for over eighty years.<br />

Now, the TSD clock tower—situated in the<br />

heart of the school’s campus—has become<br />

the reminder of TSD’s historical towers.<br />

• Sharing the campus with the Austin community,<br />

TSD’s has been the setting for many<br />

well-known film productions, including television<br />

series Friday Night Lights, advertising<br />

commercials (Chrysler, Nike, Dell, H-E-B)<br />

and a number of blockbusters such as<br />

Spy Kids, Shorts, The Faculty and The Ringer.<br />

• TSD currently has over thirty competitive<br />

athletic teams, and over the years has<br />

produced many local, state and national<br />

champions. Additionally, TSD has had<br />

representatives attend every Deaflympics—<br />

as both athletes and coaches, since 1957.<br />

• TSD’s Career and Technology Education<br />

program offers students learning opportunities<br />

and hands-on experience in auto<br />

collision and repair, culinary arts, robotics<br />

and automation, welding, woodworking<br />

and cabinetry, business information<br />

management, digital graphics, interactive<br />

media and video production.<br />

✯<br />

Above: Today, known as one of the top<br />

schools for deaf students in the nation,<br />

Texas School for the Deaf’s sixty-seven acres<br />

and fifty buildings on the same property set<br />

to establish the school in 1857 by the sixth<br />

Texas legislature, is renowned worldwide for<br />

its excellence in educational programs as<br />

well as a model environment completely<br />

focused to give all deaf and hard of hearing<br />

students and their families the foundation<br />

for a lifetime of success.<br />

Below: As well as the full array of academic<br />

programs for students, from toddlers<br />

through age twenty-two, the school’s rich<br />

variety of extracurricular activities include<br />

fine and performing arts, athletics,<br />

work/study opportunities, and more. Here,<br />

students’ facial expressions, body language<br />

and American Sign Language bring the<br />

characters of Peter Pan to life on stage at<br />

the Texas School for the Deaf.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

8 5

✯<br />


The Wells Fargo team in Austin, 1912.<br />

Agent Isaac Lochridge stands at the<br />

far right.<br />



On March 18, 1852, Henry Wells and<br />

William G. Fargo founded Wells, Fargo &<br />

Company to bring reliable banking and<br />

express service to customers on the western<br />

frontier. The company opened its first offices<br />

in New York and San Francisco, but soon<br />

expanded into communities throughout<br />

country, offering essential banking services,<br />

reliable transportation of gold and goods,<br />

and dependable mail delivery. When miners,<br />

ranchers or business owners needed to<br />

send funds to distant places, a paper bill<br />

of exchange or check provided a safe and<br />

convenient financial solution. The Wells<br />

Fargo name on a check or exchange inspired<br />

confidence that the transaction could easily<br />

be converted back to coin or currency in<br />

eastern states or even overseas.<br />

Wells Fargo first came to Texas while<br />

helping establish the nation’s first scheduled<br />

line of mail stages connecting the eastern and<br />

western states. Stagecoaches of The Overland<br />

Mail Company crossed the Texas territory on<br />

a twenty-five day journey between Missouri<br />

and California beginning in 1858. Wells<br />

Fargo financed portions of this long-distance<br />

stage route, also known as the Butterfield<br />

Line, and eventually controlled the operation.<br />

The overland mail service moved to<br />

a more northerly route through Utah<br />

in 1861.<br />

Two decades later, Wells Fargo returned to<br />

Texas, expanding its nationwide network of<br />

express service into the Lone Star State by<br />

railroad. In the fall of 1885, Wells Fargo<br />

agent, D. H. Dunham followed the tracks<br />

of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad<br />

into <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>. Dunham opened for<br />

business at 513 Congress Avenue in Austin.<br />

From there, he could observe progress on the<br />

new Texas state capitol, under construction<br />

just a few blocks away. Agent Dunham<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


offered basic financial services, such as<br />

transfer of funds by telegraph and express<br />

money orders, introduced by Wells Fargo<br />

that year as a new, convenient way for<br />

customers to securely send money long<br />

distances. Also in 1885, Wells Fargo<br />

established an express office in northern<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> at Manor, with Agent<br />

J. E. Miller in charge. Henry G. Stokes<br />

became Wells Fargo’s agent in Austin in 1889<br />

and remained on the job for two decades.<br />

In 1894 the Austin agency moved from<br />

Congress Avenue to 121 West Sixth Street.<br />

Wells Fargo service reached eighty-five<br />

percent of Texas’ towns by 1916, offering a<br />

competitive advantage for Texas businesses<br />

seeking access to distant markets. “The<br />

merchant, the manufacturer, the farmer,<br />

the wholesaler, the grocer, the butcher—and<br />

the moving picture theater man—all look<br />

to the express agent to help them out in<br />

solving their transportation problems,”<br />

reported the Wells Fargo Messenger magazine<br />

in its Texas Issue of August 1917. By 1918<br />

three <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> agencies at Austin,<br />

Manor, and McNeil were among 1,000<br />

Wells Fargo offices in the Lone Star State<br />

and part of a network of over 10,000<br />

Wells Fargo offices nationwide. In July 1918<br />

the federal government took over the<br />

nation’s major express companies as a<br />

wartime measure, and Wells Fargo & Co’s<br />

Express signs disappeared from storefronts<br />

and depots throughout Texas and across<br />

the country.<br />

The Wells Fargo name continued in the<br />

banking business through the Wells Fargo<br />

Nevada National Bank in San Francisco.<br />

“Our ambition is not to be the largest bank<br />

in San Francisco,” President I. W. Hellman<br />

vowed in 1920, “but the soundest and the<br />

best.” Conservative management allowed<br />

the bank to weather the Great Depression,<br />

emerging in the post-war era poised to<br />

help finance the nation’s economy using<br />

innovation and technology to bring convenient<br />

banking services to customers. As one<br />

of the premier commercial banks on the<br />

Pacific Coast, Wells Fargo Bank maintained<br />

correspondent relationships with banks all<br />

across the western states, including Texas.<br />

After Wells Fargo Bank’s merger with First<br />

Interstate Bank in 1996 and Norwest Bank<br />

in 1998, Wells Fargo, the most famous name<br />

in western banking, returned to Texas. A<br />

number of historic Texas banking institutions<br />

joined the Wells Fargo brand, including<br />

F. Groos & Company, founded in Eagle Pass<br />

in 1854 as the oldest bank in Texas. Our<br />

banking history in Austin dates back more<br />

recently to Community National Bank,<br />

founded in 1968. Today, the heritage of these<br />

and many other Texas financial institutions<br />

lives on under the familiar Wells Fargo name.<br />

© 2014 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved.<br />

✯<br />

Wells Fargo sign on the corner of<br />

Congress Street and Sixth Street, Austin.<br />



T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

8 7




Producing power, energy, pharmaceuticals<br />

and other chemicals and fluids typically<br />

requires large capital investments all operating<br />

a peak performance. Achieving this world<br />

class performance requires substantial measurement,<br />

analysis, and control of flow rates,<br />

pressures temperatures and a host of other<br />

physical parameters. As a result, many of those<br />

producers have come to rely on Emerson<br />

Process Management to enable the process to<br />

operate seamlessly and cost-effectively.<br />

Emerson Process Management, one of<br />

Emerson’s five business platforms, is a leader<br />

in helping businesses to automate their production<br />

processes. The company specializes<br />

in power, water, and wastewater treatment,<br />

chemical, oil and gas, refining, pulp and<br />

paper, mining and metals, food and beverage,<br />

and life science industries, as well as other<br />

types of businesses involved in production or<br />

processing. It combines superior products<br />

and technology with industry-specific engineering,<br />

consulting, project management and<br />

maintenance services.<br />

Engineers Vernon Heath and Robert Keppel<br />

started what would become Emerson Process<br />

Management in 1956. With $8,000 in seed<br />

money, the friends and colleagues incorporated<br />

Rosemount Engineering Company in<br />

Minnesota. Within twenty years, Rosemount<br />

had become the industry standard and leader<br />

in sensors and transmitters. In 1976,<br />

Emerson purchased the viable Rosemount<br />

from the founders.<br />

Almost 100 years earlier in 1880 William<br />

Fisher, another engineer, invented the Fisher<br />

Type 1 constant pressure pump governor<br />

and founded Fisher Controls. In 1888, Fisher<br />

Controls was incorporated as the Fisher<br />

Governor Company and went on to become<br />

the industry leader in control valves. Fisher<br />

is headquartered in Marshalltown, Iowa,<br />

where it operated as an independent company<br />

until 1969 when it was acquired by<br />

Monsanto Company. At that time, Monsanto<br />

moved its process automation business to be<br />

operated by Fisher. In 1984, Fisher Controls<br />

process automation business was moved<br />

to facilities it purchased in Austin. Among<br />

the key decisions to locating in Austin was<br />

the ability to attract and retain numerous<br />

high-tech employees, particularly software<br />

and electrical hardware designers.<br />

In 1992, Emerson acquired Fisher<br />

Controls from Monsanto for $1.25 billion.<br />

Fisher Controls was added to Emerson’s<br />

existing process management businesses<br />

to form Emerson Process Management. A<br />

new business unit, Process Systems and<br />

Solutions, was formed, combining the<br />

distributed process control systems business<br />

of Fisher and Rosemount.<br />

Following the creation of<br />

Process Systems and Solutions,<br />

Rosemount moved its process<br />

automation staff from Burnsville,<br />

Minnesota, to Austin’s facilities.<br />

That same year, separate offices,<br />

dubbed the “Hawk” site were<br />

established on Mopac near<br />

its intersection with Highway<br />

183. The Hawk site was the<br />

development site for today’s<br />

industry leading DeltaV digital<br />

automation system.<br />

Both companies had process<br />

automation systems businesses<br />

with significant market share.<br />

Combining the two businesses<br />

in 1992 under one umbrella<br />

(Emerson) increased the overall<br />

competitiveness of the process<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


automation business and formed the start of<br />

the Process Systems and Solutions business.<br />

All of the major automation competitors had<br />

substantial size, entrenched installed base,<br />

and competitive offerings leading to a robust<br />

competition for business.<br />

Shortly after the mergers, John Berra<br />

was named to head the business. Berra<br />

spearheaded industry-wide efforts to standardize<br />

communications protocols, making it<br />

easier for end users to choose among various<br />

competitive instrument offerings. The effort<br />

was named Foundation Fieldbus and an<br />

industry standards group bearing the same<br />

name, was established to promote it.<br />

In 2004 the Austin organization<br />

moved to the Research<br />

Park Plaza offices at 12301<br />

Research Boulevard. The property<br />

was leased by Emerson<br />

Process Management.<br />

In 2012 all Austin personnel<br />

moved to new offices at<br />

1100 West Louis Henna<br />

Boulevard in Round Rock,<br />

Texas; and, in 2014, a new<br />

building was opened at the<br />

location, combining the two<br />

existing buildings, creating the<br />

Emerson Innovation Center,<br />

Process Systems and Solutions<br />

with 750 employees.<br />

It is obvious from the<br />

growth of the company that<br />

Emerson Process Management<br />

is doing something right.<br />

Revenues for FY 2012 were<br />

$7.89 billion, and at the<br />

end of 2013, increased to<br />

$8.61 billion.<br />

Emerson Process Management has a<br />

backlog of sales and projects booked well<br />

into the future. The success of the Process<br />

Systems and Solutions DeltaV Electronic<br />

Marshaling with CHARMs technology has<br />

had widespread acceptance in the marketplace,<br />

and is rated as the number one process<br />

automation system by the readers of Control<br />

magazine (80K circulation). Both the Fisher<br />

Controls and Rosemount business remain<br />

the industry’s leading companies for valves<br />

and transmitters.<br />

Parent company Emerson is headquartered<br />

at 8000 West Florissant Avenue,<br />

St. Louis, Missouri.<br />

✯<br />

Above: The Emerson Innovation Center.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

8 9

✯<br />

SETON<br />


FAMILY<br />



In 1902, Austin was a community of<br />

23,000 and, as the city grew, so too did the<br />

need for modern healthcare. A committee<br />

formed and extended a formal invitation to<br />

the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul.<br />

The Daughters were asked to travel from<br />

Emmitsburg, Maryland, to the Texas capital to<br />

build a new hospital. City leaders provided<br />

the land and the sisters built and operated the<br />

Seton Infirmary. Now, more than a century later,<br />

Seton is the leading provider of health care<br />

and services in Central Texas. Its workforce of<br />

12,400 is among the region’s largest.<br />

Seton’s mission is simple in wording, but<br />

profound in its call to action—Seton provides<br />

the best care possible to anyone who needs<br />

it, with special concern for the poor and<br />

vulnerable among us.<br />

Seton offers an array of essential healthcare<br />

services throughout an eleven-county area: the<br />

region’s only Level 1 adult and pediatric trauma<br />

centers; only free-standing children’s hospital;<br />

only free-standing behavioral health hospital;<br />

only psychiatric emergency department; and<br />

the region’s most sophisticated cardiovascular,<br />

neurology, maternity, orthopedic and pediatric<br />

programs connected to medical centers, hospitals,<br />

clinics and outpatient services.<br />

Doctors and nurses at Seton seek to<br />

improve not just the physical aspect of a<br />

patient’s health, but also the mental, social and<br />

spiritual components, which can play a crucial<br />

role in a patient’s ability to heal. Offering<br />

healthcare with a human touch includes public<br />

screenings, provider training, health fairs,<br />

education for those managing chronic conditions,<br />

and an emphasis on culturally competent<br />

care. The mission has brought Seton into<br />

close collaboration with community partners:<br />

90<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s

• Safe Kids Austin, led by Dell Children’s<br />

Medical Center of Central Texas, a member<br />

of the Seton Family, is part of a multinational<br />

coalition attempting to reduce the incidence<br />

of injury and death in children fourteen<br />

and under. Safe Kids Austin sponsors child<br />

safety seat inspections, bike rodeos and<br />

safety workshops. Each year, Seton fits<br />

and gives free of charge more than 250<br />

bicycle helmets to Central Texas children.<br />

• Austin Independent School District<br />

school nurses and health assistants are<br />

Seton employees.<br />

• Nearly 2,000 musicians now qualify for<br />

primary healthcare, diagnostic tests and<br />

dental coverage through the Health<br />

Alliance for Austin, a partnership of Seton,<br />

St. David’s Foundation, Capital Area Dental<br />

Foundation and SIMS Foundation.<br />

• The Community Care Collaborative is a<br />

unique and ambitious program offering<br />

healthcare to <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> residents living<br />

at or below 200 percent of the Federal<br />

Poverty Level. Once patients qualify, they<br />

are navigated to high quality, cost-effective,<br />

patient-centered care. The Community<br />

Care Collaborative fits perfectly with<br />

Seton’s mission, based on the teachings of<br />

St. Vincent DePaul—to treat every person<br />

with dignity and respect.<br />

Healthcare has traditionally been practiced<br />

in discrete silos of expertise. As a result,<br />

patients often do not benefit from interdisciplinary<br />

collaboration. Seton supports the work<br />

of area physicians to provide Central Texans<br />

with a more organized system for delivering<br />

care that is both more holistic and affordable.<br />

Seton Healthcare Family has also become<br />

a center for world-class medical research.<br />

Through an historic agreement between<br />

Seton, The University of Texas System, and<br />

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical<br />

Center, Seton is home to major research<br />

initiatives in stroke, traumatic injury, epilepsy<br />

and cardiology prevention and treatment.<br />

Back in 1996, Seton stepped in to operate<br />

the financially troubled Austin/<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

safety net hospital, Brackenridge. In the<br />

decades since, the hospital and its offspring,<br />

the Dell Children’s Medical Center, have<br />

become the regional nucleus for medical<br />

training, including sixteen residency programs<br />

for doctors in training.<br />

Now, construction of the Seton Medical<br />

Center at The University of Texas, a teaching<br />

hospital affiliated with Dell Medical School at<br />

The University of Texas at Austin, is scheduled<br />

for completion in 2017. The combination of a<br />

medical school curriculum designed for the<br />

twenty-first century, combined with a teaching<br />

hospital that will support improved pathways<br />

of care, will usher in a new era of clinical education<br />

and research. Seton, with help from a<br />

generous philanthropic community, is investing<br />

$295 million to build the new hospital on<br />

land generously made available by the public.<br />

Seton Healthcare Family is now well into<br />

its second century of offering a faith-based,<br />

compassionate, comprehensive kind of<br />

healthcare—Seton calls it “Humancare”—to<br />

nearly two million Central Texans. As Austin<br />

continues to emerge as a dynamic, twenty-first<br />

century American metropolis, Seton will be<br />

there, helping to improve the lives of friends<br />

and neighbors, delivering care and services to<br />

anyone who needs it, celebrating the individuality<br />

and personal dignity of each and every<br />

patient who comes through our doors.<br />

✯<br />


T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

9 1

THIRTEEN23<br />

In the early days of information technology,<br />

only a handful of people had any real concept<br />

of how software and design would change<br />

business and, eventually, the world. But<br />

Doug Cook, a principal design technologist at<br />

international design firm, frogdesign, and<br />

Ryan Dawson, a computer science minor at<br />

the University of Texas, could see opportunity<br />

knocking at the door. Recognizing the pace<br />

of technology and the need for intuitive software,<br />

the two hatched an idea to form a new<br />

kind of firm—an independent design studio<br />

characterized by small, multidisciplinary teams<br />

focused on forming close partnerships with<br />

its clients to create engaging software.<br />

In October 2006, they opened thirteen23,<br />

an innovation studio specializing in digital<br />

strategy, user experience design, and software<br />

development. Unlike other design studios,<br />

thirteen23 embraces technology as an integral<br />

component of design. The firm experimented<br />

with early touch and gesture-based applications<br />

and continues to explore emerging<br />

technologies, including natural user interfaces<br />

and physical computing.<br />

While many companies begin with a<br />

credit card and a loan application, thirteen23<br />

was fortunate to “hit the ground running”<br />

with funding from its early clients. In the<br />

beginning, the two founders began meeting<br />

with fellow designers at Russell’s Bakery, a<br />

well-known coffee shop on Hancock Drive in<br />

North Austin.<br />

A year or so later, Cook and Dawson rented<br />

their first office. Dawson admits it was a<br />

big step, but they were confident there was<br />

an emerging market for the services they<br />

offered. The space was in a rustic, historic<br />

building that was originally the site of an<br />

old Studebaker garage in downtown Austin.<br />

(Clients could easily identify it from the<br />

large, painted Studebaker insignia outside the<br />

building.) A single room with twenty foot<br />

ceilings and an exposed brick wall, it was<br />

sparsely furnished with a sofa, conference<br />

table, and phone. Years later, as homage to<br />

thirteen23’s humble beginnings, they still<br />

refer to their R&D efforts as “The Garage”<br />

even though the company has since relocated<br />

to an 8,200 square foot office in the Yarings<br />

building on Congress Avenue, just down<br />

from the capital. The high ceilings, reclaimed<br />

wood and exposed brick walls are reminiscent<br />

of their earlier days on Fifth Street.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


Although thirteen23 established itself with<br />

large clients like Dell Computer and Microsoft,<br />

it was the talent of its people that helped<br />

mold the company into what it is today.<br />

Jeffrey Moon, studio coordinator; Ryan<br />

Hovenweep, director of creative; and Lani<br />

DeGuire, program manager, have played key<br />

roles in establishing the company’s identity as<br />

a home-grown Austin business that strives<br />

for excellence and is motivated by artistic<br />

expression with practical outcomes. To stay<br />

close to its artistic roots, thirteen23 collaborates<br />

with local artists and actively supports<br />

the creative community. In 2013 the company<br />

collaborated on a piece with data artist<br />

Laurie Frick. Frick’s work, installed in<br />

thirteen23’s lobby, is a representation of<br />

data drawn from IM conversations inside<br />

the company. Composed of 6,300 wallmounted<br />

tiles color-coded to reflect team<br />

conversations, the piece reflects the company’s<br />

dynamic and collaborative nature. Cook says<br />

working with artists provides the company<br />

with a unique creative outlet, “It helps the<br />

company recharge and keep its thinking fresh.”<br />

Today, thirteen23 boasts a number of<br />

high profile clients including Honeywell,<br />

Intel, Visa, Samsung, Electronic Arts, Netflix,<br />

and The University of Texas. From the<br />

Fortune 500 to emerging start-ups,<br />

thirteen23 offers a full suite of creative<br />

services including research and<br />

strategy, user experience design, prototyping,<br />

and software development.<br />

Most recently the studio gained<br />

attention for its work with Obama for<br />

America, designing and developing<br />

the campaign’s mobile strategy. The<br />

project, though challenging, brought<br />

thirteen23 national and international<br />

recognition, according to Cook. Media<br />

coverage for the project included<br />

coverage by Time magazine, Wired,<br />

The New York Times, Huffington Post,<br />

and Rolling Stone magazine. In addition,<br />

the company garnered awards<br />

from the Interaction Design Association<br />

(lxDA) and the Industrial Designers<br />

Society of America (IDSA).<br />

While proud of the recognition<br />

thirteen23 has received, Cook keeps<br />

his focus on what is next. The company<br />

continues to expand its mission to work<br />

with local organizations while also growing<br />

corporate accounts. Cook projects doubledigit<br />

growth over the next five years as it<br />

continues to grow and broaden its creative<br />

services. When asked how thirteen23 will<br />

accomplish its goals, Cook grins and says,<br />

“We’re just going to do what we’ve always<br />

done—be ourselves and try to be better.”<br />

It sounds simple, but Cook is serious:<br />

“Our core philosophy is: love, learn, do.”<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

9 3



✯<br />

Above: The PACE Center is the location<br />

of an annual “March through the Arch”<br />

ceremony, in which incoming freshmen<br />

receive graduation tassels with their goal<br />

graduation date.<br />

Below: Majestic trees, rolling hills and<br />

Old Main—all part of the beauty of the<br />

Texas State campus.<br />

Founded in 1899, Texas State University<br />

has been a Central Texas landmark for more<br />

than a century. The institution, originally<br />

named Southwest Texas State Normal School,<br />

opened in 1903 with 303 students and<br />

seventeen faculty members, with a mission to<br />

prepare Texas public school teachers.<br />

The school’s first formal athletic team was<br />

the women’s basketball squad, which had<br />

nicknames including Gypsies, Nymphs,<br />

Topsies, Sprites and Goblins. (The football<br />

team adopted the name Bobcats in 1921.)<br />

Men’s sports got a boost after World War I<br />

with the arrival of Coach Oscar Strahan, who<br />

came to Texas in 1919 after a year in France<br />

as a first lieutenant with the Signal Corps.<br />

Strahan met college President Cecil Evans<br />

to discuss the athletic position, and asked<br />

if the Normal School had a gymnasium.<br />

Dr. Evans replied, “We don’t need gyms in<br />

Texas. Weather’s too good to play indoors.”<br />

Strahan coached every sport except baseball.<br />

For basketball games, he used the former<br />

auditorium of the nearby Coronal Institute.<br />

Attendance increased after the game moved<br />

indoors. Eventually, as the crowds grew, Evans<br />

decided the school needed a gymnasium. No<br />

money was available, so students and faculty<br />

did the work themselves, building two gyms:<br />

one for boys, which opened in 1921, and<br />

another for girls in 1924.<br />

In 1923 the school was renamed Southwest<br />

Texas State Teachers College. In 1927 a young<br />

man from Johnson City named Lyndon Baines<br />

Johnson borrowed seventy-five dollars and<br />

hitchhiked to San Marcos to enroll. To earn<br />

money, Johnson worked with the grounds<br />

crew, picking up litter on campus. He came<br />

to the attention of college President Evans,<br />

who selected him to be his secretary’s assistant.<br />

Intercollegiate debates were the biggest<br />

events on campus back then, even more<br />

exciting to the student body than athletics.<br />

Debating was a natural forum for the gregarious<br />

Johnson, and he traveled across the state<br />

to debate students from other colleges.<br />

Subsequently a congressman, U.S. senator<br />

and then vice president, Lyndon Johnson<br />

became the thirty-sixth president of the<br />

United States in 1963 with the death of<br />

President John F. Kennedy, and was re-elected<br />

in 1964. Texas State is the only university in<br />

Texas to have graduated a U.S. president.<br />

The Texas State Strutters dazzled audiences<br />

for the first time in 1960. It was the first<br />

precision dance team formed at a four-year<br />

university and is one of the largest in the<br />

nation. The Strutters was the first U.S. dance<br />

team to perform in the People’s Republic of<br />

China. President Johnson invited the Strutters<br />

to appear in the 1961 and 1965 presidential<br />

inaugural parades.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


In 1969 the university became known as<br />

Southwest Texas State University. Two years<br />

later, enrollment broke the 10,000 mark for<br />

the first time, with 11,280 students.<br />

In 1994 the university bought Aquarena<br />

Springs, a popular San Marcos theme park<br />

from the 1940s to the 1980s, and focused its<br />

mission on research and education. Spring<br />

Lake and the surrounding area is now the<br />

site of The Meadows Center for Water and the<br />

Environment, a leader in research to ensure<br />

sustainable water resources for human needs,<br />

ecosystem health and economic development.<br />

Visitors can experience the unique ecosystem<br />

of Spring Lake—home to eight endangered<br />

species—on a glass-bottom boat ride.<br />

More milestones lay ahead as the institution<br />

moved into the twenty-first century.<br />

Dr. Denise M. Trauth became the university’s<br />

first female president in 2002, and in 2003,<br />

the institution was renamed Texas State<br />

University. In 2005 Texas State opened a<br />

second campus in Round Rock. Texas State<br />

received designation as a Hispanic Serving<br />

Institution (HSI) from the U.S. Department<br />

of Education in 2011.<br />

In 2012 Texas State became the state’s<br />

eighth Emerging Research University, making<br />

it eligible for funding to boost research<br />

initiatives and putting it at the forefront of<br />

innovation. One of its sites for innovation<br />

and discovery is the Science, Technology, and<br />

Advanced Research (STAR) Park, which is<br />

bringing commercialization and entrepreneurship<br />

to Central Texas. The first building<br />

opened in late 2012 and serves as a technology<br />

accelerator for start-up and early stage<br />

businesses in the materials and life sciences.<br />

The state-of-the-art Personalized Academic<br />

and Career Exploration (PACE) Center promotes<br />

a successful transition to college and establishes<br />

personalized plans for student success<br />

through academic advising, career counseling<br />

and mentoring.<br />

Texas State remains one of the state’s most<br />

affordable options in higher education and<br />

offers a range of scholarships, grants and<br />

loans to students. A rapidly growing emphasis<br />

on research makes Texas State a magnet for<br />

some of the state’s brightest young minds.<br />

The university now has a student body of<br />

more than 36,000, with more than 1,600 faculty<br />

members and a wide range of bachelor’s,<br />

master’s and doctoral programs. Most importantly,<br />

Texas State never has forgotten its<br />

roots. There is still a student-friendly<br />

atmosphere on campus and a small-town<br />

feel to San Marcos, even as it tops 50,000<br />

residents. Texas State University continues to<br />

play a vital role in the growth of Central Texas<br />

through an ongoing commitment to the<br />

education of tomorrow’s leaders.<br />

✯<br />

Above: Texas State’s Round Rock<br />

Campus offers junior- and senior-level<br />

classes in bachelor’s, master’s and<br />

certification programs.<br />

Below: Texas State offers big opportunities<br />

in a setting small enough to feel like home.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

9 5

CITY OF<br />


✯<br />


About sixty years ago, thousands of acres<br />

of land located along the north shores of Lake<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> were little more than open meadows<br />

and scattered timber. In the late 1950s and<br />

1960s plans were to develop the area as<br />

a recreational and resort community. Once<br />

the developer National Resorts Community<br />

(NRC) began work, roads were built on an<br />

as-needed basis and a property association<br />

formed. Once the secret was out, retirees<br />

viewed the area as a great place to live. The<br />

open concept and Lake <strong>Travis</strong> welcomed them<br />

with a quality of life and many amenities.<br />

In the early 1960s, a developer donated a<br />

residence at the corner of RR 1431 at Lohman<br />

Crossing Road for a school. Painted red, the<br />

Little Red School House, had less than fifteen<br />

students and did not qualify for state funding.<br />

In the early 1970s three golf courses were<br />

built (a small, nine-hole golf course is no<br />

longer in operation). An airport was built, a<br />

school started, and water and sewer services<br />

were installed.<br />

By the early 1980s, there were four small<br />

villages flourishing. When home owners<br />

heard of the City of Austin annexation<br />

rumors, the Property Owner’s Association<br />

(POA) decided to block the effort. The four<br />

villages incorporated in 1984 and in 1985,<br />

the villages joined forces to incorporate as a<br />

general law city under the laws of the state.<br />

Bill Laseter was elected the city’s first mayor,<br />

and Buster Moore was mayor pro tem.<br />

Elected officials began work developing<br />

ordinances, codes and rules by which the city<br />

would operate. The POA advanced $375,000<br />

and converted an old building on the POA’s<br />

campground into the first city hall.<br />

Future mayors would be Olley Anderson,<br />

1987-1989, Dick Halstead, 1989-1991; Rusty<br />

Allen, 1991-1997; Glen Hartman, 1997-1999;<br />

and Dennis Jones, 1999-2007. Randy Kruger<br />

is the current mayor, elected in 2007. The<br />

airport, Rusty Allen Airport, was named for<br />

Allen to honor his commitment to aviation.<br />

In late 1991, Lago Vista experienced a<br />

flood where the lake water rose thirty-one feet<br />

and flooded numerous homes. Luckily, there<br />

were no fatalities; only property damage.<br />

Today, some 6,500 residents call Lago Vista<br />

home. The City of Lago Vista built a new<br />

$2 million police station and expanded the<br />

city library. A new $25 million high school<br />

will open in fall of 2014.<br />

More people are relocating to Lago Vista,<br />

with some commuting to Austin to work.<br />

They are among those being enticed by the<br />

good life in Lago Vista. Residents agree:<br />

“Living on the shores of beautiful Lake <strong>Travis</strong><br />

is exciting.”<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />





As early as 1877, business and professional<br />

men and women in Austin, Texas, had a vision<br />

that would improve the area’s business climate<br />

and their own firms if they worked together.<br />

They put their heads together and created<br />

the Austin Board of Trade, known today as<br />

the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.<br />

In 1881, the Chamber successfully sold<br />

Austin as the location for the University of<br />

Texas. An election was held September 6,<br />

with Tyler as the nearest competitor. That<br />

effort was the impetus Austin needed.<br />

Led by Alexander Penn Wooldridge, members<br />

believed that united action could improve<br />

the economic health of Austin. During his<br />

three year tenure as president, they worked<br />

out a contract that was approved by the city<br />

for the Great Granite Dam, Austin’s first. By<br />

1903, the Chamber raised $40,000 to secure<br />

the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (MKT) Railroad.<br />

Later, they initiated work for a definite city<br />

plan; and a year after that, conducted a successful<br />

campaign for a paid fire department.<br />

The following year, members conducted a<br />

successful campaign for the acquisition of<br />

Barton Springs. Leadership Austin was established<br />

in 1979, and in 1985, it established<br />

Keep Austin Beautiful, a nonprofit organization<br />

that provides resources and education<br />

to inspire individuals and the community<br />

towards greater environmental stewardship.<br />

In 1994 support was it gained support for the<br />

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.<br />

The Chamber, however, does not rest on<br />

its laurels. That is due, in part, to its mission<br />

statement of providing leadership to facilitate<br />

the creation of a prosperous regional economy<br />

and effective advocacy for members. Its guiding<br />

principles are: Connection, bringing people<br />

and organizations together to support one<br />

another and advance their interests; Initiative,<br />

or working proactively, creating, not waiting<br />

for things to happen; and Stewardship, or<br />

being good stewards of Austin’s quality of life<br />

and business community.<br />

In 2004 Opportunity Austin was launched,<br />

a five-year, five-county economic development<br />

initiative to create 72,000 regional jobs<br />

and increase regional payroll by $2.9 billion.<br />

In 2007 it worked with Market Street Services<br />

to create Opportunity Austin 2.0, focusing<br />

on convergence technologies, creative media,<br />

green industries, corporate/professional headquarters<br />

and offices, healthcare, and life sciences.<br />

In 2012 it supported efforts for a teaching<br />

hospital at the University. Plans are underway<br />

that will further boost the community’s economic<br />

diversification picture.<br />

The Austin Chamber is a private, nonprofit,<br />

membership-driven organization comprised<br />

of more than 2,900 business enterprises,<br />

civic organizations, educational institutions<br />

and individuals. Investing in the Austin<br />

community through Chamber membership<br />

supports a program of work that includes<br />

support of small businesses, entrepreneurship<br />

and start-ups, education and talent<br />

development, public policy, transportation<br />

and infrastructure, technology, as well as<br />

business attraction, retention, and expansion.<br />

✯<br />

Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce,<br />

535 East Fifth Street.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

9 7


✯<br />

Right: Office building built in 2005 with<br />

approximately 59,658 square feet including<br />

parking garage. Some of the tenants include<br />

Seton Healthcare Network and University<br />

of Texas School of Public Health, Texas<br />

Retired Teachers Association, and<br />

Texas Association of Builders.<br />

Below: Constructed in 2010 with 12,457<br />

square feet for Scott and White Healthcare<br />

Medical Office Building, Leander, Texas.<br />

Bottom: Office building built in 2008<br />

with roughly 138,720 square feet including<br />

parking garage. Some of the tenants in this<br />

building include Texas Hospital Association,<br />

Republican Party of Texas, Texas Auto<br />

Dealers Association and UPS.<br />

When Jerry R. Reed created Development<br />

2000 in 1994, he probably had no idea<br />

how fast the company would grow and, how<br />

successful it would become.<br />

As president of the real estate development<br />

company based in Austin, he brought<br />

thirty-five years of experience to the table.<br />

The real estate broker and developer realized,<br />

however, there was an untapped market of<br />

commercial clients who were looking for a<br />

knowledgeable, full-service company that<br />

was familiar with the Central Texas market.<br />

Twenty years ago, the fledgling<br />

company was construction-oriented,<br />

relying on a network of agents<br />

that brought deals to Development<br />

2000. Reed says that in the early<br />

days, they had only “a handful” of<br />

clients. “We did more speculative<br />

projects that were scary during the<br />

economic downturn. But, business<br />

has been good, and some of the<br />

projects we built twenty years ago,<br />

we still have.” He<br />

attributes that fact to<br />

the company not<br />

being a typical developer.<br />

“In other words,<br />

we don’t build for the<br />

purpose of selling a<br />

project after establishing<br />

the cash flow.<br />

We want to stabilize<br />

the project and deliver<br />

the cash flow to<br />

our partners. We do<br />

not build speculatively<br />

very often—even if<br />

the yield is higher.”<br />

Development 2000, Inc., is committed to<br />

creating high quality facilities for Texas<br />

businesses through an experienced and<br />

creative approach to development. The<br />

company is focused on the bigger picture of<br />

design, construction, and financing that is<br />

both enjoyable and profitable for its clients<br />

and partners through these comprehensive<br />

turn-key services. It specializes in individual<br />

service centers, manufacturing sites, offices,<br />

flexible space, and bulk warehouses.<br />

Reed has a team with an average tenure of<br />

fourteen years that is dedicated to helping<br />

clients assess short and long term needs to<br />

determine the most advantageous, individualized<br />

real estate strategy. Along with Principal<br />

John Bundy and the property management<br />

team D2K Properties, Inc., the Development<br />

2000 team is involved in acquisition, site<br />

design, concept design, project scheduling<br />

and budgeting, cost estimating, construction<br />

documentation, construction administration,<br />

final completion and move-in, also known<br />

as ‘turn-key’.<br />

To date, Development 2000 has developed<br />

more than 1,700,000 square feet of office and<br />

individual warehouse space in Central Texas;<br />

and a client base numbering in the hundreds.<br />

The firm works cooperatively with the<br />

Central Texas cities to provide sound market<br />

knowledge and develop price competitive,<br />

problem solved, projects that address our<br />

customers’ needs.<br />

Bundy says the firm was voted by the Austin<br />

Business Journal as one of the top real estate<br />

development firms for the past ten years.<br />

Development 2000 is located at 510 West<br />

Fifteenth Street in downtown Austin and at<br />

www.development2000.com.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


HNTB<br />


HNTB Corporation, a 100 year old infrastructure<br />

firm located in Austin, has become<br />

one of Texas’ top infrastructure firms of the<br />

twenty-first century. As the firm celebrates<br />

its 100th anniversary, Austin will be the focal<br />

point of the celebration in Texas, as Austin<br />

is the site of one of HNTB’s early projects.<br />

After completing the University of Texas<br />

(Austin) in 1900 and teaching civil engineering<br />

there, HNTB co-founder Ernest Howard joined<br />

the fledgling firm of Waddell & Hedrick a year<br />

later. The company changed its name through<br />

the years to reflect its partners, Howard,<br />

Needles, Tammen and Bergendoff, HNTB.<br />

The firm adopted its current moniker in 1941.<br />

In the early 1900s, Governor Samuel<br />

Lanham asked Howard to design a bridge<br />

over the Colorado River that would withstand<br />

flooding. At that time, there was no dam or<br />

lake to slow the flood waters. Howard set to<br />

work and designed the Congress Avenue<br />

Bridge. In 1981, when the bridge needed to<br />

be converted to a modern, six-lane crossing,<br />

the City of Austin, led by John German,<br />

director of public works and Richard Ridings,<br />

assistant director, were astonished by the<br />

original design and the existing condition of<br />

the foundations and arches of the bridge. The<br />

decision was made to retain the foundations<br />

and arches and expand the bridge rather<br />

than demolish and start over.<br />

Over the years, HNTB has designed<br />

the complex interchanges for 183/MoPac,<br />

I-35/Ben White Boulevard and 183/620<br />

for the Texas Department of Transportation.<br />

Currently, HNTB is working on a plan to<br />

improve I-35 through Austin.<br />

HNTB received the silver medal from the<br />

American Council of Engineering Companies<br />

of Texas for the I-35 Capital Area Improvement<br />

Program in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>; and participated<br />

in the Texas Disaster Recovery Program for<br />

post work after Hurricanes Ike and Dolly<br />

in 2008. HNTB also designed the runways<br />

and associated paving at the new Austin<br />

Bergstrom International Airport.<br />

The company’s Texas clients include: Texas<br />

Department of Transportation, Central Texas<br />

Regional Mobility Authority, Alamo Regional<br />

Mobility Authority, Austin Capital Metro,<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>, as well as Williamson, Hays,<br />

and Comal Counties and the cities of Austin,<br />

Dallas, Houston, McAllen, and San Antonio,<br />

among others.<br />

HNTB’s mission is to be a company that is<br />

honest in all its dealings with everyone. The<br />

company promises and delivers excellence in<br />

professional and business services; respects<br />

its employees, clients, and business allies.<br />

With more than twenty years at HNTB,<br />

Tom O’Grady serves as Central Division<br />

president for the company with seven offices<br />

in Texas, including HNTB in Austin, which<br />

is currently led by Carlos Lopez and<br />

Michelle Dippel. The firm employs more than<br />

330 fulltime professionals statewide.<br />

✯<br />

Top: The Congress Avenue Bridge,<br />

opened in 1910.<br />

Above: The IH 35/Ben White Interchange<br />

opened in 2012.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

9 9


✯<br />

An aerial view of the Samsung Austin<br />

Semiconductor manufacturing facilities.<br />

Located in Austin, Texas, Samsung Austin<br />

Semiconductor (SAS) is one of the most<br />

advanced semiconductor manufacturing<br />

facilities in the United States.<br />

Owned by Samsung Electronics Corporation<br />

Ltd., SAS was the company’s first semiconductor<br />

manufacturing plant outside South<br />

Korea. SAS manufactures state-of-the-art<br />

Mobile SoC chips and since 1997, has been at<br />

the forefront of manufacturing technology,<br />

enabling the world’s digital devices to operate<br />

at the highest performance.<br />

SAS was founded in<br />

January 1996 and broke<br />

ground on its $1.3 billion<br />

200mm fabrication line<br />

in March of that year.<br />

In September 1997, SAS<br />

opened its doors and<br />

began producing 64-<br />

megabit DRAM memory<br />

chips. Ten years after<br />

the introduction of the<br />

first wafer, SAS built a<br />

new 300mm fabrication<br />

line, completing construction<br />

in 2007. The<br />

second plant, called the<br />

Main Fab, is the size of<br />

nine football fields, making it the largest fab<br />

in North America at the time of construction.<br />

Sung Lee, the first president of SAS,<br />

became a significant figure in the growth of<br />

the company, along with Shinoh Kim, the<br />

senior director of facilities. Kim was a part<br />

of the site selection committee for SAS and<br />

has been essential in every expansion project<br />

for the past seventeen years.<br />

The executive team believed in the company’s<br />

mission statement and pledged to: “…devote<br />

our human resources and technology to<br />

create superior products and services, thereby<br />

contributing to a better global society.” Today,<br />

SAS continues to work towards these goals.<br />

Management embraces forward-thinking in<br />

efforts to meet supply and demand, remaining<br />

ahead of competitors. In fact, the company<br />

has not rested on its laurels.<br />

In 2009, SAS invested hundreds of<br />

millions of dollars to convert its original<br />

200mm fab into a state-of-the-art 300mm<br />

copper processing fab. In 2010 the Samsung<br />

Austin Research Center (SARC), a chip design<br />

group, was established. That same year,<br />

Samsung announced a $3.6B build-out of<br />

S.LSI; and two years later, a $4B renovation<br />

of the manufacturing facility was announced<br />

to accommodate full S.LSI production.<br />

Samsung Austin Semiconductor’s philanthropic<br />

and community efforts have earned<br />

merit as well. SAS has invested over $11 million<br />

in the community through meaningful<br />

grants to nonprofit partners. The company’s<br />

philanthropic focus areas are early childhood<br />

intervention, youth development, STEM (science,<br />

technology, engineering, math) education,<br />

and environmental sustainability. SAS<br />

volunteer programs yield thousands of volunteer<br />

hours for student mentoring and tutoring,<br />

delivering meals to the homebound, and<br />

staffing cleanups for the city, among other<br />

programs. Additionally, the SAS employee<br />

giving campaign has raised over $10 million<br />

for the community and a number of SAS<br />

leaders serve on community boards throughout<br />

Greater Austin.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />




In 2010, if you would have asked most <strong>Travis</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> residents about the fate of 1,500 acres<br />

of land just southeast of the airport, no one<br />

would have pegged it as the perfect place for a<br />

Grand Prix racetrack. But in early 2011, Circuit<br />

of The Americas (COTA), the new U.S. home<br />

for World Championship racing—including<br />

Formula 1, MotoGP and the World<br />

Endurance Championships—was born and has<br />

given birth to a myriad of immersive sports, business,<br />

educational, and recreational experiences.<br />

Construction began in January 2011 and<br />

was completed in November 2012, just in<br />

time to host the track’s first Formula 1 event.<br />

The state-of-the-art venue opened to teams,<br />

drivers and motorsports enthusiasts from<br />

around the world for Austin’s first Formula 1<br />

United States Grand Prix. The three-day<br />

event, which drew 265,499 spectators, was<br />

the second-biggest Grand Prix of the season<br />

and was named “Sports Event of the Year” by<br />

SportsBusiness Journal.<br />

Company Chairman Bobby Epstein oversaw<br />

COTA’s conception, from investor recruitment<br />

and business planning to circuit design elements<br />

and the recruitment of a core management team<br />

that now includes 100 full-time employees.<br />

“After twenty-five years working in the<br />

investment community, I decided the opportunity<br />

to invest in and build something<br />

with such massive local impact was too good<br />

to pass up,” Epstein said. “COTA enjoyed<br />

tremendous success in a very short timeframe.<br />

We are literally rewriting the book on how to<br />

marry great sports and entertainment.”<br />

The work of Epstein and other high-profile<br />

investors, such as Red McCombs, has paid<br />

dividends for <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>. COTA-hosted<br />

events have welcomed one million-plus visitors<br />

to the circuit since the fall of 2012, while<br />

generating more than $1 billion in economic<br />

impact for the State of Texas.<br />

COTA includes 350 acres of developed<br />

space, featuring a 3.4-mile, 20 turn track with<br />

elements reminiscent of some of the great<br />

international racing circuits. It features a massive<br />

Main Grandstand and separate Paddock<br />

Building with thirty-four garages, office and<br />

hospitality space. COTA’s large Media/Event<br />

Center hosts working journalists, business<br />

seminars, auto shows, high school proms and<br />

other large-scale events. COTA also presents<br />

racetrack experience programs for professional<br />

and amateur drivers and is a favorite location<br />

for automakers launching new vehicles.<br />

One of COTA’s unique features is the<br />

Austin360 Amphitheater at the base of the<br />

venue’s 250 foot Observation Tower. The expansive<br />

entertainment space accommodates 14,000<br />

guests, annually hosts more than twenty live performances,<br />

and was named Pollstar Magazine’s<br />

“Best New Major Concert Venue” for 2013.<br />

Joining the COTA calendar in 2014 are two<br />

major events, ESPN’s summer edition of the<br />

X Games and RedFest, a three-day celebration<br />

of music, comedy, and the great outdoors.<br />

One of Austin’s largest start-up companies,<br />

Circuit of The Americas’ is breaking new<br />

ground every day while helping write exciting<br />

new chapters in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s history.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

1 0 1



In the 1950s, <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> employees<br />

realized that having a credit union could<br />

provide them with better financial assistance<br />

than banks. Many probably remembered the<br />

financial hardship experienced by their<br />

parents in the 30s.<br />

One man in particular—Giles Garmon—<br />

who worked for <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>’s Adult<br />

Probation Department, led the effort that<br />

eventually led to the organization of <strong>Travis</strong><br />

<strong>County</strong> Credit Union in June 1954. He and<br />

other employees shared a belief that there was<br />

a better alternative, and they sought to find it.<br />

Garmon contacted someone with experience<br />

for direction with regards to establishing an<br />

employee-owned and operated credit union.<br />

The key employees pooled their money,<br />

depositing it with the fledgling credit union.<br />

With their deposits, the credit union was<br />

able to lend money to members in need.<br />

Employee-members placed their full trust<br />

and cooperation in building the credit<br />

union which operated as a “back pocket”<br />

operation—literally. In fact, one of the founding<br />

members carried the ledger balance in a<br />

spiral pad in his back pocket.<br />

As the credit union began to grow, a<br />

woman known as “Cookie” worked a few<br />

hours a week in the makeshift office on the<br />

fifth floor of the courthouse. By February<br />

1969, credit union growth prompted the<br />

board to hire Ben Moody to work five days a<br />

week. Moody embraced the organization’s<br />

philosophy of “Members Helping Members”<br />

to greater heights. He was deeply dedicated<br />

to the mission of providing the best, costeffective<br />

financial services to enhance the<br />

member-owners’ quality of life and later he<br />

became the first president of the credit union.<br />

Moody moved the organization twice while<br />

president. The first move took the credit<br />

union operation to an old house near the<br />

courthouse property. Then in December<br />

1986, he moved the organization into the<br />

former National Bank of Texas building where<br />

it remains today.<br />

Margaret Rhoades, serving as president<br />

from 1993-2011, more than doubled its<br />

assets; and added a second location in<br />

south Austin via a partnership with another<br />

credit union, Government Employees FCU.<br />

In November 2002 the <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> Credit<br />

Union was approved for a communitybased<br />

membership to include all residents of<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>.<br />

Today, with two locations now serving all<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> residents, it has a membership<br />

of 3,221 members; and assets of more than<br />

$29 million. It lent $5.7 million to residents<br />

in 2013. In fact, it has experienced an<br />

average growth of five percent per year and<br />

records show that it had a fifty-seven percent<br />

growth in assets over the past ten years. It<br />

has six full-time and five part-time staff<br />

members and seven volunteers serving as the<br />

board of directors.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


Built in 1886 in Austin as the showplace of<br />

a cattle baron, The Driskill remains a landmark<br />

of legendary Texas hospitality. When<br />

Colonel Jesse Lincoln Driskill purchased the<br />

lot on the corner of Brazos and Pecan Street,<br />

he had plans to “…rival the palaces in New<br />

York, Chicago, St. Louis, and San Francisco.”<br />

The hotel did not disappoint, as he spared<br />

no expense in furnishing the structure that<br />

features an elaborate façade of brick and<br />

native limestone. The original cost for the fourstory<br />

Richardson-Romanesque structure was<br />

$400,000. The hotel’s ownership shifted several<br />

times over the years, and in 1929 a twelve<br />

story annex was added to the original structure.<br />

History lovers will appreciate the stories<br />

that surround the opulent hotel—President<br />

Lyndon Baines Johnson and Lady Bird held<br />

their first date there, its Ballroom has played<br />

host to many Texas Governor’s inaugural<br />

balls, and countless movies have filmed in the<br />

hotel’s spaces. Two weeks after opening, the<br />

hotel hosted its first inaugural ball for newly<br />

elected Texas Governor Sul Ross, starting a<br />

political tradition—Texas Governors such as<br />

William P. Hobby, Dan Moody, John Connally<br />

and Ann Richards danced the night away on<br />

the grand mezzanine at their inaugural balls.<br />

President Johnson awaited news of his successful<br />

1948 Senate run and his 1960 election<br />

to the office of Vice President at The Driskill.<br />

His 1964 election watch party when he won<br />

the presidency was held in the mezzaninelevel<br />

Jim Hogg room. In 2000, President<br />

George W. Bush hosted his selection of cabinet<br />

members on the mezzanine.<br />

In 1969, The Driskill closed briefly and<br />

was slated for demolition. When The Austin<br />

American-Statesman ran an article declaring,<br />

“The Driskill Hotel’s Fate Sealed,” outlining<br />

those proposed plans, the citizens of Austin<br />

rallied to the cause. In partnership with the<br />

Austin Heritage Society (now Preservation<br />

Austin) citizens raised more than $700,000<br />

through $10 stock sales to investors. The<br />

Driskill was named a National Historic<br />

Landmark on November 25, 1969, and<br />

reopened February 10, 1973.<br />

Located on Sixth Street, the<br />

iconic and historic landmark<br />

is within walking distance to<br />

the Texas State Capitol, Austin<br />

Convention Center, Paramount<br />

Theatre, Lady Bird Lake, Austin<br />

City Limits at the Moody<br />

Theater, opera, symphony,<br />

superb dining, and shopping.<br />

The Driskill features 189 distinct<br />

guestrooms and signature suites<br />

offering a variety of accommodations<br />

featuring classic styling<br />

and the rich colors of the Texas<br />

Hill Country, a blend of contemporary<br />

and unique historical<br />

artwork, custom Driskill beds<br />

with luxurious linens, signature<br />

Driskill custom furniture, complimentary<br />

high-speed wireless<br />

Internet and plasma televisions.<br />

The Driskill is renowned for<br />

its 1886 Café and Bakery serving<br />

modern Texas comfort food<br />

along with a variety of dishes<br />

from the hotel’s long-and-storied<br />

history as a culinary destination.<br />

The Driskill Grill is a ten-year<br />

recipient of the AAA Four-<br />

Diamond Award, received Wine Spectator’s<br />

Award of Excellence multiple times, and has<br />

been recognized as one of the country’s<br />

“Top 25 Hotel Restaurants” and is one of the<br />

“Top 5 Most Romantic Restaurants in Austin”<br />

by Zagat. The Driskill Bar, complete with<br />

iconic Texas décor, live music, and history as<br />

a political power meeting place, offers an<br />

array of craft cocktails, local beers and small<br />

plates. It was acknowledged twice as one of<br />

Garden & Gun magazine’s “Top 50 Southern<br />

Bars” and Food & Wine’s “Best Hotel Bars.”<br />


T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

1 0 3




LLC<br />

Should a business have a fire, there is a<br />

lot at stake: business is disrupted for days,<br />

weeks, or even months. Having disrupted<br />

business means no production, lost wages<br />

for employees, and no incoming revenue for<br />

the owner.<br />

The best way to minimize the impact of a<br />

fire is to be proactive with the inspection,<br />

service and maintenance<br />

of the building’s fire protection<br />

systems by a company<br />

like Koetter. Begun<br />

in January 2002, Koetter<br />

Fire Protection of Austin<br />

LLC is a Texas familyowned<br />

and operated business<br />

by Robert Rabroker<br />

and Jason Ferguson.<br />

Koetter Fire Protection<br />

is a full service, integrated<br />

fire and life safety specialty<br />

contractor offering<br />

“conception to completion”<br />

solutions including<br />

design, installation, service,<br />

and maintenance in<br />

fire sprinkler systems, fire suppression<br />

systems, fire alarm and detection systems, air<br />

sampling smoke detection systems, specialty<br />

detection and process control systems,<br />

voice evacuation and annunciation systems,<br />

MASS notification systems, security and<br />

access systems.<br />

Koetter Fire Protection has a team of<br />

NICET (National Institute for Certified in<br />

Engineers) certified designers and technicians<br />

with factory training whose only<br />

focus is to see that the fire protection systems<br />

in its customer’s buildings are operating<br />

according to local codes, national codes,<br />

and manufacturer requirements.<br />

Koetter Fire Protection’s<br />

systems and services<br />

protect a large scale of<br />

high profile properties<br />

including the Texas State<br />

Capitol, the Governor’s<br />

Mansion, Bob Bullock<br />

Museum, The University of<br />

Texas at Austin, St. David’s<br />

Hospitals, multiple Freescale<br />

Semiconductor locations,<br />

VA Main Campus, IRS, and<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> Correction<br />

Facilities. Koetter’s highly<br />

experienced support staff<br />

in the office has a combined<br />

experience of over 150 years in the<br />

fire protection industry.<br />

Koetter Fire Protection’s origin is based on<br />

the determination to be the Premier Fire<br />

Protection Company in Texas. Koetter is achieving<br />

this goal through excellence in customer<br />

service and dedicated professional employees.<br />

Koetter Fire Protection of Austin LLC<br />

is affiliated with offices in six other<br />

major Texas cities and on the Internet at<br />

www.koetterfire.com.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


Nearly thirty-three years<br />

ago, Edwin McGary and his<br />

wife, Traci had an epiphany.<br />

“It was like the light bulb<br />

went up for us…literally!”<br />

Edwin knew the lighting<br />

business, having worked in<br />

the distribution end of the<br />

industry most of his life.<br />

With over twenty years of<br />

commercial lighting to his<br />

credit, he realized a need<br />

for the end user who needed a particular<br />

light bulb to fit a certain fixture. Having the<br />

correct light bulb in the right fixture would<br />

prevent possible fire hazards and provide<br />

proper lighting for many applications.<br />

The young couple had big dreams and<br />

small pocket books; but, knew they would<br />

open their own store to stock bulbs and<br />

other lighting supplies. They envisioned<br />

becoming an electrical wholesaler, specializing<br />

in commercial lighting fixtures and light<br />

bulbs of all types. They started as Lamar<br />

Wholesale Supply, Inc., locating in a small<br />

warehouse off Longhorn Boulevard. To build<br />

sales, they walked up and down the streets,<br />

knocking on doors, passing out cards<br />

and shaking hands. The company grew, but<br />

business lagged because the business’ name<br />

did not reflect what it sold. Edwin and<br />

co-founder, Jimmy Wingren, were driving<br />

down the street one day and said at the same<br />

time, “The Light Bulb Shop!” The idea was<br />

set; then, they began a new venture with a<br />

store front open to the public at Lamar and<br />

St. Johns Avenue, aptly naming it The Light<br />

Bulb Shop. Public sales opened a whole new<br />

door. Rory Skagen, head of Blue Genie Art,<br />

came up with the idea of putting a man’s head<br />

on the roof with a neon light bulb atop his<br />

head. The rest is history.<br />

“One day, an advice columnist from the<br />

American Statesman called and asked if we<br />

could get a hard to find light bulb. We said<br />

we could, and we did! She was so impressed<br />

that she did a story encouraging readers to<br />

call us for any light bulb needs. The phone<br />

started ringing, and it hasn’t stopped since,”<br />

Edwin said.<br />

Today, The Light Bulb Shop has twelve<br />

employees, with their daughter, Kelly McGary,<br />

and longtime employee Mike Chaffin heading<br />

the company. Co-founders were Traci McGary,<br />

Jimmy Wingren, and Charlie Baker. Business<br />

is bright with headquarters at 6318 Burnet<br />

Road in Austin, and a steady growth revenue<br />

exceeding $2 million annually.<br />

The Light Bulb Shop carries everything<br />

from a tiny, sewing machine bulb to one<br />

for the telescope at the University of Texas’<br />

McDonald Observatory. It carries domestic,<br />

European, HID, LED, and fluorescent lamps,<br />

among others. As technology changes, The<br />

Light Bulb shop stays on top of technology,<br />

offering their customers the best options.<br />

For additional information, please visit<br />

www.lightbulbshop.net.<br />



✯<br />

Top, left: The Light Bulb Shop is located at<br />

6318 Burnet Road.<br />

Bottom, left: Traci McGary.<br />

Bottom, right and below: Edwin McGary.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

1 0 5

INTEL<br />


People everywhere have come to know and<br />

rely on technology to make their lives easier<br />

and their worksites more efficient. From laptops<br />

to personal computers (PCs) to mobile<br />

telephones and tablets, chances are very good<br />

there is an Intel ® component inside the devices.<br />

While Intel Corporation is based in Santa<br />

Clara, California, Intel has Research and<br />

Development (R&D) facilities around the<br />

United States. Austin is the birthplace of the<br />

Intel ® Atom processors and SoCs, an ultralow-power<br />

device that is bringing Intel ® architecture<br />

to an expanding variety of smartphones,<br />

tablets, netbooks, embedded applications and<br />

communications. Many of the components<br />

produced in Austin go beyond personal or<br />

office use, spanning the compute continuum<br />

being used in security platforms, microservers,<br />

the healthcare (diagnostic) and travel (global<br />

positioning systems or GPS) fields.<br />

Intel was founded in 1968<br />

in Santa Clara by Robert<br />

Noyce and Gordon Moore,<br />

two scientists who envisioned<br />

a company that<br />

would make semiconductor<br />

memory products. Within<br />

three years, they had developed<br />

and introduced the<br />

world’s first microprocessor.<br />

Since then, Intel has established<br />

a heritage of innovation<br />

that continues to expand<br />

the reach and promise of<br />

computing while advancing<br />

the ways people work and<br />

live throughout the world.<br />

With an increasingly global economy, Intel<br />

recognizes that curiosity, critical thinking,<br />

and a quality education are necessary to<br />

prepare tomorrow’s workforce. That is why it<br />

works in collaboration with governments and<br />

educators to advance education and enable<br />

youth to develop skills for lifelong success.<br />

Approximately 100 engineering students<br />

from the area are hired annually as paid<br />

interns. The well-qualified students provide<br />

fresh thinking and energy from those<br />

planning to enter the technology field. It<br />

allows the select students to put their talents<br />

to work for the company where they are<br />

assigned a specific project/team aligned with<br />

their field of study. When they complete the<br />

program, they are offered full-time jobs based<br />

on availability. In addition, Intel is committed<br />

to improving K-12 STEM education which<br />

enables teachers to use technology effectively<br />

in classrooms, broadening access to technology<br />

and encouraging women and minorities<br />

to enter technical careers.<br />

The Austin facility, built in 1998, is part of<br />

the larger company with 185 sites in sixtythree<br />

countries. With 105,000 employees, it<br />

has enjoyed more than twenty-five years with<br />

a positive net income, realizing $53.3 billion<br />

in revenues.<br />

Austin believes its 1,300 employees are<br />

their most valuable asset. Intel is not only<br />

“inside” the most innovative devices in the<br />

market place, but employees are “inside” the<br />

Austin community. During the next decade it<br />

is committed to “…creating and extending<br />

computing technology to connect and enrich<br />

the lives of every person on earth.”<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />




Vintage IT Services is the largest locally<br />

owned and recognized leading provider of<br />

Managed IT Services, Cloud Computing,<br />

and IT Strategy in Austin and in the Central<br />

Texas area.<br />

Founded in January 2001 the initial business<br />

operated out of a U-Totem convenience<br />

store located in South Austin. The beer cooler<br />

was the storage cabinet for computer parts!<br />

The company’s recognizable current<br />

building is on West Fifth Street in downtown<br />

Austin. A terrific following of clients have<br />

stayed with Vintage for many years. The<br />

organization has grown exponentially, and<br />

has continued to provide service to a large<br />

number of businesses and government clients.<br />

With a strong presence among the nonprofit<br />

sector, giving back to the community has<br />

always been an integral part of the business.<br />

Vintage IT Services has repeatedly been<br />

included on the coveted INC 500 list of<br />

Fastest Growing Companies.<br />

CRN magazine has named Vintage IT<br />

Services as one of the top Managed Service<br />

Providers (MSPs) globally, as well as one of<br />

the Elite 150 MSPs in North America.<br />

Year after year, MSPmentor has included<br />

Vintage IT Services on its list of top Managed<br />

Service Providers in the world.<br />

Austin Business Journal (ABJ) has included<br />

Vintage IT Services on its Fast 50 lists of<br />

growing companies in Austin.<br />

Best Places to Work in Central Texas is a list<br />

published by ABJ, and Vintage IT Services has<br />

placed on the list every year for over ten years,<br />

being in first place in several of those issues.<br />

Best Companies to Work in Texas is a list<br />

compiled by Texas Monthly magazine, and<br />

Vintage IT Services was included in multiple<br />

editions as a best company at which to work.<br />

Austin Business Journal’s Book of Lists also<br />

includes Vintage IT Services for:<br />

• Top Network Integration Firms;<br />

• Top Women Owned Businesses; and<br />

• Top Private Companies in Austin.<br />

This technology business was unconventionally<br />

named by the founders, Sheryl and<br />

Steve Hanes, for their love of fine wine. Vintage<br />

means the best grapes, grown in the best years,<br />

and of the highest quality. Vintage IT Services<br />

offers the best customer support, best network<br />

management, and the best place to work.<br />

Businesses of all sizes face the same computer<br />

network challenges, from building an entire<br />

data center to restoring a backup to resetting<br />

a password. Vintage IT Services provides its<br />

customers with the same computer and network<br />

management services utilized by enterpriselevel<br />

companies. A skilled and trusted staff,<br />

with an infrastructure of servers, networks,<br />

monitoring tools, cloud offerings, and data<br />

center resources allows Vintage IT Services<br />

to continue to stay at the forefront as the<br />

landscape of Information technology changes.<br />

For additional information on Vintage IT<br />

Services, please visit www.vintageits.com.<br />

✯<br />



T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

1 0 7



<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong>, located in Central Texas,<br />

was established on January 25, 1840, by an<br />

act of the Fourth Congress of the Republic of<br />

Texas, soon after Austin had been designated<br />

the capital city. The county was named after<br />

William Barret <strong>Travis</strong>, legendary commander<br />

of the Republic of Texas forces at the Battle of<br />

the Alamo.<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> was created from Bastrop<br />

<strong>County</strong>, one of the original twenty-three<br />

counties formed in 1836. The encompassing<br />

area was known as the <strong>Travis</strong> District, which<br />

consisted of roughly 40,000 square miles.<br />

Counties that were later carved from the <strong>Travis</strong><br />

District include Comal in 1846, Gillespie and<br />

Hayes in 1848, Burnet in 1852, Brown and<br />

Lampasas in 1856, and Callahan, Coleman,<br />

Eastland, Runnels and Taylor in 1858. Today<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> covers 989 square miles.<br />

The first election of county officials was<br />

held in February of 1840, at which time the<br />

population was reported to be 856. Local<br />

government began work immediately, by<br />

establishing precincts and by locating a<br />

suitable place in which to administer justice<br />

for the young county. The first officially<br />

recognized courthouse was constructed in 1855.<br />

Since then, <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> government has<br />

operated out of two additional courthouses,<br />

including the ornate 1876 structure, and<br />

our current courthouse building, which was<br />

constructed in 1930-1931.<br />

<strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> has grown rapidly since its<br />

formation, and so has its government. Offices<br />

such as the commissioners court, county<br />

clerk, treasurer, sheriff, courts of law and<br />

judges have been a part of <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong><br />

government since establishment. Over the<br />

years numerous new offices and departments<br />

have been added; today there are over forty<br />

departments, including forty-eight elected<br />

offices, within the county.<br />

The <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> government performs<br />

two basic functions: It carries out the administrative<br />

and judicial responsibilities for the<br />

state, and it carries out local government<br />

responsibilities for county residents. Key<br />

county services include support of public<br />

safety and jails, effective regional transportation,<br />

upkeep and construction of roads,<br />

collection of property taxes, support for the<br />

court system, reliable record-keeping for deeds<br />

and public documents, operating elections,<br />

and certain environmental, health and human<br />

services. Over time, more and more federal and<br />

state responsibilities have been delegated or<br />

mandated to the local level, thus increasing the<br />

value and importance of county government.<br />

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of<br />

this book go to the <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> Archives,<br />

which serves the government and the community<br />

of <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> by documenting,<br />

preserving, and making available its records<br />

and history. The Archives also organizes an<br />

annual History Day event, which is open to<br />

the public.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


When plastic products began appearing<br />

in the marketplace in the 1940s, it was<br />

Roy A. Ribelin, Sr., who started one of the<br />

first privately-held distributorships in the<br />

plastic industry. And, it was his sons and<br />

grandson, Roy Ribelin II, who built the<br />

viable company, Industrial Composites, Inc.,<br />

into what it is nearly seventy years later.<br />

His two sons, Frank and Chuck, joined him<br />

in the early 1950s as “reinforced” plastics<br />

spawned the growth of the industry. In fact,<br />

they formed the original company known as<br />

Ribelin Distributors and began adding the<br />

new elements to their product line. By the late<br />

1950s, however, the brothers split the company<br />

into two separate companies—Ribelin<br />

Distributors and Riberglass, Inc. It was Frank,<br />

Roy II’s father, who started Riberglass Inc.<br />

Glastron Boats of Austin became one of the<br />

company’s largest customers, producing approximately<br />

265 boats a day in the local facility.<br />

Industrial Composites, as the company is<br />

known today, is owned and managed by<br />

Roy II. He specializes in the distribution of<br />

fiberglass raw materials; spray equipment<br />

and fabrication supplies needed in the<br />

production of fiberglass composite products.<br />

Young Frank began working in his father’s<br />

distribution company (Riberglass, Inc.) part<br />

time; and, then, in 1984, he became full time<br />

working in sales in Houston. In 1985, when<br />

the Austin branch, Roy moved to Austin to<br />

manage the new enterprise. He covered the<br />

Austin/San Antonio areas from Houston even<br />

before the branch opened.<br />

In 1987, Frank sold Riberglass, Inc. to<br />

Ashland Chemical, Inc., and he remained with<br />

the new owners until the fall of 1989.<br />

In October 1989, Roy started Industrial<br />

Composites, Inc., and began doing business<br />

alongside of Ashland Chemical and other similar<br />

companies in the industry. Working<br />

together, Roy began specializing in obsolete or<br />

slow-moving inventories from Ashland and<br />

others in the industry. Doing so opened doors<br />

of supply from fiberglass manufactures such<br />

as Owens Corning, Certainteed and Pittsburg<br />

Plate Glass (PPG). Industrial Composites began<br />

specializing in factory seconds or product<br />

that was slightly out of specification materials<br />

produced by the major glass manufacturers.<br />

The company grew, and, in 1997, negotiated<br />

an exclusive sale arrangement with Ashland<br />

Chem to exclusively supply their North<br />

American customers with specialty spray and<br />

application equipment, thousands of maintenance<br />

parts associated with the equipment<br />

and all fabrication shop supplies necessary<br />

for use in the industry. The relationship lasted<br />

until 2007 when Roy sold the equipment/<br />

part/supplies business and reverted to his<br />

roots supplying raw materials to the same<br />

industry that had been so good to them over<br />

the years.<br />



INC.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y P A R T N E R S<br />

1 0 9



John R. Rogers has been involved with<br />

professional photography and television film<br />

production for over thirty years. He grew up<br />

in <strong>Travis</strong> <strong>County</strong> and graduated from Austin’s<br />

John H. Reagan High School and The University<br />

of Texas at Austin, where he earned a degree in<br />

radio, television and film. Early in his career<br />

he worked as an in-house producer/director<br />

for Radio Shack. While there, he produced<br />

and/or directed hundreds of products ranging<br />

from internal training films and in-store<br />

point of purchase marketing pieces to national<br />

television commercials.<br />

As a business owner since 2006, John has<br />

created images that illustrate many websites<br />

for everything from software companies to a<br />

French castle to the Philadelphia Zoo, the<br />

BBC and multiple real estate sites. His work<br />

has appeared in national magazines, european<br />

textbooks, shown in fine art galleries, used<br />

in product packaging, and serve as murals<br />

for corporate conference rooms for companies<br />

including Google and Expedia. “I love trying<br />

to capture and reveal the natural beauty of the<br />

person, place or thing I am photographing.<br />

Very often I enhance my photographs to try<br />

and bring back to the viewer what they would<br />

experience if they were there.”<br />

John’s specialties include architectural,<br />

commercial, illustrative, portrait photography<br />

and video production.<br />

His many awards include multiple trophies<br />

from the Texas Professional Photography<br />

Association for “Best Illustrative Photograph”<br />

and “Best Commercial Photograph” as well<br />

as “Best Architectural Photograph.” He is<br />

the current (2015) president for the Austin<br />

Professional Photographers Association where<br />

he has previously been honored as the<br />

“Photographer of the Year” and “Distinguished<br />

Photographer.” His video production trophies<br />

include a Silver Reel from the International<br />

Television Association.<br />

To see more of his work please visit:<br />

www.JohnRRogers.com or contact him at<br />

512-699-6468 or John@JohnRRogers.com.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


About the Photographer<br />

J O H N R . R O G E R S<br />

A professional photographer based in Austin, with over thirty years of experience<br />

photographing, filming, and videotaping everything from magazine covers and fine<br />

art prints to national television commercials.<br />

John loves capturing images that present the person, place or thing in the most<br />

pleasant, cheerful and flattering light possible.<br />

One of his strengths is making ‘real’ people feel and look comfortable on camera.<br />

A B O U T T H E P H O T O G R A P H E R<br />

1 1 1

About the Author<br />

M I K E C O X<br />

Mike Cox, an elected member of the Texas Institute of Letters, is<br />

the author of more than a score of non-fiction books and hundreds<br />

of articles over the course of a career dating back more than forty<br />

years. In 2010 he received the A. C. Greene Lifetime Achievement<br />

Award and has earned numerous other recognitions for his writing<br />

over the years. His most noted work is a two-volume history of<br />

the legendary Texas Rangers, published in 2008-2009. A longtime<br />

newspaper writer turned state government spokesman, Cox<br />

lives in Austin. When not writing, he spends as much time as he can<br />

fishing and hunting or traveling and otherwise enjoying life in Texas.<br />

T R A V I S C O U N T Y : I c o n s & I d e a s<br />


ISBN 978-1-939300-78-2<br />

Historical Publishing Network

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