A Brief History of Round Rock, TX
Texas is a larger than life, beautiful state of history, culture, and western charm. A land of freedom and opportunity. Sprawling plains dotted with vibrant, ancient rocks ranging in colors of red, orange, and burgundy. A place where cowboys roam with their livestock among the grass that Native Americans danced upon. Also known as The Wild West, a nation of ghost towns dotted with old saloons where American outlaws were feared and Sheriffs were saviors. Today, it is known for its “Everything is bigger in Texas” mentality. Home to Austin, Dallas, and Houston. It’s a place for new beginnings and the land of the free.
Unbeknownst to many Americans is that it is also the home to one of the most historical cities in the United States. If you’re looking at a map, it would be very easy to miss, but Round Rock, TX should not be overlooked. This small city has not only been the home to numerous groups of Native Americans and a national train robber, but it has also been the site of human habitation since at least 9200 B.C.
Inhabitants of Round Rock, TX
The city’s lush fertile soil, known as the “blackland prairie” was once home to the Tonkawa, a hunting group of flint workers who followed the buffalo purely on foot. To help in their quest for meat, the Tonkawa would occasionally set fire to the prairie. After the Anglos began to create settlements, Native American groups were slowly pushed out of Central Texas, but their memory lived on in the routes formed by the Anglo settlers who chose to create paths along the same trails that the Native Americans had used.
Naming and Events of Round Rock
In 1854, Round Rock was given its name thanks to a round, anvil-shaped rock lying along the floor of a nearby creek. This area was a safe and convenient way for settlers to cross with their wagons, cattle, and horses. Upon the local postmaster’s suggestion to rename the settlement after the famous rock, the city of Round Rock was born.
In the 1800's, the downtown was home to what could have been a scene from a western film. Sam Bass, the infamous American train robber, was tracked down by the Texas Ranger Division in the scorching summer of 1878. A gunfight ensued leaving Bass captured and eventually killed.
As the 1900's approached, the cotton industry boomed. Round Rock’s rich soil made the production of cotton a cash cow and its main crop. Eventually Interstate 35 made an impact in the 1950's, leaving Round Rock as a bedroom community in the 1990's where its residents worked in nearby Austin and came home after the workday ended.
Today, Round Rock is home to over 120,000 residents. Cotton is still produced and cattle have continued to be raised. The demographics of the residents within Round Rock are made up of 76% White, 9.4% African-American/Black, and 0.4% Native Americans.
Since the days of the bedroom community, Dell moved its headquarters to Round Rock, supplying over 16,000 jobs to local residents. In 2008, Money Magazine gave Round Rock the title of 7th best American small city to live in.
Not bad for a small city in large state.
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