Andrew J. Palm House Historical Marker, Round Rock, Texas

Palm House Museum

Downtown - at 208 E Main
Round Rock, Texas

Marker Text

With his mother and brothers, Andrew J. Palm (1839-1928) migrated to Texas from Sweden in 1853. They settled about three miles north of Round Rock at Palm Valley, where Palm built this residence about 1873. He purchased the land from Swedish immigration agent S. M. Swenson. Palm hauled cypress and pine from Austin to construct the house. Here he and his wife Carolina (Nelson) (1851-1929) raised their eight children. The structure was moved to Round Rock in 1976. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1978.


GPS Coordinates
Latitude: 30.509174 - Longitude: -97.677323

Address: 208 E Main

THE PALM HOUSE Narrative by - Mrs. J.W. Ledbetter

The Andrew J. Palm House is believed to have been built in 1873. In the records of June 1, 1871, Volume 13 page 586, it is stated that S. M. Swenson, in consideration of $366.66 in Gold dollars, sold 112 acres of land to Andrew J. Palm. Lot #15 of the Holder League, recorded and plotted on page 119 of [1] Volume 13 (For earlier records, see bibliography). Later, Mr. Palm added acreage to the original purchase. This is still in the Palm Estate, and none of the original 112 acres has been sold.

The Palm House was located on Palm Valley Boulevard about 3 miles from Round Rock, -Texas, and about 1 mile from the Palm Valley Lutheran Church, which was built in 1871[2]. This church has a Historical Marker dedicated in 1971. [3] The Palm Valley Railroad Flag Stop was about 1/4 mile from the Palm Home. [4]

The Palm House consists of the two front remaining rooms of the original structure, a hall between, and a gallery running across the entire front.

The material was apparently hauled from Austin, Texas by the owner and was pine and cypress. No altera­tions have been made in the house. The rooms are large and high ceilinged, with windows typical of the period. The beautiful front door has two long panes of glass. The house has been restored to its original appearance, as far as can be discerned. The ori­ginal fireplace has been reconstructed and is still a working fireplace. Outside blinds, wooden curtain rods, and the original doorbell are in place.

The old cistern has been moved and reconstructed in the town yard.

The house has been kept in excellent condition over the years. Palm Family. Old fashioned shrubs and flowers have been planted as near as possible to the original plantings.

Mr. Andrew J. Palm came to Texas (Palm Valley) with his mother and five brothers in 1853.

He was 14 years of age at the time and was the fourth son. His mother, Mrs. Anna Palm, was encouraged and aided in this move by Swante Palm, brother‑in-law, who was Swedish Consul to Texas. [5] He immigrated to Texas in 1844. A nephew, Mr. S. M. Swenson, Commissioner of Swedish immigration, also helped her. Mr. Swenson was said to be the richest Swedish immigrant in Texas, and at one time owned over 100,000 acres of land in Texas. Both men visited the Palm House.

Andrew J. Palm was born in Sweden in 1839 and died in Palm Valley on Nov. 8, 1928.

Mrs. Palm, Carolina Nelson Palm, was born in Sweden in 1851, died in -Palm Valley in 1929. She immigrated to Palm Valley in 185$. Mr. and Mrs. Palm were married at Palm Valley on January 7, 1875. [6]The Palm Family consisted of seven girls and one boy, namely, Esther, Anna, Tilda, Mary, Nora, Louis, Ruth, and Marguirete. (7)

Mr. Palm was a farmer and rancher in the Palm Valley Com­munity during all his married life.

He was civic-minded, loved his community, and was instrumental in arranging for and providing financially for, other Swedish' families to come to Palm Valley. He arranged for jobs and homes for them until they became established. [8] Mr. Palm was a trustee of the Palm Valley Lutheran Church when it was organized and built-in 1871.

The plans for the church may be found in the Sir Swante Palm Library at the University of Texas.

This Library and other manuscripts were given to the University in 1897 by Sir Swante Palm.

The history and growth of this countryside community are parallel to the history and growth of the town of Round Rock, which it has so greatly endowed with community enrichment; a test­ament of the courage and faith of these Swedish pioneers that settled in Palm Valley is illustrated by a true story told of the voyage of the Anna Palm Family from Sweden in 1853. A storm arose at sea, and the captain, believing that the ship could not be saved, called the passengers together and explained the desperate situation. Mrs. Anna Palm, her family beside her, requested the captain to take her on deck. The captain, fearing she would be swept overboard, refused. After persuasion, he assisted her on deck. With arms uplifted to heaven, she prayed for their safety. Soon the storm ceased, and all were safe. [9]

The second week in December 197 was a memorable week in the current history of Round Rock, Texas, when the hundred-year-old home of the Andrew J. Palm Family was moved to town. It was moved' from its country-side location to its second and permanent loca­tion beside the City Hall on Main Street in Round Rock, Texas.

This move was made with the expectation that the old home would become the Palm House Museum for the town, Round Rock has a very rich historical heritage, and a museum for the town has long been the dream of many citizens.

The move to town was made possible by the donation of the Palm House to the Chamber of Commerce, by Miss Mary Palm, and Marguerite Palm Stockman, the two remaining members of the family. Both sisters were born in the house, as were the other six children.

The move itself was managed and provided for by the Chamber of Commerce.

This museum became a reality when the constitution and By-Laws were adopted, and the State Charter was granted on July 7, 1977.

The museum has progressed nicely.

One room is designated as an elegant Victorian Parlor and is now authentically furnished. The other room is a pioneer kitchen and is also fully equipped. The furnishings are all over one hundred years old. The hall be­tween the two rooms contains an antique display cabinet with items of interest and an antique desk for registering guests.

The Chamber of Commerce dedicated the museum to the people of Round Rock in a public ceremony on July 7, 1977.

An office for the Chamber of Commerce has been added to the back, and the museum is open each weekday from 9:30 to 3:30 and on special occasions.

All service clubs, many interested individuals, and the local Historical Chairman of Williamson County Historical Commission have planned, cooperated, donated, and worked toward the success of the museum.
Because of the role of the Palm Family in the life of the community and the use of the Palm House as a museum, the citizens of Round Rock wish to commemorate the structure with a historical marker, that the contribution .and history of this community may be better recognized and preserved.

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