Historical Marker text
Cedar Park is rich in cedar trees and limestone. Their ranch and home became the central point around which the Cedar Park community developed. A post office was established in 1874 and was named Running Brushy. Harriet Cluck served as an early postmistress. When the railroad came through Running Brushy in 1882, the community's name was changed to Bruggerhoff to honor a railroad official. Five years later, the current name was adopted. Cedar Park was the scene of much growth and activity during the latter years of the nineteenth century. A community school and church building was constructed, and by 1892, a landscaped park had appeared along the rail line. George Cluck noticed the increasing popularity of barbed wire and opened a cedar yard in which he made and sold cedar posts. Cedar Park did not see much growth during the first part of the twentieth century, and by 1960 nearly all traces of the earlier community had disappeared. During the 1970s, however, the growth of Austin led to a population increase in this area, also, and the city of Cedar Park was incorporated in 1973.
In front of the Cedar Park Public Library at 550 Discovery Blvd.
Latitude: 30.519487 Longitude: -97.824205
History Of Cedar Park, Texas by Frances W. Wynn
"It was in 1873 when George and Harriet Cluck settled on the land now called Cedar Park., the Clucks had established themselves as the pilgrim family of a new town rich in cedar and limestone." (1) From that time on the Cluck ranch and home was the center of various enterprises which later became the nucleus around which Cedar Park was built.
Harriet Standefer, born in 1846 in Alabama, came to Texas with her parents, the James Standefer's, in 1847.
They settled in the Pond Springs community where Harriet met George W Cluck whom she married when she was seventeen. (2) They lived in the Pond Springs area of Williamson County for several years. The first recorded land deeds for Cluck in Williamson County were three deeds to lots in Round Rock, Texas. (3)
From 1867 to 1887 there were 10,000,000 cattle driven by 50,000 cowboys from Texas to the north and east.
The trails led to San Antonio and from there north through Austin, Round Rock, Georgetown, and on the north to Kansas. With so many herds going north and abundant cattle to be had for the catching, it was a usual or natural thing to gather a herd and make the trip. The unusual part of George Cluck deciding to make the trip was the fact Harriet and their three children were to accompany him. Mostly Harriet and the children rode in a hack except for times like crossing the flooded Red River on April 23, 1871. Harriet, George, and a cowboy each carried a child across horseback. The hack was floated across using cottonwood logs attached to each side and guided by cowboys. The next day Harriet celebrated her twenty-fifth birthday. (4)
Harriet, using her field glasses, was the first to see a group riding toward them.
It was thought the men riding single file were Indians until they came closer. Coming in contact with George Cluck and his men, they demanded five hundred of the cattle. George Cluck told the men, "You are not to get any of our cattle". He then told the thieves his men "had been raised on rattlesnakes and wildcats. My wife, who's fondling that double-barreled shotgun there, is herself one of the best shots to come out of Texas." In the meantime, Harriet told their cowboys, "If you haven't the nerve to fight, mind my babies and I'll help take care of the thieves." Shortly the thieves were out of sight. (5)
The Cluck party had joined Captain D. H. Snyder and his party for safety. (6)
The group made from three to ten miles a day depending on the terrain and water for the cattle. During the several-month trips, they were entertained by Buchanan Boone, a cowboy, who played the fiddle. After Boone lost his fiddle he used Harriet's father's fiddle, which she had carried with her.
"Chicken crow and I must go,
So fare you well, my lady-0!
Guine away to come to no mo."
Another song he played was "Gwine to the Weddin With Sally Ann". (7) On arriving in Abilene, Kansas, George Cluck, and Captain Snyder sold their herds. The Clucks decided to winter in Kansas, wait for the spring, and their new infant to get a little older. While waiting out the winter George bought and re-sold cattle. (8)
Some books have said Harriet Standefer Cluck was the first white woman that went up the Chisholm Trail while others were more elaborate stating she "was the Queen of the Chisholm Trail". (9)
In the spring they returned to Texas, where they bought land three miles north of their first home site.
The land, bought from W. Holt, was a 329 1/2 acre place called the Lloyd farm which cost $2000.00. (10) It was situated on the waters of Brushy Creek twelve miles southwest of Georgetown on the road from Austin to Burnet. (11) Other landmarks were piles of rock, a Spanish oak, and an elm tree. The deed was recorded on December 3, 1873. (12) George Cluck built a log cabin where the family lived for several years. (13) In October 1874 the Clucks bought an additional 632 1/2 acres from George Lee for $300.00. (14) This same year Harriet Cluck became postmistress of Running Brushy, as the area was called. (15) Running Brushy received its name from a heavy flowing spring on the Cluck home place. It was said one could "swim horses year-round just below the spring . The spring ran a whole creek". (16)
Cluck built a new frame home by the side of the spring for convenience.
One could step out the door and be by the spring. (17) Water was sold or given for use at the Bagdad Steam Mill. (18)
The stage line from Austin to Lampasas went through the Cluck land.
George Cluck built a stage stand to hold fresh horses for the line. Those which had been used were kept to be fed and rested for their next trip. (19) Cluck's stage stand contained twelve horses. (20) The railroad came to Running Brushy in 1882 which more or less put an end to George Cluck furnishing horses to the stage line; however, new businesses were opened to him and his family.
Sometime prior to 1892 a store was built for or by Emmett, George, and Harriet's son.
The "storehouse" was on the east side of the tracks. (21) It was probably during the building of the store Emmett caused the name of the community to be changed to Cedar Park which was in 1887. (22) Emmett built his home, at this time or a little later, behind and facing his store. The home and yard of Emmett Cluck were enclosed by an iron fence that had originally been around the Texas State Capitol which burned in the 1880s. The fence, made in eight-foot sections, was "ornate and beautiful". There were one single gate and one double gate matching the fence. (23) In 1942 the fence was removed by Roscoe Faubion who bought the property in that year. Though Faubion has since used it to fence his own yard, it is currently in storage. (24)
George Cluck had faced cattle thieves on the Chisholm Trail and told them "they would get no wattle and "if they wanted a fight to crack their whip.
I have sixteen good fighters as ever crossed the Red River. When you get it. ready, open the ball, but us Texans will dance in the first set". (25) This same man, along with his wife, caused culture, religion, and education to be brought to Running Brushy. The railroad needed additional land for buildings which George Cluck sold them for $1.00. In the sale, the railroad company agrees to have a "portion of premises in a park and will also locate a house for tender plants in cold weather". (26) The Clucks also furnished land and a building to be used as a church and school. (27)
An old Indian midden was quite close to the spring and Cluck's home.
Harriet Cluck and others liked and dug in it for artifacts during the time they lived there. In the 1930s they gave permission to the University of Texas to explore the midden, During the short time, they excavated several burial sites that were found as well as points and scrapers. Mr. Cluck withdrew his permission when one of the crew was found digging on Sunday which had been forbidden. (28)
Though George Cluck was a stickler for the proper, he was not averse to fun in its place.
During the 1906 Old Settlers Reunion, he drove around the Georgetown square with a team of six oxen pulling a wagon filled with yelling boys. (29)
Brushy or Running Brushy, as the community came to be known to distinguish it from the north and middle fork of Brushy Creek, lay on the old Austin to Burnet road which was sometimes called the old "military" road. (1) Mail was received in the early days by stagecoach or given to someone passing through the area of the addressee.
In February 1874 a post office was authorized for Running Brushy with Joel Sutton as the first postmaster.
(2) In December of that year Harriet Cluck assumed the duties which she held for eight years. (3)
In 1882 the railroad came through Running Brushy causing a name change for the community to Bruggerhoff in honor of one of their officials.
(4) In 1887 Emmett Cluck caused the community name to be changed to Cedar Park. This was accepted by the postal officials (5) and better liked by the people. In 1892 Emmett Cluck became postmaster using part of his store on the east side of the railroad tracks as a post office. (6) This building, referred to in an 1892 deed (7), continued as a post office until 1942. (8)
In 1942 Roscoe Faubion bought several acres of the Cluck land from Mrs. Minnie Hensel, one of the Cluck descendants.
The land contained the Emmett Cluck home and store east of the railroad and an old oblong building on the west side of State Highway 29 (now U. S. Highway 183). The old oblong building was torn down and a new one was built in its place. The new building was a combination post office, grocery store, and gas station. (9) This was the hub of the community for some years. In 1974 the Cedar Park Post Office became a second class post office and had over 800 box holders. (10) Growth continued and it became necessary to build a Larger building which was completed in January 1979. That same year home delivery was begun within the Cedar Park City limits. (11)
Churches and schools were the heart of the early communities and usually shared the same building as did those in Running Brushy.
The area was rural with more work than visiting which was usually done at church on days of service or special meetings. (1) The building was located on the east side of the railroad northeast of George Cluck's home. (2)
The date of the building is unknown except in 1920 it was more than forty years old.
(3) The actual date of building was probably 1879 for in that year George and Harriet Cluck sold 1 1/2 acres for $1.00 to the "trustees of the Running Brushy School community". The trustees were George W. Cluck, J. N. Stewart, and G. P. McCrea. (4) The deed stated this was to be used for both school and church purposes; however, "no meeting of any kind or public nature be allowed to interfere with the regular exercises of a school".(5) The school/church was a one-room frame building with double front doors on the west end with a row of windows on the north and south sides. (6) Inside, opposite the doors, was a raised platform from which the teacher/minister presided. The student/congregation seats were "homemade". (7)
The Sunday morning services held in this building were Church of Christ.
(8) In later years "Uncle Dave" Cluck was remembered as using a magnifying glass while singing from the hymnal. (9)
In 1907 Mr. Johnson held services at the picnic ground.
He organized a choir and Sunday School and spoke of building a Methodist Church. (10) This could be the same group that used the building, on occasion, on Sunday afternoons with J. M. McNeeley as superintendent. Mr. George Allen assumed responsibility in 1908 when McNeeley moved from the community. (11) Either one or both groups used a nearby arbor or pavilion during the summer months. (12)
Another early church was the New Hope Baptist Church which was organized three miles to the northwest no later than 1868.
In 1870 a new log church was built in the same location which was on the headwaters of Block House Creek. (13) Early members were the families of James Trammel, J. R. and W. S. Hicks, John T. Noble, Thomas Inman, J. T. Long, and D. Barefoot. (14) In 1879 the congregation built a new frame church one mile southeast of the original location. (15) In later years the church was rebuilt of brick on its second site which now falls in Cedar Park on New Hope Drive. (16) The New Hope Cemetery is a small cemetery used by members of the church. Though there are seventy unmarked graves, there are many whose names have been known in the area. Some of those buried there are the Inmans, Davis, Simpson, Trammell, Tubbs, Whitts, and Schneiderwinds.(17) The land originally set aside by the Cluck family for a cemetery was something over seven acres. When the U. S. Highway 183 was built it divided some of the lands. Today there are 6.9 acres in the cemetery itself with 1/2 acre on the east side of the highway. (18) In this cemetery is buried George and Harriet Cluck, Clarence Cluck, Dave Cluck, Ora and Emmett Cluck, and several grandchildren of George and Harriet Cluck. Other names that appear most often are Harrell, Jackson, Maynard, McRae, Moore, Stewart, and Wade. (19) This is a private cemetery and is governed by an association. (20)
The Minnick Family Cemetery lies just out of today's Cedar Park on County Road 180. Rev. John L. Minnick, born on October 6, 1804, died and was buried in 1895.
His wife, Louisa Elizabeth died in 1913 and was buried there. Her father, David Lewis, Moses Richey Minnick, and others of the Minnick family are also buried there. Others, family relatives, are Johnnie Simpson, M. S. and Lou Richey who lie by those several unmarked graves. (21)
The school classroom was divided with boys sitting on one side of the room and girls on the other.
In 1908 Mr. Walker Barton, a new teacher, began grouping the students by grade rather than their sex. (22) There were seven grades taught with many students being eight or nine years of age on enrollment. (23) Behavior, at all times, was expected for the teacher had a wooden lidded box that held his switches. (24)
A letter from Dan McRae, Winniecliff Farm, Cedar Park, mentions school starting with Mr. Chapman from Liberty Hill as the new teacher. (25) Teachers prior to 1903 and after 1909 are unknown; however, teachers during that period were (26)
1903 Miss Lillian Richards
1904 Miss Lillian Richards
1905 Miss Cora Allen
1906 Miss Ella Dillingham -- Miss Josephine Pillow
1907 Mr. Will Chapman
1908 Mr. Walker Barton
1909 Miss Bertha Thorpe
Those wishing their children attend more than the seven grades taught in Cedar Park either moved to Leander (27) or sent them to school on the train which cost five cents per day. (28)
In 1920 Thomas L. Allen was appointed trustee of the Cedar Park school.
At that time the school, more than 40 years old, was obsolete and in need of repair. Allen, at this time, began plans for consolidating Cedar Park with Block House which was two miles north. A petition led to each of the two schools closing. (29) The blockhouse and Cedar Park consolidated to form the new White Stone School in 1923.(30)
White Stone School, built of native rock donated by the Allen Quarry (31), lay about halfway between the two communities.
Its present location is on the northwest corner of U. S. Highway 183 and Ranch Road 1431.
In 1952 White Stone consolidated with Leander Independent School District.
(32) In 1984 the White Stone School building is being restored and will be used as an office building. (33) The Cedar Park School/Church was abandoned for two generations except for children playing in and around it (34) and occasionally being used as a hay barn(35). It eventually fell to the ground.(36)
Ranching with some cattle drives was the major occupation of those living in southwestern Williamson County. Roads were poor, distance great, and trade was slow, sometimes taking days to get products to market. In 1879 water was hauled from the Running Brushy spring to Bagdad where it was used to operate a steam mill. (1)
The United States began a program, which lasted until 1882, giving aid to railroad companies to encourage them to build in undeveloped areas, It was felt the opening of the western territory would cause a faster rate of development and ensure transportation for their products. Though too late to receive Federal aid, the Austin and Northwestern Railroad Company was incorporated on April 29, 1881. The charter was for a narrow-gauge railroad from Austin to Burnet. (2)
Mile Hurley, an Irish contractor, used crews of 200 to 300 men and nearly as many teams of mules and horses to complete the line.
As the line approached Running Brushy it curved and went through the property of G. W. Cluck. There were over fifty deeds involved in the right-of-way through Williamson County. Though the line was completed in April 1882, the first deeds, thirty-five of them, were not recorded until March 16, 1882. (3) One of the deeds reads, "Austin and Northwestern Railroad Company is desirous of constructing a Railway through certain lands now owned by G. W. Cluck and H. L. Cluck". "In consideration of the prospective increase in the value of the said property by the construction of said Railroad and further consideration of the sum of six hundred dollars and the further consideration that said the company put in a side tract on said land". They were to receive one hundred feet of right of way through and over the land. The right of way was to be used for construction and maintenance of the roadbed, slopes, berms, ditches, and barrow pits with "full and perfect right to locate construct repair and forever maintain and use the said road". The railroad company also received the right to take and use water and stone from the right-of-way; however, no wells were to be dug. The water "was to be had from the creek running through the tract known as Brushy" and only on the east side of Austin and Lampasas Road. They were not to use water from the spring on the west side of the road at any time. The quantity of water to be used would be the amount required for the use of the engine of the railway company. (4) As the line was being built through Running Brushy, the railroad company insisted the name of the community be changed to Brueggerhoff for one of their officials. (5)
Two miles north of Brueggerhoff a cut was necessary to lay a level rail line.
The actual location was, at the time, on Hall Road (now County Road 181 and/or New Hope St.). Because the cut was rather deep which left an exposed white bank, some of the local residents called it "White Cut".(6) The proper name was "Walkerton". The "cut" was made on the right-of-way which had been secured from Judge A. S. Walker and had been a part of Block House Ranch. There is no recorded deed in Williamson County between Judge Walker and the railroad. The agreement was more complicated. The railroad agreed to fence and maintain a said fence on the right-of-way through Block House Ranch. A small spur line, loading platform, cattle pen, and chute completed Walkerton. The flag station was used by those arriving and departing the ranch. It was also here the cattle were unloaded which had been brought to the ranch from Scotland. In later years the increase from the herd was shipped to Central America. The eradication of the fever tick caused the sale in Central America to be stopped. (7) Empty freight cars were left on the siding or spur which would be filled with cut firewood from the ranch. The laborers would ride the train out in the morning, cut wood, and return to Austin on the evening train. (8) This wood was then used by the wood-burning locomotives.
The state capital, which had burned, was to be rebuilt of granite.
In 1885 a spur line was built from Burnet to Granite Mountain just out of Marble Falls, Texas. By the time the new capitol was finished, 15,700 flat carloads of granite had passed through Brueggerhoff on its way to Austin. (9)
Brueggerhoff was hard to pronounce and harder still for many to spell and was generally disliked.
In 1887 Emmett Cluck caused the name to be changed to Cedar Park. (10) It is believed a park was already begun at this time and if not, certainly there was a vision of one. Whether it was at this time or 1892 the "Park" was begun is unknown. Definitely, there were cedar trees in the area and a known "Park" by 1892. (11) Fear of the Indians prevented growth in the area for some years. They caused problems as late as the Civil War just to the north in Burnet County. By the time George Cluck bought the land on the headwaters of Brushy Creek the Indians had been driven out of the area and under control.
Now, one could think of things other than self-preservation. Homes, barns, and fields came first.
After necessities had been secured they began to look for more from life. A British designer, William Robinson, made known certain landscaping techniques in Texas. Artists gave new ideas for a better environment. During the 1880s Texas cities began to landscape town squares and layout parks. The local point of interest where people would congregate to be seen, visit, and conduct business was the usual place of promenades and parks. (12)
In 1892 George Cluck sold a lot adjoining the right-of-way to the railroad for one dollar.
Cluck was generous to the railroad company while securing progress for the community; however, he placed certain restrictions on them. There should never be sold, kept, or offered for sale or barter upon the premises any spirituous vinous or malt liquor. The penalty was forfeiture and reversion of the land. As soon as the railroad company buildings were erected the area should have a good fence about the same and maintained in good order. Further conditions stated they were not now or ever allowed to keep a hog or hogs on the premise. That the grantor, G. W. Cluck, would furnish pipe which the railroad company would install from the water tower to Emmett Cluck's storehouse. The final agreement was for the Austin and Northwestern Railroad Company to use a portion of the said premise for a park. A building was to be furnished to house "tender plants" during the winter. 13) Plants of that day consisted of Virginia creepers, dahlias from Mexico, tomatoes from Florida, native phlox, Missouri Buttercup, roses, camellias, and if one had a greenhouse, orchids, bromeliads, ferns and other tropical plants were to be had. (14)
The above is a map of close approximate locations of known and remembered buildings in Cedar Park from 1902 through the mid-1920s era.
(15) The "Park" was approximately one-half acre or slightly less in size and lay between the path to the school, north, and northwest of the depot, Emmett Cluck's home yard, and store. The "Park" was landscaped with trees, shrubs, flowers, and benches which were tended by the stationmaster with some inclined more than others. (16) Colored pebbles were also used in raised beds rather than all flowers and shrubs. The designs of the beds varied with one being in the shape of a star and formed with white pebbles. Another pebble bed was red with the design forgotten. (17) Austinites, wanting an outing, would ride the train to Cedar Park in the morning, picnic in the "Park", stroll about the area, and return home on the afternoon train. (18) Cedar Park was, in later days, referred to as one of "Austin's first Country Clubs". The depot was a small, clean, attractive building with well-kept grounds. There was a pavilion for community use and special trains brought these Austinites out for a "frolic" of picnicking. (19)
Abstracts of letters from Dan McRae I with a return address of:
Dan McRae and Sons
Cedar Park, Texas (20)
Oct. 7, 1907 Meeting at the Park. Mr. Johnson was preacher-organizing a choir, Sunday School, and perhaps a church.
Aug. 2, 1911 Picnic at the Park
Abstract of letter from Mrs. McRae (21)
Oct. 7, 1907, Brother Johnson preached at a meeting on a picnic grounds-had an organ and good singing. Bro. Johnson said, "he will build a Methodist Church at the Park". Mr. Cluck will give the land and $25.00. Want you and brother to help build a church. Today, 1983, the cedar trees which marked the four corners of the "Park" are living markers of the past. (22)
Improvements other than the Park were made to the lot or tract purchased from George Cluck. Buildings were erected which included a depot.
To operate and maintain the line, Cedar Park became something of a railroad camp. There were a section foreman's house and two boxcars with a lean-to attached to each for the laborers. (23) In later years one boxcar was added on making it into a house. (24)
After State Highway 29 was built through Cedar Park, local train travel came to an end and the depot was closed. In the 1940s the depot was moved across the railroad and converted into a small residence by Jess Dawson. In later years it and another small house were torn down in order to build a gas station. (25)
Though the railroad is still used almost daily.
All buildings have either been moved or torn down with the exception of the section fore-mans house. The land where they stood has been sold and is now private property. (26)
In the mid-1940s Dave Cluck, son of George and Harriet, gave a lantern as a gift. The metal lantern cover is stamped with the following:
The "Adams" Trecams and Westlake Co.Chicago
EP l& SW Railroad
Pat. June 3, 82
and Nov 30, 86
Dec 18, 88
June 10, 89
Sept 4, 89
Aug 6, 92
Sept 1, 97
Nov 20, 97 (27)
One hundred and fifty years ago the first permanent type of shelter was built in the area which would one day be Williamson County. Captain Tumlinson and his men came to the area of Brushy Creek and built a fort in what was more or less a broad prairie. There were grass, trees, and in the season there were wildflowers. One could see for some distance for there was no underbrush and little cedar. Each fall the Indians had set fire to the prairie to facilitate the hunters seeing the game and allow new grass to grow the following year. (1) The same held true for the settlers who later searched out the longhorn cattle and horses which had strayed north from San Antonio and Mexico. In later years Jessie J. Long wrote, "These mountains were full of horses wild as deer, and long-horn cattle". (2) There were those other than the Clucks who rounded up cattle and drove them up the Chisholm Trail.
A stagecoach ride of twenty-five miles was a day-long trip.
Freight wagons were twice as slow. The early working wagons were made entirely of wood with the wheels cut from large live oak trees. These were called "Bulger" wagons and a load of fifty fence posts required six yokes of oxen,(3) Even so, there were those who raised crops to be sold. In 1879 Mr. J. M. Tommie became the owner of the Doddsboro Mill and Gin which was about a mile southwest of Cedar Park in what was called Doddsboro by some and Buttercup by others. Mr. Rusty Davis had the first bale of cotton to be ginned that year. (4) Another owner, at a different time, was Henry Lee. Mr. Lee also owned a general store, blacksmith shop, and corn mill in Doddsboro/Buttercup which was readily available to those in Cedar Park. (5) Farming and ranching provided the family but was not generally very profitable until the railroad came in 1882 and furnished transportation for that which was to be sold. When the railroad company bought the right-of-way from George Cluck, the deed stated a spur or siding would be built on the land. Whether the foresight was that of George Cluck or the railroad company is unknown; however, through the years it proved most beneficial and profitable. Cattle were no longer driven north for they could now be shipped by rail. Cotton was another more marketable item when shipped by rail rather than a two day trip by wagon.
The first practical barbed wire was invented in 1873.
(6) It was not until 1891 Jessie J. Long saw barbed wire the first time. (7) George Cluck was the first in the Cedar Park area to take full advantage of the new product by opening a cedar yard, He sold cedar posts locally and shipped them by rail to more distant points. (S) Through the years M. H.
Reed, S. H. Hayes, and F. W. King opened cedar yards. (9) Some of the larger ranches had regular camps of cedar cutters. A mile north of Cedar Park was the southern part of Blockhouse Ranch where Mexican cutters lived in tents, dugouts, and brush arbors. In the 1970s there were still impressions of the dugouts on Blockhouse. (10) The cedar post industry gained impetus with the coming of the U. S. Soil Conservation Service in the 1930s, through the cutting and selling of cedar for fence posts though the main purpose was only to eradicate the cedar to improve the rangeland. The ranchers were paid by the Soil Conservation Office to rid the land of cedar. They also received a royalty from local cedar yards who contracted for their posts. The cutters were paid on a number of cut posts basis. (11)
The cutting of so many posts left numerous cedar stumps which, as they were, had no value. A cedar mill was built on the south bank of Cluck Creek at the intersection of U. S. Highway 183 and Cypress Creek Road. The stumps, containing cedar oil, were ground and sold as floor sweep. After being in business four or five years, the mill burned in about 1940 and was never rebuilt. (12)
A new industry was developed in the immediate area of Cedar Park.
Though rock had been quarried in the area since about 1850 it was local and on a very small scale. In about 1897 the rock, which had been formed eons ago, by sea, silt, and decaying shellfish, began to be quarried in earnest and Cedar Park became the heaviest freight loader between Austin and Llano. (13)
The Russel Allen family came to Texas from the Carolinas by way of Alabama. They lived for a time in Burnet County where George Thomas Allen was born in 1866. The Indians soon drove them southeast to the Cedar Park area.(14) George Thomas Allen later married Rossie Emma King of Bagdad in 1895. They moved to a one hundred acre ranch northwest of and joining the Cluck property. Within two years a Mr. Burns leased the land and operated a quarry with equipment he brought in.(15)
The stone quarried was for a building Burns and Associates were building in Austin.
Their saws were powered by wood burner steam boilers and the derricks were hand-cranked  George Thomas Allen received $1.00 per carload of stone.(17) The mill wagon was a wide-tired vehicle, with a built-up platform to support the mill blocks of stone. A four mule team was required to pull a loaded wagon  the stone was hauled to the railroad siding near the depot and there unloaded by a hand-operated derrick. From this, they graduated to a Buffalo-Pitt steam tractor  spur was built from the fail road to the quarry in 1929 which helped with loading.  George T. Allen's holdings were increased when George Cluck became interested in a pair of his mules. Cluck first offered to buy the mules with Allen refusing. Cluck came back with an offer of one hundred fifty acres of land for the mules. This was quickly accepted.(21)
After Burns completed his work he sold all quarry equipment to George T. Allen. Emmett Cluck, son of George Cluck and brother-in-law of Allen, became his partner for a short time.
The partnership dissolved when and the removal more expensive. In 1966 and 1967 the stonework became unprofitable. Even so, the Texas Quarry extended their lease which included all equipment of the Leander Limestone on a rental basis. (30) During the 1970s the quarries closed.
In the 1920s a better road was planned northwest from Austin.
The route to be taken was in question as to follow the old "Military Road" or a straighter more direct route just to the east. Though a hearing was held in Austin, Judge A. S. Walker II, of Blockhouse Ranch, went to Washington, D. C., to ensure the more direct route. (31) The right-of-way was surveyed in 1925 and work begun. Wagons were used to haul adobe/cliche for the roadbed. The highway was not paved until 1928 or 1929. (32) The highway, State Highway 29, now U. S. Highway 183, gave more direct and quick access to both Austin to the south and towns to the northwest.
The population of Cedar Park in 1936 was 200 but by 1960 it had dropped to 100.
(33) Many of the older residents had died and most of the younger ones moved away in search of jobs. Some of those remaining operated the three grocery stores. Roscoe Faubion leased his store to Don Webster. Taylor Wade and Sam Blair had each opened and operated combination grocery stores and filling stations. The Wade and Hodges store at White-stone was sold to Richard Ward who also opened a cedar yard. This more or less replaced the cedar yards of Dick Boatwright and Jack Minnick, which closed about this time. (34) Other than a few name changes, such as these, little changed in Cedar Park. Commuting was not yet a way of life and few people moved to the area.
Going to the grocery store accomplished several needs. One could meet neighbors and visit with both them and the store owners, buy stamps and mail letters, and have your car's gas tank filled. Many came to use the telephone for the lines a mile and more to the north would be long-distance when calling Austin. They were also private lines to the office in Leander with the upkeep being up to the owner of the line. In the 1950s Blockhouse Ranch was still using the old crank type telephone which further made calls to Austin difficult. (35)
In 1942 food was hard to procure because of World War II rationing and shortages.
It was especially hard to buy dairy and meat products for sixty-five hundred residents in the eleemosynary institutions in Austin. Judge Weaver Baker, Chairman of the Texas State Board of Control, persuaded the Legislature to buy land for the purpose of raising food. The land selected lay one mile south of the Cedar Park Post Office. The State. Dairy and Hog Farm, as it was called, became a separate institution with a superintendent, accountant, and ten employees. A dormitory was built for forty-two-patients from the Austin State Hospital who worked in the dairy and on the hog farm for the dual purpose of providing labor and as a therapeutic aid to themselves. (36) The farm provided meat, milk, butter, and vegetables to the institutions for some years.
From 1943 through 1948 the State Dairy and Hog Farm leased the Cluck land in Cedar Park.
One field on the east side of Highway 183 is now occupied by Cedar Park Plaza. The second field lay southeast of the spring and Cluck home on the west side of the highway. Hay was raised, cut, and baled for the dairy cattle at the farm. (37)
In 1951 dairy products became more plentiful in the Austin area and the dairy was closed.
At the same time, the hog herd was increased. Though the meat was no longer rationed, the production of the hog herd had proven profitable. Farming increased to supplement purchased feed for the hogs and pasture was utilized by sheep and goats which had been bought. (38) Fire, necessary to our civilization, has been used in the area for many years as evidenced by the burnt rock and ashes found in the local Indian middens. Fire, the necessity, becomes a scourge when out of control. The first organized fire control in the area of Cedar Park was organized as a result of the 1950s drought. About the only grass in the area was along the railroad right-of-way and highway where there were no cattle. The old State Dairy and Hog Farm had problems of fire from the railroad caused by sparks from the old-style locomotives and freight car "hot-boxes". The only weapons were wet tow sacks and a two-wheel insect sprayer with a three horsepower, one cylinder motor. (39) If the fire was caught soon enough these sufficed.
Prevention seemed to be the answer, which at the time, was a fire lane to stop the fires before they entered the grounds and cedar brake. The fire, deliberately set for this, would need control. For this, a truck chassis was obtained to form the base of the "fire truck". A seven-hundred-gallon tank was mounted on the rear of the frame to hold water. A four-cylinder Waukesha engine was then mounted to pump water through several three-quarter inch garden hose. As an added precaution a fifty-five gallon barrel with buckets was attached to the space that remained. This, what did not spill en route, carried extra water. Tow sacks were kept in the buckets. A 15 pound CO2 extinguisher completed the extras and attachments. A tongue, which had been attached to the chassis, was then hooked to a John Deere tractor for mobility.
This State Dairy and Hog Farm fire truck was used as far away as Cedar Park and down R. R. 620 to combat grass fires. (40)
About five years after the acquisition of this equipment, a government surplus water air force tanker became available to the Dairy and Hog Farm. The new fire truck was received with enthusiasm by the employees. With the increased mobility the Dairy and Hog Farm fire brigade responded to fire calls over the entire southwestern area of the county.(41)
In the early 1960s, it was decided to utilize the land for more than grazing by the sheep and goats. A dam was built on Buttercup Creek by employees of the hog farm using a borrowed transit, the farm tractor with a frontend loader, two dump trucks, and a D8 caterpillar. A lake was thus formed in the creek bed. A park was then built on a point of land which was surrounded on three sides by the newly made lake. Patients from the Austin institutions were brought to the park for day-long recreational programs and picnics. In 1968 the hog farm was closed and the facilities were expanded and converted for recreational areas. The name was changed to the Leander Rehabilitation Center. In 1982 there were 17,000 residents from institutions over the state who used the facility from one to seven days for recreation and therapy. (42) The 700 plus acres is a unique rehabilitation center in conception and location. There are permanent camp shelters, dormitory, wilderness camping areas, two lakes for fishing and swimming, picnic areas, restroom facilities, roads for wagon and horseback rides, and a petting zoo. (43)
By the 1960s nearly all traces of earlier Cedar Park had disappeared. The church/school, depot, Cluck's post office, and railroad section houses had been torn down or moved to other locations through the years. The only remaining buildings were Emmett Cluck's home which soon burned, the section foreman's house which had been moved to the east side of the railroad, and Clarence Cluck's home. Other buildings began to appear which were Henry's Drive-In grocery, Hunt's Barbeque, and Pete and Peggy Garner's Rabbit Habit. For a few years, Hunts and the Rabbit Habit became the hub of the community. While eating one could see and visit neighbors.
In the 1960s Mr. and Mrs. William Frank Long returned to Cedar Park where his father had settled in the 1800s.
A large pole open-sided shed was built for their daughters and friends to use in storing and polishing their gem collections. After the Williamson County Gem Collectors Association was formed and the organization moved to Georgetown, Mr. and Mrs. Long more than doubled the size of the shed with an enclosed addition.
"Long's Barn" has had many varied uses.
A group, wanting to form a bank in Cedar Park, called a meeting of the public to ensure the extent of interest and get pledges of buying stock.(1) Within a short time, the Bank of the Hills was soon operating in Cedar Park. It was in "Longs Barn" the citizens met to discuss incorporating the city. Being the only large building, it was used for some years as a meeting place by groups and organizations. (2) It has since been used for public auctions, feed stores, etc.
The 1970s saw the beginning of real growth for Cedar Park. In 1970 the population was only 125 (3); however, there were twenty-four businesses and two churches. The new businesses were necessary to the several subdivisions which had begun in the close vicinity of Cedar Park. There were families who moved to the area because of the rural environment, Austin's high taxes, and school busing. Commuting to work now became a way of life. With the arrival of homes along U. S. Highway 183, traffic became heavier and with the increase more hazardous. Several attempts were made to have the speed limit lowered on U. S. Highway 183 through Cedar Park though none were successful.
The growth of Austin continued and the city limits were again moved northwest.
Those who lived in Cedar Park began to feel threatened with the growth of the city to the south. They lived in a still rural environment which they wanted to keep but felt they were losing. The residents began to think of incorporating it. If they were to live in a city they preferred to live in one which they felt they could have a part. Word of this was sent out and a meeting of those interested took place in Long's barn. (5) As a result, two petitions were circulated requesting the town of Cedar Park is incorporated. Those of Cedar Park was in agreement incorporation was needed; however, there were minor disagreements. Thus, there were two petitions.
On January 22, 1973, two separate petitions were drawn up seeking an election for the purpose of incorporating the town of Cedar Park with an aldermanic form of government.
The two petitions were presented to Williamson County Judge C. L. Chance. Judge Chance told the two groups to get together, work out their differences, and file a revised petition. (6) The revised petition was returned that same afternoon. (7) Judge Chance, after due examination and satisfactory proof in conforming with the law, ordered an election be held on February 24, 1983. Ruth Boatright was appointed Presiding Officer for the election which was to be held in the Bank of the Hills. (8) The Williamson County Clerk then drew up a notice of Election which was posted in three public places in Cedar Park by the sheriff. The locations were Henrys Drive-In Grocery, Bank of the Hills, and Shelnutt's Grocery. (9)
The election, held February 24, 1973, was duly reported to Judge Chance.
There being 130 votes for incorporation and 51 against, Judge Chance adjudged and decreed the election in favor of said incorporation. He then declared the territory to be known as the City of Cedar Park on February 26, 1973. (10) The boundaries of the proposed city included about four miles of land on both sides of U. S. Highway 183 running just north of RM 620 to the northern boundary of Cedar Park Ranchettes, unit 6. This area gave Cedar Park a population of about 1800 people.(11) Applications for the office of Mayor and Alderman were filed according to law. An election was ordered to be held on April 14, 1973. The first mayor was Kenneth E. Bell. Within a few years, the main downtown street would be named Bell Boulevard in his honor. After Mayor Bell's resignation, Buz Henry completed the term. In 1974 George Wade was elected Mayor. Wade had been instrumental in organizing and petitioning to incorporate the city. He was one of several who laid off and marked the city limits of Cedar Park which was done at night in order to meet a court deadline. (12)
Early mayors cited a lack of money to conduct city business (13) The operating of city business was new to all concerned but the determination was there and Cedar Park grew.
In 1977, after Cedar Park had extended the city limits, the City of Austin filed a complaint stating Cedar Park had encroached and was in conflict with their extraterritorial jurisdiction. A settlement was later made by Cedar Park withdrawing its southern boundary about a mile to the north. Another land was then ceded to Cedar Park by Austin. A final settlement was not made until 1983.
In the ten years since Cedar Park incorporated, a new post office has been built.
City Hall, Police Department, Volunteer Fire Department, Library, City parks, and Faubion Elementary School have either been formed or built. A jail was added in early 1983. The Hill Country News is published and has offices in Cedar Park Plaza, Cedar Park's first shopping center. Some of the organizations in Cedar Park are the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Cedar Park Chamber of Commerce, American Legion, and the Kiwanis Club. There is an annual event called "The Cedar Chopper Festival" which is complete with contests, carnival, market booths, and parade. Though the Bank of the Hills moved to Austin, Cedar Park still has a bank with a drive-in facility. There are now numerous businesses.
The Cedar Park Public Library, begun in 1980, is a tax-supported institution of city government.
The librarian, Pauline Lam, who has a master's degree in Library Science, set the library up from books donated to the city. The city now furnishes an operating budget which includes funds for new books. The City Council appoints members to a library board to aid in policy and planning. There is also a volunteer group, Friends of the Library, who type, shelve books, and raise additional funds for the library. The volunteers also aid in the special adult education programs, Saturday morning children's programs, and summer reading programs. (14)
In two early housing developments parks were built for the use of those having bought lots and built homes thereon. The parks have since been deeded to the City of Cedar Park. One, Rivera Springs Park, lies in the southwest and the other is on the northern boundary.
The second park has been named the Peggy Garner Park in honor of Mrs. Garner who was the owner of one of the city's businesses, the Rabbit Habit.
The volunteer fire department, begun some years ago, now has over thirty trained men in the organization. Their trucks and building were made available through donations.
The Police Department is located on Farm to Market Road 1431. The building was changed through volunteer work to include the jail as well as offices and a court. Ray Litton, the City Administrator, served as an architect with employees donating their time for the work. When completed, the jail cost $12,000. rather than the value of $70,000. had the labor not been donated. (15)
There are, in 1983, eight churches which include six denominations. (16) This is an indication of the diversity of thought as well as religious tolerance within the community.
The cemeteries in Cedar Park are privately owned. The Cedar Park Cemetery on Bell Blvd. was and is a Cluck family cemetery. Within the last few years, it has been placed under the jurisdiction of an association that governs, takes care of, and pays the land taxes. (17) The New Hope Baptist Church owns and governs the cemetery on their property.(18)
The City of Cedar Park falls in the Leander Independent School District. In 1975 an elementary school, Ada Mae Faubion, was built just west of Cedar Park on Cypress Creek Road. In 1983 a high school was built and is to be opened in early 1984. This school lies northwest of Cedar Park and south of Leander.
Commuting was and still is a way of life; however, there is less need for traveling back and forth to Austin to one's occupation.
Cedar Park has a shopping center with another in the planning stage. Numerous businesses have opened in the city and others are planned.
Though growing rapidly there are still quite rural areas where Bluebonnets, Horsemint, Wine Cups, Indian Blankets, Yucca, Cactus, wild Verbena, and Sweet William grow. The native trees are Redbud, Wild Plum, Oak, Elm, wild Chinaberry, Pecan, Hackberry, and Cedar. On New Hope Drive there are garlic and snowdrops on the edge of the road which comes up faithfully year after year. They were originally brought from Tennessee in a covered wagon by the Hall family. (19) Noel Grisham, Texas State Representative, stated during a speech in September 1983 that the area from Ranch Road 620 north to Liberty Hill was the fastest growing area in Texas today. He said the area would have a population of 300,000 by 1990.
An article in the Austin American Statesman said the intersection of U. S. Highway 183 and Ranch Road 620 "is the focal point of what is fast becoming a self-contained community" and is one of the most rapidly growing segments of Austin. Developers believe this area will soon be independent of Austin and have its own market area.(20) This growth cannot but help to make Cedar Park grow. "The trees, the rolling hills are the main attraction".
Like those of the earliest days of Running Brushy The Cedar Park City Council follows with tradition and is busy with plans for improvement and control to ensure a better community.
A planning and zoning committee is at work under the jurisdiction of the city council to guarantee this progress along with other committees, citizens, and organizations. Cedar Park, now more than 100 years old, continues to look forward to an orderly process of expansion and growth in all aspects of community life.
After the Texas War for Independence was won, the Texas government-issued land patents. These were issued to those who arrived in Texas prior to 1842. Others received land for military service, battles, etc. Patents to Rachel Saul, John Dillard, Samuel Daymon, Richard Duty, M. D. Anderson, R. G. Anderson, and S. J. Dover lay in what would one day be the area of Cedar Park. (1)
John H. Dillard received a patent of one league of land from Gov. G. T. Wood on February 3, 1838.
The land was described as ten miles S W of Georgetown and a corner of the Samuel Damon patent in later deeds. Though this land now, in 1983, lies outside of Cedar Park city limits, the family is important in that the Dillards later bought part of the Damon survey in order to increase their holdings. (2)
A fire in the Adjutant General's office in 1855 destroyed most of the Texas Revolutionary period records.
Even so, there are still existing records in the Texas State Archives in Austin, Texas. According to Samuel Damon's pension application which was approved for payment, he served under the command of Stephen F. Austin and was detailed as wagon master. His duty was to transport artillery and stores from Columbia to Hexer. He then served under the command of General Sam Houston. In one record he is noted as being with a group of volunteers whose purpose was the guarding "of this place and others on the Brazos". Samuel Damon was sixty-two years old at the time. Further records in the State Archives show John Dillard and S. J. Dover also served their state. S. J. Dover was reimbursed $40.00 for a horse lost in the service of the Republic of Texas. On January 22, 1848, Samuel Daymon of Brazoria County, Texas, sold one-half league, 2214 acres, for $1,000.00 to Thomas Dillard of Burleson County, Texas. Since neither party lived in the area the deed was not recorded for some years and after part of the land had again been sold. (3) By Hay 23, 1854, both Thomas Dillard and his wife had died when William Dillard, as an administrator, sold 632 1/2 acres to Landry Shoemake for $790.62. (4)
The land, on Brushy Creek, remained in the hands of its earliest owners from a few months to a few years.
The first few were absentee owners. It acquired the name of "the Lloyd Farm" indicating perhaps they were the first to actually live on and use the land to any extent. The Lloyd farm was originally 632 1/2 acres; however, through a suit in 1856, the court caused to be sold all except the homestead. The homestead, 329 1/2 acres, remained in the family until 1870 when it was sold. (6)
On December 3, 1873, the sale of this land to G. W. Cluck was recorded in Williamson County. Cluck paid $2000.00 for the 329 1/2 acres which had brought $1000.00 for 2214 acres in 1848. The land markers used to locate the property were Spanish Oak, elm trees, Brushy Creek, and certain piles of rock on the road to Austin. (7)
- Williamson County Survey Hap Texas General Land Office
- Deed Book 7, pg. 476 Williamson Abstracts by Frances Wynn and County, Texas Leonard Wynn
- Deed Book 6, pg. 413 Williamson Co. Abstract by Frances Wynn - Leonard Wynn
- Deed records on file Williamson Co. Abstract by Frances Wynn - Leonard Wynn
- Deed Book 14, pg. 451 Williamson Co. Abstracts by Frances Wynn - Leonard Wynn
The City of Cedar Park Williamson County, Texas was incorporated in 1973 and has already celebrated its tenth anniversary. The early court records of the county describe the land where it would one day be located as twelve miles southwest of Georgetown on a creek known as Brushy. Today it is said to be sixteen miles northwest of Austin on U. S. Highway 183.(1)
The earliest history of the area of Cedar Park is "older than the hills".
Something like 180 million years ago the land was covered by a shallow sea which later receded and left fossilized oyster beds and other shellfish. At a later time flooding caused layer on layer of silt and limy mud to be deposited. Climate, pressure, and chemicals changed the mud into the rock. The earth began to change with folding and faulting. The rock was broken, shifted, and lifted. Through time large springs were formed from water entering the rocks, flowing downward to the Balcones Fault, or Los Balcones as named by the Spanish in the early 1700s, and then forced back to the surface. The oldest rock in Texas is in the Llano-Burnet uplift which is actually mapped from Austin to Junction with Cedar Park lying between. (2)
From a study in the 1930s by the University of Texas on the headwaters of Running Brushy or Cluck Creek as it is known today, and the 1982 finding of an ancient campsite just east of Cedar Park with later discovery in January 1983 of the Neanderthal Lady, it is known the area has been inhabited for some 10,000 years or so.
Numerous middens, mounds, and a few places of burial have been found throughout the area.
The midden on Buttercup Creek, on the Leander Rehabilitation Center property, was approximately four feet deep and contained burnt rock, ash, small bones, and flint chips. The topsoil was removed to a depth of six inches in the area of the midden leaving various size points and a few scrapers uncovered. A quarter-mile down the creek a number of small points, one half to a three-quarter inch in length, were found on the bank. (3)
There were not less than seven or eight smaller middens found along the creek on Blockhouse Ranch. After a road was rebuilt in the 1960s one could find an occasional arrow point from the fill used which came from the ranch. (4)
While clearing a new section in the Texas Stone Quarry, a burial site was uncovered. Work was halted a few days while the area was studied.
One of the largest middens found was at the spring on the headwaters of Brushy Creek. Here, too, was found a burial site.
Times changed and the white man came with his knowledge of writing to record events of his day.
The Spanish came as early as 1716 with the Ramon-Saint Dennis Party traveling north from Mexico. They named creeks and rivers found and placed them on maps for others to use. The "Arroyo de los Beneditas Animas" or Creek of the Blessed Souls is today called, simply, Brushy Creek. The San Francisco Xavier is now known as the San Gabriel River.(5) The Spanish brought horses and cattle to Mexico and later on into Texas. Strays from these herds roamed and made their way to Brushy Creek) the San Gabriel, and the Colorado River area. (6) Athanase de Mezieres, Frenchman and son-in-law of St Denis, explored the south San Gabriel and its tributaries while traveling west in 1779. In his description, he mentions trees for lumber and quarries where there are "all kinds of stone for building". He wrote of the many wild horses, cattle, buffalo, bear, and fish. The listing of thyme, lavender, sage, winter savory, and fragrant flowers(7) makes it sound like a veritable paradise.
In the early 1800s, settlers from the United States made their way westward into the territory of Mexico searching for new lands to own.
They later declared the territory of Texas independent and fought the Mexicans for it. They also fought the Comanche who had moved into Texas about the time of the Spaniard's arrival. A group of Texas Rangers, formed in 1835 and under the direction of Captain Tumlinson, were ordered to build a blockhouse on Brushy Creek. This was accomplished in January 1836 and became known as both Block House and Tumlinson Fort. The fort was built on a spring about two miles north of the later site of Cedar Park. The fort was soon abandoned for the war with Mexico intensified. The fort was later burned by the Indians. Though short-lived it was one of the first, if not the first, in Williamson County. (8)