Hutto, Texas History Est. 1876

Main Street, Hutto Texas 1890. Hutto was the home of the first railroad in Williamson County, the International-Great Northern Railroad. Close proximity to Round Rock and Austin has contributed to Hutto’s recent growth in population.

Courtesy of Clarice Hanstrom

Hutto Texas 1890

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Main St Hutto Texas Over The Years

Hutto Texas

Hutto Texas is at the intersection of State Highway 79 and Farm Road 1660, seven miles east of Round Rock in south central Williamson County. Many of the pioneers were German, Danish, or Swedish immigrants. After the International-Great Northern Railroad, built the Hutto Station in 1876 and the community soon changed its name to Hutto.

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Read about the Hutto fire of 1902
a special thanks to Impact news and Suzanne Haberman for this slice of history

Photographic policies prohibit reproduction - please contact the Williamson Museum for reproduction rights Your interests and the preservation of the materials will be assured by the observance of these policies and procedures.
To inquire about the use or purchase of any of these photographs please contact the museum at (512) 943-1670.


Hutto Historical Marker

Google Map

GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 30.5434 Longitude: -97.5472

Address: 106 East St

Hutto - Texas

Historical Narrative by Clara Stearns Scarbrough

The townsite of Hutto was selected because of land speculation by the International and Great Northern Railroad, which built there in 1876 and spurred by cotton farming which was developing rapidly in the surrounding areas at that time.

The location of Hutto was decided by the route of the railroad.

It was, however, located approximately 21/2 miles due north of one of the earliest settlements in Williamson County--Shiloh, a tiny village that had two small stores in 1848 in the homes of their owners. Shiloh was on the banks of Brushy Creek, was settled early by Zara Stearns (1847) and Josiah Kuykendall (1844), and William McCutcheon settled near there in 1846. Nelson Morey had the first store, believed to have been the first one in the county, and within months, Josiah Taylor also opened a small store at Shiloh. Cattle were abundant along Brushy Creek in those early years, and cattle trails crossed near Shiloh and what later was Hutto, headed for the main arteries slightly to the west. Shiloh also provided other facilities to pioneer families. Church services were held in the log house Josiah Taylor built, at least by 1848. A Cumberland Presbyterian Church was established there between 1877 and 1879, with Rev. Newell Strayhorn in charge, with services held at Wilbarger Crossing, or Shiloh Crossing. The village also had a tiny rural school.

Early histories of the Hutto community state that two persons settled in the immediate area of Hutto in 1855.

They were Adam Orgain, who had been a slave in the Orgain family, and James Emory (J. E.) Hutto, who sold the land to the International and Great Northern Railroad Company when it projected its lines from Rockdale to Austin. No land transactions have been found as early as 1855 either in the name of Adam Orgain or in the name of J. E. Hutto. The earliest records involving these two men found thus far are: S. J. Orgain sold a tract to Benjamin Allen on October 15, 1859 (Deed Book VIII, 26). Sterlin (sic) Organ (a12.), along with J. E. and S. W. Tisdale, sold a 100-foot strip of land to the "International Railroad Company" as a right-of-way on April 18, 1876. The tract was described in the deed as lying adjacent and to the east of J. E. Hutto's property. (Deed Book XVII, 593) The first record of land purchase in the Hutto area by J. E. Hutto was August 23, 1866, when he purchased 200 acres from John S. Spence of Travis County. The tract was a part of the grant to M. C. Hamilton, assignee of W. J. Brown. (Deed Book X, 227) Hutto added to his land holdings on December 24, 1870, when he bought another tract from D. S. Cooke located in the same Hamilton-Brown grant. (Deed Book XIII, 520) J. E. Hutto sold to the I. & G. N. Company a 100-foot strip of land through his property for $1 (out of the John Spence and David S. Cooke tracts), located "about nine miles east of Round Rock," on April 17, 1876. (Deed Book XVII, 593)

No further information is now available about Adam Orgain, except that he had been a slave in the Orgain family, and had built a log cabin in 1855 approximately at the site of present Hutto.

James Emory Hutto was born in Alabama on June 8, 1824. He moved to Travis County in 1847, where he engaged in farming and stock raising. In 1855, he moved to Williamson County, where he continued in the cattle business. He served for three years in the Confederate Army, after which he returned to Williamson County and ran his farm and raised livestock. In 1885, he moved to Waco, where he ran a hardware business. After coming to Texas, J. E. Hutto married Miss Margaret Hughes, also a native of Alabama.
Their children included J.R, ( who became a ginner at Hutto); J. E., Jr.. a Williamson County farmer: W. T.; C. W.; R. B.; H. E.; Ellen (Mrs. J. S. Monday); Nettie (Mrs. J. A. Blanton), and an infant who died soon after birth. J. E. Hutto died in 1914 and is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery, Block 4, Lot 55, in Waco. (P. O. Box 6202, Waco 76706) This information about the burial was furnished by D. Whaley of Waco.

Earliest town records for the City of Hutto were dated 1876 of tract conveyed by J. E. Hutto to the Texas Land Company for the "Railroad Addition" near Hutto Station on the I & G N Railroad Company, the land for which was also conveyed in 1876 shortly before the railroad was built there).

Dedication of highways in the "Town of Hutto" is recorded in a Dedication Deed filed Jan. 17, 1890.

The earliest plat records were not filed until some years later.

The growing community in 1911 agreed to petition to be incorporated, and thereupon drew up a map of the city to accompany the deed of dedication.

Hutto Post Office opened June 27, 1877, with Hutto as postmaster. His successors were as follows,

  • John A. Blanton, appointed July 23, 1879
  • Thomas M. Metcalfe, appointed December 20, 1883
  • William H. McCormick, appointed May 1, 1890
  • Victor M. McCormick, April 25, 1891
  • Thomas H. Flinn, May 16, 1893
  • Joseph B. Ross, June 19, 1897
  • J. R. Davis, July 30, 1909
  • Little Wilson, December 12, 1911
  • Willis D. Holman, January 15, 1916
  • John C. Ray, July 1, 1924
  • Ward O. Miller, September 1, 1933
  • Walter L. Bergstrom, January 16, 1934
  • Oscar Humphrey, April 12, 1938
  • Carl Stern, October 15, 1952
  • Hugh S. Davenport, June 30, 1953

Hutto was incorporated in 1911.

In 1877, a depot was built at what was first referred to as "Hutto Station," although the "Station", was apparently dropped with¬in a short time.

The same year, 1877, Sam Monday ran a general store for a Mr. Loyd, and other businesses opening soon after were the Hudson & Blanton Store, D. C. Davi's Store, Robinson's Store, and a lumber yard owned by W. H. Farley, Sr., who was also the railroad agent. Loyd's store was built to the south railroad, and the original town developed nearby. In 1886, the store was destroyed by a storm and never rebuilt. Soon after, the section north of the railroad began to develop and remained in the place known as Hutto downtown today. Sam Monday ran the first saloon in town and a Mr. Scott a later one. Dr. J. C. Flinn, the first doctor in town, came in 1882. Other early doctors included Dr. R. H. Eanes, who moved from Hutto to Rice's Crossing within a few years, and Dr. J. W. Percy. A son of the first Dr. Flinn, Dr. Joseph F. Flinn, moved to Hutto after complet¬ing medical school and practiced beginning in 1904.

Carl "Cap" Hansen and his family from Denmark settled near Hutto in 1886, where Mr. Hansen built a blacksmith shop. He also served as the local dentist. Soren L. Christensen, another black¬smith, came there in 1900, operating his business until 1961, when he was in his eighties.

Small rural schools in the areas near Hutto (may have) continued to serve Hutto proper for a number of years after the railroad was built. Those within a few miles included Frame Switch, Gower, Monadale, Yakey, Shiloh, Burnap, and Stony Point. The first mention of a Hutto School appears to be 1882. The Whittle & Harrel School, which existed in 1892, is believed to have been at or near Hutto.

A Lutheran Church program history of Hutto relates, "The first school building was destroyed by storm in 1886. • • and a new school was built which served until 1917, when a two-story building was erected." At least, from available records, we can conclude that a school was built between 1877 and 1882 at Hutto.

Like the area schools, there were also churches near the new and rapidly growing Hutto, and services were held at these established places for a time. These included the small church at Shiloh and the Palm Valley Lutheran Church, which many of the Swedish families attended. The farmlands around Hutto were heavily settled by Swedish immigrants. The Hutto Baptist Church was organized in 1882 in the one-room school building, which stood south of the railroad. The Baptists built their own church in 1883, but it was completely demolished by a storm on June 19, 1886. Another was erected on the same lot. It was again wrecked by storms the summer of 1895, rebuilt and used until 1921 when another storm damaged it. A new church was erected in 1922 on the present site.

For a time, since this congregation had the only Hutto church, union services were held there, as well as special denomin¬ational services. Hutto Lutheran Church was organized June 25, 1892, and within a few months had built its own structure. A small tornado leveled it on July 21, 1894, but it was rebuilt and served until 1900 when it was sold and a larger church built at its present location.

Around 1890, the business section of Hutto was moving from south of the railroad to the north side, and by 1892, two rows of stores, mostly brick, had been completed along the new Main Street. S. M. Woolsey and A. W.

Carpenter, who had a mercantile store, opened Hutto Bank, which they sold in 1896 to Dr. E. P. Wilmot of Austin. The bank and store occupied a "large, two-story brick" building north of the railroad, with "all modern improvements and conveniences."

As early as 1890, the Hutto Enterprise was being published, and in 1891 reported that A. M. Smith's new store was "looming up" and would soon be ready for occupancy; that about ten homes were under construction; that Dr. A. Nowlin was building an office in town and that J. T. Magee was "putting up a windmill in his pasture and will run water to his tank in the Magee addition. He has plans for a fountain nearby. The landscape will be beautiful."

Hutto Masonic Lodge No. 801 was chartered on Dec. 2, 1896.

By 1898, the town had its school, six churches, a hotel, seven dry goods and eight grocery stores, a bank (a second one was added soon after), two drug stores, four blacksmith shops, a meat market, a livery stable, a lumber yard, a newspaper, and printing shop, two hardware stores, two gins, a mill, five doctors, one photographic gallery, a confectionery store, a tailor shop, a shoe shop, and a millinery.

In addition to the Enterprise, the local newspaper, another publication, the Hutto Church Helper, was edited by Rev. S. C. Lockett and J. W. Pearson. It contained some local news combined with articles about the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. About 1910, C. L. Fridge was the owner and editor of the Hutto Weekly News.

In 1888, the railroad completed stock pens along its tracks at Hutto to handle cattle shipments from there, and the Williamson County Sun at Georgetown noted that the town was needing a livery stable, hotel and was hoping cotton buyers would locate there.

A son of the James Emory Hutto, for whom the town was named, J. R. Hutto operated a gin at Hutto, as did James S. Holman.

Mrs. James M. Womack (Mary Frances), after her husband's death in 1892, opened a boarding house in Hutto to support their large family.

Among the avid leaders at Hutto were the followings:

James Emory Hutto, previously described. William "Uncle Billy" T. Evans (born near Bowling Green, Warren Co., Ky., Dec. 19, 1822) was married to Mary Hennington. He and his wife moved to Texas in 1854 and, on Christmas Day, are said to have pitched his tent on the banks of Brush§ Creek, where he later built his residence. He bought 400 acres of land in 1857, dealt in livestock, took cattle on drives to Kansas and New Orleans. During the Civil War, he handled cattle for the Confederate government. He died in 1905

Hugh Goodwin, a Hutto farmer, was born in Louisa Co., Va., Feb. 22, 1833.

After leaving home, he engaged in farming in Missouri, mining, and farming in California, and in 1867 came to Galveston, where he was in the wool business for two years. In 1875, he moved to Rockdale, which was then the terminus of the International and Great Northern Railroad, and was engaged as a cotton buyer. In 1877 he bought land in Williamson County, moved there, and established his home and farm adjoining Hutto. In 1884, he married Miss Mary Farley of Hutto. Their five children were Lucy, Huldah, Hugh, William, and Spencer C. (as listed in 1893). William H. Farley, Sr., was born in Alabama, moved to Harrison County, Texas, in 1846. He came to Williamson County in 1870 and engaged in farming; he was also station manager at the Hutto depot for His wife was formerly Lucy Hargrove. many years. /Seven children were listed in 1893. W. H., Mary, J. H., Forrest, Walter, Hally, Arthur. He died Aug. 20, 1909. Captain H. A. Highsmith (1843-1930) served in the Civil War, later joined the Texas Rangers, and was in Round Rook at the time Sam Bass was caught there. He was in the cattle business at Hutto. Mr. Goodwin died in 1909.

William H. Farley, Sr., was born in Alabama, moved to Harrison County, Texas in 1846.

He came to Williamson County in 1870 and engaged in farming. He was also station manager at the Hutto depot for His wife was formerly Lucy Hargrove.
Many years. Seven children were listed in 1893. W. H., Mary, J. H., Forrest, Walter, Hally, Arthur. He died on Aug. 20, 1909.

Captain H. A. Highsmith (1843-1930) served in the Civil War, later joined the Texas Rangers, and was in Round Rook at the time Sam Bass was caught there. He was in the cattle business at Hutto.

The early economic base of Hutto was the land development resulting from the coming of the railroad, plus the cattle business, already well established in the area to the south, along Brushy. Creek. But within a decade of the founding of Hutto in 1876, the cotton industry took a great surge in central Texas, and certainly, Hutto had its share of this crop production, for it lies on the Blackland prairies famous for their cotton crops. Swedish and other farmers greatly increased their acreage in cotton, with the coming of better gins, farm equipment, and with the help of immigrant families who were streaming into the area to settle. The population jumped in Hutto from 216 in 1890 to 563 in 1900, remained somewhat stable until the 1930s, and began a decline which hit 400 in 1960. It had regained to 545 in 1970.

In 1975, Hutto had seven active churches: Hutto Baptist Church, Hutto United Methodist Church, Hutto Lutheran Church, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Hutto (Negro) Methodist Church, St. Mary's Catholic Church, and Church of God in Christ.

The Hutto Public School served all grades through high school. The town has one service club, the Hutto Lions Club.

In addition to the U. S. Post Office, the town lists the following businesses in 1975s Hutto Lumber Co., Hutto Cooperative Gin Co., Hutto Cooperative Grain Co., Greenline Chemical Co., H. & M. Apiaries, Schmidt Grocery, You Way 'Em Drive-In Grocery, Inman Service Station, Gainer Service Co., Oman Fender & Body Works, Perrin Magneto & Electric Co., Miller Bar-B-Q, Mager Welding Shop, Hanson Plumbing & Electric, Hutto Washateria, 'Chapa Tavern, E & B Tavern.

John "Jack" McCutcheon (1840-1925) and his brother, Jesse A. McCutcheon (1842-1925) both saw service in the Civil War, and both engaged in the cattle business at Hutto.
E. W. M. Highsmith (1827-1893) claimed Hutto as his home, but was a Confederate soldier and became a career army man.

James S. Holman was a merchant and ginner at Hutto: a brother, Willis D. Holman, was a stockman of the area.

J. A. "Cotton" Johnson came from Sweden to Texas in 1881, then settled north of Hutto in 1887. Like many immigrants, he had little or no financial backing when he arrived, but his diligent and careful farming made it possible for him to purchase a large tract on which he grew fine cotton crops. He gave each of his sons a large farm upon their adulthood. Johnson had one of the early automobiles of the county. He was born in 1857, died in 1936.

W. L. and H. A. "Honey" Victor have run a bee-keeping, honey business for a number of years since the turn of the twentieth century.

SOURCE: History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties (Chicago: Lewis, 1893), p. 430.

R. B. Hutto, a prosperous young farmer of Hutto, Williamson County, is a son of J. E. Hutto, a Texas pioneer. J. E. Hutto was born in Alabama, June 8, 1824, and was reared on a farm in his native State. Upon his arrival in Texas in 1847, he engaged in farming and stock-raising in Travis county. About 1855, he moved to Williamson county, settling near where Hutto has since been built, this town having been named in honor of him. Here for twenty years, between 1855 and 1875, he was one of the wealthy cattle-men of this section of the country. He continued to reside here until 1885, when he took up his residence in Waco, Texas, where he is now engaged in the hardware business. He was in the Confederate army for three years. It was not until after he came to this State that he was married, the lady of his choice being Miss Margaret Hughes, Alabama. They have had the following named children: J. R., a gin man of Hutto; J. E. a prosperous farmer of Williamson county; W. T.; C. W.; R. B.; H. E.; Ellen, who married J. S. Monday; Nettie, who married J. A. Blanton; and an infant that died at the age of three years.

R. B. Hutto was born in Williamson county, Texas, August 31, 1857.

He grew up on his father's ranch and assisted in caring for his father's cattle until he reached his majority. He then launched out in the cattle business for himself, in which he was engaged for nine years, and at the end of that time disposed of his cattle interests for $25,000. He then invested in farm property near Hutto, and now gives his chief attention to the raising of cotton, making an occasional trade. He is cultivating 350 acres of his 700-acre tract. His cotton crop in 1892 amounted to 132 bales.

March 13, 1885, Mr. Hutto married Alice, daughter of Albert Barker. The other children in the Barker family are Jesse, Gus, Calvin, Ollie, Benjamin, and Katie. Mr. and Mrs. Hutto have three children; Willis, born in 1886; Jessie, in 1889, and May, in 1892.

Mr. Hutto's success is attributed to his great energy, backed by good judgment, a combination not common to a great majority of our businessmen.