Round Rock 10,000 Years of History

A special thanks the Round Rock Leader for letting
the Historical Commission post these wonderful articles.

The Time Capsules stories are prepared by Bob Brinkman

Texas Historical Commission


A unique sense of place is important for a community. Round Rock can trace its roots back 10,000 years, when nomads crossed this way. For centuries afterwards, roaming Indian tribes dotted the land, especially Tonkawas, Apaches and Comanches. Settlement of a more permanent nature took hold in the 1830s. Families moving westward from the United States started filling in the valleys, finding fertile land and a good climate. By 1848, when Williamson County was created, villages were forming along Brushy Creek and the San Gabriel River.

Communities that were large enough petitioned the national government for a post office, an asset that would officially put them "on the map". In 1851, Thomas Oatts was awarded a post office to be run out of his general store (still standing today). The post office operated for three years under the name Brushy Creek. But in August 1854, the name was changed. Oatts recalled how he and his friend Jacob Harrell enjoyed fishing from a limestone rock formation in the middle of Brushy Creek. Oatts submitted the new name to postal authorities, and ever since Round Rock has been known by its more uncommon name. 

In 1876 the railroad stopped 3/4 miles east of the established settlement.

The boom town that sprang up at the end of the line took the name Round Rock, and was known as New Town. The older village became Old Town, and changed the postal name to Old Round Rock, operating separately until 1891.

For stagecoaches, horsemen and cattle drivers of the nineteenth century, the low-water crossing for Brushy Creek crossed right at the rock. As long as the top of the rock was visible, the water was shallow and slow enough for safe passage. A tradition that may be nearly as old is the springtime ritual of Breakfast on the Rock, typically renewed by high school seniors before graduation. And through the years, the unbridled enthusiasm of Georgetown and Taylor have cloaked the rock in alternate coats of blue and green. But its official recognition with a state historical marker in 1971 affords the rock new respect and protection. It adds to the uniqueness of our town, as there are two dozen Brushy Creeks in Texas, but only one Round Rock.