AUSTIN, TX (MATAGORDA COUNTY)
AUSTIN, TEXAS (Matagorda County). Though Moses Austin died before fulfilling his plans for a community called Austina on the mouth of the Colorado River, Austin was the name given as early as 1836 to a site just south of Oliver Point (formerly known as Point Plesant or Pleasant), four miles across Tres Palacios Bay from what is now Palacios, in southwestern Matagorda County. The settlement, also known as Port Austin, was platted to be a town of at least 166 blocks, with blocks reserved for a college, a church, and public buildings, as well as an area labeled Hyde Park. The development was a project of Capt. Thomas Bridges, a Massachusetts shipmaster who had run supplies from New Orleans through the Mexican blockade during the Texas Revolution. He originally bought land near Oyster Lake but later moved the townsite north toward Oliver Point. In 1838 Bridges traveled to New York and sold several town lots. Around that time he took on two partners, Silas Dinsmore and William Boyd. Though Austin apparently never developed substantially, in 1840 several parishioners of Christ Episcopal Church in Matagorda recorded their residence as the city of Austin, and the county land-grant map shows a Port Austin at the site. Bridges, his wife, Hannah, and their daughter Alice apparently lived at the site, and Alice Bridges eventually learned the language of the local Karankawa Indians. Bridges died in 1848. The townsite land, the ownership of which had been open to question, eventually became the property of Jonathan Edwards Pierce and later the LeTulle family.
Matagorda County Historical Commission, Historic Matagorda County (3 vols., Houston: Armstrong, 1986).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Rachel Jenkins, "AUSTIN, TX (MATAGORDA COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hra94), accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles