The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Austin (city)
AUSTIN, a city of Texas, capital of the state and of Travis county, on the Colorado river, 160 m. (direct) from its mouth, and 200 m. N. W. of Galveston; pop. in 1860, 3,494; in 1870, 4,428, of whom 1,615 were colored. The Colorado is navigable to this point in winter by steamboats. Austin is built on an amphitheatre of hills, and overlooks the valley of the Colorado and the rich prairies beyond. The public buildings are of a white stone called marble, but too soft to admit of polish. An artesian well has been sunk just north of the capitol, to the depth of 1,300 feet, from which a small stream constantly issues. The water is impregnated with lime, and has some medicinal qualities. It has been proposed to supply the city with water from the Colorado by an aqueduct. There are 8 or 10 churches in the city, and about 20 schools. The first free public schools in Texas were opened at Austin in 1871. There are 2 weekly newspapers published here, 1 triweekly, and 3 daily. The western division of the Houston and Texas Central railroad connects the city by way of Hempstead with Houston and the diverging railroads.