Williamson County, located in Central Texas, is surrounded by Bell County to the north, Milam County to the northeast, Lee County to the east, Bastrop County to the southeast, Travis County to the south and Burnet County to the west. Georgetown, the county seat and largest town is 25 miles north of Austin.
Cities, Towns & Communities
Bartlett (partly in Bell County) | Cedar Park | Coupland | Florence | Georgetown – county seat | Granger | Hutto | Jarrell | Jonah | Leander | Liberty Hill | Macedonia | Norman’s Crossing | Round Rock | Schwertner | Taylor | Thorndale (mostly in Milam County) | Thrall | Walburg | Waterloo | Weir
The Texas legislature established Williamson County on March 13, 1848, naming it for prominent judge and soldier Robert M. Williamson. Georgetown, the county seat, was laid out during the summer of that year, and the district court was in session by October. According to the census of 1850 Williamson County had a population of 1,379 whites and 155 slaves, living in agricultural communities on Brushy Creek and the San Gabriel. As was common in other frontier counties, most of the improved acreage was used to grow corn. Three families owned fifteen or more slaves in 1850, but family farms and subsistence agriculture remained the norm prior to the Civil War. While most of the settlers had moved to Texas from other southern states, particularly Tennessee, a substantial contingent came from Vermilion County in Illinois, and this latter group remained pro-Union and Republican in its political orientation during the secession crisis.
On the eve of the Civil War Williamson County had moved beyond the frontier stage and was a populous, agriculturally diverse county. The white population tripled between 1850 and 1860 to 3,638 whites, while the black population grew even more dramatically to 891 slaves, six times the number of slaves in 1850. Agricultural pursuits were quite varied and reflected the county’s geographical diversity. Farmers were using the rich blackland soils in the eastern half of the county to grow wheat and corn. Cotton was introduced in the 1850s, but only 271 bales were grown in 1860, and it was not an important cash crop for most farmers. The early settlers had found large herds of wild cattle in the 1840s, and cattle ranching, both for home consumption and for market, was widespread throughout the county by 1860. The number of cattle on county ranches had more than tripled from 11,973 head in 1850 to 38,114 head in 1860. Similarly, the number of sheep grew from 2,937 producing 3,499 pounds of wool in 1850 to 16,952 sheep and 32,994 pounds of wool in 1860. Read More Williamson County History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>
History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties Digital book online from the Portal to Texas History.
The current courthouse, built in 1911, is an example of Neoclassical Revival architecture. The courthouse has had a tumultuous past, surviving three major renovations and many modifications including the demolition of its key architectural features in 1966. With the assistance of the Texas Historical Commission and preservation-minded county citizens and officials, the courthouse was returned to its original 1911 state during a major 2006–2007 renovation, once again becoming a focal point of the county. – wikipedia.