“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Austin in Travis County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)


Clarksville Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson, September 9, 2007
1. Clarksville Marker
Inscription. Historic black neighborhood. Settled in 1871 when Charles Clark, a freedman, bought two acres of land on present Tenth Street. This formed the nucleus of the community that Clark, according to tradition, wanted to start for his people.

For years Clarksville lay in a wilderness on the outskirts of Austin, crossed only by a few country roads. Gradually it grew into a closely knit village, with activities centering on the Sweet Home Baptist Church. At first members met in the home of Mrs. Mary Smith. Then, in 1882, they purchased this site.

Religious fervor was strong in those days, and the residents often stood on their porches at dawn to begin the day with a hymn. The first church building was erected in the 1880s; present (fourth) one in 1935.

Among Clarksville’s distinguished citizens was Elias Mayes, who served in the Texas Legislature in 1879 and 1889. One of the first ministers of Sweet Home, the Rev. Jacob Fontaine, was instrumental in unifying negro Baptist churches in Austin and started the first negro newspaper, “The Gold Dollar”, in the city.

As of 1973, Clarksville encompassed over 9 square blocks, bounded by Tenth, West Lynn, and Waterston Streets and the Missouri-Pacific Railroad tracks.
Erected 1973 by the Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 14494.)
Location. 30° 16.879′ N, 97° 45.747′ W. Marker is in Austin, Texas, in Travis County. Marker is on West 11th Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. In front of the Sweethome Baptist Church. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1725 W 11th St, Austin TX 78703, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mathews School (approx. ¼ mile away); Confederate Men's Home (approx. 0.4 miles away); King-Von Rosenberg House (approx. half a mile away but has been reported missing); Henry H. and Bertha Sterzing Ziller House (approx. half a mile away); Judge Calvin Maples Cureton (approx. 0.6 miles away); Okewell (approx. 0.6 miles away); The William Green Hill House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Austin High School (approx. 0.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Austin.
Categories. African AmericansSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. This page has been viewed 613 times since then and 68 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on , by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on October 5, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide area picture of the marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
Paid Advertisement