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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Austin in Travis County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Michael Butler and Butler Brick Company

 
 
Michael Butler and Butler Brick Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry D. Moore, May 18, 2019
1. Michael Butler and Butler Brick Company Marker
Inscription.  

Michael Butler (1842-1909) emigrated from Limerick, Ireland, to New York City in 1866 and worked as a bricklayer. After traveling the country pursuing the masonry trade, Butler arrived in Dallas in 1869 and established a brick plant on the Trinity River. From 1869 to 1873, Butler's plant produced handmade bricks using the sun-dried brick method.

In 1873, Butler sold the Dallas plant to his brother, Patrick Butler, and moved to Austin, establishing his first Austin brick plant at the foot of East Avenue (now IH-35) on the north bank of the Colorado River. Flooding forced him to move, and in 1876 he purchased land and moved operations to the area roughly bordered by the Colorado River (Lady Bird Lake), South First Street, present-day Barton Springs Road and Barton Creek.

These brickyards remained in place until 1958. The interior of the Texas Capitol is supported with three million bricks from this site. Between 1873 and 1900, most of Austin's brick structures were made with Butler bricks, initially utilizing a machine operated by mules to force alluvial clay into wooden molds.

Butler married Austin native Mary
Michael Butler and Butler Brick Company Marker Area image. Click for full size.
By Larry D. Moore, May 18, 2019
2. Michael Butler and Butler Brick Company Marker Area
Jane Kelly (1854-1935) and lived in a home he built on South Lamar until 1887 when he completed his stately brick mansion at 11th and Lavaca (demolished in 1971). Butler manufactured bricks until his death in 1909, when his sons took over the Butler Brick Company.

In honor of Michael Butler, his family deeded 91 acres of the former brickyards to the City of Austin for civic use in 1941, at a fraction of the land's value. Michael Butler Park recognizes this legacy of craftsmanship and civic pride that aided the development of Austin.
 
Erected 2016 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 18477.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
 
Location. 30° 15.797′ N, 97° 45.286′ W. Marker is in Austin, Texas, in Travis County. Marker is on Riverside Drive 0.2 miles east of South Lamar Boulevard (Loop State Highway 343), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Austin TX 78704, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Town Lake Park Alliance (here, next to this marker); Michael Paggi House (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Shoal Creek (approx. 0.2 miles away); Seaholm Power Plant (approx. 0.2 miles away); Margaret Moser Plaza
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(approx. 0.4 miles away); J.P. Schneider Store (approx. 0.4 miles away); Austin City Limits (approx. half a mile away); Old I.V. Davis Homestead (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Austin.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 19, 2019, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas. This page has been viewed 146 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 19, 2019, by Larry D. Moore of Del Valle, Texas. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 5, 2021