Downtown Austin in Travis County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Texas Highway Department
(Established April 4, 1917)
Early 20th century Texas farmers demanded all-weather access to markets just as automobiles revolutionized transportation for all travelers. Good roads promoters envisioned a central state agency to organize safe, consistent routes. In 1916 the Federal Government offered matching funds to build a statewide highway system.
In 1917, legislators created the Texas Highway Department, and Texans registered 195,000 automobiles. Agency employees worked in the Capitol, then the 1917 Land Office, and soon the agency opened district offices across the state. In 1921 Federal officials approved a 2,900-mile Texas system, ensured by a one-cent-per-gallon state gas tax after 1923. During the Great Depression, Federal relief funds stimulated massive road building.
Engineers also promoted a new headquarters, and in 1933 completed this State Highway building. From here, Dewitt Carlock Greer (1902-1986) served as State Highway Engineer, 1940 to 1967, and Commissioner, 1969 to 1981, when legislators named the building for him. That year, as the agency’s role expanded to public transportation, it managed 71,000 miles of highways for 12
Erected 1997 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12247.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Roads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1916.
Location. 30° 16.346′ N, 97° 44.423′ W. Marker is in Austin, Texas, in Travis County. It is in Downtown Austin. Marker is on East 11th Street west of Brazos Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 125 E 11th Street, Austin TX 78701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Texas State Capitol (within shouting distance of this marker); Mexican Americans in 20th Century America (within shouting distance of this marker); Tejanos and Texas in the U.S. (within shouting distance of this marker); The Woman Suffrage Movement in Texas (within shouting distance of this marker); Tejanos in the Republic of Texas (within shouting distance of this marker); Tejanos Under the Mexican Flag (within shouting distance of this marker); Governor Andrew Jackson Hamilton (within shouting distance of this marker); Spanish Tejanos (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Austin.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 1, 2023. It was originally submitted on December 21, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. This page has been viewed 2,527 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 21, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.