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Tivoli in Refugio County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Preston Rose Austin

(November 11, 1872 - September 29, 1929)

 
 
Preston Rose Austin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 15, 2018
1. Preston Rose Austin Marker
Inscription.
A far-sighted businessman who contributed much to the development of South Texas, Preston Rose Austin was born in Harrison County and grew up in Victoria County. After achieving prominence as a stock raiser, Austin became a partner in the Refugio Land and Irrigation Company, which acquired large landholdings in this area in 1902. Austin conducted a series of agricultural experiments and determined that the land was best suited to raising cotton. The company divided the property into small cotton farms for sale to German and Bohemian farmers.

Austin then founded two market towns to serve the settlers. The townsite of Tivoli was platted in 1907 by J.W. Ward. Austwell, named for Austin and one of his partners, Jesse McDowell of Pennsylvania, was platted in 1912 by L.A. Gueringer. The company provided each community with a church, school, store, hotel, and cotton gin and mill, as well as modern conveniences such as electricity and a telephone system. Austin and his associates also financed a branch line of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, which connected Tivoli and Austwell with Victoria when it was completed in 1912. Austin's energetic ventures resulted in extensive settlement of northern Refugio County.
 
Erected 1976 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 4120.)
Preston Rose Austin Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 15, 2018
2. Preston Rose Austin Marker (tall view)

 
Location. 28° 27.314′ N, 96° 53.294′ W. Marker is in Tivoli, Texas, in Refugio County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (State Highway 35) and Austwell Road (Farm to Market Road 239), on the right when traveling south on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is located within a small pull-out at the northwest corner of the intersection. Marker is in this post office area: Tivoli TX 77990, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Original Mission Refugio (approx. 6.1 miles away); Green Lake (approx. 7 miles away); Cotton Gins of Calhoun County (approx. 9.8 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Preston Rose Austin. Ruined by the "Big Freeze" of February 12, 1899, an infamous norther that killed 40,000 cattle overnight, Austin borrowed money from a friend and started afresh. Over the next few years Austin accumulated extensive farm and ranch interests. With business partner Jesse McDowell he owned some 20,000 acres, primarily in Refugio and Calhoun counties. After considerable experimentation with rice and alfalfa, which proved susceptible to the area's salt water, Austin successfully produced cotton on his plantations. He was largely responsible for the development of the cotton industry on the lower Guadalupe River. On his annual vacation in
Preston Rose Austin Marker (<i>wide view; looking north along Main Street</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 15, 2018
3. Preston Rose Austin Marker (wide view; looking north along Main Street)
Hot Springs, Arkansas, on September 27, 1929, he was strangled to death in his hotel room-apparently by three men and a woman seen leaving his floor at the approximate time of his death. A nationwide search and the offer of a $6,000 reward failed to turn up the killer or killers. (Submitted on June 29, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Tivoli, Texas. A post office opened in 1912 with M. M. Landgraf as postmaster. During the first few years of the town's existence most of the freight and passengers bound for Tivoli came by way of the Guadalupe River, two miles north. In 1912, however, a branch of the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway was extended through Tivoli, and the settlement began to grow rapidly. The town emerged as a shipping point for area cotton farmers and ranchers in the fertile, coastal blackland country. By 1914 Tivoli had an estimated population of 400, two general stores, a bank, a drugstore, a blacksmith, a hotel, and telephone service. By 1928 it reached a peak population of 700. (Submitted on June 29, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Gin at Tivoli, Refugio County, Texas c. 1910. 1910 photograph of a gin at Tivoli in Refugio County, Texas. There is one large building and several smaller buildings. About a dozen wagons, seemingly filled with
U.S. Post Office, Tivoli, Texas image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 15, 2018
4. U.S. Post Office, Tivoli, Texas
cotton or grain, can be seen. Also sacks of grain or cotton are stacked in a fenced area. A water tower stands in the background. (Submitted on June 29, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. AgricultureIndustry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 29, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 40 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 29, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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