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The following is an article written by J.H. Raymond, Jr. that appeared in Demorest's Family Magazine, Vol. XXX, January, 1894. This article is titled "Our Growing Cities" and features Austin. I thought this was particularly appropriate given Austin's recent extreme growth spurt. For those of you who thought this was a new concept... just read on....

Our Growing Cities Our Growing Cities.
Austin, Texas

Austin enjoys the distinction of being the capital of the largest State, Texas, which granted to the city 3,000,000 acres of land as the cost of erecting on a prominent site a fine granite capitol. The Academic and Law Departments of the State University are also located here, and these, with its rich endowments of land will eventually make Austin a leading educational center, much of its younger population having been attracted to it by the excellent educational facilities offered. When these advantages are added to those which every community derives from a surrounding country that is rich in every natural product, and to the efforts making towards the establishment of industrial enterprises, it would seem that the city offers unusual inducements to the capital and labor that are seeking development and employment in Southern fields.

Reference must be made to the beauty of this city's natural scenery. Austin was selected as the future capital of Texas over half a century ago, the commissioners appointed to choose a site having made their report on April 13, 1839. They stated that the selection was made because the country possessed healthful surroundings, fine water, stone, coal, and water power, in abundance and in convenient form. But in addition to the natural advantages they thus mentioned, it is fair to presume that they were largely attracted by the great beauty of the country about the site selected. Austin is situated where the hills of the Colorado cross the river, and low mountain ranges here join to give diversity and picturesqueness to the landscape.

The greatest bid that has ever been made by any Southern community to the manufacturer is today offered by the City of Austin, by the building of a dam in the Colorado River within the city limits. This dam is 1,150 feet long, 60 feet high, 66 feet wide at the base, is built of limestone and cement, and covered with a very fine quality of Texas granite. By the building of this dam, which, with the attendant water mains, reservoirs, etc., will cost $1,400,000, the city obtains water-power equivalent to 14,000 horse-power. Of this 4,000 horse-power will be used by the city for water and light purposes, and 10,000 horse-power will thus be left over for manufacturing enterprises. The disposition of the citizen is to offer this water power at a nominal cost, in order to induce the establishment of manufactories. The building of the dam has given Austin a lake about 25 miles in length and extending that distance through some of the most picturesque scenery in the South. Large bodies of fresh water are rare throughout the Southwest, and this lake, with depth, in many places, of from 40 to 50 feet, has added much to the natural beauty of Austin's surroundings, which are already looked upon as the great recreation-ground for the business and professional men of the city, and a source of much pleasure to those seeking a resort of that character. Thus, while Austin holds out a willing hand to the manufacturing world, she, at the same time, holds in readiness for those who come to develop resources of her country the rarest natural advantages of scenery and climate to be had in the South

Austin is in the great "Cotton Belt" of the Southwest, and it has long been the opinion of men acquainted with the business, that cotton goods could be profitably manufactured at this point. A large supply of wool and hides is readily obtainable, and the manufacture of these products has generally been successful in the South. Austin is about 200 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, being advantageously situated for the trade in manufactured goods with Mexico, and should also share largely in the growing trade between this country and South America. With a contiguous country that is fertile and rich in farm supplies, and near enough to deep water to market her products, with a climate very healthful both in winter and summer, Austin will certainly stand as the rival of many of her sister cities in the South in the rapidity of her growth.

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