If you’re curious about anything historical regarding Wilco, just check with the Williamson County Historical Commission.
State law directs county historical commissions to initiate and manage preservation programs for their counties. CHCs must also follow recommendations of their County Commissioners Court and the Texas Historical Commission.
According to the THC, in 1953, the legislature created the Texas State Historical Survey Commission and in 1973 changed the agency’s name to the Texas Historical Commission. Most counties, including Wilco, also called their organizations historical survey commissions and removed “survey” from their designations after the THC did.
This year, to increase geographic diversity on the WCHC, we appointed 10 new members, and I was privileged to select two highly qualified people from several—also highly qualified—applicants to represent Precinct 1. I want to thank all who showed an interest in serving and encourage them to volunteer with the WCHC.
My two recommendations were Round Rock resident Jane Digesualdo, historian, author, community volunteer and a former member of the WCHC. The other Round Rock resident and native I recommended, Tina Steiner-Johnson, is a middle and high school teacher, and has been involved with the Round Rock Preservation Committee, as well as numerous other community organizations.
Formerly nine Georgetown residents, two from Taylor and one from Cedar Park comprised the WCHC. Now nine are from Georgetown, four from Round Rock, one from Leander, two from Cedar Park, three from Taylor, one from Hutto and one from Circleville for a total membership of 21 and one ad hoc member.
Texas law requires that at least seven residents on a CHC be from the county, and currently all 21 members are. It also requires that members of a CHC be individuals who broadly reflect the age, ethnic and geographic diversity of the county, and we’ve broadened this diversity!
Eloise Brackenridge from Taylor, originally appointed to the WCHC by Commissioner Larry Madsen of Precinct 4 in 2015, was elected chair by the WCHC members this past February and approved by the Commissioners Court. She hit the ground running.
She immediately garnered every member’s support in selecting two primary goals for the WCHC to address, in addition to several ongoing projects. One was to identify the most significant historical sites in Williamson.
The sites they’ll consider currently may not bear historical markers (or plaques) but they will also include those already marked. Buildings, cemeteries or even empty fields can be considered historical sites. Sometimes fields were sites of significant battles or other human events. Once these sites are all identified, the WCHC will publish this information and post it on their website at http://tinyurl.com/yclbej8m.