Neighborhood News

Honoring and Preserving History in Wilco’s Cemeteries

Column by Commissioner Cook

  • 17 June 2021
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 1509

Members of the Round Rock Black History Organization gather to place flags for Veterans Day at Hopewell Cemetery on Nov. 7, 2020. They are from left: Tiffany and husband Paul Gibson, Julie Chapa, Tina Steiner, Ella Morrison, Round Rock Police Chief Allen Banks and his Father, Craig Walker, who was visiting from Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Photo courtesy of Kathryn Effinger.

Ella Morrison: "We need to give credit to two others who helped in recent  years. Bobbie Withriow who cut tree limbs, cleaned Veteran headstones, and donated and helped place flowers on every grave in the cemetery, and planted three Crepe Myrtle trees. Sherry Richards also helped with cleaning and planting in the recent past. Bobbie Withriow and The Fallen Org. can never be compensated enough for his help." 

While ancestral research can be found online, in family Bibles and from records like death certificates maintained by counties, another good source is tombstones.

But many cemeteries are in the middle of nowhere!

Wayne Ware, chair of the Cemetery Restoration Committee, under the direction of the Williamson County Historical Commission, told me that years ago in Granger a woman whose husband had died put him in the back of her wagon and started down the road. A stranger saw her and told her to bury him on land nearby.

Also, over 100 Wilco cemeteries are behind locked gates or not yet located. Sometimes a property owner will give permission to relatives or others to get on their land, but many landowners don’t live on the property, so gaining access is nearly impossible.

Yet the cemetery committee plods on. It currently has 16 active volunteers who maintain 20 neglected cemeteries in the county on a rotation basis. The history buried in these cemeteries motivates the volunteers who call the interned “the pioneers” of Williamson County.

The committee has identified 236 cemeteries, 26 of which have received the Historic Texas Cemetery designation by the Texas Historical Commission.

Nancy Bell, treasurer for the Historic Commission, said some of these cemeteries date back to the 1840s. Starting in the spring, the volunteers mow and clean the cemeteries. In the fall, after the weeds and grass die down, they remove old, dead trees and underbrush.

​Last fall, the volunteers spent many hours clearing out the Hargis cemetery, located on an acre south of Taylor and north of Coupland. A fund was established by the Hargis family for its upkeep, but the money’s whereabouts is unknown.

However, the plot had become impenetrable from overgrown brambles, brush, shrubs and trees and is known for an abundance of rattlesnakes. Still, the volunteers cleared it.

Eloise Brackenridge, chair of the Historical Commission, tells another story about the Taylor cemetery that began after someone died during a gunfight, and the townspeople needed somewhere to bury the dead.

Round Rock residents Tina Steiner, her Aunt, Ella Sauls Morrison, Morri

Commissioner Cook encourages Wilco residents to take Community Health Survey

Sponsored by the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD)

  • 12 May 2021
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 1540

Graphic with writing that says "Do you have a moment" and "Take the 2022 Community Health Survey" with images of people on it.The Community Health Survey will be open from May 3-14, 2021.

Our community is working together to improve health and wellness in Williamson County. The Community Heath Assessment (CHA) engages community members and local public health system partners to collect and analyze health-related data from many sources. A survey is now available to collect the community’s feedback on what they believe are the most pressing health needs for Williamson County. The feedback will be used to inform decision-making, prioritize health issues, and assist in the development and implementation of Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).

Health care providers, faith-based organizations, public health, school districts, non-profit organizations, local governments and community members are working together to address health issues where we live, learn, work and play.

Surveys in English, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean are available at: www.healthywilliamsoncounty.org/cha.

Paper surveys are available by emailing [email protected].

Commissioner Cook Encourages Residents to Take Advantage of Virtual Career Expo Held Every Wednesday

Information from Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area

  • 4 May 2021
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 1417

Flyer of Virtual Career Expo from Workforce Solutions.

Workforce Solutions Rural Capital Area has launched a new Workforce Wednesdays Virtual Career Expo campaign within the nine-county Rural Capital Area of central Texas, to connect employers and job seekers at weekly online hiring events.

With a world-class labor force of more than 520,000, and the unemployment rate continuing to decline across the region as employers begin to safely reopen amid COVID-19 concerns, Workforce Wednesdays represent a collective effort among Rural Capital Area communities and industries to empower their workforce through virtual interactive events and continue to help the region compete at a global level.

“We are proud to continue to innovate our services to present new workforce opportunities for local businesses, families, and job seekers,” said WSRCA CEO Paul Fletcher.

“These are difficult times for our communities, but we’ll get through this together. By hosting virtual hiring events each week during Workforce Wednesdays, we are helping our fellow Texans find sustainable careers to support their families, all from the safety and convenience of their mobile device.”

Job seekers looking to take part in upcoming hiring events can register here: http://bit.ly/workforcewednesdaysexpo

For more information about virtual, in-person, or curbside services, as well as hiring events, please call  toll-free 1-844-344-2780, and begin your job search on www.workintexas.com.


Information below is from Williamson County's Public Information Office

  • 22 January 2021
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 1712

Williamson County Tax Assessor Collector Larry Gaddes wants to remind property owners that the 2020 property taxes must be paid in full by January 31 to avoid the accrual of penalties and interests.

The most common payment options include:

  • Mail payments to 904 S. Main St., Georgetown, TX, 78626. 
  • In person at any location by making a same day appointment at  www.wilco.org/taxoffice/appointment.
  • Payments can be made by searching for your property online at www.wilco.org/propertytax. Credit card and e-checks are accepted but incur additional vendor fees.
  • Payments made by check can be placed in any of our exterior drop boxes located at each office.

For a full list of payment choices go to www.wilco.org/propertytax and click on PAYMENT OPTIONS.

Fireworks Safety Tips From Williamson County Fire Marshal's Office In Advance Of Holidays

Media Relese from Wilco's Public Information Office

  • 17 December 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 1851

Image of fireworks by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay. The holiday spirit may inspire some residents to light-up the night sky with fireworks on New Year’s Eve; however, most jurisdictions have city ordinances prohibiting the use of fireworks within or near the city limits. 

Residents can check the interactive county map with the fireworks free buffer zone area to find out where fireworks are allowed by visiting https://gis.wilco.org/maps/?viewer=countymap

In addition, Williamson County is currently under a burn ban, which prohibits burning any combustible material outside of an enclosure which serves to contain all flames and/or sparks.  

“Although we have seen small amounts of rainfall in the past few weeks, we are in extremely dry, drought conditions. There is still plenty of fuel, such as dry grasses, that could potentially start fires,” said Williamson County Fire Marshal Hank Jones. “People need to use extreme caution if they choose to use fireworks under these conditions.”   

Fireworks are not permitted in Williamson County parks. Also, it is illegal to discharge fireworks within 600 feet of a hospital, sanitarium, veterinary hospital, school, church, and within 100 feet of a fuel dispensing station for flammable or combustible liquids. Discharging fireworks at or from a moving vehicle is also not allowed. 


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