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photo: country road Just Outside Austin: Rural Travis County Communities

Travis County | North Travis County | Pflugerville
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Hunters Bend

William Dunlap Hunter left his home in Huntersville, South Carolina in 1858 with plans to travel to California. Hunter, however, never reached his original destination. By 1859, he had settled near Hornsby Bend in eastern Travis County. His plantation, located about twelve miles east of Austin on the northern bank of the Colorado River, became a self-sufficient community known as Hunters Bend. The grounds included a blacksmith shop and two gins, as well as a garden, a greenhouse, a grape arbor, and a cemetery. Employees were paid in script that was redeemable for merchandise at the plantation's general store.

Photograph of cotton gin The last bale of cotton was ginned on the plantation in 1930, although Hunter family members continued to work the acreage after that date.
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Photograph of Hunter Residence with cemetery in foreground Peacocks once roamed the grounds surrounding the twelve-room Hunter mansion that was erected in 1893. The second floor included a book-lined schoolroom, where live-in governesses taught the Hunter children.
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"William [Dunlap Hunter] subsequently built a farm having in excess of 4,444 acres…William actively managed his farm, frequently riding in his buggy through the fields gathering Johnson grass. William would stuff it in a burlap bag and burn it promptly upon the completion of his inspection trip. At its height, the Hunter lands possessed two cotton gins, a grocery store, and a blacksmith shop. William's third wife actively managed the farm after being widowed, selling cotton, and keeping the books. Her son-in-law, Dr. Charles Hackett, Sr., managed his segment of the farm, growing peanuts, onions, and spinach in addition to cotton and livestock. Following the death of Dr. Charles Hackett, his wife Jean assumed the management of the farm. Her son Charles, Jr. took over the farm in 1966…There are now 2,590 acres in the Hackett portion of the farm."

Texas Family Land Heritage Registry, 1974
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