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

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Processing limestone caused the community of McNeil to continue through the years, but it was the coming of the railroad that marked its place. In 1882, the railroad came through the area from Round Rock to Austin. George McNeil, section foreman on the Austin and Northwestern Railroad, was in charge of the construction of the line and the grading of the roadbed. Besides the kilns and the railroads, McNeil was also known for its caves and a highly publicized 1897 robbery of an International and Great Northern train.

Today Wells Branch Parkway merges with McNeil Road in the community located just south of the Williamson and Travis County boundary line.

Photograph of lime kilns in McNeil One of the oldest businesses in Travis County is the Austin White Lime Company at McNeil. The first lime kiln was built in this northwestern part of the county around 1857, because of the limestone deposits there. In 1888 the plant was established as Martin and Walker, with A.F. Martin becoming the sole owner a year later. By this time the railroads had come and along with the ease of shipping the company prospered. In 1912, Alfred Robinson joined the company; today his family still runs the business.
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"I have heard that the first lime kiln was built in 1857. The first manager I knew of was Mr. Cahill, who moved from San Marcos after he failed to pay his bills while trying to build a lime kiln [there]…

McNeil was a meeting place for lawmen during prohibition days. The people of McNeil would make all kinds of alcohol drinks and move out of their homes for a few days each year so the lawmen from several states could gather for their meeting…

When the fast growth of the 1970s & 80s came along the McNeil store & Post Office served construction people as they were building Texas Instruments, IBM, & Abbott Labs along with the housing in Round Rock West, Milwood, & Wells Branch."

Ray Sanders, Manuscript, March 1990

"At the crossing of the I.&G.N.R.R. (International & Great Northern Railroad) and the A.&N.W.R.R. (Austin & Northwestern Railroad) the company has three large lime kilns which have the capacity for the production of about 300 barrels of lime daily…Austin lime has a reputation of the highest kind, and it is a well known and incontrovertible fact that the white lime made here is the very best that can be made, and as such the company guarantees it."

The Industrial Advantages of Austin, Texas, 1894
Photograph of train depot building that is now a saloon In the 1970s, the railroad depot was moved into Austin to the corner of West Lynn and Fifth Streets. Lawmen from years ago would feel right at home in the depot now; it has been turned into a drinking establishment.
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Photograph of structure in overgrown lot Ever wonder where the "Fiskville" in "Middle Fiskville Road" was located? We don't know about the "middle" part, but Fiskville was the first stage stop north of Austin on the way to Georgetown. The land it encompassed is today in the Georgian Acres subdivision, just east of I-35 and just south of Braker lane. This photo shows the old stage stop before it was torn down.
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