Though Moses Austin died before fulfilling his plans for a community called Austina on the mouth of the Colorado River, Austin was the name given as early as 1836 to a site just south of Oliver Point (formerly known as Point Plesant or Pleasant), four miles across Tres Palacios Bay from what is now Palacios, in southwestern Matagorda County. The settlement, also known as Port Austin, was platted to be a town of at least 166 blocks, with blocks reserved for a college, a church, and public buildings, as well as an area labeled Hyde Park. The development was a project of Capt. Thomas Bridges, a Massachusetts shipmaster who had run supplies from New Orleans through the Mexican blockade during the Texas Revolution. He originally bought land near Oyster Lake but later moved the townsite north toward Oliver Point. In 1838 Bridges traveled to New York and sold several town lots. Around that time he took on two partners, Silas Dinsmore and William Boyd. Though Austin apparently never developed substantially, in 1840 several parishioners of Christ Episcopal Church in Matagorda recorded their residence as the city of Austin, and the county land-grant map shows a Port Austin at the site. Bridges, his wife, Hannah, and their daughter Alice apparently lived at the site, and Alice Bridges eventually learned the language of the local Karankawa Indians. Bridges died in 1848. The townsite land, the ownership of which had been open to question, eventually became the property of Jonathan Edwards Pierce and later the LeTulle family.

Continue Reading

Rachel Jenkins | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Great Texas Land Rush logo
Adoption Status:
This place has been adopted and will not be available until June 19, 2024
Adopted by:
Corrine B. Richardson
Dedication Message:
In honor of my grandparents, Dr. Everett M. Richardson and Bernice B. Richardson. They first met at East Texas State Teachers College, Commerce, where they both earned undergraduate degrees in Education in 1936. They then went on to Austin and attended The University of Texas, earning Master & Doctorate degrees in Elementary Education and Educational Administration in 1955, all while raising four boys - my dad being the youngest - born in 1950, two years after my grandma began her graduate studies. My grandparents were devoted educators who worked to help form a more educated, equal, desegregated society for the future generations of Texas.

Belongs to

Austin is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Austin is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [Port-]


Latitude: 28.63948500
Longitude: -96.22543400

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated