The city's namesake, Stephen F. Austin, is the best-known resident of this East Side cemetery, established by the state in 1851. Judge Edwin Waller, who laid out the grid plan for Austin's streets and later served as the city's mayor, also rests here, as do eight former Texas governors, various fighters in Texas's battles for independence, and Barbara Jordan, the first black woman from the South elected to the U.S. Congress (in 1996, she became the first African American to gain admittance to these grounds). Perhaps the most striking monument is one sculpted by Elisabet Ney, for the tomb of Confederate general Albert Sidney Johnston, who died at the Battle of Shiloh.
The narrow drive that runs through the cemetery is actually a state highway. In the 1990s, the cemetery grounds were refurbished and extensively landscaped. This was the pet project of Lt. Gov. Bob Bullock, a politician who was nothing if not resourceful. Thwarted in getting funding passed by the state legislature, Bullock got the driveway designated as a highway so he could allocate funds from the Texas Department of Transportation. When you pay a visit, you can see the highway signs at the entrances. And you can check out a rather fancy tomb with Mr. Bullock's name on it. There are two self-guided-tour pamphlets at the visitor center/museum, which is designed to suggest the long barracks at the Alamo.
- © Frommer's 2013
- Recommended 2010