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Austin’s First Settler – Jacob M. Harrell – 1804-1853


Jacob M. Harrell, an early settler, was born in Tennessee in 1804. He married

Mary McCutcheon, and they had four kids. Harrell came to Texas in 1833. In

1836, he was one of five pioneers living at the settlement of Reuben Hornsby on

the Colorado River. The Harrell family was one of the first to move to Waterloo

(later Austin) in 1838. Harrell was reported to have been living near Capitol Hill when Mirabeau B. Lamar first visited the Austin area on a hunting trip. A historical marker near the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin indicates the site of his home. About 1839, Harrell established a butcher pen in Austin. In 1840, he was a member of an Austin vigilance committee and in June 1843, he represented Austin in a convention at La Grange, Fayette County, called to express dissatisfaction with the republic’s policy in the west. In March 1844, Harrell was a commissioner to sell shares in the Colorado Navigation Company.


He was elected mayor of Austin in January 1847. In 1848, he moved to Round

Rock, where he was listed as a blacksmith in the 1850 census. He died on August

23, 1853, at his home on Brushy Creek. This information was taken from the New Handbook of Texas, Volume 3, Page 469.



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