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Celebrate Austin

I’m the author of the Westward Sagas, a series of award-winning novels about my great-great grandmother Elnora Van Cleve-Browns family and their 100-year journey to Texas during the early days of the Republic of Texas. Elnora’s parents Lorenzo Van Cleve and Margaret Smith were the third of six couples to marry in Austin in the first year of its existence. They gave birth to Elnora, the first child to be born in the new town of Austin. The year 2024 will be the 175th Anniversary of Austins founding. Learn more at or

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Louis Franke - 1818-1873

German born Louis Franke arrived in Texas in 1845. He came with a master’s degree in law from the University of Jena. Franke volunteered to be a Texas Ranger in the Mexican War. When Franke heard abou


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