Llano, Texas

Llano, Texas

Llano is a city in Llano County, Texas, in the United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 3,325. It is the county seat of Llano County.

Geography

Llano is located at (30.750953, -98.680038). It is on the Llano River, 65 miles (105 km) northwest of Austin and 102 miles (164 km) north of San Antonio.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.7 square miles (12.2 km²), of which, 4.4 square miles (11.5 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²) of it (5.53%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 3,325 people, 1,353 households, and 880 families residing in the city. The population density was 748.1 people per square mile (289.1/km²). There were 1,539 housing units at an average density of 346.3/sq mi (133.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.35% White, 0.57% African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 3.40% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.90% of the population.

There were 1,353 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 23.9% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 22.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,706, and the median income for a family was $38,125. Males had a median income of $29,464 versus $19,958 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,306. About 7.7% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 2.6% of those age 65 or over.

History

Llano County was established in compliance with a February 1, 1856, state legislative act. The Llano River location was chosen in an election held on June 14, 1856, under a live oak on the south bank of the river, near the present site of Roy Inks Bridge in Llano. Into the 1870s the town was little more than a frontier trading center, with a handful of log buildings housing business establishments, a post office, and a few homes. In 1879 the first bank, Moore, Foster, and Company, was founded, and during the 1880s Llano acquired a number of new enterprises that served the county's farmers and ranchers. After the county outgrew the one-story stone building that had housed its public offices, in 1885 an ornate brick courthouse was completed on the square on the south side of the river. A fire on January 22, 1892, destroyed this courthouse; the present county courthouse was completed and occupied on August 1, 1893. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

In the 1880s the Llano Rural, the town's first newspaper, was established, followed by the Iron City News, the name of which reflects growing interest in the county's mineral resources. The Rural eventually incorporated several other newspapers, including the Advocate, the Searchlight, and the Gazette, to become the Llano News by the early 1900s.

Anticipation of significant economic growth based on the iron deposits discovered at Iron Mountain in northwestern Llano County attracted capital from Dallas and from northern states, and the boom years of Llano-from 1886 to 1893-were launched. The Llano Improvement and Furnace Company undertook plans for an iron furnace and foundry, as well as for the development of commercial real estate on the hitherto undeveloped north side of the river. Charters were undertaken for a dam, an electric power plant, a streetcar system, and electric street lights, while expectations of growth were high. Steel-town names such as Birmingham, Pittsburgh, and Bessemer were chosen for streets on the north side; Llano was to be the "Pittsburgh of the West." But only a small dam and the street lighting were completed. By one report, the population reached 7,000 in 1890. In 1892, at the peak of the boom period, the town was incorporated, the river was bridged, and the Austin and Northwestern Railroad was extended to a terminal on the north side of Llano. Because of the improved transportation, several granite cutting and finishing businesses moved to town in this period. Many of the new businesses were begun in the boom period, and substantial brick establishments were constructed around the public square on the north side of the river. Among these, the Algona Hotel became a focal point for the town's new social life. It was damaged by a cyclone in 1900 and burned to the ground in 1923. Because the county's mineral resources, with the significant exception of granite, did not exist in commercially exploitable concentrations, the boom period soon faded. Plans to connect Llano with Fredericksburg via an extension of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway were not fulfilled. A series of fires in the early 1890s, probably set to collect insurance on unprofitable properties, destroyed many of the new business establishments. Such fires were so numerous that fire insurance was denied the town for several years.

Farming, ranching, and the granite industry remained the foundations of the town's economy in the twentieth century. In the 1920s Llano was a major shipping point for cattle; the cotton industry flourished in the county through the 1930s but declined thereafter into insignificance. Granite quarrying and finishing retained their importance, amounting to a million-dollar-a-year industry by the 1950s. The Roy Inks Bridge, named for a former mayor, was built after a flood crest of forty-two feet in 1935 swept away the 1892 structure. By 1964 the town had a new hospital, a post office, school buildings, a community center, a rodeo area, and a golf course, along with a city park and improved water system. Llano was an important link in the Highland Lakes chain of tourist areas and attracted many hunters during the deer season. A winery, feed processing, and insecticide and commercial talc production represented new industry. Actress Sophia Loren, friend and correspondent of Netherlands native Anthony Goossens, priest of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Llano, contributed to the church fund-raising campaign in 1975. By 1983 the National Register of Historic Places listed, in addition to the courthouse, the Llano jail, the Southern Hotel, and the Badu Building, former bank and home of French immigrant and mineralogist N. J. Badu, now a bed-and-breakfast establishment.

Registered Historical Places

Badu House

The Badu House was built in 1891 by the Austin architectural firm of Larramour and Watson. It was originally constructed to serve as the First National Bank of Llano, with office space on the second story. In March 1898, the bank became defunct and the building was sold to French native N.J. “Professor” Badu, a noted local mineralogist.

Professor Badu and his family made a home of the Badu House and the building was passed down for generations. Even until 1980, the Badu House was still owned by Mrs. Robert (Carrol) Phelan, granddaughter of Mr. Badu.

In 1980, Ann and Earl Ruff of Houston, Texas purchased the Badu House and restored it as a restaurant and country inn. Throughout the last 20 years, the Badu House has had several different owners, but most often it was known as a lovely restaurant, bar, and bed and breakfast. Ted Lusher, a Llano county rancher and Austin businessman, purchased and restored the Badu House in 2005. Mr. Lusher is an avid art collector with many of his treasures displayed throughout the property. In the Spring of 2007, an extension of the Badu House will open (directly across Tarrant Street) and serve as an art gallery and banquet facility.

Llano County Courthouse

The Llano County Courthouse, located in the middle of Llano's historic square, was built in 1893. It was designed in a Romanesque Revival style by A.O. Watson and Jacob Larmour, with an exterior made of sandstone, marble, and granite. The interior of the courthouse was damaged by fire in 1932 and again in 1952. It is still in use today by local government.

Llano County Jail

The Llano County Jail was built in 1895 by the Pauly Jail Building and Manufacturing Company of St Louis, Missouri. Gray granite used to build the jail was quarried from within Llano county. The jail, which was also built in a Romanesque Revival style, has been known as "Red Top" for its red roof. The first floor was used by the jailer for his office and living quarters. The second floor had four cells and two drunk tanks. The third and fourth floors housed the gallows.

Southern Hotel

The Southern Hotel, located on the square in Llano was built in 1880 as a stagecoach stop between Mason and Burnet.

Education

The City of Llano is served by the Llano Independent School District, which includes Packsaddle Elementary, Llano Elementary, Llano Junior High, and Llano High School. Llano's mascot is the yellowjacket and the school colors are orange and black. The Llano Independent School District serves approximately 1,900 students and is a AAA district.

Events

Recreation

Hunting

Llano is widely known as the Deer Capital of Texas. The density of deer in the Llano Basin is the highest in the nation. Hunters from all over come to Llano for deer, quail, dove, and turkey hunting, as well as bow hunting.

Fishing

The spring-fed Llano River, which runs through the city, offers some of the best fishing in the area. Lake Buchanan, which offers a portion of the eastern border of Llano County, was built in 1938 as a hydro-generating project covering in the scenic Texas Hill Country. Today, white bass, striped bass, largemouth bass, catfish, spotted bass, crappie and walleye attract fisherman to this lake year round.

Birding

The bald eagle makes its home in Llano County during its annual winter migration. Nine miles (14 km) east of Llano on Highway 29, a family of bald eagles can be viewed from the roadside during the nesting season.

Golf

The Llano River Golf Course is located two miles (3 km) west of the Llano courthouse on the Old Castell Road adjacent to Robinson City Park. The 18-hole golf course has front and back T-boxes. Located on the banks of the Llano River, the colorful course presents a good challenge. A fully equipped Pro-Shop and golf carts are also available.

Geology and Archaeology

Llanite, a rare type of brown granite with sky blue crystals and rusty-pink feldspar, is found nowhere else in the world except in Llano County. Llanite can be found along a highway cut nine miles (14 km) north of Llano on Texas 16. The largest piece of polished Llanite in the world can be seen at the Badu House, Llano's historic inn.

The centuries-long habitation of the American Indians in the area has produced numerous archaeological sites which attract amateur archaeologists year-round.

An extensive exhibit of artifacts, both Indian and early Texan, plus a large display of area gems and minerals are on permanent exhibition at the Llano County Museum.

See also

References

External links

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