Below is a timeline of Travis County history that marks events leading to the county’s formation and important events during its existence.

William Barret Travis, namesake of Travis County, is born.

August 9, 1809

The Texas Declaration of Independence is adopted at Washington-on-the-Brazos, establishing the Republic of Texas.

March 2, 1836

William Barret Travis dies at the Alamo.

March 6, 1836

The first sale of town lots in the new capital of the Republic, which is named for Stephen F. Austin, is held.

August 1, 1839

The City of Austin is created by the Republic of Texas Congress.

December 27, 1839

Austin is approved as the capital of the Republic of Texas.

January 19, 1840

Travis County is established by the Republic of Texas Congress.

January 25, 1840

The first election for county officials is held.

February 21, 1840

The Republic of Texas is annexed by the United States.

February 28, 1845

Texas becomes the 28th state.

December 29, 1845

The first official Travis County Courthouse is constructed at 4th and Guadalupe.


The second Travis County Courthouse is constructed at 11th and Congress Avenue.


Judge George S. Mathews and the Commissioners Court buy land at 10th and Guadalupe for the construction of the third Travis County Courthouse.

April 14, 1930

The cornerstone is laid for the third Travis County Courthouse.

October 20, 1930

The third Travis County courthouse officially opens.

June 27, 1931

A flood which covers much of downtown Austin prompts the creation creation of the Lower Colorado River Authority and the building of several dams.

June 15, 1935

Heman Marion Sweatt files suit against University of Texas President T.S. Painter in Travis County District Court, challenging the policy of racial segregation in schools.

May 16, 1946

The U.S. Supreme Court rules on Sweatt v. Painter, overturning the lower court’s decision.

June 5, 1950

The Travis County flag, designed by Jesse McIlroy Smith, is adopted as the official emblem.

July 31, 1963

The Travis County seal, as drawn by County Treasurer Johnny Crow, is adopted.

June 16, 1975

The Travis County Courthouse is renamed the Heman Marion Sweatt Travis County Courthouse

October 21, 2005