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Round Rock City Council honors Local Legend Award winners

The Round Rock Historic Preservation Commission announced two Local Legend Award nominations at the City Council meeting on Thursday, Nov. 8. Mr. Elmer A. Cottrell and Dr. Thomas Kenney were honored for their contributions to the culture, development and history of the community.

Historic Preservation Commission Chair Jerry Hodges presented the awards to the recipients’ families and highlighted some of the accomplishments of each of the award winners. 

Elmer A. Cottrell (1910-1979)
Mr. Cottrell moved to Round Rock in 1948 to manage the Round Rock Cheese Factory, then one of the town’s most important industries, and later became a spokesman for the Associated Milk Producers, Inc.  He was elected to the City Council in 1958 and was Mayor from 1965-1968.  His contributions to the community included starting the Round Rock Recreation Board, serving the Boy Scouts and FHA, and advocacy for preserving some of Round Rock’s historic places, including the wagon ruts in Brushy Creek, the Palm House (now the Chamber of Commerce), and the Round Rock railroad depot (now the Sam Bass Theater).

Dr. Thomas Kenney (1805-1844) and Kenney Fort
After serving in the Black Hawk War and the Texas Revolution, Dr. Kenney built a fort that was the first permanent settlement in what would become Williamson County on the south bank of Brushy Creek [in 1838 or 39].  The Fort offered shelter and protection for travellers, trappers, surveyors, and others, enabling the settlement of the area. It also played a key role in several significant events in early Texas history, including the Santa Fe Expedition and the Archives War.  In 1844, Kenney and his companions were killed by Caddo or Tawakoni Indians while delivering a wagonload of buffalo hides to market. By the mid-20th century, nothing remained of the Fort.  A historical marker sits a half-mile north of the site on US 79.

The Local Legend Awards program was established in 1990. To date, 51 individuals, groups or organizations have been honored. Award recipients are selected based on the following criteria: importance to the City’s founding or growth; association with an historic place or event; legacy of service to the community; and/or personal achievements that have brought honor and distinction to the nominee and the City of Round Rock.

This year’s nomination and selection process was assisted by a citizen volunteer committee that included Kami Barron, Jesus Franco, Cathy Kincaid, Dale Ricklefs, and Rufus Honeycutt. After reviewing nominations, the committee made its recommendation to the Round Rock Historic Preservation Commission in August.

The selected winners were honored by the City Council at their November 8th meeting.  As in the past, Local Legends received a certificate of recognition. Recipients are also recognized on a plaque that lists all winners since the program’s inception.

Local Legend Award nominations are accepted throughout the year by the Planning and Development Services Department of the City of Round Rock. For more information, contact Joelle Jordan at 218-5422.

Posted: Friday, November 09, 2012

City of Round Rock | 221 East Main Street, Round Rock, Texas 78664 | Phone: (512) 218-5400
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