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 Local Legend Award Recipients

1991 | 19921993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1996 | 1997 | 1998 | [no award 1999]
2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2006 | 2009 | 2010 | [no awards 2003-2005, 2007-2008]
2011 | 2012 | 2013

If you have corrections, photos, or additional information about the recipients below, please contact the Planning & Development Services Department.

2013 Local Legends      

Rev. Freeman Smalley (1790-1881)  
Freeman Smalley was a Baptist minister who preached tirelessly to frontier settlements in the earliest days of Williamson County. He became a preacher after serving in the War of 1812, and followed his sons to Williamson County in 1847, settling near Kenney Fort. He preached wherever he could, and co-founded the Andice Baptist Church and the Anti-Slaveholding Union Baptist Church in the Palm Valley area of Round Rock.

Smalley had a difficult time holding a congregation together because he preached against slavery, and remained a staunch supporter of the Union through the Civil War. For this he was robbed and faced threats of retaliation. In 1866 he left Texas and sold his land to Captain Nelson Merrell, who later built his home there. The Anti-Slaveholding Union Baptist Church was never built, but its graveyard still sits off of A.W. Grimes Boulevard. It is often referred to as the Smalley Cemetery because of its association with the family.

Jack Jordan (1872-1959)
Jack Jordan was the first Mayor under the city’s 1912 incorporation, serving from 1913-1914, but was most influential in his 44 years as City Secretary. For most of that time he was its only paid employee, and he organized and performed most of the administrative processes that are now the functions of the City Clerk, City Manager, Tax Assessor/Collector, and Census-taker. He worked closely with Lyndon Baines Johnson, Round Rock’s congressman, to secure WPA funds for the city’s first water system (the water tower) and the city hall and fire station which stood where the library is now. He retired in 1958 at age 86.
Bob Bennett  
Bob Bennett was the City Manager of Round Rock between 1979 and 2002, when its population grew almost six fold from 12,000 to 71,000. He led the city to create a firm foundation for its growth by securing a long-term water supply, expanding city parks, services and facilities, and selectively recruiting major employers. During his tenure the City created a regional wastewater system, its credit rating improved from triple-B to double-A, the City opened its first golf course at Forest Creek, Dell Computers brought their headquarters to Round Rock, and the Round Rock Express began playing baseball at the Dell Diamond. He also created a supportive working culture at the City, and encouraged staff to expand their skills and leadership.
The Stagecoach Inn (built 1848-1853)
Built between 1848 and 1853 by John J. and Susie Anna Harris, is one of the three oldest surviving buildings in Round Rock. The Inn was built on the Old Military Road (Chisholm Trail) soon after regular stagecoach service was established, using limestone quarried from the slope below. The Inn was a place for travellers to eat and rest, for the drivers to change horse teams, and for locals to receive mail and packages. Townspeople would gather at the Inn when they heard the Harris' geese honking at the stagecoach's arrival. Overnight visitors were not as common, but notable guests include Texas Ranger Ira Aten, cattleman Print Olive, famous con artist Soapy Smith, and outlaws John Wesley Hardin and Sam Bass. After the railroad redirected most business activity to “New Town,” the Inn was used as a tavern, home, and later a restaurant. It has never been vacant, and currently houses the French Quarter restaurant. The future of the Inn is uncertain because it lies in the path of necessary improvements to RM 620.

2012 Local Legends  

Dr. Thomas Kenney (1805-1844) and Kenney Fort

Sketch of Kenney Fort from written accounts

After serving in the Black Hawk War and the Texas Revolution, in 1838 or 1839 Dr. Kenney built a fort on the south bank of Brushy Creek that was the first permanent settlement in what would become Williamson County. Kenney Fort offered shelter and protection for travellers, trappers, surveyors and others, enabling 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.

Elmer A. Cottrell (1910-1979)
Mr. Cottrell moved to Round Rock in 1948 to manage the Round Rock Cheese Factory, which was then one of the town's most important industries. He was elected to the City Council in 1950 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).

2011 Local Legends 

Louis Henna, Sr.  (1914-1990)
Louis Henna was born in Round Rock. The garage and filling station he started in the 1930s is still operating today as a family owned and operated business, Henna Chevrolet.  He also served on the Round Rock City Council and was the Mayor of Round Rock from 1952-1956. Louis Henna Boulevard (SH 45) in Round Rock bears his name. 

In 1950, Louis and Billie Sue Henna donated 112 acres of land and five buildings for the Texas Baptist Children’s Home.  In the 55 years since it began, more than 20,000 children and their families have been served in residential and non-residential programs.  This legacy will continue to reach thousands of children and families in crisis for years to come.

Oliver Leppin, Sr
. (1917-1993)
After serving in WWII as an NCO with the Army Air Corps in Italy, North Africa and the Persian Gulf, Oliver and Imogene moved their family to Round Rock in 1948 and quickly made it his home town. He was employed by Austin White Lime until he founded his own company, Leppin Engineering.

For many years Mr. Leppin also was active in the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce where as its president he was instrumental in establishing Frontier Days. He gave many hours to the Round Rock High School Band Boosters, and was a longtime member of the Round Rock Volunteer Fire Department, often the first responder to the fire alarm, and served as secretary, president, and City Fire Marshal.

Robert L. "Buck" Egger
Buck Egger’s family moved to Round Rock in 1896, when he was just six weeks old, settling in the Washington-Anderson House, now a historic landmark. Later he and his wife Stella started a local dairy offering home delivery. In the late 1930s they opened Egger’s Tavern next to their home on South Mays Street, which attracted Fort Hood servicemen, travellers on US 81 (Mays) and locals with food, drinks and live entertainment. Later he was a director of Farmers State Bank.

Mr. Egger was a volunteer firefighter for many years, and was a member of the business planning committee that brought the Westinghouse plant, a major employer, to Round Rock. In 1955 he started developing some of his land as Round Rock’s first residential development, Eggers Acres. In the early 1950s he donated land for the city’s first Little League ball field, Buck Egger Park on South Mays Street.

Jacob M. Harrell
Jacob M. and Mary McCutcheon Harrell, along with other family members, came to Texas from Tennessee with Robertson's Nashville Colony in 1833. The Harrell families were among the first to settle in the area later called Waterloo (Austin). Harrell was Austin's first blacksmith, and hosted General Mirabeau Lamar on a hunting trip that ultimately led to the selection of Austin as the Capital of Texas. He sold his homestead for the site of the state capitol, and in 1847 was elected mayor of Austin.

He later chose to move his shop and house to his land grant on the north bank of Brushy Creek in the spring of 1848. He and Washington Anderson were elected as two of the first four Williamson County commissioners. The family cemetery that he established can be visited today at the intersection of Bowman Road and Interstate 35. Jacob Harrell is buried there along with other family and household members.


2010 Local Legends   
"Residents honored for their contributions", Community Impact 10/2/10 

Judy McLeod   
Ms. McLeod is honored for her work and advocacy on behalf of education, children's organizations, health care and the arts during her 37 years in Round Rock. One of her proudest accomplishments was her role in organizing Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Williamson County, which guides foster children through the legal system. She has also served as chairperson of Project CARE (a student peer-support program), on the RRISD Board of Trustees and District Council of PTAs, Dell Children's Hospital Circle of Friends, the Seton Medical Center Foundation's Board of Directors, and as President of the Round Rock Symphony Orchestra.

Martin & Francinn Parker
Mr. and Mrs. Parker have devoted a great part of their lives to the community, its history, and to preserving the stories of our local military servicemen and women. After serving in the Navy during WWII and Korea, Martin returned home, where as Postmaster he named several Round Rock streets. Together the Parkers have been foster parents, Sunday school teachers, costumed guides for the Old Settlers Association, and have written several books, including Historical Round Rock: Sesquicentennial 1854-2004, several collections of stories from local servicemen and women, a cookbook, their autobiographies, and several books about their travels.

Dr. Robert Peters
Dr. Peters founded his medical practice in 1972, when Round Rock's population was under 3,000. Dr. Peters was then the only practicing physician in town, and frequently donated his services. For more than 38 years he has served as physician for the Texas Baptist Children’s Home and the Round Rock High School football team, attending nearly every game to care for the team's athletes.  He was instrumental in recruiting the City's first hospital (which was an important contributor to the City’s growth in the 1980s), where he has served as Chief of Staff, Chairman of the Department of Medicine, and on the Board of Trustees. Obituaries: Austin-American Statesman, Impact News  

Nancy and Virg Rabb
Mr. and Mrs. Rabb started Wag-A-Bag Convenience Stores in 1964, bringing convenience goods to areas too small to be served by larger stores. Virg Rabb served on the City Council and was a civic leader involved in many activities, including the Kiwanis and Frontier Days Committee.  In 1989 he donated their home to the City for a park and event facility. 

Early in her career, Nancy Rabb brought regular radio coverage to the Round Rock area through her broadcast on KGTN.  She has worked tirelessly to support the community, particularly children’s programs, including serving as Chair of the YMCA, the United Way, Williamson County Juvenile Services Council and Williamson County Judicial Council. 


2009 Local Legends 

Rose Marie “Posey” McClung   
Ms. McClung is know as “the Daffodil Lady” for her efforts organizing the annual festival and for her work with State Senator Ogden to secure the “Daffodil Capitol of Texas’ title for the City. She helped found the local chapter of the AARP and has contributed her talents to many, many volunteer organizations, including the Senior Center, Meals on Wheels, Coats for Kids, St. Williams Church, the Outlaw Trail Ride and the Adult Day Care Center. (L to R: HPC Chair Jerry Hodges, Ms. McClung and Mayor Alan McGraw) 

Earl Palmer
Mr. Palmer shared that his service to the Round Rock community began when he was recruited into the Chamber of Commerce by Doyle Hickerson in 1978. “Doyle was in a contest with Jack Hoover to recruit members; the winner (Doyle) got a fancy jacket.” Mr. Palmer served on the City Council as Round Rock’s Mayor Pro-Tem for 10 years, was president of the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce, and also served on the Historic Preservation Commission and many service organizations.

The Nelson Family
One of Round Rock’s early Swedish immigrant families, the Arvid and Emma Nelson Family settled in Round Rock in 1854. They helped to build the community through entrepreneurship in farming, ranching, and banking. Their son Andrew Nelson was a founding member of Palm Valley Lutheran Church and helped other Swedish families come to Round Rock. Several family homes and businesses are now historic landmarks, including the Merrell House (1860), the Nelson-Crier House (1895), Nelson Hardware Building (1900), and the Palm House (1873), which was moved downtown in 1976 and now houses a museum and the Chamber of Commerce. (L to R: HPC Chair Jerry Hodges, Carol, John, Tom and Rebecca Nelson, Mayor Alan McGraw)

The Avery Family
Over the years, Avery Family members have made very generous monetary and property donations to the community. They are related to the Nelson Family through their grandparents’ marriage in 1904. The current generation facilitated the development of Seton Williamson Hospital, and recently donated land for the Round Rock campuses of Texas A&M University, Austin Community College and the Round Rock Higher Education Center. (L to R: HPC Chair Jerry Hodges, Charles, Nelson and John Avery, Mayor Alan McGraw)


No awards 2007-2008

2006 Local Legends 

(L to R): Karen Thompson, Jane DiGesualdo, Nan Elizabeth (Betsi) Schaefer and HPC Chair Gary Brown

Thomas C. Oatts (1815-1885)  
Thomas C. Oatts was Round Rock’s first postmaster and gave the city its name. In 1851 he opened the Brushy Creek Post Office in his store on the stagecoach route that is now called Chisholm Trail Road.  In 1854 the US Postal Service asked him to provide a different name for the settlement, as there was already a town in Texas called Brushy. Mr. Oatts decided to rename the town "Round Rock" after the large rock in the middle of Brushy Creek that marked a low water crossing, and where he and Jacob Harrell enjoyed fishing.  On August 24, 1854, the community was officially named Round Rock.  Mr. Oatts’ Award was accepted by his great-great-granddaughter, Nan Elizabeth (Betsi) Schaefer.

"Historical Round Rock” (book) by Jane H. DiGesualdo & Karen R. Thompson
When Karen Thompson and Jane DiGesualdo (independently) began giving classroom presentations on local history in the early 1980s, the teachers invariably asked about additional historical resources. Frustrated by the lack of written material, the two met and began writing a book about the history of Round Rock. After much research and hundreds of interviews, the book topped out at 583 pages with over 400 photographs. Today it is almost sold out of its second printing. The book is an essential reference for locals and history buffs, and has itself become a local legend. (Copies are available at the Round Rock Public Library and Hill Country Books in Georgetown.)  


No awards 2003-2005 

2002 Local Legend
The Hester Family  
Elmer Hester, the family patriarch, was born in round Rock in 1908 in a farmhouse near where IH-35 crosses Lake Creek. He worked for HEB before opening his own business, Peterson’s Meat Market. He and his wife Ruby had five children, who have been key businesspeople in the city, together owning as many as seven businesses in Round Rock. Son Dale Hester served on the City Council from 1965 to 1969 and as Mayor until 1973. Son Lawrence “Hank” served two terms on the City Council, between 1960 and 1962, and from 1979 to 1981. Elmer Hester died in 1990. Hesters Crossing is named for the family.


2001 Local Legends

Allen R. Baca  
Mr. Baca is recognized for his volunteer work, especially on behalf of Round Rock’s senior citizens. He was instrumental in creating the nonprofit Round Rock Senior Citizens Foundation, and the City’s Center for Senior and Community Activities is named for him. A more complete biography is given on the Baca Center’s website. 

Laverne Reinhardt 
A lifelong resident of the Hutto and Round Rock areas, LaVerne Reinhardt was named a Local Legend in recognition of her service and commitment to the Trinity Lutheran Home and its residents. She began her career at Trinity as a secretary, and was named its Administrator in 1972, a position she served for the next 19 years. While managing the home through a busy period of the home's growth and several facility expansions, she also played the organ for daily chapel services and remained personally engaged with the residents in her care. After retirement she continued to play the organ and volunteer at the home whenever needed. She was also an active member of Palm Valley Lutheran Church.


2000 Local Legends

Norman Gus “Bunky” Whitlow   
Mr. Whitlow was a Round Rock teacher and principal before becoming president of Farmers State Bank. Bunky was known as "the poor man's banker" and he and his wife Geneva (pictured) helped to build philanthropy in Round Rock by helping countless people onto their feet when they needed a hand up.

Ellen Davis 
Ellen Davis was recognized for sharing her recollections of life in early Round Rock. Born Ellen Blair in 1895, she lived and worked her entire life in and around Round Rock. She recounted tales of her life on her family’s farm in Merreltown, driving a tractor, stacking hay, picking 50-lb bags of cotton with a child in tow, milking cows and taking the milk to the cheese factory. She remembered making trips to Gatesville in a covered wagon during her childhood, and was nearly attacked by a panther while making a buggy trip with her children through Fern Bluff (near Hairy Man Road). Ellen was married to Lonnie Davis for 66 years and was blessed with five children, 13 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren and 29 great-great-grandchildren. Mayor Robert Stluka proclaimed April 8, 2000 as Ellen Davis Day in honor of her 105th birthday and presented her with a bouquet of roses.

Marcia Hilsabeck
Ms. Hilsabeck was recognized for her contribution to promoting academic excellence at Round Rock High School, where she has taught since 1967. She has been teaching Advanced Placement English Literature since 1980, and has been a consultant for the College Board since 1981. She is the Lead English Consultant in the TCU Advanced Placement Summer Institute, and developed and teaches an online course for Virtual High School.


No nominations in 1999 

1998 Local Legends
Lone Star Bakery   
The Lone Star Bakery has been a local institution since its founding by Reinhold R. Moehring in 1926. Its beloved Swedish rye bread and yellow “Round Rock Donuts” have become favorites; the donuts have received numerous accolades, from Texas Monthly’s 1978 “best donut in Texas” to more recent mentions in various travel guides and blogs.
Robert G. Griffith  
A Round Rock resident for over 40 years, Mr. Griffith’s service to the community began with his career as a teacher, coach, Jr. High and High School Principal for the Round Rock ISD. He served on the City Council and as Mayor. He was also active in many civic organizations including the Kiwanis, Round Rock Volunteer Fire Dept, YMCA of Greater Williamson County, Texas Independent Bankers Association, Round Rock United Way, Palm Valley Lutheran Church and the American Red Cross. In 1999 the expanded public library was named in honor of Robert G. and Helen Griffith.  He passed away on May 20, 2012.

Florentino "Tino" Hernandez
Born and raised in Round Rock, Mr. Hernandez returned to his hometown after earning a BA at St. Edwards University and careers at the Austin State Hospital and Liberty Mutual Insurance in San Antonio and Oklahoma City. He is recognized for his extensive service record with the Kiwanis, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Round Rock High School’s Careers in Technology program, the United Way Board, El Amistad, Sertoma, the Round Rock Chamber of Commerce and Board, St. Williams Church and the Lions Club, with whom he visits Mexico twice a year for service projects.


1997 Local Legends

Trinity Lutheran Home  
Trinity Lutheran Home is recognized for over 90 years of quality convalescent care to the elderly. The home occupies the site of the former Trinity Lutheran College, which operated from 1906 until 1929, when it merged with Texas Lutheran College in Seguin. Stones from the college's main building were used in the construction of the new buildings.
 Ben Salazar  
Mr. Salazar is a lifelong resident of Round Rock who served on the City Council from 1970-1972. He is also an active member of the Round Rock Community Service Council, St. Williams Catholic Church, and El Amistad, where he has served in varying capacities as Chairperson, Treasurer and President. He is recognized as a role model who frequently assisted others with health and financial problems.

Grace Telander
Ms. Telander is a lifetime resident of Round Rock and member of Palm Valley Lutheran Church, whose grandparents moved to Round Rock from Sweden in 1860 and established the family farm (in part of the Palm Valley area that is now between US 79 and Brushy Creek). Mrs. Telander is also recognized for volunteer work with Trinity Lutheran home and Meals on wheels. In 1974 the Telander family received a Texas Land Heritage certificate honoring the farm’s 100 years in the same family. In 1996 Mrs. Telander and her family opened their home to the Round Rock community during the Christmas Homes Tour.


1996 Local Legends 
See Round Rock Leader article, January 27, 1997 (pdf) 

Harriet Rutland  
Ms. Rutland is a building contractor who undertook the rehabilitation of several historic Round Rock structures, including the Old Post Office and St. Charles Hotel on Chisholm Trail, and the Rose Cottage and Poker Alley in the Old Town area. Her efforts led to the creation of the Chisholm Trail Historic Overlay Zoning District.

Tom Lopez
In 1948, Mr. Lopez was the first Hispanic male to graduate from Round Rock High School. After 20 years in the Air Force, he returned from military service to work for the IRS and the Round Rock ISD. He became a community leader, serving three terms on the City Council, and as an active member of the American Legion, El Amistad, Round Rock Recreation Board, Community Services Council and as Little League coach. Round Rock Leader 2/13/97 (pdf)
 Pete Correa   
Mr. Correa served on the Round Rock City Council from 1978 to 1991, and also owned and operated Correa’s Automotive on Bagdad Street. He is also a member of El Amistad and St. Williams Catholic Church.


1995 Local Legends

Betty Porter  
Ms. Porter is recognized for her contributions to the community as a history, art and drama teacher. She helped found the Sam Bass Theater Association and directed the Sam Bass Shootout at Frontier Days for 20 years. She and her husband Jim also restored the Barker-Porter House, built in 1860.  See nomination statement, 1995 (pdf)

Xenia Voigt  
Over her 48-year career, Ms. Voigt taught three generations in Round Rock. She also served on the board at Palm Valley Lutheran Church and raised two nieces after their mother died. Ms. Voigt’s teaching services to the community were honored when Xenia Voigt Elementary was named after her in 1975.  Round Rock Leader 1/4/96 (pdf)

Lt. Col. William Todd
After a military career in which he served in WWII and Korea, Col. Todd’s family retired to Round Rock, where he distinguished himself as a local historian. He persuaded a developer to preserve a pioneer homestead in Wells Branch, which became the centerpiece of the development.  He became the homestead's folklorist (more familiarly known as its "resident liar"), giving tours and entertaining schoolchildren with tales of the old west. He also maintained a booth as a folklorist at the Texas Folklore Festival in San Antonio and helped establish and build the St. Richard Episcopal Church of Round Rock.  Round Rock Leader, 12/28/95 (pdf) Obituary 6/12/11 (pdf)


1994 Local Legends

Garfield McConico  
Mr. McConico was a local businessman who served as City Councilman from 1969-1971 and as the city’s first black Mayor Pro-Tem from 1971-1977. He was instrumental in hiring the city’s first professional Manager and in recruiting Westinghouse Corporation to locate in Round Rock. The McConico building is named in honor of Garfield and Petronella McConico, and stands on land they owned in downtown Round Rock.

Lerlene Ward
Ms. Ward was a dedicated volunteer for many service organizations in Round Rock, including the Old Settlers Association and especially the volunteer fire department. She was a member of the Girls Pumper Team, which was formed to compete in fire department pumper races during World War II while many firefighters were overseas. In its first year the Round Rock team beat half the competition and became famous throughout Texas, touring the state through the 1950s and promoting the Round Rock name. Since then, the pumper races have been succeeded by the Firefighter Combat Challenge, which has men’s, women’s and co-ed teams.

O. F. (Oliver Floyd) Perry
Science Teacher, Coach, Principal and Superintendent O.F. Perry served the Round Rock Independent School District during a formative period from 1931 to 1957.  He established a policy of bringing students from around the district to a central high school so that there would be enough students to offer advanced classes, sports, and extracurricular activities.  While many teachers were in the services during WWII he coached several boys and girls sports teams.  "Coach Perry" is remembered for the energy he devoted to the mentoring and character development of his students and players.  

Years after his retirement, Round Rock High School declared November 16, 1973 "O.F. Perry Day," and at a ceremony before the Dragons football game announced that friends and ex-students had raised funds to dedicate a historic street lamp in his honor. Observed former student Lerlene Ward, "No other man in Round Rock has molded so many lives... He not only taught us the three R's but he also taught us sportsmanship, honesty, leadership and everything it takes to be a good, honest, Christian Citizen." (Hill Country News, 11/16/73)

Noel Grisham   
Raised in Round Rock, Mr. Grisham taught high school English for five years before serving as superintendent of the Round Rock Independent School district for 22 years. During this period the district began to grow very rapidly, and he had to sell the school’s programs carefully in order to get bond issues passed to fund desperately needed facilities. After retiring he served a term in the Texas Legislature representing Williamson and Burnet counties. He has also written or co-authored ten books on Texas history.  Round Rock Leader, 12/1/94 (pdf)

Joanne Land
Ms. Land was the City Secretary from 1970-2002, a period when Round Rock’s population grew from less than 3,000 people to more than 60,000. Through this growth spurt she managed the city’s recordkeeping as its government became increasingly complex and professionalized, and is credited with “training” four City Managers during her tenure. The continuity her service provided helped transition smoothly from small town to midsize city.  Round Rock Leader, 12/1/94 (pdf)


1993 Local Legends

Claude Berkman   
Mr. Berkman was recognized as a respected educator who was and is a positive influence, especially on the children who passed through the Round Rock School system during his tenure as a teacher and principal at Berkman Elementary. Mr. Berkman was born in Round Rock, where he attended Trinity Junior College. After graduating from Augustana College in Illinois, he moved to Lueders, Texas, where he was a teacher, coach, principal, superintendent of schools, and trained to be an instructor for the Army Air Corps. In 1947 he moved back to Round Rock to teach, and in addition served as director of the Old Settlers Association, and as a member of the Kiwanis Club and Palm Valley Lutheran Church.

Billie Sue Henna
Mrs. Henna was recognized for her contributions to the community and as the matriarch of the Henna family. She and her husband Louis Henna donated land for the Texas Baptist Children's Home in 1950. She also served as a bible study teacher with the First Baptist Church, member of the Austin Women's Forum, Austin Women's Club, Round Rock Women's Club, and as president of the YWCA in Austin.

Rudolf Pettersen
Mr. Pettersen was recognized as a highly respected merchant and leader in the community. After leaving the Army in 1946, he opened Petterson's Grocery, which he operated until 1973. During this time the store was a focal point in Round Rock, offering a butcher shop, free delivery, charge accounts and employment for local youth. He was a member and officer of the chamber of Commerce, Tax Equalization Board, Palm Valley Lutheran Church, Kiwanis Club and American Legion, and served as a director of both the First National Bank and GOETA Insurance.

Eugene Quick
Gene Quick was recognized as a respected druggist who served the Round Rock community for many years. He graduated from the University of Texas in 1936 and went to work for a drug store in downtown Round Rock, which he later bought and operated until 1980. During World War II Mr. Quick was the only druggist in the area, and frequently opened the store at night to respond to an emergency - frequently without compensation. He also served with the State Guard during the war, and later as Boy Scout Advisor, Kiwanis member, Palm Valley Lutheran Church officer, and Director of the First Texas State Bank.


1992 Local Legends

Mrs. Thelma "Tiny" McNeese  
A resident since 1931, Thelma McNeese is recognized for her service to her church and community, including 35 years of sewing uniforms for the Round Rock pep and cheerleading squads. Obituary, Round Rock Leader, 12/2/91 (pdf)

The Rubio Brothers
Mack and Lorenzo Rubio’s parents moved to Round Rock from McNeil in 1946. Their sister Paula was a WAC in WWII and was one of the first Hispanic students from the Round Rock area to attend the UT Austin. Lorenzo was 13 when the public schools were integrated for Hispanic students. After several years in the Navy, he and his brother Mack opened a grocery store on Rubio Street, which later relocated downtown. In 1968 Lorenzo became Round Rock’s first Hispanic City Councilmember. The next year he and his wife Janie opened the Casa Rubio restaurant.  Read the summary of a 1991 oral history interview with Lorenzo Rubio here.

Mrs. Genobeba Rendon
Mrs. Rendon is recognized for her kindness and generosity, helping people in times of illness, birth, death and financial difficulty.  Wherever she saw people in need she has provided friendship, meals, clothing, and has cared for countless elderly residents.  Through the Guadalupanas group at St. Williams Church she assisted with weddings, hospitality receptions, wakes and funerals.  
Genobeba never had formal schooling but taught herself to read and write in Spanish with the aid of a friend by copying letters from matchbooks.  After her father died she single-handedly supported her family and her son Joe working for the Texas Baptist Children’s Home, Trinity Lutheran Nursing Home and for the Four Seasons.  “If she knows someone is sick, she’ll go and take whatever she can.  Too bad we don’t have more people like that.” Mack Rubio observed when she received the award.  Round Rock Leader, 1992 (pdf)


1991 Local Legends

 Joe Lee Johnson   
Mr. Johnson is a graduate of the Hopewell School, and later became its much-loved principal. During his tenure there the school was integrated into RRISD in 1966. He continued teaching at Central Elementary and volunteering in the Young Men’s Club.  Round Rock Leader, 9/19/91 (pdf)

David Carlin Sr.
The Carlin family was instrumental in establishing Round Rock's first Catholic church, St. Williams, and helped many newcomers get established in the community. Round Rock Leader, 9/23/91 (pdf)

Rev. Oliver Berglund
Rev. Berglund was pastor of Palm Valley Lutheran Church from 1969 to 1992, during a very significant period of growth for the church and the city. Round Rock Leader, 9/12/91 (pdf)
 The Domino Players   
After the Mobil gas station on the northwest corner of Mays and Main began closing early each afternoon in response to the gas crisis on the early 1970s, Mercer Archer, Mr. Kelley, Moody Mayfield, C.J. Miller, L.P. “Doc” Parker, and Garland Walsh began a long tradition of playing dominoes under the tree. Round Rock Leader, 7/15/91 (pdf)
The Old Settlers Association of Williamson County  
The Old Settlers Association has played a pivotal role in preserving Round Rock’s pioneer traditions and historic buildings. The Association, which raises money for scholarships and other local causes, grew out of confederate soldiers’ reunions, though now membership is open to anyone whose ancestors resided in Williamson County by 1900. In 1988 the OSAWC moved their meeting grounds from the southwest corner of IH-35 and RM 620 (near McDonalds) to its present location on Palm Valley Blvd., donating 100 acres of this tract of land to the City for Old Settlers Park. The Association restored the Palm Mansion and has preserved pioneer log cabins by moving them to their meeting grounds adjacent to the park. They also maintain the Fire House Museum, meeting facilities and an RV travel park there. Round Rock Leader, 7/11/91 (pdf); Community Impact profile 7/3/08

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