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Dripping Springs History
In the late fall of 1853, three families bound by kinship and a desire to move to Texas, put their belongings in wagons and left Mississippi. In late January 1854 they topped what is now called Wallace Mountain and decided this would be the place they would make their home. Their chosen spot was only 30 miles west of the capital of Texas but was still considered part of the frontier, complete with Indians. In all probability they found their way by following the road that carried supplies to the army fort at Fredericksburg.
The three families were those of Dr. Joseph McKegg Pound and his wife Sarah, John L. Moss and his wife Indiana (called Nannie), and John Lee Wallace and his wife Malvina. The Pounds, who were said to have brought slaves with them, were newlyweds, but the Wallaces and Mosses already had children. Sarah and Nannie were sisters. John Wallace was a nephew of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Dripping Springs falls within the Phillip A. Smith Survey, two miles square stretching beyond Wallace Mountain to the east, past Phillips Cemetery to the south, near the present site of the Hill Country Care nursing home to the west, and near the city limits sign to the north.

Upon arriving, John Moss bought the northwest quarter of the P.A. Smith Survey, which totaled 1,107 acres. John Wallace bought 377.5 acres in the northeast quarter. Dr. Pound bought acreage near Henly; however, by December 1854 he sold his holdings there and purchased 700 acres north of the Wallace property.

The Wallaces and Pounds lived on their properties for the remainder of their lives. Descendants of Dr. and Mrs. Pound lived in the Pound House until 1983. Many of the Pound descendants and a few of the Wallace descendants still live in the area.
The Mosses moved from Dripping Springs to Blanco County by 1860. Their brief stay, however, was meaningful in the history of Dripping Springs. On June 5, 1857, John Moss was appointed the first postmaster. In order to have a post office, the community needed a name. Nannie Moss officially named it Dripping Springs.

The original Moss property changed hands several times before Burrell J. Marshall purchased it on January 19, 1870. He died on February 28, 1872, leaving the property to his wife, Martha Ann, and five children. William Thomas Chapman, the true founder of the town of Dripping Springs, arrived in the community soon thereafter and within a year he wed Martha Ann Marshall. Nine years later William M. Jordan, a Baptist minister, convinced Chapman to donate land on which to build the Dripping Springs Academy which operated as a private boarding school until 1905 when it became a public school. William Chapman, a real estate agent, designed the layout of the town of Dripping Springs just south of the Academy. The plat he filed on Sept. 24, 1881, called for a dozen 200 by 300 foot blocks, most of which were divided into 50 by 100 foot lots. Six streets divided the blocks. Over the years he added four more additions to the original plat. Mercer Street, named after Chapman's son, became the main street of Dripping Springs.

Most people who settled in the Dripping Springs area did so because of the abundance of trees for building supplies and the abundance of water, not for the fertility of the soil. However, the soil was good enough for subsistence farming, which is how most people survived in the early years. Farming gradually expanded as grist mills and cotton gins were built in the area. By the 1920's, raising livestock, especially sheep and goats for their wool and mohair, became important to many local residents. The wool and mohair industry continued in importance until the 1970'.

Dripping Springs remained an unincorporated community until 1981 when an election on April 4 the citizens decided to incorporate. The major impetus for incorporation was to prevent the city of Austin from annexing Dripping Springs into its extraterritorial jurisdiction. In the first city election on August 8, 1981, James W. "Jimmy" Glosson became the community's first mayor.

The oldest existing building in Dripping Springs is the log room of the Pound House, built in 1855 and located in Founders Park. The Marshall-Chapman house across from the Church of Christ was moved there in 1871 by Burrell Marshall and the rock portion added. John and Laura Russell currently live in the renovated structure.
Two of the first-floor rock rooms of the Dripping Springs Academy, now part of the Masonic Lodge, were built in 1881. Joanie Crosswell's house on Bluff Street was built by Dr. J.W. Harrison in 1883. The old Dr. E.P. Shelton home on Old Fitzhugh Road was also built in 1883 by J.A. Smith. The Dodsons home on Old Fitzhugh Road was built by W.T. Chapman around 1884. The front section of Carla and Anton Allens home on Ranch Road 12 South was built by George Dickey in 1886. The once two-story general merchandise store, now Purcell Electric on the corner of Mercer and College streets, was built by A.L. Davis in 1891. The stone building west of the post office was another general merchandise store built in 1906. The vine-covered stucco building behind the store was the original drug store built by George McQuistion in 1901. A description of older local buildings would not be complete without mention of the Rinky Dink Domino Hall located behind the old drug store.

Dripping Springs is rich in history. A number of other older, interesting buildings and homes exist in the community. When the new Dripping Springs Community Library opens in mid 1998, there are plans to have an archive center in the facility displaying old photographs and other items of historical significance.

Note: Text obtained from the Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce

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