The site was called Waterloo in 1838, and in 1839 it was incorporated as a city and chosen as the capital of the independent Republic of Texas. Waterloo was renamed Austin in honor of Stephen F. Austin, the founder of the Texas Republic. It became the permanent capital of the state of Texas in 1870.
Austin's growth was spurred by several developments after the Civil War > the railroads reached the city in the 1870s; it was crossed by the important Chisholm cattle trail; and it became the seat of the state university in 1883.
Austin has a growing commercial and diversified manufacturing sector. Civilian government employment is 20% of the labor force and is important to the economy. As home to the University of Texas, Austin is a major center for research and development and is nationally recognized as a high-technology center.
See also Encyclopedia: Austin.
Selected famous natives and residents:
More on Tex Austin from Infoplease: