Today, we travel just a bit north of our headquarters, to Williamson County, known to many as “Wilco” (no relation to the alternative rock band). It’s the largest in area of our ten counties, home to a good deal of history, the beautiful architecture of Georgetown, the county seat , great donuts, and one of the best-attended minor-league baseball teams in the United States.
The county’s earliest famous resident lived in Leander between 10,000 and 13,000 years ago. The remains of “The Leanderthal Lady,” or “Leanne,” were found by workers in 1983, and are one of the oldest and most complete human skeletal finds in North America.
The county gets its name from William Alpin Williamson, a Georgia-native that played an important role in early Texas as a lawyer, newspaper publisher, and a Republic of Texas Supreme Court Justice. Due to a childhood illness that locked his right leg into a 90-degree angle, he wore a wooden leg attached at the knee, and he became known as “Three-Legged Willie.” Despite that, Williamson fought as a Texas Ranger in the battles at Gonzales and San Jacinto.
Round Rock is home to the famous Round Rock Donuts, as well as the four-time league champion Round Rock Express, which owes its name to the nickname of one of the owners, Nolan Ryan – the “Ryan Express” – who’s a resident of Georgetown. Wilco has also provided locations for a long list of movies, including the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, though the creepy old farmhouse was later moved to Kingsland, where it’s been restored as a hotel restaurant.
And, obviously, as the second most-populous county in our area, Williamson is home to a big chunk of our family, and of our donors. If you’re a Wilco resident – thank you! If you’re not, stop in sometime. It’s a big county with a big heart.