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JOHNSON CITY, TEXAS


Blanco County Seat, Texas Hill Country

30į 16' 35" N, 98į 24' 29" W (30.276389, -98.408056)

U.S. 290 and 281
1 mile S of the Pedernales River
12 miles N of Blanco
30 miles E of Fredericksburg
23 miles S Marble Falls
47 miles W of Austin
64 miles N San Antonio
ZIP code 78636
Area code 830
Population: 2,131 Est. (2019)
1,656 (2010) 1,191 (2000) 932 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Johnson City Hotels


Johnson City TX LBJ Boyhood Home
L.B.J. Boyhood Home in Johnson City
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, June 2009

Johnson City, Texas Topics:

  • Johnson City History
  • Johnson City Landmarks / Attractions
  • L.B.J. Boyhood Home
  • State & National Parks
  • Blanco County Courthouse next page
  • Blanco County Jail next page
  • Johnson City Churches next page
  • Blanco County - Towns, ghost towns & maps

  • Downtown Johnson City Texas
    Downtown Johnson City
    Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, June 2009

    History in a Pecan Shell

    Named after James Polk Johnson who was one of the original settlers. In 1876 an election was called to move the county seat more toward the center of the county. Defeated, the settlers decided to build a community that might rival Blanco for the title. The site chosen was on Johnson's land. A post office was granted in 1878 and a newspaper was published in 1883. In 1879 another election for county seat was held and Johnson City was defeated.

    The town grew and by 1890, after a hard-won election, Johnson City became the county seat.

    In the 1930s Johnson City was still without utilities until Lyndon Baines Johnson sponsored legislation that created the Lower Colorado River Authority and the Pedernales (River) Electric Cooperative.

    During Johnson's vice-presidency and presidency, the town became a tourist attraction - which it continues to be. Johnson later deeded the family property to the government, creating what is now the LBJ National Historical Park.

    From 52 businesses in that period, 26 dissolved by the mid-1980s.

    Johnson City, Texas
    Landmarks / Attractions



    1916 Blanco County Courthouse, Johnson City, Texas today
    Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, June 2009
    Blanco County Courthouse


    Johnson City TX - Old Blanco County Jail
    The Old Blanco County Jail in Johnson City
    Photo by Michael Barr, April 2021
    Blanco County Jail

    Another Slow Night at the Blanco County Jail

    by Michael Barr

    L.B.J. Boyhood Home, Johnson City TX
    L.B.J. Boyhood Home in Johnson City
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
    200 E. Elm St.

    Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, June 2009

    Historical Marker - Location:
    Boyhood Home - Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. SE corner of E. Elm St. and S. Avenue G. (aka 100 Ladybird Lane)
    L. B. J. Boyhood Home
    Sam Ealy Johnson Jr. (1877-1937) and his wife Rebekah Baines Johnson (1881-1958) bought this residence in 1913. Sam, an educator and six-term Texas legislator, and Rebekah, an educator and journalist, raised five children here. The frame house was built in 1901, with simple Classical details and decorative bargeboards of milled wood. Each wing is one room deep for light and ventilation. Various porches, open and enclosed, indicate additions over the years. In 1937, the Johnson's eldest son, Lyndon (1908-1973), launched his first campaign for Congress, and his ascent to the U.S. presidency, from the east porch.
    Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1965.

    L.B.J. Boyhood Home historical marker,  Johnson City TX
    L.B.J. Boyhood Home historical marker
    Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, June 2009


    Johnson City TX First Christian Church
    Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, June 2009
    Johnson City Historic Churches


    Historical Marker: North Nugent Street (Spur 356), inside cemetery by the flagpole
    Johnson City Masonic Cemetery
    In 1892, local masons Joseph Bird, W.H. Withers and G.M. Nash, on behalf of Johnson City Masonic Lodge No. 561, purchased land at this site from Julia Ann Moore Jjohnson, widow of town founder James Polk Johnson. Early marked graves date from the 1890s and include many community leaders, as well as veterans of military conflicts from the War of 1812 to Vietnam. Also Interred here is the celebrated Texas Ranger Cicero Rufus Perry (d. 1898). With over 250 graves, the historic Johnson City Masonic Cemetery is an important reminder of early settlers.
    Historic Texas Cemetery - 2002


  • Blanco County Courthouse

  • 1894 Blanco County Jail

  • Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
    12 miles W of Johnson City
    PO Box 329, Johnson City, TX 78636
    830-868-7128, ext. 231 or 244

  • Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site
    P O Box 238 Stonewall TX 78671
    830/644-2252

  • Pedernales Falls State Park
    2585 Park Road 6026 Johnson City TX 78636
    830/868-7304

  • Hill Country Science Mill
    101 S. Ladybird Lane
    844-263-6405
    sciencemill.org


  • Native Heritage Walking Gardens
    Contact Chamber at 830-868-7684

  • Captain Perry Texas Ranger Museum - Hwy 290
    404 W. Main St. Contact Chamber at 830-868-7684

  • Blanco County - Towns, ghost towns & maps

  • Johnson City Chamber of Commerce
    100 East Main Street, PO Box 485
    Johnson City, TX 78636
    Chamber Office: 830-868-7684

    Book Hotel Here › Johnson City Hotels


    Johnson City Bank, Texas, early morning
    Early morning in Johnson City
    Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, June 2009


    Johnson City, Texas,  Home Town of Lyndon B. Johnson
    Johnson City Home Town of Lyndon B. Johnson
    Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, June 2009

    Public School, Johnson City, Texas
    "Public School, Johnson City, Texas"
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
    More Texas Schoolhouses

    Historical Marker: 201 South Avenue F

    Lyndon B. Johnson and Hill Country Electrification

    BY THE 1930s, MANY RESIDENTS OF CITIES ACROSS THE U.S. WERE BENEFITING FROM THE COMMON USE OF ELECTRICITY. HOWEVER, A VAST MAJORITY OF RURAL AREAS LACKED ELECTRIC SERVICE, WHICH COMPOUNDED DEPRESSION-ERA PROBLEMS FOR FARMERS WHOSE CROP RETURNS WERE ALREADY MEAGER. IN 1935, PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT ESTABLISHED THE RURAL ELECTRIFICATION ADMINISTRATION (REA) TO MAKE LOANS TO COOPERATIVES ESTABLISHED BY THE FARMERS THEMSELVES. ALTHOUGH THE REA QUICKLY HELPED BRING ELECTRICITY TO RURAL AMERICA, ITS PROGRAM DID NOT EXTEND TO THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY, WHOSE SPARSE POPULATION DID NOT MEET QUALIFICATIONS.

    IN 1937, FUTURE PRESIDENT LYNDON B. JOHNSON WORKED TO BRING ELECTRICITY TO THE AREA, A PROMISE HE MADE DURING HIS SUCCESSFUL RUN FOR THE U.S. CONGRESS THAT YEAR. HIS PLAN FOCUSED ON TWO LOWER COLORADO RIVER DAMS: BUCHANAN IN BURNET COUNTY AND MARSHALL FORD (NOW MANSFIELD) IN TRAVIS COUNTY. JOHNSONíS APPEALS TO ROOSEVELT AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES LED TO AN EASING OF THE REAíS REQUIREMENTS. RANCHER E. BABE SMITH JOINED JOHNSON IN CANVASSING HIS DISTRICT TO CONVINCE FARMERS TO PAY $5 DEPOSITS, WHICH WOULD ALLOW THE PEDERNALES ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE (PEC) TO BUILD INFRASTRUCTURE AND SELL POWER.

    IN 1938, WITH ABOUT 3,300 FAMILIES SIGNED FOR ELECTRIC SERVICE, THE REA AWARDED THE PEC A LOAN TO BUILD OVER 1,700 MILES OF ELECTRIC LINES, THE LARGEST ALLOTMENT EVER MADE BY THE ADMINISTRATION. IN THE FALL OF 1939, ELECTRICITY BEGAN TO FLOW. THE PEC BECAME THE NATIONíS LARGEST ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE AND REMAINS AMONG THE DOZENS OF OTHER SUCH COOPERATIVES ACROSS TEXAS. LYNDON JOHNSONíS WORK WAS ESSENTIAL IN THEIR FORMATION AND THE EXPANSION OF ELECTRIFICATION IN THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY.
    175 YEARS OF TEXAS INDEPENDENCE * 1836-2011



    Johnson City Related Stories

  • Saving the Pearl in Johnson City by Michael Barr

  • The Ghost on Highway 281 by C.F. Eckhardt ("Charley Eckhardt's Texas" Column)
    "...About a year and a half later John was in the old Jailhouse Barber Shop in Blanco, and he mentioned seeing the guy with the knife alongside 281. "Oh," somebody said, "you saw Lackey's ghost." ... As it turned out, John wasn't the only person who'd seen Lackey trying to hitch a ride north toward Johnson City. A lot of people were aware of him. Truckers don't like to drive that stretch on fall nights..."

  • LBJ and East Texas Politics by Archie P. McDonald ("All Things Historical" Column)

  • The Mysteries of Buffalo Cave by Michael Barr
    Buffalo Cave, near Johnson City in Blanco County, has been a place of mystery since cattlemen first discovered its dark entrance while grazing their herds along the Pedernales River in the 1800s.

  • Another Slow Night at the Blanco County Jail by Michael Barr

  • Polar Bear Bites Rancher by Michael Barr

  • Johnson City TX - Bill Cammack Wildlife Museum 1972
    Bill Cammack Wildlife Museum
    in Johnson City

    Fredericksburg Standard April 19, 1972
    Courtesy Fredericksburg Standard



    Johnson City Forum

  • Subject: Hill Country Science Mill

    The Hill Country Science Mill is housed in a community landmark in the heart of Johnson City, Texas. The feed mill built in 1880 as a steam grist mill and cotton gin featured unique mechanical innovations that were used to process, sort and distribute grain to its rural community. The original steam mill was converted to a flour mill in 1901 and later was converted to electrical power and evolved into a feed mill in the 1930's. The mill ceased operation in the 1980's and was converted into a restaurant and entertainment complex. While a majority of the site and the mill have been dormant for the past 20 years, the mill has inspired photographers, muralists, and curious travelers who have been captivated by its romantic and iconic presence.

    The Hill Country Science Mill recycles a historic community landmark into a gathering place for the community and a forum for science exploration. The design was conceived not as a contrast between new and old, but as the dynamic evolution of the mill from a place of industrial production to a place that can produce science leaders for the new generation.

    The Science Mill is a fascinating slice of history, especially now that it's been transformed into a state-of-the-art science museum! - Nicole P. Basham, September 1, 2016

  • TX Blanco County 1940s Map
    Blanco County 1940s map
    From Texas state map #4335
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Take a road trip

    Texas Hill Country>

    Johnson City, Texas Nearby Cities & Towns:
    Blanco
    Fredericksburg
    Marble Falls
    Austin
    San Antonio
    See Blanco County

    See Pedernales River

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    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact us.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


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