Hutto is a rapidly developing suburban community in Williamson County located along US 79 between the larger towns of Round Rock and Taylor. Situated on the Blackland Prairie, Hutto grew as an agricultural center along the International and Great Northern rail line in the 1870s when cotton was king. German and Swedish immigrants helped settle the area, and their influence is still felt today. Even though there’s currently a great deal of commercial development (box stores, fast food, and service industry) along 79 west of FM 1660, there is still a distinct old town section with Victorian-era commercial buildings that are well preserved and utilized. A key draw is the Texan Café, known for its downhome fare and wide selection of pies. Another interesting element of the town is the high school (only one at this point) mascot, the hippo. As the photos will show, decorated concrete hippos adorn the old town area.

We picked Hutto in part because of its proximity to our suburban Pflugerville home (about 5-6 miles). We chose to focus on the old town, including the painted hippos, late-nineteenth-century structures, and the back alleys, which are good indicators of past businesses.

Of additional note is that the active rail line crossing east-west divides the town and traffic flow patterns. Planning is currently underway for an initial overpass, but its construction is many years into the future. Meanwhile, Hutto is growing westward and developing modern amenities, like a new city hall, library, and commercial center on what was an industrial area.

October 25, 2020

Hutto, Williamson County, Texas

Established in 1876

Population in 1920 was 571; population in 2010 was 14,698