History of Volente
Volente Neighborhood Association

Note: I want this page to contain old photographs, stories (short) from residents, and some historical fact.
If you have information or photos, contact: Lonnie Moore, 512-258-0892.

This fascinating summary of Volente's history comes from the Texas State Historical Association's website,
The Handbook of Texas Online:

VOLENTE, TEXAS. Volente is on Lake Travis and Farm Road
                      2769, eighteen miles northwest of Austin in northwestern Travis
                      County. Local tradition offers several stories regarding the origin of
                      its name. One is that an early resident suggested it from a book she
                      was reading at the time. Another story, more colorful but less likely,
                      suggests that the name was an Indian word meaning "God willing."
                      Actually, volente is from the Latin word meaning "to be willing." A
                      post office was established at Volente in 1886 with Andrew J.
                      Stanford as postmaster. The office was discontinued in 1909, and
                      mail for the community was sent to Cedar Park in Williamson
                      County. The area was partially submerged by Lake Travis in the
                      1930s, and residents had to relocate on higher ground. In the 1940s
                      and early 1950s the community was called Dodd City, for a local
                      realtor and restaurant owner, but later in the 1950s the name was
                      changed back to Volente. The community population was estimated
                      at 250 in 1959 and at 400 in 1989. In 1990 Volente had a church, a
                      combination fire hall-community center, several businesses, and the
                      Anderson Mill Museum.

                      BIBLIOGRAPHY: John J. Germann and Myron Janzen, Texas Post
                      Offices by County (1986). Ellen Seals, ed., A Legend Collection:
                      Fact and Fantasy (Austin, 1981).

                      Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl

                   "VOLENTE, TX." The Handbook of Texas Online.
                   <http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/VV/hrv21.html>
                   [Accessed Wed Jun 2 21:37:50 1999 ].

This is Starnes Island, when it was just a hill! Photo courtesy of Joe and Carol Chovanic, via John Fetzko.

The Handbook of Texas Online also has an interesting history of Anderson Mill:

ANDERSON MILL, TEXAS. Anderson Mill, sometimes called
                      Anderson's Mill or Anderson's Mills, was located on Cypress Creek
                      in northwestern Travis County, about sixteen miles northwest of
                      Austin. It was named for Thomas Anderson, who came to Texas
                      from Virginia in the late 1850s. In the early 1860s he built a mill to
                      make gunpowder for the Confederacy; when the war was over he
                      converted the operation to a gristmill. Farmers came from miles away
                      to have their corn ground, sometimes having to camp near the mill for
                      several days to wait their turn. In the early 1870s Anderson added a
                      cotton gin to his operation. A post office opened at Anderson Mill in
                      1876 with Anderson as postmaster. In 1884 the community had a
                      population of thirty. When the post office was discontinued later that
                      year, mail for area residents was sent to Duval. The development of
                      steam-powered mills and gins gradually forced Anderson out of
                      business. After his death in 1894 his family sold the equipment and
                      moved to Austin. A historical marker was placed near the mill site in
                      1936.

                      BIBLIOGRAPHY: John J. Germann and Myron Janzen, Texas Post
                      Offices by County (1986). Ellen Seals, ed., A Legend Collection:
                      Fact and Fantasy (Austin, 1981).

                      Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl
"ANDERSON MILL, TX." The Handbook of Texas Online.
                   <http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/AA/hva17.htmll>
                   [Accessed Wed Jun 2 21:44:51 1999 ].

April 2008 Update: A Legend  Collection: Fact and Fantasy has been reprinted. It is a historical book originally published by the club in 1981. It is a collection of personal accounts written and collected by club members.  It is available at the Anderson Mill Garden Club during events and also through any member and for $15 per copy.

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