Oak Hill

Oak Hill is an unincorporated hamlet and neighborhood grouping in southwest Austin, Texas.


In the nineteenth century, the region that is today known as Oak Hill was known as Live Oak Springs.

The Mexican government granted William Cannon the land in 1835. He had land from Williamson Creek to Slaughter Creek. Settlers began to arrive in the area soon after the cities of Austin and Travis County were established.

William D. Glascock moved his family and slaves from Mississippi to the area immediately north of Williamson Creek in 1846. Glascock sold portion of his land to Norwegian immigrant John Ernest Mowinkle two years later, and the settlement was founded.

In 1865, unsuccessful attempts were made to rename the town Shiloh, after the American Civil War battle.

However, in 1869, the community was renamed Oatmanville. Following the Civil War, the cedar forests surrounding Oatmanville drew people, notably from the Appalachian Mountains, due to a high demand for lumber-related products. Because of the growing demand for cedar, small confrontations amongst woodcutters erupted. Although a post office called Oak Hill was founded in 1870, the neighborhood did not immediately embrace that name.

During the 1880s, stone quarries surrounding the village were utilized for the construction of the Texas State Capitol in Downtown Austin, resulting in a boom in the region’s economy.

The Austin and Oatmanville Railway, which was built to transport limestone from the town to the city and was later abandoned in 1888, was similarly inspired by the construction project. Oak Hill’s population increased by more than 200 individuals in 1904, more than tripling by the 1970s. The local post office was closed in 1910, and mail was forwarded to the city of Austin instead. Oak Hill was included into Austin’s municipal limits over a century later, in 2000.


There was virtually little population increase in the area around Oak Hill when it was originally established in the 1830s and 1840s.

However, in the second half of the nineteenth century, as a result of need for limestone to build the Texas State Capitol and demand for cedar wood, the population of Oak Hill quickly increased, reaching 200 by 1904. Between 1904 and the 1970s, the community’s population doubled to 400, and then grew even faster with the development of suburban dwellings in the region. Oak Hill had a population of 11,572 in 1990. Over the next decade, the merged Oak Hill planning area experienced tremendous population expansion, more than double that of the Greater Austin metropolitan region. West Oak Hill experienced three times the population growth of Austin during the same time period.

The combined planning area had a total population of 24,233 individuals in 2000, with East Oak Hill accounting for slightly more than half of that. In 2000, 77.7% of the combined planning area’s population was white, 2.1% were black, 14.1% were Hispanic, 4.3% were Asian, and 1.8% were of other races. There were 10,541 dwellings at a density of 606.5 per square mile (247.2/km2). West Oak Hill had a typical family income of $77,208, while East Oak Hill had a median family income of $89,262.


The landscape in the area where Oak Hill is located is primarily hilly. Oak Hill is full of limestone rimrock constructions. Because the neighborhood is located above the Edwards and Trinity aquifers, there are numerous caves, sinkholes, karst features, and springs that allow for groundwater recharge and release. Oak Hill is also home to the Barton, Slaughter, and Williamson streams, which all drain into the neighboring Colorado River. Along the banks of these creeks, there are riparian woodlands. Some sections of Oak Hill are home to endangered bird species such as the golden-cheeked warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia) and the black-capped vireo (Vireo atricapilla).


Oak Hill has no legal limits because it is not an incorporated community. The neighborhood is concentrated around the confluence of US Route 290/TX-71 and Williamson Creek, about 8 miles (13 kilometers) southwest of downtown Austin. The Oak Hill Association of Neighborhoods (OHAN) defines Oak Hill as “neighborhoods bordering Brodie Lane down to the Travis/Hays County line, following the county line on the south up to Highway 290 West, and then neighborhoods bordering Circle Drive and Thomas Springs Road, and finally along the Southwest Parkway.” OHAN’s limits encompass areas inside six ZIP codes and 89 neighborhoods, including Circle C Ranch. However, OHAN only has 29 neighborhood homeowners’ associations as members. West Oak Hill and East Oak Hill are neighborhood planning districts in Austin, including regions adjacent to US Route 290 from Circle Drive to a point somewhat east of Texas State Highway Loop 1. The neighborhood planning area is Austin’s largest, including 11,123 acres (45.01 km2).

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