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History

Enfield is the creation of descendants of the family of Governor and Mrs. Elisha Marshall Pease. It is a architecturally planned subdivision, designed and sold in sections over a period beginning in 1915.

 

The Pease family and Woodlawn The 365-acre land holdings of Elisha Marshall and Lucadia Niles Pease centered on their stately home, Woodlawn, which stands today.  It was beyond the Austin city limits when they bought the property in 1859, but Austin was already a twenty-year old city.  Gov. and Mrs. Pease, the first occupants of the Governor’s Mansion, bought Woodlawn from James B. Shaw, who had been Comptroller in the Pease administration.  Austin's "master builder" Abner Cook built both of these stately mansions, which are nearly the same.

 

The elder two Pease children, Carrie and Julie, grew up at Woodlawn. Carrie married George Graham. She died, leaving Julie to rear her children, Richard Niles and Carrie Margaret, at Woodlawn. By 1915, the family began developing part of the Pease Estate into the Enfield subdivision.  Business partners were Niles Graham, Margaret G. Crusemann, Murray Graham (Niles and Margaret’s cousin), as well as Paul Crusemann, Margaret’s husband.  Those familiar with Old Enfield may recognize these names!

 

Pease lands and early development

Although the Pease lands were heavily wooded and outside the City, the family did not live in isolation at Woodlawn.  Roads between it and Austin to the east were gradually developed. Windsor Avenue was first, originally appearing in the 1895 City Directory from Blanco St northwest to the city limits.  Enfield appeared as a road (from Windsor southwest to two blocks northwest of W. 12th  St) in the 1916 City Directory, but no houses had yet been built. Because Enfield Rd. lies on the gentlest of the slopes down to Shoal Creek, connecting with West 12th St up the terraces of the Shoal Creek valley into the city (adjacent to the Capitol), this Enfield-W.12th St route may have originally been a animal trail, then a Native American foot path, later a horse trail, then a horse-and-buggy road.  Finally Enfield Rd. became the entrance street from downtown into Austin’s first automobile subdivision.

 

Elizabeth Whitlow, a former Texas history teacher, San Jacinto staff member, and Harris County Historical Society education dir., is an Austin native who's glad to be home, conducting research on contract.  Contact emn1849@austin.rr.com. To read more historical stories, visit our blog.

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