Round Rock, Texas in a Nutshell

By: Joe Cline

A suburb of Austin, the city of Round Rock is one of the hidden gems of Texas. Voted one of the 100 best cities for young people, and also one of the best cities for relocating families, Round Rock boasts some of the safest and most affordable communities in the nation. With an amazing satisfaction rating from its residents and a excellent scores in everything from education to unemployment rates, Round Rock is truly a place to call home.

History

Founded in 1851, the city of Round Rock was originally named for Brushy Creek, the body of water by which it was established. However, three years later the town was renamed for the round rock in the center of the stream that marked the point where water was low enough to cross in a wagon. This rock was later a landmark for those using the Chisholm Trail, which passed through the town and crossed the creek, to herd cattle into the Midwest.

Key figures from the history of Round Rock include Sam Bass, the notorious outlaw train robber. In 1878, Bass was captured and later died, following a shootout in town with the Texas Rangers. His grave can be found at the Round Rock Cemetery. At one time, Round Rock was home to Soapy Smith; a con man who was notorious for swindling citizens out of money in towns throughout the West and Midwest.

Economy/Jobs

As of 2006, the estimated median income for families in Round Rock was $81,521, substantially higher than most US cities. The unemployment rate sits at about 3.6 percent, as of March 2008; where the national average for that month was at 5.1%.

Major area employers include Dell Computers, which provides more than 9,000 jobs to area residents. Sears call center services are also based in the area, along with various manufacturing and retail establishments. School districts and hospitals also make up a large number of the available jobs in the city.

Real Estate

The median price for listed homes in the city of Round Rock is approximately $210,990 with new homes averaging around $287, 559. Round Rock was selected by 'Business Week' as one of the best areas for real estate bargains in the country. The value of homes and number of real estate transactions has risen in the early part of 2008. Property taxes are very low within the city; as well, with citizens being taxed only 37.1 cents per $100 of land value.

Attractions

Local attractions in Round Rock include a minor league baseball team, named the Round Rock Express, owned by the legendary Nolan Ryan. The area features beautiful city owned and maintained parks and private golf courses, as well as many festivals throughout the year. Dubbed the 'Sports Capital of Texas', there are plenty of opportunities for those who love athletics. Shopping in the area includes a number of shopping centers, with major anchor stores, as well as a major outlet center with well over 100 nationally recognized retailers.

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