Williamson County
Texas History


est. 1857
Williamson County Texas, History


Florence was first known as "Limp Rag" but no one knows why. In a letter dated January 25, 1854, the town was called Brooksville, but in a deed dated February 7, 1856, the name had changed to Florence.)

Florence is on Farm Road 195 about 13 miles west from Georgetown in northwestern Williamson County. The site was settled in the early 1850s and briefly called Brooksville. By 1857 it was known as Florence, when its first post office was established.

Acme Tailor Shop in Florence. Ozias Cantwell stands on the right with two unidentified men. Previously known as Brooksville, the Florence area is noted for ranching.


Courtesy of Jonathan Cantwell




  Photographic policies prohibit reproduction - please contact the Williamson museum for reproduction rights. Your interests and the preservation of the materials will be assured by the observance of these policies and procedures. To inquire about the use or purchase of any of these photographs please, contact the museum at 512-943-1670.  


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image 1142

Dunlop Family reunion in San Angelo, 1897, 2nd row l-r: Julia Florence Thornberry Dunlop and husband Daniel Henry Dunlop, John Dunlop [patriarch], Eliza Agnes Matt Dunlop [matriarch], John Lynn Dunlop, wife, Riceanna Dunlop [standing], back row l-r: Alvid Dunlop [son of D. H. Dunlop], Ethel Dunlop child of D. H. Dunlop, far right: Robert Dunlop.

image 2005

Dorothy Fisher [Sauls], age 18, riding a longhorn bull at the Elzie Fisher farm near Florence, Texas

image 2049

Hannah Darby Feeding Baby Goat, Florence, Texas, ca. 1920

image 2104

Madge McCormick Smith "Cowgirl" of Florence-Andice, Texas

image 2105

"Ring Around the Roses", Florence, Texas

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Man on Horse

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On left is Mr. Law at the Blacksmith Shop at Florence, Texas

image 3021

Acme Tailor Shop, Florence, Texas

image 3044

"William Chapman Love" Hardware Store, Florence, Texas

image 3045

Interior of W.C. Love Hardware & Grocery, Florence, Texas

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John Chambers, ca. 1918, Florence, Texas, slaughtering a hog.

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Kids in Front of Tractor

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Original Florence Community Center, Lodge Hall, & Church

image 8002

Charles and Gene Fisher with goats at the Fisher farm between  Andice & Florence. The Fisher family led by Gus Fisher, a former slave in Arkansas, is one of the earliest and most noted African-American Families
in the county.

image 8101

Joseph D. Duncan and Faye Darby Duncan - Wedding Photo, Oct 1, 1946, Florence, Texas

image 8102

Hannah and Leo Darby, children of Irene and John Darby, ca.1918

image 8103

John Oscar Darby and Irene Elizabeth Chambers Darby - Wedding Photo,
Oct 4, 1910

image 8104

Emily Gilleland Darby, wife of John Oscar Darby. Emily born 18 April 1856, died 2 March 1937, Florence, Texas

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John Oscar Darby ca.1890, b.1846 d.1907, ranched near Florence, Texas

image 8152

Harvey Walton & Nellie Love wedding photo, Florence, Texas

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Maggie Smart McCormick's 85th Birthday in 1936. Florence, Texas

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Lady by Rose Bush

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Baby in buggy

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Charles P. McCormick born 1879

image 8227

Robert R. Allen

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Maisle Allen
McCormick, Born 1871

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Main St. Florence, Texas, ca. 1910

image 9097

College Street in Florence



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Early Church



of the
early Church

Marker Page


Early Church -
Historical Marker Text

On land given March 8, 1845, by John C. Caskey for cemetery and meeting house. Originally 2-story, the native stone structure is believed to have been built before 1855, financed by J. W. Atkinson and Dr. O. Benedict. in that era it housed a school, Baptist and Methodist worship services, and Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges. It was purchased in 1924 by Primitive Baptists and reduced to one story in an extensive remodeling in 1950. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1970



First Baptist Church of Florence


Marker Page



First Baptist Church of Florence -
Historical Marker Text

Settlers in the farming and ranching community of Florence gathered in April 1856 to hear the Rev. Robert Hay Taliaferro (1824-1875) preach and help them formally organize a church. Originally known as the Baptist Church of Christ, the congregation changed its name to First Baptist Church during the first decade of the 20th century. Several noted Baptist ministers have been associated with this congregation, including Taliaferro, the organizing pastor, who came to Texas from Kentucky in 1847 and established a number of Baptist congregations in the new state. Brother E. McDaniel served as first permanent pastor, from 1856 until 1869, soon followed by the Rev. George Washington Baines, from 1870 until 1877. Baines, great-grandfather of U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson, came to Texas in 1850 and served as president of Baylor University at Independence, in addition to pastoring a number of Baptist churches in Texas. In 1869, the congregation built its first sanctuary, which also served as a community schoolhouse and as a meeting place for other religious and fraternal organizations in Florence. New facilities were built as needed to accommodate First Baptist Church's growing membership. The congregation's programs of outreach and community assistance have played a significant role in the social and religious heritage of this part of Williamson County. (2001)





First United Methodist Church Historical Marker


Historical Marker Text
In 1856, Florence was a small settlement of log cabins and a store or two. It also had a stone building (300 ft. Ese), used as a church and meeting place, on land donated in 1845 by john c. Caskey. Before that time, settlers worshiped in homes and other meeting places.

The Methodist congregation in Florence shared the stone building, just as it shared its pastor. Early Methodist ministers in Texas rode circuits, serving several communities. The Florence mission, part of the Waco district, was at the head of a circuit. In 1858, rev. John carpenter was officially appointed to the church as its first pastor.

The congregation bought additional interest in the building, with full ownership in 1910. Members remodeled it and used it until 1924, when they sold it for use as a primitive Baptist church. The Methodist congregation built a new church at this site in 1924 and used it until erecting a brick church in 1968.

Over the years, the Florence Methodist church has served the community through its organizations. The home mission society, established in 1890, later became the women's society of Christian service. The Methodist men, in 1957, created a live stock program to raise funds for a new parsonage. Youth groups have also been an important part of the church's mission, with the first junior league established in 1900. The congregation was voted church of the year in 1960 by the central Texas conference of the Methodist church. Its name changed in 1968 to the first united Methodist church of Florence, and it continues to be a vital part of its community.



Florence Cemetery


Bartlett Smith Gray Citizen of the Republic of Texas



Mullen Cemetery





Florence was first known as "Limp Rag" but no one knows why. In a letter dated January 25, 1854, the town was called Brooksville, but in a deed dated February 7, 1856, the name had changed to Florence.


Click on thumbnail image for an enlarged view 



Church Bell

Cotton Gin









 My Father's First Car Story


Florence, Texas  
by The Handbook of Texas Online


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