Williamson County
Texas History


Palm Valley, Texas History
est. 1853


Children in hay rack built by Swedish immigrant Lee Carlson. Thelma Carlson, Ruth Carlson holding Emma Larson, Elvera Girvin holding Emelia Larson, Hazel, Marie and Marion Carlson (L to R). Many of the Swedish immigrants who settled in Palm Valley were farmers. Palm Valley Lutheran Church, built in 1870, was at the center of the predominantly Swedish community.


Gift of Ruth Olson


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pic 1016

Per Johan Noren and three sons, [L-R]: Harry, Walter, and Tom Noren, at the grave of another son, Pvt.Oscar A. Noren, who was killed in Argonne Forest, France in combat during World War I on September 26, 1918. Photo at Palm Valley Lutheran Church Cemetery, 1918. Among the pallbearers were Oscar's brothers: Harry, Walter, and Tom.

image 5003 of museum collection

In 1853 Swedish immigrant Anna Hurd Palm brought her extended family to the Brushy Creek area, east of Round Rock. In 1894 the beautiful Gothic Revival style church building of Palm Valley Lutheran Church was built. Today this church stands as one of the most noted landmarks of the county.

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Historical marker text

Palm Valley Lutheran Church - In area first claimed in 1838 by white men. Valley bears name of the Anna Palm family, 1853 Swedish settlers. "Brushy", the first Lutheran church (of logs), was built here by Andrew John Nelson and 3 hired men in 1861. This also housed early school. Congregation was formally organized Nov. 27, 1870. Second church, built 1872, was used for sessions of Palm Valley School. Present Gothic Revival style building was erected in 1894. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1970


Palm Valley Lutheran Church Cemetery 



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satellite map

road map


2500 Palm Valley Blvd
1/2 mile west of Harrell Pkwy (Old Settlers Park)

GPS Coordinates
North 30.522084- West -97.64524



Interment Listing
by www.findagrave.com

and by

Palm Valley Church Listing




just east of Round Rock on Hwy 79

Anna Palm and five sons settled in 1853, to what is now Palm Valley, just north of Brushy Creek. The family initially lived in tents until the family bought 400 acres of land north of Round Rock and built themselves a blockhouse. Anna Palm was a resolute and enterprising woman who was like a mother to the young Swedish newcomers who soon followed the first group of Swedes to Texas.

The Arvid Nelson family also settled in Palm Valley. They brought with them from Sweden a handloom and a wagon. After arriving in Texas, Mr. Nelson bought a yoke of oxen, and the family traveled in their wagon to Williamson County, where they settled between Palm Valley and Georgetown.

Arvid Nelson and his wife, Anna Lena, had two sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Andrew, built several wagons, bought oxen, and started hauling freight to the Gulf ports. During the later years of the Civil War, Andrew and August were both in the transport service of the army. Andrew received his pay in gold, which he hid in nail kegs and sent to his home, where the kegs were buried. When the war was over in 1865, the brothers returned home and took up farming and cattle ranching.

During the years following the Civil War, S. M. Swenson, Andrew Nelson, and other pioneers were instrumental in providing passage for other friends and relatives in Sweden who wanted to come to America. This growing group of Swedish immigrants first worshipped in a log cabin erected in 1861 by Andrew John Nelson and three of his hired men, Carl Klint, Gottfried Anderson, and C. J. Swahn. The log cabin was also used as a school. The first church at Palm Valley was organized November 27, 1870, and was called Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Brushy Congregation. A Finnish pastor, the Rev. D. N. Tillman, was the first pastor of the congregation of 62 men, 33 women, and 61 children. Records indicate Rev. Tillman delivered his farewell sermon on April 21, 1872, after a sometimes colorful and controversial ministry.

In 1872, a second church was built to replace the little log church. The church was also used as a school until the consolidation of Palm Valley school and Stoney Point school which was located a few miles east. In 1883, an additional five acres of land north of the cemetery were donated by Hedda Sandahl.

The cornerstone of the present church was laid June 19, 1894, and the church was dedicated April 12, 1896, as Brushy Lutheran Church.



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for more info click on
Palm Valley, Texas  by The Handbook of Texas Online


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