The Williamson County Historical Commission reviewed the supplemental plaque on the courthouse “due to potential inaccuracies,” according to county documents. The plaque currently reads: “African Americans, the largest ethnic group among pioneer settlers, comprised 10 percent of the County’s population in 1850 and more than nineteen percent in 1860.” The plaque is located on the south side of the courthouse in Georgetown.
The revision would read: “African-Americans comprised ten percent of the population in 1850, more than nineteen percent by 1860 and were Williamson County’s largest ethnic group.” According to county documents, this change "better reflects the African-American contribution to Williamson County."
Committee Chair Michael McCloskey, a Cedar Park resident, said the original plaque was installed in 1970. He said the discussion for revising the plaque began in 2017, and the major concern was the words “pioneer settlers.”
The new plaque would cost about $500. The county's historical commission will fund the new plaque.
Commissioner Terry Cook voted against the motion Dec. 15. Cook suggested adding a sentence to the plaque to reflect the contributions of African Americans, which is what the committee’s executive summary said was the goal of the wording modification.
“I don’t see value in either,” Cook said about the original plaque and recommended change.
County Judge Bill Gravell said this move is a step in the right direction.
“If the county had to bear the cost of that, it would be worth $500," Gravell said. "Words matter.”