Dub Ramsel Talks About his Stories
These stories cover a period from early 1950s to the late eighties. These stories have come from my memory with an occasional quote from some Williamson County residents. When I arrived to Williamson County in 1952, Georgetown, like most other small communities were dependent on Agriculture almost entirely. When the farmers made good crops the local merchants did business. Golds Department Store, Ben Neuman and Hoffman's sold new clothes. W.G. Lord and later Bennie Draeger sold Ford Products, Buster Compton sold Chevies and Oldsmobiles and Buicks. Carl Dunn sold Pontiacs and General Motor Trucks. Ralph Freund sold Cadillac’s and Truehart had Studebakers and Chryslers. The Georgetown Oil Mill was about the largest payroll in town. The two Cotton Gins and many other gins from around the County supplied cotton seed for their oil Milling. They used the pressed seed after the oil was extracted to make a 22 percent protein feed for livestock. They also prepared rations for all types of livestock. A lot of small grain, mill and corn were purchased from the farmers and then sold back to them and the ranchers Three Way Grain put in a large feed mill with storage facilities and cut into the Oil Mill business and finally managed to close them down. The feed mill employed a lot of folks mainly from the south end of town. The County was divided in that livestock was raised mostly in the western half of the County and row cropping was done mostly in the eastern half. Up until the 1940's Williamson County was the top producing county in cotton. Then the bole weevil and the irrigation moved most of the cotton to west Texas. Southwestern University has been in Georgetown since "old Nick was a pup" and his been a large contributor to the economy of the City, but there were hard times for them. Then the former students began getting rich and made large gifts to them. Gene Longiano was the egg man in the town and he told me had to carry them on credit for extended periods of time during the fifties. Then Austin became a high tech city and people began moving in to Georgetown to live. This helped the economy considerably, It also created traffic jams. It is what is known as a "Bed Room Community", and the population has multiplied ten fold. Most of the farming and ranching today is done by part time producers. Some are still doing it on a large scale if they can lease enough land to work with. Land prices have escalated ten fold along with the population and you might say it is the "Hobby Farmer and Rancher" doing most of the farming and ranching.