Introduction - The Namesake

Photo of Lewis Hancock

The namesake of the Hancock Neighborhood in Austin, Texas was a pioneer of early Texas. He was Lewis Hancock, the son of George Hancock, Battle of San Jacinto veteran, and the co-owner from the 1830s of the Trading Post at Sixth and Congress, where the Scarbrough Building stands.

George Hancock's business partner, Frances Dietrich, built a one-story structure at what is today 3401 Red River. For decades this property was on the outer edge of Austin, along a road leading north to Georgetown from Austin. In 1850 Dietrich added a two-story home to it, calling it Sunnyridge. Indians killed him a year later. His widow married Joseph Whipple, who sold it to Lewis Hancock in 1900. Hancock resided in that home until his death in 1920. His daughter Mildred Hancock continued living there until her death. The house was sold and bulldozed in 1967, making way for the Century Square apartments that currently stand on the site. The Hancock family represents a 130-year transition in the life of Austin from the days of the Republic of Texas to the modern era.