Eanes ISD

History

In 1872, Robert Eanes moved his wife and eight children to Texas. Born in South Carolina, he had traveled to California to search for gold. Robert Eanes bought land from his brother, Alexander Eanes, who had come to Texas in 1845. He and George Norvell, a local craftsman, built the first school on Eanes property in 1872.¹ Robert Eanes was named a school trustee and the area received his name. School was in session three months of the year.²

The 1930s brought change to Eanes. Despite the fact that during those years the United States was gripped by the most severe economic depression in its history, the decade proved to be one of modernization for Eanes. First, non-rural residents began to move to the area (1932); second, electricity and telephone lines were strung to the Westbank (1933); third, the establishment of the Lower Colorado River Authority (1934) resulted in the eventual construction of Tom Miller Dam and the creation of Lake Austin; fourth, narrow, winding, rutty Bee Cave Road was widened and paved (1936); and, finally, a new two-room, rock schoolhouse was built to replace the old frame, one-room Eanes School (1937). Even with the changes, however, Eanes remained a very small community and outside of the mainstream of Austin events. Nevertheless, it did become a more accessible and desirable place to live, for unlike before, it became practical for people to live in Eanes and work in downtown Austin.³

The year 1957 proved to be a watershed year for the Eanes community when county officials decided to close down the county’s school system. Eanes residents had two alternatives. They could vote to join the Austin Independent School District or they could establish their own system. On April 12, 1958, voters opted to stay independent and establish the Eanes Independent School District. The size of the school board was increased from three to seven members and the name of the district’s only school was changed slightly to Eanes Elementary School. Having been established in 1872, Eanes Elementary is noted as the longest continuously operating public school in the state of Texas. A contract, which specified tuition payments from EISD to AISD, allowed older students in Eanes to continue to be bused to Austin. In 1969, Westlake High School opened making Eanes a K-12 district. Today Eanes ISD has nine schools (six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school).

Eanes ISD Schools

SchoolYear Established
Eanes Elementary1872
Westlake High School1969
Hill Country Middle School1975
Cedar Creek Elementary1978
Valley View Elementary1982
Forest Trail Elementary1985
West Ridge Middle School1986
Barton Creek Elementary1991
Bridge Point Elementary1997


The tradition of excellence in all areas of school that exist today can be traced to the early days of education in the Eanes community, and the things that made these early schools successful – dedicated teachers, the support of involved parents, and students who responded to the high expectations of a rigorous academic program – are the same things that distinguish the Eanes Independent School District today.²

In 2008, the district celebrated the 50th anniversary of the year that voters approved the establishment of the Eanes Independent School District.

You can visit the Eanes History Center website at http://ehc.eanesisd.net

¹ Walking Back in Time, EISD Curriculum Office, pg 6, I-C Synopsis of Eanes History

² EISD Monthly Newsletter – April 1984 “Eanes School – 50 Years Ago”

³ EANES Portrait of a Community, written by Linda Vance; Researched by Dorothy M. Depwe

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