Austin City Council votes to change Manchaca Rd. to Menchaca Rd.

Austin
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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin City Council voted Thursday to change the name of Manchaca Road by one letter to Menchaca. 

The change will take effect Nov. 15.

Supporters say it’s meant to correct a historical misspelling. José Antonio Menchaca fought for Texas in the Battle of San Jacinto. His name was first misspelled shortly after the battle.

A retired judge has been keeping up for years with the efforts to change the name.

“It’s just wrong. This guy put himself on the line for Texas,” said Perkins. “We don’t misspell Travis, Bowie, Crockett. If they would have named the town south of here for Davy Crockett how many days do you think it would have taken them to change that? It would have been one day for them to change that.”

The Justice for Menchaca organization says taxpayer money will not be used for the change. It raised more than $24,000 to pay to correct the street signs. 

However, those with the Manchaca-Onion Creek Historical Association say it’s incorrect. They say the name Manchaca came from Manchaca Springs and say the name was derived from the word “manchac” from the Choctaw Native American Tribe vocabulary.

In a Facebook post, they say: “The Indian influence on the name could be attributed to the fact that the Choctaw, along with other tribes, camped on waterways from Louisiana to Texas. There are two areas in Louisiana that carry that name: Pass Manchac and Manchac Bayou. Both of these are major water features as was Manchaca Springs.”

As a board member of Manchaca Onion Creek Historical Assn, a non-profit organization, I will address our organization’s research on the name of  Manchac Springs which appears on most accurate maps issued since 1849. The International Great Northern Railroad named the community knowN as Manchaca.  When the railway owners were granted land on each side of the railway, the company sold the lots to businessmen and private citizens. Thus, the community know as Manchaca became more organized and centered around the railway. The current spelling of Manchaca first appears in railroad documents. It seems the owners added an A. 

The builders of the railway would have known about the Springs because of the close proximity to the newly built railway. Food and fresh water were availableIt was well advertised as a premier stage stop known as Manchac Springs. In fact this stage stop’s reputation had been touted in many written documents and advertised in Austin papers

Manchaca Springs predates our written history. For centuries Native American tribes (Tonkawa, Choctaw and others) traveled through the region and used the area around the Springs as camping spots.Many artifacts have been located nearby and dated. We trust the recorded history of this area correlates  with the Native American unwritten history and traditions.

With this well documented history in mind and many other historical map and documents substantiating the origin and spelling of the name,  our organization cannot support  changing Manchaca Road to Menchaca Road 

We do not diminish the hero of our country, then state of Texas, Captain Jose Antonio Menchaca, However, there is no proof that Captain Menchaca was ever in this area nor that the  genesis of this name of Manchaca  Springs was to honor his service to our state. 

This spelling of Manchaca Road leads to a community named Manchaca  which boasts a long history and pride in its origins.. 

Respectfully, 

Linda Barrett, Manchaca Onion Creek Historical Assn.

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