The Hill Country: Places to Explore

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Johnson City

Johnson City is often described as a great place to stop on the way to somewhere else. Aside from its proximity to some of the Hill Country's main towns, Johnson City is probably most famous as the home of President Lyndon Baines Johnson—though the president is not the town's namesake.

The town was actually founded in the late 1870s by James Polk Johnson, a second cousin to the former U.S. president. It was established as the county seat for Blanco County, but the town experienced little growth economically. LBJ may have first brought notoriety to the area in the 1930s, when the former president was a junior congressman from Texas. He was the first to lobby for full electric power to the area, and in a 1959 letter wrote, "I think of all the things I have ever done, nothing has ever given me as much satisfaction as bringing power to the Hill Country of Texas."

Following his presidency, LBJ offered his family ranch to the United States as a National Historical Park. It is preserved as a peaceful spot about 14 mi west of Johnson City, near Stonewall.

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