The site once called Waterloo, located at the confluence of the Colorado River and the current Shoal Creek, was purchased in 1839 as the capital of the Republic of Texas (and renamed in honor of Stephen F. Austin). The following year, the population swelled to 856.
Five years later, Texas became the 28th state after it was annexed by the U.S. on Feb. 19, 1846. By the time Austin was formally declared the state capital, the population had dwindled to fewer than 200.
Today, the capital of the Lone Star State boasts just under one million residents and counting.