It’s one thing to live in Austin and be from Austin. It’s quite another to live in western Travis County and be from Travis County. Craig Roberts, a Construction Superintendent at Ash Creek Homes is a 7th generation Texan with ancestors who quite literally built this area from the ground up.
From dirt to close, Craig’s work at Ash Creek Homes in the Serene Hills community is reminiscent of the old days, when a pioneering spirit and the desire to build things with your own two hands was the cornerstone of Texas living. If you say construction is in Craig’s DNA, you’d be correct.
In addition to being a 7th generation Texan, Craig is a 6th generation of Roberts from the hills of West Travis County. As he explains it, “my family has been in West Travis County since 1866, when my great, great, great grandfather Joseph Roberts, was granted 160 acres by the State of Texas on Barton Creek for his service in the Civil War.”
Today that land is Barton Creek West off of Bee Cave Road (or 2244). Inside of the Barton Creek West neighborhood is the Roberts Teague Cemetery that has been designated historic by the State of Texas and is where Craig’s ancestors are laid to rest, including his late father, Ronnie.
“It was a small world in the hills west of Austin on Barton Creek and on the Colorado River in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” says Craig. His ancestors survived and made a living from making charcoal and harvesting cedar for lumber to make posts, fencing and railroad ties. There was very little farming and ranching due to the rough rocky terrain.
“My lineage is that of many of the old pioneer families of these hills including Hutson, Teague, Patterson, Ottens and Freitag families,” he explains. “Many of these families were German immigrants and among the first settlers of Bee Cave.”
By the mid 1860s, this little slice of the Texas Hill Country was welcoming more and more settlers. Fun fact! This is when they started to refer to this area as Bee Cave because of the Mexican honeybee colonies that lived along the banks of Barton Creek and Little Barton Creek.
Joseph Roberts married Henrietta Freitag and they are Craig’s great, great, great grandparents. His great (x4) grandparents lived in Freitag Homestead (behind Discount Tire and Schlotzky’s across from Bee Cave City Park.) The old stone Freitag House as it’s known, was built in 1874 and still stands to this day and is on the Wells Fargo Bank Mural in Bee Cave.
As Craig points out, it’s one thing to be from Austin, but it’s really unique to be from Travis County. This is an honor Craig holds near and dear to his heart, “I’m very proud of where I’m from and the hardworking people that came before me. All I want to do is make them proud and keep a good name for the generations to come.”
And speaking of names, 150 years after the first Joseph Roberts arrived in Austin, a second one arrived; Craig’s son, who is aptly named Joseph Roberts.