A Social Survey of Austin




Hamilton, Willliam B.

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University of Texas at Austin, Texas



The City of Austin, as every citizen well knows, has been richly endowed by nature. · We have the beautiful hills to the west, · which have come down to meet the fertile plains of the Gulf, to rest ~he eye, and the trees are abundant. The natural health conditio~s are unsurpas~ed. The State Capitol, the State Insti tutions for the Blind, Deaf, and Insane, and the State University, along with a number of private schools, add to the general attrac tiveness of the city. Yet we have permitted certain social ills to spring up with the growth of our city. We are still in the Dark Ages of sanitary and health regulations. The present City Administration has adopted a forward pro gram of municipal improvements, and Austin has taken new life. A number of miles of paving has been constructed, the water sys tem, lighting system, and parking system have been greatly im proved. The sewer system has been doubled; laws are better enforced; and the city is now constructing a dam across the Colo rado River, which is to cost $1,500,000. Along with these material improvements, it is fitting that the city should take an invoice of the sanitary and health conditions. It seems certain that an administration such as this, needs only to be informed as . to the deplorable conditions as they now exist in order that effective remedies will be adopted. The purpose of this survey is to reveal certain deep-seated social ailments in this community, to state as accurately as possible the actual sanitary and health conditions under which we live, and arouse the public mind to see the great need of eradicati'ng these bad conditions. The inadequacy of present organization of the · health department and present ordinances for. effecting proper sani tary and health conditions has been pointed out. And a policy of next-steps in municipal housekeeping has been suggested~

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