Austin Answered: Who is Maufrais, and why is the name written on Austin sidewalks?


Ever been walking through Austin, looked down and thought, “Who the heck is Maufrais?”

As a part of our Austin Answered series, where we look to readers for questions to direct our reporting, one reader asked, “Who is Maufrais, and why is his name on Austin sidewalks?”

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Maufrais

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According to a 1999 American-Statesman article by Jane Greig, the answer is relatively obvious. 

“The Maufrais (say ‘mau-fris’) Cement Co. was the source for concrete in Austin for many years. Founder Alexis and son William began it in 1893; the business closed in 1988. In the interim, sidewalks and concrete at Austin sites such as the LBJ Library and countless pools and parks benefited from Maufrais craftsmanship,” Greig wrote.

One Austinite and self-proclaimed “curious guy” took the investigation a little further. Rob Hafernik, writing for the Texas Escapes online magazine, said he wondered about Maufrais when he would walk his dog and see the name on sidewalks around the city. He took to the library for his research and found a 1981 Statesman article by Cheryl Coggins that dug deeper into the history of the Maufrais Brothers Concrete Contractors. 

The company, according to the article, poured sidewalks for 90 years, some of which can be found at the University of Texas campus, in the Clarksville area, on the Lamar Street bridge, downtown and on Congress Avenue. The reason Maufrais stamped the sidewalks they poured: doing so was required of concrete contractors at the time.

And now? According to Coggins’ article, none of the Maufrais sons were interested in continuing the concrete business. 

"That's life. We're just going to leave it," Chuck Maufrais, whose grandfather started the business, told the Statesman.

You might’ve guessed you were walking on history, but now you know whose.

Still have questions about Austin? Great. Ask below:


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