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?”


A post shared by Rebecca Rodriguez (@villagegreenwood) on


A post shared by Sarah C. (@the.ess.ess.see) on

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:

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Texas Democrats see big jump in turnout on first day of early voting

In the state’s 15 counties with the most registered voters, 51 percent more Democrats voted Tuesday, the first day of early voting for the party’s March 6 primary, than voted on the first day of early of voting for the 2014 Democratic primary. Meanwhile, the number of Republican primary voters on Tuesday increased by just 16 percent in...
Will Abbott take advice on Whitaker’s death sentence?
Will Abbott take advice on Whitaker’s death sentence?

Whether Gov. Greg Abbott spares death row inmate Thomas Whitaker from Thursday evening’s scheduled execution could hinge on how much trust the governor places on the group of advisers who recommended mercy in the case. Spurred by the father who Whitaker tried to have killed in 2003, all seven members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles supported...
Austin police ID man killed in Monday shooting, name officers involved

Austin police have identified a man who was fatally shot during an officer-involved shooting on Monday as 23-year-old Thomas Vincent Alvarez. Police also named seven officers who were placed on administrative leave after opening fire on Alvarez as Matthew Henion, DeAndre Wright, Nicholas Grebhart, Benjamin Rogers, Robert Brady, Rafael Rosales and Khristof...
Hundreds of Austin-area students walk out in wake of Florida shooting
Hundreds of Austin-area students walk out in wake of Florida shooting

Nearly 500 students at schools across Central Texas staged walkouts Wednesday to demand safer campus policies, call for stricter gun laws and show their solidarity with students in Florida after a high school shooting there that left 17 people dead. The demonstrations came one week after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland...
Graham forged deep friendships with Texas political giants
Graham forged deep friendships with Texas political giants

Billy Graham swam naked with Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House, prayed with LBJ at Camp David and said words over the late president’s casket alongside the Pedernales River. He joined George W. Bush for a 1985 dip in the chilly Atlantic Ocean at Kennebunkport, Maine, an unknowing and unofficial baptism for a man close to giving up the bottle...
More Stories