Built, 1882-1883, to replace the previous Capitol, which had burned in 1881. Until the building was completed, the orphaned Texas government conducted business in the county courthouse and jail across Congress avenue.
The three-story brick building - third Texas Capitol in Austin - was used five years. During this time it witnessed the passage of strong legislation to aid education and to halt fence-cutting, which, in 1883, had exploded into a range war. Governors John Ireland (1883-1887) and Sul Ross (1887-1891) both served in this building.
In 1883, the University of Texas held classes here for its 218 students until campus facilities were completed. On another occasion, cattle baron Charles Goodnight loaded $100,000 in cash in a wheel barrow and had it hauled to the Capitol to force settlement of a land dispute, but officials refused his offer.
After the present Capitol was finished, 1888, this structure was used as home of Austin High School. Studios for music teachers, and for various offices. When it burned, Sept, 30, 1899, curious spectators sat on the fence around the new Capitol to watch volunteer firemen, hampered by low water pressure fight the blaze. The old building was razed soon after and the bricks were used in structures throughout Austin.