Mueller Austin

Park Along Philomena Street Has New Name

April 28, 2020

The park currently under construction along Mueller’s Philomena Street, bordered by Eberly and Robert Browning streets, has an official name. The new park will be called Jessie Andrews Park, named after the first woman to graduate and the first woman to teach at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Born in Washington, Mississippi in February 1867 as one of five children, she and her family moved to Austin when she was seven years old. Ms. Andrews graduated with honors from Austin High School and then enrolled at UT with 58 other women in 1883. She became the first of her female peers to earn her degree three years later. With a Bachelors of Letters degree in German, she became the University’s first female instructor in 1888, teaching German and French language.

During her tenure, Ms. Andrews spent nine consecutive summers traveling more than a thousand miles each way by train to earn her Masters in Philosophy degree from the University of Chicago in 1906. In 1904, she was elected into the inaugural membership of UT’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter. She was named Poet Laureate by the Texas Woman’s Press Association, and a book of her poems was published in 1910. She was also an active member of the Austin YWCA.

After 30 years as a Longhorn instructor, she resigned from teaching German citing disillusionment with Germany during World War I. She then opened a small retail store with her sister before passing away from pneumonia a year later in December 1919. UT’s Andrews Residence Hall is named after her.

To learn about plans for the upcoming Jessie Andrews park, click here; to learn about the backgrounds of Mueller’s street names, click here

Image courtesy Austin Public Library

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