In 1839, Judge Edwin Waller planned the city of Austin and set aside 40 acres of land "most eligible for a University." Although Texas legislators at many times had considered the establishment of a state university, it was not until after the Civil War and Reconstruction that the negotiations began. Finally, on March 30, 1881, a bill was passed by state legislators establishing the University of Texas.
"The Legislature shall, as soon as practicable, establish, organize, and provide the maintenance, support, and direction of a university of the first class, to be located by a vote of the people of the State and styled 'The University of Texas,' for the promotion of literature and the arts and sciences, including an agricultural and mechanical department." 1875 Constitutional Convention.