Laura Ann Rau Historic Preservation Award


Columbus’ Biggest Advocate

Laura Ann Rau’s preservationist activities epitomize the impact one person can have on the historical preservation of a local community as well as the historical preservation of Texas at large. Laura Ann’s preservationist activities included leadership roles on the Board of the Texas Historical Foundation, the Colorado County Historical Commission, the Colorado County Historical Survey Committee, and serving as President and Executive Director of the Columbus Historical Preservation Trust.  In Colorado County, she personally funded and directed the preservation and restoration of the 1858 Dilue Rose Harris House, the 1872 William G. Hunt House, the 1863 Mewes-Gant House, the 1852 Dr. Thomas W. Harris building (the only remaining pre-Civil War commercial building in Columbus) and the circa 1860 Prairie Street House.  She was also involved in the restoration and preservation of the 1869 Tate-Senflenberg-Brandon House, the 1870s Keith Traylor House, the circa 1860 Buesher Cottage, the circa 1860 Capt. Richard Cook House, the 1836 Alley log cabin (home of her great-great-great-grandmother, Nancy Millar Alley).  She served as Chairman for the final restoration of the Grand Hall of the 1886 Stafford Opera House and the advisory committee for the restoration of the Colorado County Courthouse.  In addition, she was involved with obtaining several Texas State historical markers throughout Colorado County.

Other related historical activities included Regent of the John Everett Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, Charter member and officer of the Dilue Rose Harris Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Co-chairman of the Columbus Sesquicentennial, Inc. in 1973 and a member of the Columbus Bicentennial Committee in 1976.

Laura Ann was born in 1926 in Alleyton, Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas in 1947. She passed away on September 5, 2021, at the age of 94.

Every year the Columbus Historical Preservation Trust awards the annual Laura Ann Rau Historic Preservation Award to a deserving local preservation project or individual who has been involved with preservation activities in the community. Through the Laura Ann Rau Historic Preservation Award, we can think of no better way to highlight a local preservationist doing his or her part to preserve Columbus’ important legacy in Texas history.

2020: Habitat for Humanity

2019: Ronny Daley

2018: Connie and Michael Whitlock

2017: The Whiskey Warehouse at the Live Oak Art Center

2016: Nancy and George Garcia

2015: Rhonda and Phillip Garcia

2014: Laura Ann Dick Rau

Nominations for the 2023 Laura Ann Rau Historic Preservation Award are due no later than October 10, 2023. The winner(s) will be announced at the annual History Form on October 17, 2023.

Download the application.