Our History

AJF was founded on March 28, 1969. That spring, 18 women joined together to promote civic, educational, and philanthropic interests in Austin. Application was made to Junior Forum, Inc. (JFI) to initiate a local chapter and the following year, Austin Junior Forum was granted a charter and recognized as a chapter of JFI. AJF is one of nine JFI chapters in Texas.

In November 1978, AJF submitted a bid to the City of Austin for the purchase of the Daniel H. Caswell House. The city council ultimately awarded the home to AJF. To pay off the loan, AJF members compiled a cookbook titled Lone Star Legacy, which has sold over 200,000 copies since the initial printing in 1981 and can still be found in antique stores across Texas. Through sales of the cookbook, AJF members paid off the mortgage in just three years. AJF members and their families spent many laborious hours working to rehabilitate the interior of this stately home. Today, the Caswell House serves as AJF’s headquarters and center for community service, as well as a private venue for weddings, parties, and corporate events.

If you have memories of the Caswell House or AJF to share, please send them to publicrelations@austinjuniorforum.org. We are actively working to preserve our history through photos and oral history.