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Lufkin City

Lufkin City Hall is located at 300 East Shepherd Avenue, Lufkin, TX 75901; phone: 936-634-8881.

Beginnings [1]

Lufkin was founded in 1882 as a depot for the Houston, East and West Texas Railway, a line constructed from Houston to Shreveport, Louisiana. It was named for E.P. Lufkin, an engineer engaged in the construction of the railroad. The land survey for the railroad through Angelina County was completed between 1877 and 1880. Construction began in Houston in 1876 and was completed into Lufkin in October 1882. The original townsite contained approximately 360 acres. U.L. Denman conveyed 189.5 acres to the railroad for the south half of the townsite and P.P. Abney conveyed 178.6 acres as the north half of Lufkin in November 1881. The sale of lots in Lufkin began in the fall of 1882. By 1883 at least six businesses had been established. They included W.R. Kerr and Company, groceries, hardware, stoves, tinware, saddles, and harnesses; duller and Clark, dry goods, hardware, and holiday goods; U.H. Bonner, general merchandise; Denton Hotel; Shofner Hotel; and Dr. J.A. Abney, physician.

The sale of the majority of town lots, however, was delayed until 1885 when the railroad held an auction with excursion trains running from Houston, Shreveport, and Tyler to Lufkin. The streets were laid out in a traditional grid pattern east of the railroad tracks (Boon 1937: 194-197). By 1887 there were several additional businesses in Lufkin. The Abrams began their mercantile business at Homer in 1872 and relocated to Lufkin in 1887. U.M. Glenn and Company was established in 1897 and reorganized as Glenn Hardware and Furniture Company in 1930. C.A. Burke established his drug store in 1895 (Boon 1937: 198-199).

Lufkin became a transportation center for the county and gradually attracted businesses from nearby Homer. It became the county seat by an election in 1892. The first Lufkin courthouse, constructed in 1892, was a two-story frame building. It was replaced by a graceful three-story domed Classical Revival brick building in 1903. It was demolished in 1953 and replaced by the present brick and limestone courthouse constructed in 1955 (Bowman 1976: 27). The frame businesses centered around Calder (also known as Cotton) Square burned in three successive fires, the first occurring ca. 1900. As the business section was rebuilt utilizing fire resistant brick construction, the concentration of businesses moved one block east to Lufkin Avenue and First Street (Boon 1937: 196-199).

References

Boon, Effie, 1937, The History of Angelina County. Thesis for Masters of Arts Degree at the University of Texas, Austin.

Bowman, Bob, Editor, 1981, Land of the Little Angel, A History of Angelina County, Texas. Lufkin Printing Company, Lufkin, Texas.

  1. Sally S. Victor with James W. Steely, THC, Preservation Consultant, Historic and Architectural Resources of Angelina County, Texas, nomination document, 1988, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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