FM 1969 and State Highway 49
10 Miles NW of Jefferson
00048 (1968 through 2000)
a Pecan Shell|
The community is thought to be founded sometime around 1877 with the arrival of
the East Line and Red River Railroad. A post office opened that year and was named
Lassater Station after Joe Lassater, an early resident. The word “station”
was dropped in 1881.
The mid 1880s showed a population of around 75 – most
of them cotton farmers or working at one of
the two gins in town.
The 1890 population had increased to 125 residents
and the town could boast a hotel as well a church and school.
underwent a change of name in 1902 when they decided to honor Dr. W. J. Pyland,
local druggist. By 1909 it had reverted back to Lassater.
By 1904 Lassater’s
population had declined to 103, and by 1925 it was down to just 98. In 1933 –
the worst year of the Great Depression – it was a mere 50 people.
the community has two churches and the Pyland Cemetery – just north of town. The
1960 census reported 60 residents – not far from the 48 reported in 2000.
Story of Lassater >
note, and an interview with longtime resident Virgil Webster
Virgil Webster, long time resident and store building owner|
photograher’s notes from an interview with longtime resident Virgil Webster By
railroad still runs through Lassater. It’s the L & A Railroad but, it’s o ne of
the many smaller lines that make up the better-known Kansas City Southern Railroad.
There is a “pass” there, as well as a siding, and a small “team track” there.
Many high-speed freights run through here daily hauling freight to and from the
Worth Metroplex. They also haul much coal to the AEP Swepco Electric Power
Plant located a short distance away at Cason, Texas. That coal comes from the
rich coal country of the Powder River Basin in Eastern Wyoming.
my visit to Lassater in June of 2010, I was fortunate to talk with life-long resident
Virgil Webster. Mr. Webster has become the local historian for Lassater since
he’s been a part of the community for 75 years.
Mr. Webster stated that
about the only existing building of old Lassater besides the rock church is the
red wooden building that was originally a store. He remembers working there after
school and on Saturdays for .15 a day. He now owns the building.
attended a school built of native stone, much like the church. It offered classes
through the sixth grade. According to Mr. Webster, the community also had a Methodist
Church (across the railroad tracks) and another store.
Across the existing
highway near site of the former school was a doctor’s office and the Law Office
of Judge McCalthin. There was another store down highway 49 near Patilo Road.
At one time tiny Lassater had as many as five stores. Gerald
Massey, June 17, 2010
Former store, one of the two oldest building in Lassater|
Photo courtesy Gerald