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Dallas County, Central Texas North

32° 36' 8" N, 96° 46' 30" W (32.602222, -96.775)

On Hwy 342
15 miles S of downtown Dallas
Population: 39,228 Est. (2019)
36,361 (2010) 25,894 (2000) 22,117 (1990)

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Historical Marker: Public Square, near intersection of E. Cedar and S. Centre Streets

Town of Lancaster

Founded by A. Bledsoe (1801 - 1882), from Kentucky, joined by his son-in-law, Roderick A. Rawlins (1833 - 1910), and Mrs. Mildred Parks Rawlins (1789 - 1875). The elder Rawlins family came to this locality in 1844. Bledsoe, later to become Texas State Comptroller, settled here in 1846. With the Rawlins' cooperation, he established this town about 1852, patterning and naming it after the Kentucky town founded by his grandfather.

Stores, a school, churches, a grist mill, tannery, cotton gin, and carding mill soon were built in or near the 1-square-mile townsite. During the Civil War (1860s), a Confederate pistol factory was operated here. After 1876, a town well on the Square provided water for citizens and visitors. The first railroad arrived in 1888, another in 1890. Randolph College, an enterprise of one of the Texas Christian University founders, Randolph Clark, operated here 1898 - 1900. Other schools used the college plant until it burned in 1912. Fires also destroyed some sections of this Square in 1877, 1889, and 1918.

During its first century, Lancaster was a farmers' market town -- its fortunes fluctuating with yields and prices of cotton. Since 1950, a broader economy prevails, and the population has increased.
Marker Donor: Lancaster Historical Society

Lancaster, Texas Landmarks & Attractions

Among the unusual attractions in this charming town are relics from a Civil War pistol factory in the city library (on the map) and the Dallas / Ft. Worth Wing of the Commemorative Air Force is stationed at the Lancaster Airport.

In addition to the many restored homes, you'll find a MKT Depot circa 1889, two antebellum cemeteries, and the final resting place of "Steel Dust," renowned 19th Century racehorse.

Historical Marker: 1425 N. Dallas Ave., at First National Bank Bldg. (Hwy 342) Lancaster

Pleasant Run

Madison Moultrie Miller (1814-60) came west from Alabama and served under W. W. "Bigfoot" Wallace in 1844-45 as a Texas Ranger. Settling here in 1846 with a motherless daughter and son, he soon married Mary (Polly) Parks Rawlins, daughter of this area's pioneer settler Roderick Rawlins. Miller situated himself just north of present Lancaster, opening a store in his home on the road to Johnson's Station (present Arlington), and giving site for first local school. He enlarged his home to 15 rooms in 1848 and built a warehouse and a store, where goods imported from New York ranged from fine silks to hardware, medicines, and saddles. He had a grist mill, a stage stand and hotel; woodworking, tin, and blacksmith shops; and was first postmaster of Pleasant Run, 1848. In the 1850s, Miller laid out a town and sold lots. To benefit Pleasant Run and Dallas County, he tried to secure Trinity Navigation, and Railroad Service. His death at age 46 and the subsequent closing of his store and other enterprises halted growth of his town, but his family home stood until the 1950s. His post office building still exists as a part of a structure on Elm Street, and his town's name is memoralized in Pleasant Run Road, Lancaster.
Marker Donor: Lancaster Historical Society

Historical Marker: 602 E 2nd St
Rocky Crest School
In 1868, Lancaster’s first school for African American children opened in a former Confederate pistol factory. Soon after, “Lancaster Colored School” on Keller Branch served 73 students. In 1906, trustees allowed adults to offer night classes if they paid for electricity.

The school had multiple locations. When Lancaster absorbed Rawlins School in 1927, brick from Rawlins was used for a new building. Laura B. White, R. B. White and J. D. Hall were longtime Principals of Rocky Crest, which taught eight grades and hosted community activities. The school expanded before Lancaster schools integrated in 1965-66. The site remains one of the area’s oldest associated with early minority education.
175 years of Texas Independence * 1836-2011

Historical Marker: South of intersection of Nokomis and Beltline Rds.
Edgewood Cemetery
Earliest grave here is that of Lizzie Richardson, a pioneer child who died in the summer of 1845. The site for the cemetery was chosen by Roderick Rawlins, one of the area's first settlers; he was buried here in 1848. Among the graves in the older section is that of James Lemon, veteran of the American Revolution, who died on July 4, 1858. The land was not officially set aside as a cemetery until it was acquired from Thomas McKee Ellis in 1877. Since then the Lancaster Cemetery Association has bought additional land and currently maintains over 1500 graves.
Marker Donor: Lancaster Historical Society

Lancaster, TX - abandoned grain silo
Grain silo
32.603196, -96.750230

Photo courtesy Clyde Stringer

Photographer's Note:

Subject: Lancaster, TX - Abandoned grain silo
I grew up down the street from the grain elevator. It was target of many lightning strikes, which shook our house from the resulting thunder. - Clyde Stringer, May 05, 2018

Lancaster Chamber of Commerce:
1535 Dallas Avenue, Lancaster, TX 75146. 214-227-2579
Chamber's website: http://lancastertexas.org/
Contact the Chamber for an excellent driving tour map.
City of Lancaster website: http://www.lancaster-tx.com/

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Central Texas North

Lancaster, Texas Nearby Destinations:
Ft. Worth
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