LAMPASAS, TEXAS. Lampasas is on Sulphur Creek at the junction of U.S. highways 183, 281, and 190, in south central Lampasas County. Early Indian tribes made yearly pilgrimages to the Hancock mineral springs at the site; it is believed that the springs were discovered in 1721 by the Aguayo expedition on its way to East Texas and in 1735 by a Spanish inspection mission from San Antonio. In November 1853 Moses Hughes, his ailing wife, Moses's brother Nimrod, and his family arrived at Hancock Springs, later known as Gooch Springs. Hughes built a mill on the north bank of Sulphur Creek, a log home in 1856, and later a cotton gin. News of Hannah's cure by the spring waters drew others who lived temporarily in tents and wagons along Sulphur Creek. John Burleson, the county's first resident, was awarded 1,280 acres of land including the present Lampasas townsite on April 26, 1838, in return for his services during the Texas Revolution.
After his death the land was deeded in 1854 to his daughters, Elizabeth Scott and Martha Moore. Elizabeth and her husband, George W. Scott, laid out the town of Burleson, then in Coryell County, in July 1855, and Elizabeth designed the plans for the town square. When the Texas legislature established Lampasas County on February 1, 1856, it named Burleson county seat and changed its name to Lampasas. A post office was established in 1857. On April 21, 1873, Lampasas incorporated, responding to the need for a law to keep livestock off the public square.
In 1882 the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway was extended to Lampasas, ending the town's cattle-trailing and gun-fighting era. As the western terminus of the line, Lampasas became a trading center for West Texas. New business houses were established, real estate prices rose, and the population soared to an estimated 3,500. Residents were frequently housed in tents because buildings could not be built fast enough. When the railroad resumed construction west in the mid-1880s, however, the population of the boomtown moved on. In 1990 Lampasas was a station on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe. By 1882 tourists discovered the mineral springs and Lampasas became a health resort. In that year a syndicate of railroad officials built the Park Hotel near Hancock Springs and ran a mule-drawn streetcar to the railroad station.