txrrhistory.com - SP Depot - Lufkin, Texas

LUFKIN, TEXAS. Lufkin, the county seat of Angelina County, is at the intersection of U.S. highways 59 and 69, a few miles northwest of the geographic center of the county in the heart of the Piney Woods of East Texas. It was founded in 1882 as a stop on the Houston, East and West Texas Railway, when the line built from Houston to Shreveport, Louisiana, and named for Capt. Abraham P. Lufkin, a Galveston cotton merchant and city councilman, who was a close friend of HE&WT president Paul Bremond.

The settlement was little more than a clearing, also called Denman Springs, when a railroad surveying crew crossed Angelina County in 1881 planning a route for the line. The crew reputedly began its work by surveying a route through Homer, which was then the county seat. According to an old story, they spent a Saturday night carousing at Homer, where they became rowdy in the saloon, and Constable W. B. (Buck) Green put them in jail. The next morning they paid their fines and were released.

The arrest, however, infuriated the chief of the survey crew, who reportedly ordered them to find a route for the railroad that would bypass Homer and go by Denman Springs. The new route conveniently crossed the property of Lafayette Denman and his son, Dr. A. M. Denman, who are said to have hosted members of the survey crew a few days earlier. This story of Lufkin's origins may be only a colorful legend, however, for the railway's 1879 prospectus already indicated that the line would bypass Homer and go through the future site of Lufkin. Soon after the railroad arrived in 1882, the company began to advertise the public sale of town lots in Lufkin.

In the square, just behind the depot, cotton was stored before shipment on the railroad. Lufkin acquired a post office in 1882 with William A. Abney as postmaster. In 1883 a telegraph line was strung to Lufkin from Nacogdoches. The town was incorporated on October 15, 1890.

Text from the Handbook of Texas Online

Last Revised: 09/30/2005 - Contact the Texas Interlocking Towers Page.