Luling Texas History:
Settlement began in the area along Plum Creek in the 1840s. The Plum Creek post office was established in 1848, and was later transferred to Lockhart. In 1874, the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railroad built a line from Columbus to three miles west of Plum Creek where a station and the Luling post office were established. In 1884, Luling had five churches, several mills, a bank, a school a newspaper and 1,800 residents. It shipped cotton, cottonseed oil, livestock and pecans. In 1889, the San Antonio and Aransas Pass built a line through Luling connecting it with Lockhart and Shiner. The town experienced rapid growth after the Luling oilfield was discovered in 1922. In the 1950s truck farming became an important industry, especially watermelons and tomatoes. Agriculture and the oil industry are still important to the town’s economy. The annual Watermelon Thump Festival attracts thousands of visitors each year. Many of Luling’s pump jacks are decorated. One features a boy and a girl who appear to be playing on a teeter totter when the pump jack is moving. Luling is located on the San Marcos River, just north of IH-10 at the intersections of U.S. 183 (Magnolia Avenue), SH 80, U.S. 90, and FM 1322, 17 miles south of Lockhart, 7 miles north of Ottine and the Palmetto State Park, 13 miles northwest of Gonzales, 23 miles southeast of San Marcos, 23 miles east of New Braunfels, and 47 miles southeast of Austin, Texas.
Historic City of Luling, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“(Luling was) founded when Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad line intersected a main wagon road from south Texas to Austin. Many families of the Atlanta community (3mi. SE) relocated here. Plum Creek post office, opened nearby in 1848, also moved here and was renamed Luling. The city was chartered Sept. 19, 1874. Original mayor was W.H. McClelland. The first aldermen were Jesse R. Bond, L.C. Cunningham, J. N. Stagner, Mike Tierney, and l.C. Wilder. Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio locator James Converse platted the townsite on Oct. 15, 1874. The G.H. & S.A. gave land for four public parks, and its president, T.W. Pierce, willed $2,000.00 to the town. Terminus of the railroad until mid-1875, Luling had heavy shipping and trade in its infancy. In late 1874 the population was 800 t0 1,000, including drifters who gave the place an early reputation as a tough town. The law-abiding, however, established churches, schools, and stability, and within a few years the railroad boom town was only a legend. An Oil boom began in 1922, and 125 producing wells have now been drilled within the city limits. Three major oil fields surround the town, which in later years has become also an agribusiness center.”
Historic Edgar B. Davis, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“One of the great benefactors of Texas. Born in Brockton, Mass. Had business careers in shoe manufacture and rubber planting. On retirement, came here and in wildcat operation brought in Luling oil field, 1922. By 1926 had 215 producing wells. Gave employees $2,500,000 in bonuses then endowed Luling Foundation, for advancement of agriculture and human opportunity in area. Result has been conservation of land, up breeding of crop and livestock and introduction and marketing of superior products. Davis remained in this area and is buried near Luling.”