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. The Lampasas Guards organized on July 1, 1859, to protect settlers from Indians. Indian raids, particularly by Comanches, worsened during the Civil War and after, and in 1870 a contingent of federal cavalry was quartered in Lampasas. By 1871 the town had fifteen to twenty businesses, including the profitable Dunn molasses business, several wool and mohair commission houses, and a number of county government agencies. Hart House was a stop on the stage and mail route. The Star Hotel, established in 1870, functioned as a community center, and a bank opened in 1884.

Methodists held the town's first regular services, received regular visits by circuit pastors by 1866, and built a church in 1880. Baptists built the county's first church in 1874, using lumber hauled from Austin. Camp meetings were held in Baptist-owned Hancock Park, then known as Anderson Park, and by noted evangelist William Evander Penn on the banks of Sulphur Creek. Catholics increased as Irish railroad workers flocked to the area in the 1880s. St. Mary's Catholic Church was established by Bishop Nicholas Gallagher, and a building was erected in 1885. A number of Protestant churches were also organized between 1880 and 1900. A courthouse fire on December 14, 1871, destroyed county records, and on September 27, 1873, heavy rains started a flood on Sulphur Creek that caused several deaths and extensive damage. The Donovan Mill was established by John Casbeer sometime after the flood. More recently, a fire at the Lampasas Ice and Produce Company on July 30, 1962, caused several explosions and released dangerous ammonia fumes. Several residents taught schools prior to 1869, when county subscription funded a two-story rock building on Sulphur Creek. W. W. Chandler began a public school in 1892 for which a building was erected around 1894. Community entertainment centered around school programs when an early theater, built in the 1870s, burned in the mid-1880s. In 1875 Douglas Y. Fox opened a race track that became the site of the first Lampasas County Fair. Charles A. Woolridge published the first county newspaper, the Chronicle, beginning on June 1, 1859.

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Alice J. Rhoades | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Burleson is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Burleson is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Lampasas)

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated