Denman Springs

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. Lufkin grew both because of its proximity to the railroad and because of the extensive lumber industry in the surrounding area. The history of Lufkin may be divided into three principal eras. The first, which centered on the arrival of the railroad and the progress it precipitated, occurred between 1882 and 1890. The second, marked by a timber boom that produced hundreds of sawmills in the Piney Woods, took place between 1890 and 1920. The third, often called the town's "golden era of expansion," occurred between 1938 and 1945, when industrial expansion produced thousands of new jobs and widespread community growth.

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.

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Bob Bowman | © 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

Denman Springs is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Denman Springs is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Lufkin)

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated