City of Lancaster, Texas

City of Lancaster, Texas

Historic Downtown in the City of Lancaster, Texas. Photograph by Renelibrary.
Product photo
Promotion: Nearby Map of Dallas County

Lancaster is at the junction of State Highway 342 and Pleasant Run Road, fourteen miles south of Dallas in southern Dallas County. Ten Mile Creek and its tributaries run throughout the area. Abram Bledsoe bought half of the Roderick Rawlins survey in 1847 and five years later laid out a city plan near the community of Pleasant Run. He named his township Lancaster, after the name of his birthplace, Lancaster, Kentucky. Bledsoe brought with him his daughter, Virginia, a schoolteacher, who married Roderick A. Rawlins, the son of Roderick Rawlins, a settler in the area since 1845. The White family of Tennessee moved to Lancaster in late 1851, and R. P. Henry, a native of France, moved his family to Lancaster in the early 1860s. A carding machine was operated in the community in 1850. Dr. H. J. Moffett established his drugstore and practice there in 1851. In 1860 a post office was established in Lancaster.

With the advent of the Civil War a Lancaster volunteer company was raised and became part of the Fifth Texas Cavalry. A pistol factory manufactured the Tucker-Sherrod Colt Dragoon, an exact copy of the .44 caliber Colt Dragoon, for the use of Confederate troops from Texas (see COLT REVOLVERS). R. P. Henry, an engraver, worked at the factory. After the Civil War ended Henry established a general store. Eventually, on May 22, 1887, Lancaster was incorporated. In 1885 the population was estimated to be 550, and by 1900 it had risen to 1,045. A money-order office was operating in Lancaster by 1880, and in 1887 the Lancaster Herald was established by Joe T. Green. The Lancaster Tap Railroad, completed in 1890, connected Lancaster with the Houston and Texas Central at Hutchins, south of Dallas. In 1905 the H&TC bought the Lancaster Tap, which was finally abandoned in 1934. Another railroad, the Dallas and Waco, was built through Lancaster in 1888. In 1891 this railroad became part of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas, running from Dallas to the Gulf Coast of Texas. In that same period, two roller mills and three cotton gins were established; and two academies, the Lancaster Masonic Institute and Lancaster Female Institute, opened. By 1897 the town also had a public school that employed one teacher and had an enrollment of fifty-six students. The city also had Methodist, Baptist, Disciples of Christ, and Presbyterian churches, a chapter of the International Order of Odd Fellows, and a Masonic Temple.

Continue Reading

Matthew Hayes Nall | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

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

Lancaster is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Lancaster is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Pleasant Run)


Latitude: 32.59554980
Longitude: -96.78114100

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2021 View more »


Place Type Population (Year/Source) Currently Exists
College or University Yes

Proud to call Texas home?

Put your name on the town, county, or lake of your choice.

Search Places »