Lometa is on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway at the junction of U.S. Highway 183 and Ranch Road 581, 16½ miles northwest of Lampasas in western Lampasas County. A saltworks known as the Swenson Salines was located eight miles from Lometa, near the mouth of Salt Creek on the Colorado River. During the Civil War much of the salt mined for the Confederate Army came from this saltworks, which was abandoned after several postwar attempts at private operation. Lometa was founded in 1885, when the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway began building west from Lampasas to San Angelo. A depot named Montvale, the first stop west of Lampasas, was established 2½ miles from Senterfitt, and a railroad agent named Cox took up residence. Eventually the entire town of Senterfitt, buildings and all, was moved to the new location. The first store was opened by J. T. Brown and a man named Woffard. Frank Longfield, executor of the estate of Alfred J. North, deeded the right-of-way to the railroad; 200 acres of this land became the townsite, and the town was laid out on May 17, 1886. Hoping to prevent the new town from becoming as wild as Senterfitt, a group of prominent citizens, including A. L. Horne, John W. Stephens, and W. B. Floyd, made a vow never to allow an open saloon. When the post office was established in 1886 with Frank McKean as postmaster, the residents discovered that there was already a Montvale in Texas, so the town was renamed Lometa (evidently from Spanish lomita, "little hillock"). The first hotels were opened by Mary Rahl, who moved her establishment from Senterfitt, and Mrs. J. C. Jackson, whose Jackson House catered to railway officials and passengers. Although drought retarded economic growth for the first three years, the town eventually began to make steady progress and soon became a shipping and trading center for farmers. A school built in 1889 was chartered as the Lometa Education Association College the following year and operated until 1909, when a public school was established and a new red brick building was built. A Methodist chapel was erected in 1890; it was followed by a Baptist church in 1901 and a Catholic church in 1920.

By 1890 the town had a population of 150, a cotton gin and gristmill, and telegraph service. The first newspaper, the Lometa Enterprise, began publication on May 18, 1894, under Jeff Funderburk. Another weekly paper, The Success, was in publication by 1896. The Lometa Reporter was started around 1900 and continued until 1960. The first bank was opened in 1906; by 1914 there were two. In 1910 a branch of the Santa Fe was built from Lometa to Eden, with construction headquarters in Lometa. The four years of railroad construction initiated an era of prosperity for Lometa. The population more than doubled, real estate prices soared, and business boomed. The Scholton Railway, a small branch established to haul cedar from the Colorado River to Lometa, operated from 1913 to 1920. The main industries have centered around agriculture and stock farming, and the town has served as a shipping point for cotton, wool, grains, pecans, mohair, cattle, and cedar posts. W. W. Tippen, one of the first wool buyers in Lometa, represented the Jeremiah Williams Company of Boston. W. M. Wittenburg, a licensed sheepmaster from Germany, brought his flock of Delaine sheep to the area in 1879. The Wittenburg wool clip is known throughout the American market and still brings premium prices. In 1909 F. C. Whitmire established the first electric light plant and generating station in Lometa. It folded in 1916 but was reopened by W. D. McLean around 1918 and operated until 1925. In the mid-1920s Texas Power and Light built a plant in the area, and in 1938 the Lower Colorado River Authority established electric service. A public waterworks was operated by a Mr. Hail from around 1910 until April 1915. The waterworks was run by a number of private individuals until it was taken over by the town, which had incorporated by 1920. In 1914 the first telephone system was organized. Santa Fe Lake, now Lometa Reservoir, constructed by the Santa Fe Railway in the following decade, became a popular swimming and fishing spot.

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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

Lometa is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Lometa is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Montvale)


Latitude: 31.21656860
Longitude: -98.39238000

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2021 View more »