Lorena is on Interstate Highway 35 and U.S. Highway 81, thirteen miles southwest of Waco in southern McLennan County. Settlers began arriving in the area in the 1850s. The townsite was laid out in 1881, when the Missouri, Kansas and Texas line was being built between Hillsboro and Taylor. The community was named in honor of Lorena Westbrook, the daughter of a prominent local family. A post office was established at Lorena in 1882 with Charles F. Schaefer as postmaster. In 1884 the community had a general store, two grocery stores, and 150 residents; area farmers shipped cotton, corn, and livestock. By 1890 Lorena had grown to include a hotel, a school, a steam cotton gin and gristmill, two churches, three general stores, and 250 residents. Population estimates rose to 375 in 1892 and to 500 in 1896, and a wide assortment of businesses prospered there.
Lorena at a Glance
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Lorena is classified as a Town
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Lorena by the Numbers
|1,776||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|1,691||2010||Texas Demographic Center|
|1,433||2000||Texas Demographic Center|
|1,158||1990||Texas Demographic Center|