Old Lubbock

Lubbock, the county seat of Lubbock County, is located at the approximate center of the county (at 33°35' N, 101°51' W) at an elevation of 3,256 feet above sea level. The city, the largest on the South Plains, is on Interstate Highway 27, 327 miles northwest of Dallas and 122 miles south of Amarillo. Lubbock was founded as a part of the movement westward onto the High Plains of Texas by ranchers and farmers. More directly it was the result of a compromise between two groups of town promoters, one led by Frank E. Wheelock and the other by W. E. Rayner. In the fall of 1890 these groups abandoned their settlements, known respectively as Old Lubbock and Monterey, and agreed on December 19 of that year to combine into the new settlement. In 1876 the county had been named for Thomas S. Lubbock, former Texas Ranger and brother of Francis R. Lubbock, governor of Texas during the Civil War. As early as 1884 a federal post office called Lubbock existed at George W. Singer's store in Yellow House Canyon, in the northern part of the present-day city.

One of the first orders of business of the town promoters was to circulate a petition for the organization of the county. At the resulting election on March 10, 1891, Lubbock was duly elected county seat, and its permanence was assured. Settlers began to arrive. The town's first newspaper, the Lubbock Leader, began publication on July 31, 1891. Within three years the town had six lawyers and as many stores, a dentist, three land agents, a livery stable, two hotels, including the Nicolett, which had been moved across the canyon from the original settlement, and the county courthouse and jail. The jail also housed the school taught by Miss Minnie Tubbs, and there the Quakers, Baptists, and Methodists had begun holding regular services by the summer of 1891. Within a few years Lubbock had already begun to establish itself as a marketing center on the South Plains. But with its dusty, unpaved streets, its scattered rows of small wooden houses, each with its own windmill, and blasted by periodic dust storms, the town had little to distinguish it from scores of other rural settlements on the plains. Then, on October 25, 1909, the Santa Fe sent its first train south from Plainview. Lubbock incorporated as a city on March 16, 1909, and by the census of 1910 had 1,938 people. The population reached 4,051 by 1920. The first hospitals, the West Texas Sanitarium and the Lubbock Sanitarium, the predecessor of Methodist Hospital, appeared in 1917. Early physicians included Marvin C. Overton, Julian T. Krueger, J. T. Hutchinson, W. L. Baugh, and C. J. Wagner.

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Lawrence L. Graves | © 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

Old Lubbock is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Old Lubbock is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Lubbock)
  • (Singer's Store)

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated