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London, Texas

London, also known as London Town, is a farming community on U.S. Highway 377 about eighteen miles northeast of Junction in northeastern Kimble County.

History

The town was established in the late 1870s or early 1880s by Len L. Lewis, a horse trader and former officer in the Union Army who moved to the area in 1878. After marrying a local widow, Lewis bought a half-section of land and proceeded with his plans to build a town that he hoped would become a trade center for the region. In 1881 a store was opened on the site by Ed, Tom, and Robert Stevenson (the last the future father of Coke Robert Stevenson), and soon thereafter Lewis laid out a townsite. The plan included forty town lots and a town square, as Lewis hoped that his town would eventually become the county seat for a new county. The site was named London in 1882, when a post office was established at the store; and about this same time a Methodist Church Society was organized there. About thirty people lived in London in 1884. The town was on one of the branches of a cattle trail, and a number of local men were cattle drivers. By 1896 London had about 100 residents and had grown to include a blacksmith shop, a flour mill and cotton gin, a saloon, two hotels, two general stores, and Christian, Methodist, and Baptist churches. In 1914 London had five general stores, and about 175 people lived there. The town continued to grow during the 1920s, and by 1931 it had sixteen businesses and an estimated population of 360. Continue reading London History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>

London Town Square. Planned as court square of proposed county. Platted about 1878 by postmaster Len I. Lewis, whose town name choice, "Betty Lewis "(for his wife), was vetoed by postal authorities. "London" is thought to have been proposed by the Pearl family, for their old Kentucky home town. On the western cattle trail, London had trail drivers as residents and sold supplies to crews passing with longhorn herds. Businesses in early days: blacksmith shop, stores, cotton gin. Also there were 3 churches and a school. Coke R. Stevenson, 1941-47 Texas Governor, lived here as a child. – Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 1971. Marker located on US Highway 377 in London.

London Post Office. In the early days of Kimble County, Len and Bettie Lewis established their ranch as a trade center. Bettie received most area mail at their home, the Lewis Hotel and Wagon Yard. In 1882 Bettie filed an application to formalize her postal station and was made the first post-master of the New "London" Post Office. Because of its central location and good roads, London became the direct route between Mason and Junction City. This site replaced an earlier post office near the town square. By 1997, 14 postmasters had served London in 115 years. Historical Marker Text.  Marker erected 1997. Marker located on U.S. Highway 377 in London.

London Cemetery is located south of the intersection of U.S. Highway 377 and CR 350, on the east side of the road.

Photos

More Kimble County Postcards and Photographs >>

Resources

Location

30° 40' 40.044" N, 99° 34' 36.552" W