Luling, Texas

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Luling is a city in Caldwell County, Texas, United States, along the San Marcos River. The population was 5,080 at the 2000 census. There is some debate as to how Luling got its name. Some say it was named for a Chinese railroad worker, others for a judge named Luling, or that it was the maiden name of a railroad builder's wife.[4] It is part of the Greater Austin area.



Luling was founded in 1874 as a railroad town[4] and became a rowdy center for the cattle drivers on the Chisholm Trail. Contempt of the law by the cowboys helped Luling become known as the "toughest town in Texas." After the great cattle drives ended in the late 1880s, Luling quieted down to a town of about 500, where cotton ruled the local economy.

The single most important event in Luling's history was the discovery of oil by Edgar B. Davis[4]. Davis had mortgaged everything he owned to finance drilling for oil around Luling. On August 9, 1922, The Rafael Rios No. 1 well came in at 2,161 feet (659 m) and produced 150 barrels per day (24 m3/d). To repay his loans, Davis contracted 2 million barrels (320,000 m3) at $.50 a barrel to Atlantic Oil and another 2 million to Magnolia Oil, plus another 2 million barrels (320,000 m3) to Magnolia at $.75 per barrel.

Davis' discovery opened up an oilfield 12 miles (19 km) long and two miles (3 km) wide. The economy moved quickly from the railroad and agriculture to oil. The population of the town boomed to over 5000. By 1924, the Luling Oil Field was producing 11 million barrels (1,700,000 m3) of oil per year. Oil formed much of Luling's economy for the next 60 years.

As oil grew in importance, the railroads that had formed the town declined and largely pulled out of Luling in the 1930s and 1940s.


Luling is located at 29°40′50″N 97°38′44″W / 29.68056°N 97.64556°W / 29.68056; -97.64556 (29.680499, -97.645439).[5]

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