Ruby Nettles Vance

LEXINGTON, TEXAS. Lexington is between East and Middle Yegua creeks on State Highway 77, sixteen miles north of Giddings in Lee County. James Shaw rode horseback into the area in 1837 seeking a favorable grant of land as a reward for his military service to the Republic of Texas. A few families were living east of his claim at that time. Among the other early settlers in the area were Titus Mundine, Gabriel Smith, and Thomas Suppington. In 1848 a post office named String Prairie opened with Shaw as the postmaster; he was also the schoolteacher, a surveyor, and a legislator. In 1850 the community changed its name to Lexington, after the town in Massachusetts. The economy was based on farming and open-range ranching. Settlers on the prairie east of the settlement raised cotton. In 1869 twenty-one families moved by wagontrain from Mississippi, and most settled in this area. As the population increased so did the need for services: general stores, gristmills, blacksmith and wood-working shops, and saloons opened. R. M. Dickson built a general store in 1860 that lasted into the 1930s. A building he built in 1892 was still in use as a grocery store in 1989.

The Civil War lowered the population in the 1860s, and emancipation caused many families to leave their large farms and move into town. In 1884 Lexington had an estimated population of 250. The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway arrived in 1890, and by 1892 Lexington had a population of 500. It was incorporated in 1917. By 1927 the town had 1,000 inhabitants and a bank. In 1931 the population was 519. In the 1950s Lexington had 600 residents and thirty businesses. In 1980 it had a population of 901 and fourteen businesses. In 1989 the town had six churches, a school system with 800 students, a population of 1,284, and sixteen businesses. In 1990 the population was 953. That figure increased to 1,178 by 2000. Local income is from small family-run businesses, ranching, hay and grain crops, and peanuts. A local plant buys, processes, and ships 2,000 tons of peanuts yearly. An auction barn in continuous weekly operation since 1938 handles locally raised livestock. The Aluminum Company of America Rockdale plant is ten miles away, and some local residents have jobs there. Lexington has had a homecoming celebration yearly since 1966. In 1976 the Lexington Community Chamber of Commerce moved two log cabins dating from 1850 near the town square and restored them to become the Pioneer Village Museum.


Houston Chronicle, April 21, 1968. Lee County Historical Survey Committee, A History of Lee County (Quanah, Texas: Nortex, 1974).

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Ruby Nettles Vance, "LEXINGTON, TX," accessed January 26, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjl07.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on November 25, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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