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LANCASTER, TEXAS (Washington County). Lancaster, a riverport, was on the upper Brazos River in eastern Washington County. Somervell expedition veteran Samuel A. Bogartqv first settled at the site of the future town. A ferry operated at this river crossing by 1845. Soon afterward promoters divided the site into town lots; they planned the new town as the riverport to serve much of the Austin and Washington county area. Situated two miles below the riverport of Warren, the town was successively named Ralston, Newport, and finally, Lancaster, this last to honor Joseph Lancaster, the Washington-on-the-Brazos editor who promoted the benefits of steam transportation on the Brazos in his newspaper. The town grew only moderately, due to navigational difficulties on the upper Brazos. After the Washington County Railroad crossed the Brazos River in 1859, the Lancaster riverport, unable to survive rail competition, declined and disappeared.


Pamela A. Puryear and Nath Winfield, Jr., Sandbars and Sternwheelers: Steam Navigation on the Brazos (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1976). Mr. and Mrs. Nate Winfield, All Our Yesterdays: A Brief History of Chappell Hill (Waco: Texian Press, 1969).

Carole E. Christian


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

Carole E. Christian, "LANCASTER, TX (WASHINGTON COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.