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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Central Texas N : Lorena

LORENA, TEXAS

McLennan County, North Central Texas
Interstate 35 and U.S. Highway 81
13 Miles SW of Waco

Population 1,433 (2000)

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Lorena Texas street scene
Lorena street scene
Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
History in a Pecan Shell

Settlement began in the 1850s but nothing jelled until the arrival of the railroad in 1881. The town’s namesake is said to be Lorena Westbrook, a local girl. A post office was granted in 1882 and two years later the population was up to 150. By 1890 the town had 250 people served by three stores and most essential businesses. By 1896 the population had doubled to 500.

Several small banks merged into one – which closed in the late 1920s. An attempt at reorganization failed in 1931.

The town managed to hold its population of 342 through the 1930s and during the war years, although it’s businesses were reduced by 2/3rds.

The building of Interstate 35 gave the town a much-needed boost in the late 50s, allowing it to incorporate. By the 1970s the population had reached 516 and 1,158 by 1990.
Lorena Texas building
Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
Lorena Texas park
Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
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Lorena, Texas
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