a Pecan Shell|
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.
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.