in a Pecan Shell
Loraine has three
stories in connection to its name. One states that it was named in
honor of the wife of a railroad officer, another claims the French
provence of Lorraine and a third says it was to honor Loraine Crandall,
the wife (or daughter) of local landowner Parson Crandal.
Established on the Texas and Pacific Railway in the 1880s, Loraine
was first a cotton and cattle shipping
point and development was slow. The town was granted a post office
in 1890, and a school was constructed three years later. In 1905,
the aforementioned Parson Crandall bought land from the railroad and
had the town platted. With its streets laid out, the town grew rapidly.
It's first paper was published in 1906 and by 1914 the population
was estimated as 800 citizens with more than forty businesses.
The 1920s saw the installation of its own public water system, as
well as high school and grade school facilities and by the 1930s the
population was thought to be between 700-750 people.
Loraine's hospital opened in 1938, and throughout the 1940s the Loraine
Cooperative Association handled the dairy interests for several nearby
counties. The population increased to over 1,000 in the 1950s but
industry and businesses declined. By 1986 only six businesses were
still solvent. The population had been in a decline but has rebounded
in recent years to the present 656.
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson , February 2007
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