Luling is a city in Caldwell and Guadalupe counties, Texas, United States, along the San Marcos River. The population, as of the 2010 census, was 5,411, and the population was estimated at 5,954 in 2018. The town was named after a New York banker, Charles Luling. He was a personal friend of Thomas Wentworth Pierce, and provided the financing for the railroad as well the purchase of the land that became Luling. The Caldwell County portion of Luling is part of the Austin metropolitan area.Luling was founded in 1874 as a railroad town and became a rowdy center for the cattle drivers on the Chisholm Trail. Contempt of the law by the cowboys helped Luling become known as the “toughest town in Texas”.
After the great cattle drives ended in the late 1880s, Luling quieted down to a town of about 500 and cotton ruled the local economy. Perhaps due to arrival of immigrants, including a sizeable Jewish population, in the late-19th century, Luling began a long, slow, period of growth, and by 1925 the population reached 1,500.One of the most significant events in Luling’s history was the discovery of oil by Edgar B. Davis. Davis mortgaged everything he owned to finance drilling operations around Luling. On August 9, 1922, the Rafael Rios No. 1 well struck oil at 2,161 feet (659 m), producing 150 barrels per day (24 m3/d).
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