LONDON, TX (KIMBLE COUNTY)
LONDON, TEXAS (Kimble County). London, also known as London Town, is a farming community on U.S. Highway 377 about eighteen miles northeast of Junction in northeastern Kimble County. The town was established in the late 1870s or early 1880s by Len L. Lewis, a horse trader and former officer in the Union Army who moved to the area in 1878. After marrying a local widow, Lewis bought a half-section of land and proceeded with his plans to build a town that he hoped would become a trade center for the region. In 1881 a store was opened on the site by Ed, Tom, and Robert Stevenson (the last the future father of Coke Robert Stevensonqv), and soon thereafter Lewis laid out a townsite. The plan included forty town lots and a town square, as Lewis hoped that his town would eventually become the county seat for a new county. The site was named London in 1882, when a post office was established at the store; and about this same time a Methodist Church Society was organized there. About thirty people lived in London in 1884. The town was on one of the branches of a cattle trail, and a number of local men were cattle drivers. By 1896 London had about 100 residents and had grown to include a blacksmith shop, a flour mill and cotton gin, a saloon, two hotels, two general stores, and Christian, Methodist, and Baptist churches. In 1914 London had five general stores, and about 175 people lived there. The town continued to grow during the 1920s, and by 1931 it had sixteen businesses and an estimated population of 360. Though its population fell by about half during the Great Depression, it revived during World War II, and by 1943 London had fifteen businesses and a population of about 420. The 1948 county highway map showed thirteen businesses, two churches, a school, and scattered dwellings at the site. London later declined, as farms in the area were consolidated and mechanized. By 1952 the town had eight businesses and about 250 residents; by 1972 it had four businesses and about 110 residents. London revived somewhat during the mid-1970s, and in 1982 it had four businesses and a population of 180. From 1992 through 2000 the population remained at 180.
Ovie Clark Fisher, It Occurred in Kimble (Houston: Anson Jones Press, 1937). Recorded Landmarks of Kimble County (Junction, Texas: Kimble County Historical Survey Committee, 1971).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.John Leffler, "LONDON, TX (KIMBLE COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hllkc), accessed January 28, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.