Thomas Saltus Lubbock (November 29, 1817 – January 9, 1862) is the man that our dear old city of Lubbock was named after. After reading through a bunch of Texas history websites, I discovered he actually led a pretty interesting life.

Here are a few fun facts about Thomas Saltus Lubbock.

  • 1

    He Didn't Found Lubbock or Ever Live Here, He's Just the Namesake

    Lubbock was founded due to the efforts of Frank E. Wheelock and W. E. Rayner after they decided to merge "old Lubbock" and Monterey. You may recognize both Wheelock and Monterey as the namesakes for two public schools here in Lubbock.

    T.S. never lived in Lubbock because it didn't exist until many years after his death. I have found no evidence that he ever stepped foot in this area, although he was a Texas Ranger, so it is possible.

    Thomas Lubbock was born in South Carolina and lived in Louisana, Virginia and in Texas. He is buried in Houston.
  • 2

    He Escaped a Mexican Prison in a Fun Way

    If you ever find yourself stuck in a Mexican prison after an unsuccessful and ill-advised military expedition (in this case, the Texan Santa Fe Expedition), just try jumping off the balcony. It worked for Thomas Saltus Lubbock - maybe it could work for you!

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  • 3

    He Belonged to a Secret Society

    T.S. Lubbock was a "very worthy and zealous" member of the Knights of the Golden Circle, which sounds incredibly occult-y and like they probably wore hoods. I have zero proof of that, but it did have very political aims (like all secret societies, right?). The group had "elaborate ritual with codes, signs, and passwords."

    Its aims were awful, though. They wanted to seize control over the slave trade in the American South, Mexico and neighboring islands and thwart attempts from northern Abolitionists to end the practice. Many prominent Texans at the time were involved in this dubious organization. They also attempted -- and failed -- to invade Mexico, which is how T.S. ended up in that Mexican prison.

    When the Civil War broke out, T.S. -- surprise! -- joined the Confederacy.

  • 4

    He Had a Famous Brother

    T.S.'s brother Francis R. Lubbock was heavily involved in Texas politics in the mid to late 1800s. He was governor of Texas from 1861-1863, but also served as lieutenant governor and treasurer. Like his brother, he also fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy, for which he served eight months in prison after the end of the war.

  • 5

    He Was Promoted to Colonel in the Confederate Army, but Died the Next Day

    And he wasn't even in battle at the time. His superior officer was killed in battle, while T.S. Lubbock was sick in a hospital with Typhoid Fever. He was promoted in his place, but never saw any action as colonel since he died of his disease the next day.

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  • 6

    Slow Drivers in Lubbock Are the WORST!