As the first settlement in south Dallas County, no other community possesses as rich a history as Lancaster. From its earliest days, the residents reflected ethnic diversity, and the descendants still enjoy the rural character of the city.
In December 1844, 30 settlers arrived at Peter's Colony in Robertson County, in what was then the Republic of Texas. Led by Elder Roderick Rawlins, the settlers chose a high, defendable space on the open prairie near water, grazing and wild game. At that time, the community was called Hardscrabble (hard: bitter, severe or harsh; and scrabble: to struggle). Indians hunting the area were no danger, as the settlers had befriended them.