Luling is a city in Caldwell County, Texas, United States, along the San Marcos River. The population was 5,080 at the 2000 census. There is some debate as to how Luling got its name. Some say it was named for a Chinese railroad worker, others for a judge named Luling, or that it was the maiden name of a railroad builder's wife. It is part of the Greater Austin 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."