A Florida man who has spent a half-century researching towns across the United States recently ranked Lampasas as one of the 100 best small cities in which to live.

Retired educator Charles Nathan Anderson placed Lampasas at number 47 in his study “In Search of Eden: America’s Best Small Cities.” Lampasas has the second-highest rank of Texas locations, behind the Panhandle town of Canyon (number 35), and ahead of both Marble Falls and Boerne.

Gettsyburg, Pa. tops the list -- not only because of its Civil War history, Anderson said, but also because of the revenue tourism generates for the city. Gettsyburg, Anderson said, is prosperous, with an attractive downtown and well-maintained parks, as well as scenic, rolling farmland and relatively sunny weather for Pennsylvania.

Lampasas, too, has many reasons for its residents to be proud, Anderson said.

While traveling from Granbury to Kerrville about four years ago, the Winter Haven, Fla. resident stopped in Lampasas to see for himself the courthouse, hilly views and mineral springs he had heard touted. Anderson said he was impressed with several aspects of life in Lampasas.

“Lampasas is a lovely city,” Anderson wrote in a letter to the Dispatch Record. “Your handsome courthouse, stately old buildings and attractive storefronts create a very pleasing downtown. Lampasas’ square is a really pleasant place to spend time.”

Anderson said he also appreciated the nearby Colorado Bend State Park, the Highland Lakes and Lampasas’ “abundance of warm, sunny days throughout the year.”

Educational opportunities at Central Texas College and the Lampasas County Higher Education Center, formed after Anderson’s visit to Lampasas, persuaded him to elevate Lampasas from number 56 to 47 when he completed his study earlier this year.

“I think it’s important in a small town that young families ... have an opportunity to earn some of their first credits toward a college degree,” Anderson said.