Ruston is a city in and the parish seat of Lincoln Parish, Louisiana.
During the Reconstruction era following the American Civil War, word soon reached the young parish near what is now Ruston, that the Vicksburg, Shreveport and Pacific Railroad would begin to run across north Louisiana, linking the Deep South with the Wild Wild West. Robert Edwin Russ, the Lincoln Parish sheriff from 1877–1880, donated 640 acres (2.6 km2) to the town and this area was eventually known as Ruston (shorthand for Russ town).
In 1883, commercial and residential lots were created and sold for $375 a piece; and soon the sawing of lumber and clacking of hammers could be heard throughout the area.
As the town began to take shape, new churches, businesses, civic organizations and schools were being established. Cotton farming fueled the economy and in 1900 a second railroad, running north and south, was built through Ruston. This brought even more business and industry to the area and the population continued to provide a foundation for the local economy. By the outbreak of World War I in 1917, Ruston was well established as a center for learning, a place of civic pride and as an area of economic prosperity throughout the region.