County, East Texas
12 miles SE of Texarkana
Population: 872(2000) 894(1990)
A Unique Town
Texas is filled with towns bearing odd names, ranging from Dimple
and Cuthand in Red River County to Pluck and Soda in Polk County--and with places
like Yallo Busha and Slocum thrown in for good
Just how these and other strangely-named communities got their
names is a whole slice of East Texas
For example, take Redwater, located twelve miles southwest
of Texarkana in southeastern Bowie
itself, Redwater isn’t a terribly unusual name, but the story behind the
name is a heck of a tale, especially when you throw in an agnostic, a colorful
British-born postmaster, and the first set of female quadruplets born in the U.S.|
In the mid-1870s, a small town grew up around a sawmill operated by two men
named Daniels and Spence. who decided to name the community for agnostic Robert
Ingersoll and established a post office in his honor in 1881.
1886, the town started talking about founding a church and called in Rev. R.D.
Fuller, pastor of Texarkana’s First
Methodist Church, for help.
A Methodist church was organized and a few
years later, the town held a revival with a hundred conversions.
a church and an expanded religious faith, townspeople decided they didn’t want
to live in a town named for a man who didn’t believe in God.
trashed Ingersoll, and adopted the name “Redwater” because the water in nearly
all of the springs and shallow wells around the community had a reddish color.
They also mounted a campaign against liquor, closed down the town’s saloons
and forced their owners to leave the community. That was in 1899 and since then,
whiskey has not been sold in Redwater.
Then came E.T. Page, a British-born
businessman who liked East Texas so
well that he was often called “East Texas Page.” He soon became a tutor for children
in the nearby community of Mooresville.
When a group of Texarkana financiers
approached Page about establishing a bank in Redwater. Page agreed and, after
the Texarkana financiers procrastinated, he established the Citizens Bank on his
own in 1913.
An avid Democrat, Page also served as Redwater’s postmaster
for several years during a Democratic administration in Washington. But when Republican
Grover Cleveland became president, Page was on the verge of losing his postal
job. (Correction: Grover Cleveland was NOT a Republican, but instead was
the only Democratic president elected from the Civil War until 1912. He did serve
non-consecutive terms, and either of his successors, Benjamin Harrison or William
McKinley could have been the Republican president you were referring to. - Allen
Lee Hamilton, Professor of History, Social Sciences Department, St. Philip's College,
San Antonio, TX, April 26, 2011)
Page’s wife Nannie, however, saved
She gave birth to female quadruplets--reportedly the first born
in the U.S.
Learning of the history-making quads, President Cleveland
decided that E.T. Page could remain a postmaster, regardless of his political
Redwater also found itself famous because of the quads. Every
time a train stopped at the local depot, passengers wanted to see the famous little
girls. Gifts poured in from all over the nation.
Bowie County map showing Redwater|
(Below "I" in "B-O-W-I-E")
Texas General Land Office
Meanwhile, E.T. Page, the rock-ribbed Texas Democrat, was also basking in the
glory and often referred to his daughters as “the children who kept a Democrat
in office under a Republican administration.” |
Things Historical December 3, 2007 Column.
(Bob Bowman of Lufkin is the
author of almost 50 books. He can be reached at bob-bowman.com)
to Stay - Redwater, Texas Area Hotels:
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