in a Pecan Shell
Until the town
needed a post office in the 1890s, it had gone by the name of Wadsworth,
Texas. The renaming, it was hoped, would lure more families once
they realized there was flowing water here. The new name became official
in January of 1891.
Dennis Rice, a land speculator, is regarded as the town founder. Rice
also became the community’s first postmaster.
Running Water had a celebration for its founding on August 26, 1892.
The community received a general store in short order, and people
started moving into the area.
But by the middlepart of that decade, locusts and a drought both hit
the area. In 1895 additional settlers arrived under the auspices of
the Four-section Act.
In 1907 Running Water had Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian churches
organized with three stores open for business.
The Running Water school became its own ISD in the mid 1920s. During
the Great Depression there were four teachers living and working in
In 1928, the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad bypassed Running Water
by three miles. The post office was relocated to Edmonson
Switch in early 1937 and Running Water citizens followed the lure
of the rails.
Running Water was, for all intents and purposes, a ghost town.
The community did appear on TxDoT county maps through 1987, although
by that time all businesses had shut their doors.
Running Water, Texas, never big on reporting populations, remains
without even so much as an estimate for the 2000 census.
Coummunity Historical Marker
Junction of Hwy 194, FM 788 and FM 1424, 7.5 miles NW of Plainview
Photo Courtesy Rick
Attracted by abundant
water from Running Water Draw, J. W. and T. W. Morrison established
a ranch in 1881 with headquarters about ten miles west of here. Most
of the early settlers in this region worked for the ranch. Later,
several partners joined the operation, including wealthy cattleman
C. C. Slaughter.
In 1884 Dennis and Martha S. Rice purchased several sections of land
along the draw south of this site. Rice hoped to start a town and
lure the railroad across his land. He began Wadsworth Post Office
in his dugout in 1890. It was renamed Running Water in 1891. Rice
organized the Running Water Townsite and Investment Company and staged
a picnic and barbecue, July 4, 1892, for the purpose of selling town
Soon the community had a blacksmith shop, grist mill, a two-story
store building, several residences and churches. The early one-room
schoolhouse was later replaced by a brick structure.
Although the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad bypassed Running Water
in 1928, it remained a thriving village for several years. In 1935
the post office moved to Edmonson
Switch on the railroad and many residents relocated here. In 1937
the name of this settlement was changed to Edmonson.
|1907 Hale County
Postal map showing Running Water (NW of Plainview)
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
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