Old Nueces Bridge now sits in the cemetery|
Gibson, August 2011
Wells History in a Pecan ShellAlthough
Valley Wells remains on the map - there's nothing left of the town.
cemetery contains less than 40 graves.
The name refers to the artesian
wells once found here. A visit in November of 2001 found a spring still bubbling
forth a good flow of water between the cemetery and the Nueces River.
Three members of the McCarley family died in 1936.
Dimmit County had
several settlements between 1909 and 1917. About 1909 the Texas Land and Loan
Company started selling off 10,000 acres of land in small parcels. They advertised
the settlement nationwide as the "Good Luck Colony".
made no improvements and sold the land based on the promise of the abundant water.
Many of the buyers came from Oklahoma.
A post office opened in 1914
and by 1915 the town had seventy-five residents.
At the time the post
office was granted the company name was dropped in favor of Valley Wells.
Valley Wells suffered through hard times. A period of low crop prices between
1916 and 1918 was followed by a crop-destroying hailstorm.
By 1925 the
population was only ten persons and in 1940 there were twenty-five residents and
Salt had eaten through metal pipes encasing the water wells,
and the farmers had unknowingly been irrigating the fields with salt water. By
the late 1940s the land was barren.
It is reported that there were only
3 families in the early 50s and today it appears that there is only one.
Wells, Texas Forum
Old Nueces Bridge - "Built in 1909 by an iron company in Iowa"|
Gibson, August 2011
cement marker in the Hispanic section of the cemetery |
TE Photo, November 2001
Wells' Sal A. Armstrong and son Sal Alvin Armstrong, Jr. in Valley Wells in
courtesy Bill Armstrong
Wells, Texas Forum Subject:
Big Wells & Valley
1950, my family moved to Big
Wells, Texas, and my father was pastor of the First Baptist Church at Big
Wells. We had three of the best years of our lives at Big
Wells. While there, my father and our family went to Valley Wells on Thursday
evenings to hold prayer services in the old Valley Wells School. I remember some
of the families that attended the service: Don Noah and Wanda Noah, Don and Charlotte
Noah, Alton and family, the Henderson family, and I believe that Charles Rasmussen
and family sometimes attended services. There was no piano or musical instrument,
so we sang acapello. The service was not long but the people were sincere and
were very kind to our family. I remember seeing many deer and some javelina hogs,
road runners, turtles, and pheasants. The big problem during those years that
plagued the farmers was lack of rain and the wells ran dry. The cattle had to
eat the mesquite trees and the farmers burned the needles off the cactus so the
cows could eat those. My father led the way to building the new church at Big
Wells and it was very nice for the town. I could go on telling tales all day,
but I will just say that we loved it there and the people are still the best people
in the world! - Charlotte Ann Wyatt Rickenbaker Woodard, July 29, 2011
Nueces River bridge in the Valley Wells Cemetery
When I was a kid, there
was a metal sign on the Nueces River Bridge in Valley Wells. The sign stated that
the bridge was built in 1909 by an iron company in Iowa. Someone pried the sign
off in the 60s. The bridge was replaced in 2001. There was talk about moving the
old bridge to the park in Carrizo
Springs. I do not think that the County wanted to pay the cost to transport
it that far and left it in the cemetery.
I am going to question your
statement about finding a flowing spring in Valley Wells. The current water table
is 300'. Thanks - Tom Nuckols, Land owner in Big
Wells and Valley Wells, June 23, 2004
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