|The Old Nueces
Bridge now sits in the cemetery
Gibson, August 2011
History in a Pecan Shell
Wells remains on the map - there's nothing left of the town.
The 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".
The company 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
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 a store.
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.
Valley Wells, Texas Forum
|The Old Nueces
Bridge - "Built in 1909 by an iron company in Iowa"
Photo courtesy Barclay
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 November 1922.
Photo courtesy Bill Armstrong
& Valley Wells, Texas
In 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 (see correction)
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
That was Thomas, better known as Tommy and Wanda Noah. - January
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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