TexasEscapes.com  
HOME : : NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : BUILDINGS : : IMAGES : : ARCHIVE : : SITE MAP
PEOPLE : : PLACES : : THINGS : : HOTELS : : VACATION PACKAGES
Texas Escapes
Online Magazine

WALNUT SPRINGS, TEXAS

Bosque County, North Central Texas
Highway 144 and Farm roads 927 and 203
14 Miles S of Glen Rose
8 Miles NW of Meridian
52 Miles NW of Waco

Population: 755 (2000) Up from 716 in 1990

Book Hotel Here > Glen Rose Hotels

Walnut Springs Bridge, Walnut Springs TX ca1910

Walnut Springs Bridge, Walnut Springs, Texas ca1910
Courtesy Will Beauchamp Collection
See Texas Bridges

History in a Pecan Shell

The town's name is a rare of example of "what you see is what you get." The community developed around springs (still flowing today) that surfaced in the shade of Walnut trees. The town's history is directly related to that of the Texas Central Railroad.

The railroad arrived in 1880-81, building machine shops which burned in the 1920s and weren't rebuilt. The railroad later joined the long roster of defunct Texas railroads, but its impact on the town is still being felt (see letter below).

A post office was granted in 1883, however the name Walnut Springs wasn't applied until 1892. In 1885 Central College was opened, becoming part of the public school system seven years later.

From a high-water mark of 1,449 before the railroad fire, it declined to 723 as the Great Depression wound down. In 1961 the population was just under 500 and growth has been slow but steady - reaching the current number of 755 residents.
Downtown building, Walnut Springs Tx
Downtown Walnut Springs
Photo courtesy Barcly Gibson, July 2007
Downtown building, Walnut Springs Tx
Downtown Walnut Springs
Photo courtesy Barcly Gibson, July 2007
Walnut Springs Tx Baptist Church
Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Barcly Gibson, July 2007
Walnut Springs Tx Memorial United Methodist Church

Memorial United Methodist Church
Photo courtesy Barcly Gibson, July 2007
More Texas Churches

Downtown Walnut Springs Tx
Downtown Walnut Springs
Photo courtesy Barcly Gibson, July 2007
Walnut Springs Tx Old Gas Station
Old Gas Station
Photo courtesy Barcly Gibson, July 2007
More Texas Gas Stations
Walnut Springs Tx Lions Club Sign
Lions Club Sign
Photo courtesy Barcly Gibson, July 2007
Walnut Springs Tx Silo Ghost Sign

Silo Ghost Sign
Photo courtesy Barcly Gibson, July 2007
More Texas Ghost Signs

Walnut Springs Tx Silo
Silo
Photo courtesy Barcly Gibson, July 2007
More Texas Grain Elevators
Walnut Springs Tx Tabernacle
Tabernacle
Photo courtesy Barcly Gibson, July 2007
Walnut Springs Tx Oak Grove Cemetery gate
Walnut Springs Tx Oak Grove Cemetery
Photo courtesy Barcly Gibson, July 2007
More Texas Cemeteries
Walnut Springs TX Old Downtown
"This is the Old Town Of Walnut Springs, TX. Not much left... In it's day it was a busy town with the trains. The Katy Park is still there." Paula Mc Michael Athey, 2008
Walnut Springs Tx Katy Park Fountain
Katy Park Fountain
Photo courtesy Barcly Gibson, July 2007
Hwy144 between Walnut Springs TX and Glen Rose TX
"Hwy 144 between Walnut Springs and Glen Rose. The big hill on the right down the hwy. is where I lived in a country house. Another house is there now. The old house is gone now." - Paula Mc Michael Athey, September 28, 2008

Walnut Springs, Texas Forum

  • Walnut Springs Today
    Letter from the Walnut Springs City Engineer -
    I have been the city engineer for the City of Walnut Springs, Texas, for about 10 years. While trying to use a magnetic locator to find a cast iron pipeline, I was getting readings all over the place. An old timer came by and told that my location was very near the boiler shop of the [now defunct] Texas Central Railroad. [In the 20s when the fire occured] there were explosions in the boiler shop that covered the area with debris. The Texas Central Railroad was created in the 1880's and I believe the last of it was shut down in 1936. The street and utilities were given to the City of Walnut Springs. In the downtown area, there is still the foundation for a steam engine to drive the water works.

    Due to the decline in the railroad, and the ranching businesses, the town fell into disrepair for years. In the late 1980's a sewer system funded by the FHA was installed along with a treatment plant. In the late 1990's, we replaced a jerry-rigged water pressure system with a new 40,000 gallon standpipe along with a 1,000 gpm pumping station and a revised power system for the plant. In the year 2000, we installed a new well with a 230 gpm capacity, a 44,000 gallon ground storage tank, and another 1,000 gpm pump station new the Hornet Stadium just south of city hall. This vastly improved the water reliability since during the storm of 1998, the only water pipe crossing Steele creek washed out. The concrete in-ground tank is still there and the last time I checked, it was still in great shape.

    In 2002, we replaced the old 1922 vintage concrete tank improved the plant piping. I had the old 1922 vintage concrete ground storage tank removed and replaced with a new welded steel tank constructed by Bulldog Steel of Clyde, Texas. There were several wall cracks, but the slab was as sound as new. The new tank sits on the 1922 slab. A new grade beam was poured around the tank. The reinforcing steel was square stock and twisted to deform it to obtain a good grip to the concrete. It has the historic Lone Star Steel trade mark on it as I recall. It was all poured by hand, the workers placing and mixing it in shifts, working around the clock.

    With this project, the City is now current with all TCEQ regulations. The City and Walnut Springs ISD have begun to grow and have already attracted several retail businesses.

    The City Secretary, Kay Offutt (her husband is Welsh, and manager of the Flat Top Ranch), sent me an extremely interesting book about the history of the Texas Central Railroad and Walnut Springs as a Christmas present . While doing the land acquisition to expand the football field from the required 80 yards for 6 man ball to the full 100 yards, I determined the football field to be located very near the historical site of the boiler shop. There was a round house there and it is my understanding, it is located about two hundred yards behind the new post office fronting Texas 144.

    A gentleman named Murphy Bruns, retired at Tow, Texas, further told me how the town was bustling when he was foreman for the construction of the REA-funded rural power lines in the area in the 1930's. His company was owned by a Mr. Taylor, who was Lady Bird Johnson's father.

    The railroad sold out to the Missouri Kansas and Texas "Katy" railroad at some point. The Katy park still exists as a city park today and houses and protects the Walnut Springs. These springs still flow several hundred gallons a minute and have never gone dry. In the northeast part of town, you can still see the influence of the railroad houses. Most have been changed and some replaced, but if you stand at the end of street you can see that the gable roofs line up exactly.

    The city is currently being repopulated by the 1980's generation that work mostly in other cities. - City Engineer, Walnut Springs, Texas, December 13, 2005

  • Walnut Springs: Union Veteran & the Confederate Widow
    I find your [magazine] unique and very interesting. I was especially interested in Walnut Springs since my Great Grandfather Franklin Estein is buried in the cemetery. He was a German immigrant who fought in the civil war as a Union soldier having joined in New Orleans where he landed from Germany. He was a stone mason and many of the stone structures in Walnut Springs were built by him. He married a widow of a Confederate soldier and for most of his life he never told her he had been in the Union army, only when he applied for his pension did she find out. I intend to visit Walnut Springs next year and do more research. - Dean Thompson, President, 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial, November 30, 2006
  • Walnut Springs, Texas
    Area Towns:
    Glen Rose
    Meridian
    Waco

    Book Hotel Here:
    Glen Rose Hotels
    Waco Hotels
    More Hotels
    More Texas Towns & Hotels:
    North Central Texas
    Texas Towns
    Texas Ghost Towns
    Hotels

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

    Custom Search
    Glen Rose Hotels
    Find Hotel Deals in Glen Rose, Texas
    Book Here
    TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
    HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | HOTELS | SEARCH SITE
    TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

    Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
    TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | FORTS | MAPS

    Texas Attractions
    TEXAS FEATURES
    People | Ghosts | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Texas Centennial | Black History | Art | Music | Animals | Books | Food
    COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

    TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
    Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Rooms with a Past | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Stores | Banks | Drive-by Architecture | Signs | Ghost Signs | Old Neon | Murals | Then & Now
    Vintage Photos

    TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | USA | MEXICO

    Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
    Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes. All Rights Reserved