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    BIG WELLS, TEXAS

    Dimmit County, South Texas
    Highway 85
    17 miles NE of Carrizo Springs
    60 miles E of Eagle Pass

    Population: 704(2010) 810(2000) 756(1990)

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    Big Wells TX - Big Wells Exposition  Nov 1911
    "Sal A. Armstrong on black horse and Robert Hall (sheriff) on white horse. Old photo has written on back - Big Wells Exposition November 1911" - Photo courtesy Bill Armstrong. Click on photo for large image

    Big Wells History in a Pecan Shell

    The name doesn’t seem to have been an exaggeration when the town was founded. It was named for the artesian wells that once (allegedly) jetted 30 feet into the air. Naturally with this abundance of water – it was a prime location for land developers. There were several projects in Dimmit County between 1909 and 1917 – like the one nearby in Valley Wells.

    The town began as a modest 480-acre parcel of an ambitious, project that eventually reached 56,000-acres.

    Promotion began in 1908 and settlers began arriving in 1910. It immediately grew due to its location on the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf railroad.

    By 1911 the town had a post office and in 1912 they had two schools. The population had grown to 800 by 1915.

    From 1916 to 1918, the area suffered through drought, low crop prices, and at least one devastating hailstorm.

    People went back where they came from, the newspaper closed it’s doors in 1919 and the population dipped down to 300 in 1925 – while the rest of the country was prospering.

    Ironically by 1929, however, the population started growing – just as the Great Depression was beginning. Throughout the 30s the population was in the 700s and at the end of WWII there were 866 people living in Big Wells.

    The artesian wells that gave the town its name have required pumps to produce water since World War II.

    Oil has replaced agriculture as the area’s major economic influence.

    In the mid fifties the town had just over one thousand people, but its school closed in 1955.

    The population has declined at a very slow rate since then to its current figure of 704 (2010).


    Big Wells Old Photos

    I grew up in Big Wells in the 50's and 60's. The pictures are of my grandfather and grandmother and also my dad in the 1922 photo at 9 years of age. My grandmother told my father that his father gave Big Wells its name. My grandparents moved from Frio county to Big Wells in 1906 so it was around that time. Thanks. - Bill Armstrong, May 29, 2011 (Click here for Old Photos)

    Big Wells Today

    Big Wells Tx - Baptist Church

    Big Wells Baptist Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011

    Big Wells Tx - Catholic Church

    Big Wells Catholic Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011

    Big Wells Tx Church

    More church in Big Wells
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011
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    Big Wells Tx Old Theater

    An old theatre?
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011
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    Big Wells Tx - Taco Shack

    Taco Shack
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011

    Big Wells Tx Road Sign

    Big Wells City Limits
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011

    Big Wells TX -  Tin Man Water Tower

    Big Wells Tin Man Water Tower
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011
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    Big Wells Old Photos
    Frio County Ranch near Pearsall, Texas
    "Sal And Lillie Armstrong on Frio County Ranch near Pearsall in 1906 (year they left for Big Wells)" - Photo courtesy Bill Armstrong
    Big Wells TX - Sal and Lillie Armstrong, 1914
    Sal and Lillie Armstrong in Big Wells, Texas, 1914
    Photo courtesy Bill Armstrong
    Valley Wells, Texas  - Sal A. Armstrong and son Sal Alvin Armstrong, Jr. , 1922
    Sal A. Armstrong and son Sal Alvin Armstrong, Jr. in Valley Wells in November 1922.
    Photo courtesy Bill Armstrong
    Big Wells, Texas street scene, 1914
    Big Wells street scene
    Photo c1914 courtesy texasoldphotos.com
    Big Wells, Texas Forum
  • Subject: Big Wells and 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 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

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