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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Panhandle / Ghost Towns :

RUNNING WATER, TEXAS
AKA Runningwater, Texas

Texas Ghost Town
Hale County, Texas Panhandle
FM 1424 and Runningwater Draw
14 miles NW of Plainview

Population 0

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Hale County Texas 1907 Postal map
1907 Hale County Postal map showing Running Water (NW of Plainview)
Courtesy Texas General Land Office

History 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 Running Water.

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.
Hale County TX - Running Water Coummunity Historical Marker
Running Water Coummunity Historical Marker
Junction of Hwy 194, FM 788 and FM 1424, 7.5 miles NW of Plainview
Photo Courtesy Rick Vanderpool, 2010
Historical Marker Text

Running Water Community

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 lots.

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.
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