Hale County Postal map showing Running Water (NW of Plainview)|
Texas General Land Office
in a Pecan ShellUntil
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.
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.
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.
Water Coummunity Historical Marker|
Junction of Hwy 194, FM 788 and FM 1424,
7.5 miles NW of Plainview
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.