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WATER VALLEY, TEXAS

Tom Green County, Texas Panhandle
US 87
22 miles NW of San Angelo
64 miles SE of Big Spring
Population: 120 (2000) Zenith: 180 (1953)

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Water Valley Baptist Church, Texas
Water Valley Baptist Church

Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, August 2005
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History in a Pecan Shell

Two men known as Phelin and Glynn, dammed the North Concho River and dug an irrigation ditch opening up the area to (mostly English) settlers.

A Capt. Wm. Turner, arrived around 1878, establishing the Whitbarrow Ranch, and building a stone ranch headquarters. The post office had been known as Yandell, Argenta, or Stella from 1885 to 1888, and then went by Rethaville, Mayes Store, or Mayesville from 1888 to 1889 according to the Handbook of Texas. Two men named S. S. McCrary and J. O. Hanson put an end to confusion when they decided to rename the community Water Valley in 1889.

The population was 175 by 1914. There was a railroad connection for freight - but no passenger service.

Children were taught in private residences until a public school was built. In 1900 the teacher-student ratio was 48-1. In 1933 Water Valley had its greatest number of businesses seven. The population returned to 140 by 1940 and has gradually declined.

Water Valley High School, Texas
Water Valley High School

Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, August 2005
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Walnut School, Water Valley, TExas
The old one-room schoolhouse
"This is the Walnut Schoolhouse that was once a thriving little schoolhouse on the banks of Little Walnut Creek in Coke County. Most of it's residents were citizens of Water Valley. Walnut opened it's doors in 1911 on the Ainslie Turner ranch."
Photo courtesy Michelle Doss, Water Valley August 26, 2004
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