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VALLEY WELLS, TX

VALLEY WELLS, TEXAS. Valley Wells, also known as the Good Luck Colony, is eight miles southeast of Big Wells in northeastern Dimmit County. The name refers to the artesian wells once found in this part of the Nueces River valley. The town began as one of several new settlements in Dimmit County between 1909 and 1917. About 1909 the Texas Land and Loan Company began to market more than 10,000 acres of land in the area. They advertised the "Good Luck Colony" across the nation. Unlike other developers in the county at the time, the TL&LC offered unimproved land save for artesian wells meant to be shared by several farmers. Many of the buyers came from Oklahoma; many lived in tents while attempting to establish their farms. Around 1911 the community built its first school; in 1914 a post office opened, and by 1915 the town had seventy-five residents. About this time the name changed from Good Luck Colony to Valley Wells. Valley Wells suffered through a period of low crop prices between 1916 and 1918. After a hail storm completely pulverized their onion crop some residents complained that the name for their settlement should have been the "Bad Luck Colony." By 1925 the population of the town had fallen to ten. The artesian wells provided water until 1942, and Valley Wells outlived many towns around it. In 1940 the town had one store; a map compiled in the mid-1940s shows thirty-one dwellings, the school, and a post office. A decade later the town was declining. Over the years salt had eaten through the metal pipes encasing the farmers' wells, and the farmers, unaware of the problem, had irrigated their crops with contaminated water. By the late 1940s the salt water had rendered much of the land sterile and useless for farming. In the 1950s a dozen families still lived in the area. In 2000 the population was reported as twenty-five; several families lived in ranches in the community and residents received mail from Big Wells. There was also a cemetery in the community.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Paul S. Taylor, "Historical Note on Dimmit County, Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 34 (October 1930). Laura Knowlton Tidwell, Dimmit County Mesquite Roots (Austin: Wind River, 1984).

John Leffler

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

John Leffler, "VALLEY WELLS, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnv04), accessed August 27, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.