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Town opens with a barbecue


On this day in 1892, the town of Runningwater, in Hale County, officially opened with a barbecue for area residents. An earlier settlement at the site was named Wadsworth until the post office, established in December 1890, was renamed Runningwater to draw attention to the presence of flowing water. A rural school was also established that year. The founder of the community and its first postmaster was a railroad land speculator, Dennis Rice. C. C. Slaughter was among the town's early promoters. Rice planned to build a cheese factory in Runningwater but eventually gave up the idea when a leading promoter moved away. A sustained drought and a grasshopper invasion hindered settlement in the mid-1890s, but passage of the Four-Section Act in 1895 brought new settlers into the area. However, the Fort Worth and Denver Railway missed the community by three miles when the tracks were laid in 1928. The post office was moved to Edmonson Switch on the railroad in 1937 and Runningwater was largely abandoned.

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