Ralls is at the junction of U.S. highways 62 and 82 and State Highway 207, twenty-seven miles east of Lubbock in west central Crosby County. It was founded by John Robinson Ralls, who, with the help of W. E. McLaughlin, laid out a townsite in July 1911. At his own expense Ralls then began moving a number of businesses and houses from Emma to the new town. He also donated land in 1911 for a new school, and in 1913 the second school term was held on this site in a new $17,000 building. Benefiting from its location on the Santa Fe Railroad, Ralls thrived as new settlers and freight were brought in. The Ralls Chamber of Commerce was organized in 1917, and Percy Ralls, brother of John, became its first president. In 1922 the population of Ralls reached 950, and on January 6 of that year Ralls was incorporated.
The Great Depression brought problems, which were compounded by the worst hail and wind storm in Crosby County history on June 19, 1935. During the storm two residents were killed, and the compress at Ralls was unroofed. Prosperity returned during the 1940s as agriculture thrived. Area farms were irrigated, and a building boom got under way in the latter part of the decade. By 1951 more than 100 business establishments were located in Ralls. Over the years several school districts have consolidated with Ralls schools either wholly or in part. A partial listing includes the districts of Owens, League Four, Canyon Valley, Fairview, New Home, and Farmer. Governor Preston Smith dedicated the Ralls Historical Museum on March 6, 1970. The museum is housed in the old John R. Ralls Bank building and contains thousands of mementos pertaining to Crosby County history, including fifteen period rooms. Ralls, a retail and shipping center, is surrounded by a productive farming region that produces cotton, grains, soybeans, sunflowers, and vegetables. In 1980 Ralls, the largest town in Crosby County, had a population of 2,422 and in 1990 2,172. The population was 2,252 in 2000.