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Roaring Springs


The Roaring Springs (at 33°51' N, 100°52' W), formerly known as Jessamine Springs, are a group of springs near the Tongue or South Pease River three miles south of the town of Roaring Springs and a mile west of State Highway 70 in south central Motley County. The springs are recharged on the High Plains to the west, where rain seeps into the Ogallala sand and Dockum sandstone. They were named for the sound of the rushing water that travelers could hear a considerable distance away. Ancient people used bedrock mortar holes in the sandstone near the springs to grind corn, hackberries, and various fruits and nuts. It is possible that Francisco Vázquez de Coronado camped at the springs during his 1541 expedition. In later times the springs, also occasionally known as Jessamine Springs, were a favorite gathering place for Indians, buffalo hunters, and settlers. The site served as the main camp of the Comanches in 1860 and was later a popular camp meeting and picnic site for settlers. The Matador Ranch maintained a line camp there. Though the water's flow has substantially diminished over the years, the Roaring Springs have remained popular. A swimming pool and public recreational campsite developed at the springs in the 1940s, and in 1978 Jarrell Jennings bought the area for use as a recreational vehicle campsite. The Roaring Springs Ranch Club owned the facility in 2003 and maintained a golf course, the swimming pool, and the RV park.

Gunnar Brune, Springs of Texas, Vol. 1 (Fort Worth: Branch-Smith, 1981). Harry H. Campbell, The Early History of Motley County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1958; 2d ed., Wichita Falls: Nortex, 1971). Eleanor Traweek, Of Such as These: A History of Motley County and Its Families (Quanah, Texas: Nortex, 1973).

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

Anonymous, “Roaring Springs,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 01, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.