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Runningwater, TX

Charles G. Davis General Entry

Runningwater (Running Water) is on Farm Road 1424 and Runningwater Draw twelve miles northwest of Plainview in north central Hale County. The settlement was first named Wadsworth until the post office, established in December 1890, was renamed Runningwater on January 28, 1891, 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. George M. Slaughter, C. C. Slaughter, S. T. Cooper, and a man named Boody were early promoters.

The official opening of Runningwater took place on August 26, 1892, accompanied by a barbecue for area residents. Soon a general store opened, and several families took up residence. Rice planned to build a cheese factory 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. By 1907 the town had three stores, and congregations of the Presbyterian, Methodist, and Baptist churches had been organized. The Runningwater school became an independent district in 1924, and a PTA was organized in 1925. The school employed four teachers by 1937. 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 on February 1, 1937, and Runningwater was largely abandoned. The community was identified on 1987 county maps, although no active businesses were indicated. No population was reported for Runningwater in 2000.

Mary L. Cox, History of Hale County, Texas (Plainview, Texas, 1937).


  • Communities

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

Charles G. Davis, “Runningwater, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 14, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 13, 2020