United States / Plainview, TX

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Plainview Daily Herald Originally known as the "Hale County Hesperian", this newspaper was established in the late 1880s by D. B. Hill and John Davidson. In 1891 John Minor Shafer, an early Plainview are settler, became the owner and publisher. The newspaper remained a Shafer family operation until 1912. Its name was then changed from the "Hale County Herald" to the "Plainview Herald", and later to the "Plainview Daily Herald". Consolidation with the "Plainview News" in 1929 allowed for continued growth and expanded coverage. In 1978 the "Daily Herald" was purchased by the Hearst Corporation. #4043

Broadway Street, Plainview, TX, United States

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Snyder Commnuity. Born in Illinois, Mennonite minister and farmer Peter B. Snyder (1864-1948) was living in Minnesota when a search for inexpensive land led him to Texas. In 1906, he bought property in Hale County from John H. Buntin and urged other Mennonites to join his colony. Snyder and his family traveled by train to Plainview in 1907. They lived briefly in tents before erecting a house in 1908. Among the first Mennonites to settle this farming community were the families of The Rev. Andrew Brenneman, John and Joseph Hartzler, Joe Guengerich, The Rev. Jonas Kreider, Milton H. Near, and Ferdinand Rastetter. The colonists built a one-room schoolhouse on land donated by H. R. and Alevia Newcomer. Settlers of all faiths attended the school sessions, worship services, and social events held in the building. Although Snyder planted a peach orchard near his home and sank an irrigation well after 1911, life was harsh. Dust storms, prairie fires, hail, and the severe droughts of 1915 and 1916 discouraged the colonists. Most, including Peter Snyder, left by the mid-1920s to seek better conditions elsewhere. Only the Rastetter Family remained without interruption in this locality. The Snyder School merged with Midway Rural School in 1921 and with the Plainview School District in 1947. (1977) #4970

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Emma Grigsby Meharg. Born in Lynnville, Tenn.; moved to Texas with parents, Jasper N. and Mary A. (Calvert) Grigsby, 1883. Graduated from college, became a teacher, married Samuel W. Meharg. Came to Plainview (1902), where she and husband were educators. She helped organize clubs, First Presbyterian Church, U.S.A, civic endeavors. Had daughter and son. Won international renown, 1925, as Texas' first woman Secretary of State, by appointment of first woman Governor, Miriam A. Ferguson. Erected - 1972 #1477

100 S. Joliet St., Plainview, TX, United States

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First Baptist Church of Plainview. Organized on November 23, 1890, Plainview Baptist Church began with eleven charter members. The new congregation called the Rev. I.B. Kimbrough as pastor, and they soon erected their first church building at the intersection of Austin and Fourth streets. The growth of the church closely paralleled that of the city, which grew considerably after a branch of the Santa Fe Railroad was built through town in 1907 and the area's first irrigation well was dug. In a 1911 state charter the church was named First Missionary Baptist Church of Plainview. Programs for local church members were expanded, and the congregation actively supported domestic and foreign missionary activities. Continued growth led to the construction of this building in 1927, and the name was changed once again in 1929 to First Baptist Church of Plainview. This Classical Revival sanctuary features two entry porticos, a cast stone cornice, and classical pediment. Continued growth over the years led to the acquisition of adjacent property and the construction of additional church facilities, including the Memorial Educational Building in 1950. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1990 #1664

725 Austin St, Plainview, TX, United States

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Former Office Site of Texas Land & Development Company. Unique agricultural pioneer. Founded in 1912 by J.W. Grant and M.D. Henderson, who obtained Eastern and European capital to develop 65,000 acres of Hale, Floyd and Swisher county lands. This area became one of the most productive in America, because of the irrigated and drylands farming methods used by T.L. & D., which operated until 1956. Winfield Holbrook was the vice president and general manager; W.J. Klinger, secretary-treasurer; D.D. Bowman and W.F. Lowe, farm superintendents. Mary L. Cox, of the staff, wrote local history. (1973) #1949

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Gates Hall. Original administration building of Wayland Baptist College. Site (in town founded in 1887) given by J. H. Wayland, a physician settling here 1891. Built 1909-1910, in term of first President, Dr. I. E. Gates, for whom it is named. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1965. #2112

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Halfway. Settlers came to this area seeking abundant grass, fertile soil, and water. This site, acquired by R. L. Hooper (1872-1952) and his wife Ada Mae (Hughley) (1880-1955) in the 1890s, received its name because it stood "halfway" between Olton and Plainview. It made a good rest stop for ranchers, with a windmill for water and overnight camping. Early pioneers raised enough grain for their stock. Arrival of the railroad in Plainview in 1906 and use of irrigation systems developed a vast agricultural region. In 1908 Hooper provided six acres and helped build a schoolhouse for his seven and the neighbors' children. Hooper donated land in 1910 for Edgar Howard to build the first store where he ran a post office and wagon yard. Methodist and Baptist congregations met in the school building until they erected sanctuaries. The post office closed in 1914 but the settlement boasted a blacksmith shop and a cotton gin. In 1917 Hooper gave one acre for a burial ground. Although population decline caused the Halfway School to consolidate with Plainview in 1952, the community is still prospering. Located here is the High Plains Research Foundation to aid farmers in the surrounding 19-county area. 1979 #2334

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Hale County. Formed from Young and Bexar territories; created August 21, 1876. Organized August 13, 1888. Named in Honor of John C. Hale, a lieutenant who fell at San Jacinto. Plainview, County Seat. #2331

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Prairieview Community. The Prairieview Community traces its history to a rural settlement which began in the late 19th century. Miss Alice Rosser opened a school in a brush arbor at Mapes in 1889. Later housed in a one-room building erected on land bought from W. G. Williams, the school also served as a gathering place for worship services and community activities. In 1892 the name of the community was changed to Prairieview. The area economy was based on ranching and farming, for which marketing improved with the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1906. (1988) #4112

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Rawleigh Porteus Smyth. (August 4, 1855 - February 2, 1941) An Austin native and graduate of the Texas Military Institute, R.P. Smyth became a Brigadier General after Spanish American War duty. As a surveyor, he ran boundaries (1887) of the Two Buckle and other South Plains ranches and platted towns of Plainview, Happy, Tulia, Kress. Married Florence Tucker (d. 1894); was a Masonic leader. As a state legislator, 1897, helped make laws to aid Plains settlers. As an irrigation advocate, helped to create area's agricultural empire. Recorded 1975 #4206

100 S Joliet, Plainview, TX, United States

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Schick Opera House. Businessman Levi Schick (1855-1936) launched the Schick Opera House in this building on Oct. 11, 1909. A traveling opera company opened the facility with a performance of "Little Dollie Dimples". Later attractions included vaudeville acts, musical programs, and plays. The opera house also served as a showcase for local talent and a site of public gatherings, such as graduation ceremonies. Known for its fine acoustics, the auditorium seated about 900 persons. Schick Opera House remained this area's cultural center until about 1920, when competition from motion pictures caused its decline. 1977 #4598

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Site of Lake Plainview. The City of Plainview, founded in the 1880s, sought agricultural supremacy for its trade area. Civic leaders pioneered irrigated farming in 1911 by boring the first of many deep water wells. In 1912, Texas Land & Development Co. installed a demonstration well near the Santa Fe Railway Depot and created Lake Plainview and a park at this site. Called Texas' largest body of water fed by a well, the lake was very popular with the public, but expensive to maintain. After fire destroyed the pump house in 1917, park and lake went back to nature. In 1977 the area again became a park. 1977 #4821

1200 N. Broadway, Plainview, TX, United States

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The Old MacKenzie Trail. General Ranald Slidell MacKenzie The Old MacKenzie Trail by "Larry" Chittendon Stretching onward toward the sunset, o'er prairie, hill and vale, far beyond the double mountains winds the Old MacKenzie Trail. Ah, what thoughts and border memories does that dreaming trail suggest, thoughts of travelers gone forever to the twilight realms of rest. Where are now the scouts and soldiers, and those wagon trains of care, those grim men and haggard women and the echoes whisper - where? Ah, what tales of joy and sorrows could that silent trail relate: tales of loss, and wrecked ambitions, tales of hope, of love, and hate: Tales of hunger, thirst, and anguish tales of skulking Indian braves, tales of fear, and death, and danger, tales of lonely prairie graves. Where are now that trail's processions, winding westward sure and slow? Lost: ah, yes, destroyed progress, gone to realms of long ago. Nevermore shall bold MacKenzie, with his brave and dauntless band, guide the restless, roving settlers through the Texas borderland. Yes, that soldier's work is over, and the dim trail rests at last, but his name and trail still lead us through the borders of the past. The MacKenzie Trail first crossed by General Ranald Slidell MacKenzie, 4th United States Cavalry, in 1871 in quest of warring bands of Indians. Erected by the state of Texas with funds appropriated by Federal government to commemorate one hundred years of Texas independence. - 1836 - 1936 #5389

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Slaton Well. The Plainview Commercial Club, led by President J. O. Wyckoff, saw the potential of irrigation during a 1910 visit to wells in New Mexico. Local banker and farmer J. H. Slaton agreed to bear cost of a test well sunk on his land if it succeeded. G. E. Green and J. N. McNaughton completed the well in Jan. 1911. At 130 feet, using a nine-inch centrifugal pump, it yielded 1,700 gallons of water a minute. The success of the Slaton Well led to extensive irrigation. It transformed this semiarid area of West Texas into one of the most productive food crop regions in the world. 1976 #5429

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Three Miles Northeast to Site of Seth Ward College. Original buildings erected in 1906-07. The school opened September 18, 1907, as Central Plains College and Conservatory of Music, with Dr. L.L. Gladney as president. The Nazarene Church maintained the college until 1910, when it was purchased by the Methodist Church. Dr. Gladney remained president until 1911. After becoming a Methodist school, the institution changed its name to Seth Ward College in honor of Texas' first native Methodist bishop. The Rev. C.N.N. Ferguson served as president of the first board of trustees, who elected the Rev. J. Sam Barcus president of the college. Enrollment at that time totaled about 300 students. On the 35-acre campus stood a four-story main building with 27 rooms and a large chapel. Two frame dormitories housed the students and teachers, and a small frame building accomodated the music classes. The school's motto, "Character First," expressed its intent to pursue a Christian educational program. Presidents who followed Barcus were Dr. W.M. Pearce, The Rev. C.L. McDonald, and M.B. Johnson. The latter served until 1916, when the main building and girls' dormitory burned (the boys' dormitory had burned in 1914) and the college was forced to close. (1970) #5480

1001 W 7th, Plainview, TX, United States

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W. J. "Jeff" Williams. Born in Johnson County, Texas, Jeff Williams came to Hale County in 1896. Largely self-taught, he began surveying in 1902 and worked on the XIT Ranch resurvey of 1909. He was Potter County surveyor, 1907-15, and held the same post in Hale County, 1902-06 and 1920-73. Dividing ranch lands, plotting roads and townsites, and solving boundary disputes, Williams helped open the South Plains for settlement. He married Ethel Williams in 1906, and they had four children. Recorded - 1975 #5674

100 S. Joliet St., Plainview, TX, United States

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Colonel C. C. Slaughter. First native-born cattle king of Texas. Eldest of several rancher brothers. At age 12 "made a hand" on East Texas ranch of father, Rev. Geo. W. Slaughter. By 17 made his own trades in lumber, wheat, cattle. In 1856 moved his cattle to Palo Pinto County, on his first West Texas ranch. During the Civil War, he supplied beef to Confederacy and served in frontier regiment, to prevent Indian attacks. After the war he led cattlemen in aiding economy of bankrupt Texas by securing cattle markets. A fat steer bought for $6-8 in Texas by middleman was sold for $30-40 at shipping point. In 1867 he sold 300 head at record $35 and led the way to rancher marketing. Kept his love for trailing, even after he became millionaire. He also pioneered improvement of Texas Longhorns by use of champion Shorthorn and Hereford bulls. In Eastern speeches, he advocated beef on daily diet. To curb rustlers and establish efficient roundups, he helped organize first cattle raisers association. His 89,000-acre "Running Water" spread in Hale and Lamb counties was part of 1,000,000 acres ranched. He was a banker, active churchman, philanthropist. His descendants have erected a memorial center bearing his name on the campus of Wayland College here. 1965 #959

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Discovery Site of the Plainview Point. The first of this distinctive type of early man dart point was found by 15-year-old Val Keene Whitacre in 1941, in a caliche quarry on Running Water Draw. In 1944, quarry workers uncovered a fossil bone deposit, which was noted by scientists surveying the geology of the Plains. The next year a team of archeologists from the University of Texas, including Dr. E. H. Sellards and Dr. Alex D. Krieger, excavated the site and found 26 man-made artifacts, including several of the points, in association with the remains of about 100 extinct bison (Bison Taylori), about twice the size of modern species. The long flint point was then named for this site. The bone bed probably resulted from the primitive hunting method of stampeding bison over a cliff, and butchering of the dead and crippled animals for food. The cliff eroded away and covered the bones with 12 to 14 feet of silt. When exposed, the bone bed was 62 feet long, up to 10 feet wide, and 1.5 feet thick. Radiocarbon dating indicates that this site is 8,000 to 9,000 years old. The Plainview point is found most commonly in the Great Plains region of North America, but has been located also in Alaska and Mexico. 1973 #1228

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Green Machinery Co., Inc.. Founded by George Emmett Green (1875-1960), whose work revolutionized Texas agriculture. Mechanically-gifted, Green mastered water well development, worked as pattern maker and draftsman in pump factories, and operated a plant of his own in his native Missouri before moving here in 1909 with his wife Salome (Rich) and their children. In 1911 he dug Hale County's test irrigation well on the J.H. Slaton farm, reaching a commercial yield of 1400 gallons of water per minute. This won him fame, as irrigation had long been considered the missing ingredient in South Plains agriculture -- the key factor that would enable this fertile area to produce foodstuffs and fibers to supply millions of consumers. Once deep water was found, Green tackled related problems and invented (1915) the hollow-shaft, right-angle gear drive for irrigation pumps, which made it possible to use automotive-type engines for irrigation power. With a goal of commercial pumps at moderate prices, Green established this factory in 1911, and reduced irrigation well installation costs to a figure that farmers could afford. His descendants still own and operate the business. (1974) #2269

1201 E 5th St, Plainview, TX, United States

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Lamar School. The first Plainview schoolhouse was built in 1887, the year the town was founded. Located northwest of this site, it was a half-dugout sod building similar to many of the pioneer homes of the area. Built by local men under the supervision of Judge J. M. Carter and Col. R. P. Smyth, the structure also served as a community center and was used for the organization of at least two local churches. In 1889 the Plainview Masonic Lodge constructed a two-story frame building west of this site. The second floor was used for lodge meetings and the ground floor was occupied by the school, which became known as The Llano Estacado Institute for Male and Female in 1893. The building served as the schoolhouse until it burned in 1902. Shortly after the organization of the Plainview Independent School District in 1902, the elementary school was renamed in honor of the noted Texas leader Mirabeau B. Lamar. A two-story schoolhouse at this site was moved in 1910 when the original section of the present building was constructed. Later used as a vocational training center, Lamar School reflects the pioneer educational, social, and religious growth of the community. 1981 #3017

506 E. 4th, Plainview, TX, United States

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Bellview Community and School. Much of this rural community's early social and religious history is closely associated with its schoolhouses. Area residents built their first schoolhouse in 1903, one year after organizing a rural school district. Named for trustee John Bell, the Bellview School began with 12 students. A 4-room school building erected near here in 1918 was the site of social and church activities for the next four decades. Bellview School was merged with Plainview schools in 1942. The last Bellview School building, once the center of community activity, fell into disrepair and was razed in 1968. 1992 #363

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Edwin Lowden Lowe. One of co-founders, City of Plainview. Born in Mississippi. In Louisiana, married Virginia Archer. Studied law, joined Bar in Arkansas, served 1879-81 in Arkansas Legislature. In 1880s came to Texas; his wife died en route, while wagon train halted at Buffalo Gap. Lowe joined his friend, Z. T. Maxwell, at Hackberry Groves here. Each gave land to establish county seat. Lowe was first postmaster of Plainview. He had two daughters. Recorded - 1973 #1403

100 S. Joliet St., Plainview, TX, United States

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Montgomery Ward Building. This commercial structure was built in 1929 for the Plainview Montgomery Ward store. Located on land owned by J.H. Slaton, Guy Jacob and others, the building housed the business for almost 40 years. The architectural style, which features detailing of glazed terra cotta and multicolored tile, was utilized in several of the company's other Texas stores. The building now serves as a reminder of Plainview's early commercial development. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1982 #3445

113 W 6th St, Plainview, TX, United States

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Blasingame Home. When J.W. Pipkin constructed this Colonial Revival residence in 1910, Plainview was experiencing a period of dramatic economic development as a railroad center. In 1918 the home was purchased by F.E. Blasingame and his wife Mary (Rimes). For over sixty years they operated local restaurants which became popular social gathering places under their management. The home remained in the Blasingame's ownership until 1981. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1982 #433

909 El Paso, Plainview, TX, United States

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Dr. James Henry Wayland. James H. Wayland, born in Missouri, decided to be a physician after he almost lost a foot at 16 in an accident. He studied at Kentucky School of Medicine, then came to Texas. After practicing in Fort Worth and Azle, he moved to the new town of Plainview in 1891. Here he became one of the most active doctors within a 100-mile radius. He used a compass, and at times left homing pigeons to call him to lingering patients. Often he left his own tired horse and took one offered by a rancher. He had trees planted for landmarks on the Plains, and also grew and gave out trees for beautifying this city where he and his wife Sarah (Tucker) reared a family of nine children. He erected several buildings, operated a drugstore, and became a religious and civic leader, joining his fellow townsmen in giving bonuses to secure better public facilities. He and his wife gave $10,000 and 25 acres of land for Wayland College, which opened in 1910. In the 1918 influenza epidemic that killed millions throughout the world, he lost his health from overwork. Afterward he and his wife operated a hotel. He died at age 85, after being honored many times for the good works he had performed for Plainview and the West Texas area. 1976 #1270

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Hackberry Groves. At this site in early days stood the South Plains' most significant trees-- twin hackberry groves, on 1870s trail used by buffalo hunters, surveyors, law officers, and early settlers. On public domain, this site was unappropriated until mid-1880s when Zachary Taylor Maxwell (1848-1935), a sheep rancher, staked a quarter section claim here. Former Arkansas legislator Edwin L. Lowe, his friend, claimed adjacent 160 acres. They had surveyor R. P. Smyth plat public square half from Maxwell's land, half from Lowe's. Ranchers scoffed; one said he would eat everything ever built here. But claims were staked by others, including families of J. H. Bryan, J. C. Burch, J. M. Carter, Horace Griffin, Thornton Jones, Hugh McClelland, C. W. Marsalis, John Pendley, Poliet Smith, and J. W. Smylie. Jones opened a store. Lowe named town and became first postmaster on March 18, 1887. When Hale County was organized in 1888, Plainview fulfilled dreams of its founders by becoming county seat. Lowe died July 13, 1889; Maxwell moved away, 1892. Pioneers continued to arrive, see the green trees and rich land, and settle nearby. Other men led city to obtain railroad and highway connections, develop trade and commerce and build enduring institutions. 1972 #2327

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Running Water Community. Attracted by abundant water from Running Water Draw, J. W. and T. W. Morrison established a ranch in 1881 with headquarters about ten miles west of here. Most of the early settlers in this region worked for the ranch. Later, several partners joined the operation, including wealthy cattleman C. C. Slaughter. In 1884 Dennis and Martha S. Rice purchased several sections of land along the draw south of this site. Rice hoped to start a town and lure the railroad across his land. He began Wadsworth Post Office in his dugout in 1890. It was renamed Running Water in 1891. Rice organized the Running Water Townsite and Investment Company and staged a picnic and barbecue, July 4, 1892, for the purpose of selling town lots. Soon the community had a blacksmith shop, grist mill, a two-story store building, several residences and churches. The early one-room schoolhouse was later replaced by a brick structure. Although the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad bypassed Running Water in 1928, it remained a thriving village for several years. In 1935 the post office moved to Edmondson Switch on the railroad and many residents relocated here. In 1937 the name of this settlement was changed to Edmondson. 1978 #4393

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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The Santa Fe Railroad in Plainview. Operating in the Texas Panhandle since 1886, the Santa Fe Railroad about 1900 laid plans to extend its line into the rich agricultural domain of the South Plains. Meantime, Plainview leaders saw the need for better transportation and in 1903 raised $75,000 to use in promoting a rail connection. J.N. Donohoo, Dr. Lee Dye, W.E. Dyer, L.S. Kinder, L.A. Knight, Charles McCormack, J.H. Slaton, R.P. Smyth, and Dr. J.H. Wayland led this endeavor. The city and the Santa Fe came to terms, and the first train reached here on Dec. 31, 1906. Regular service soon followed, and oldtimers rejoiced when train whistles heralded and end to isolation. Once or twice a week, land agents arrived with trainloads of prospective settlers. Local builders constructed a courthouse, new schoolhouse, new city hall, an electric plant, an opera house, residences and business buildings. Soon the Wayland Literary and Technical Institution was under construction. Railroad service made a major contribution to the economic development of Hale County, opening acreage to settlement and agricultural expansion. (1975) #5424

1200 N Broadway, Plainview, TX, United States

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Liberty Community and Finney Switch. In 1887 Joseph B. Leach and his brothers, John and Dee, immigrated to this area from Liberty, Kentucky. Joseph filed on a 160-acre homestead and built a half-dugout and sod house and a windmill. The Leach brothers often hauled freight for Plainview merchants. More families arrived in this five-mile square area. By 1892 there were enough children for a schoolhouse to be erected. Methodist and Baptist services and community activities were held in the building. The settlement was called "Liberty" for Joseph Leach's Kentucky home. William R. Finney and his family settled nearby in the early 1900s. When the Santa Fe Railroad from Amarillo to Plainview located a switch in 1906 on Finney's land, the site became "Finney Switch". Soon irrigation wells improved agriculture and dairy farming began. Liberty Schoolhouse was moved in 1912 and in 1920 a four-room brick building was erected south of Finney. About 1925 the first business, a store, opened. The Baptist and Methodist congregations built sanctuaries by 1940. With the consolidation of the Liberty and Plainview Schools in 1948 and changes in farming, the population decreased. 1979 #3081

?, Plainview, TX, United States

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Happy Union. Attracted by the availability of inexpensive land and a healthful climate, the families of J. T. Matsler, S. M. Pearson, W. P. Long, J. H. Calvert, J. V. Neil and others began settling this part of Hale County about 1890. They engaged in ranching and raising feed for stock, obtaining their supplies by rail from Amarillo. A mail and passenger service operated by Stant Rhea linked the settlement with surrounding communities. In 1897 the pioneers built a one room building that served as a schoolhouse, community center and place of worship for the settlement, which they chose to call Happy Union. J. V. Neil, W. H. Pearce and H. P. Darden were the first school trustees. Charles P. Shirley deeded two acres of land in 1908 on which a new schoolhouse was built. It was replaced by a larger stucco building that was used until the school disbanded about 1944. By the 1920s the community had a store and filling station built by Gordon and Mae Hansen, a cotton gin, and later a grain elevator. Irrigation helped make Happy Union a prosperous farming area which, despite its limited growth, has retained a strong sense of identity that reflects the community's pride and rich heritage. 1983 #2369

?, Plainview, TX, United States