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Ballinger (Runnels County)

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The Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway established a stop here as it built west in 1886 and offered free lots to anyone who would move here from nearby Runnels City and to any religious congregation that would erect a church. Half of the town lots were claimed on the first day. The town was first named Gresham, then Hutchings, and finally Ballinger, after one of the Santa Fe’s Galveston investors. For a few years a boomtown of drifters, gamblers, and ruffians caroused in nine saloons, but increasing settlement and business stability made Ballinger the shipping and distribution center for Runnels County. Commercial areas developed south of the tracks on lowlands at the confluence of Turkey Creek and the Colorado River, and residential areas were placed northwest of the tracks into the rising hills for better ventilation.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.

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