Blue Water

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Hereford, the county seat and principal town of Deaf Smith County, is on U.S. Highway 60 near the southeast corner of the county. When the Pecos and Northern Texas Railway was completed in 1899 from Amarillo to Farwell, it occasioned the growth and development of a new town, initially called Blue Water for the waters of Tierra Blanca Creek, one mile to the south. When federal postal authorities found that there was already a town in Texas with the name Blue Water, the residents renamed the settlement Hereford, after the cattle brought to the area by ranchers L. R. Bradley and G. R. (Rat) Jowell. By September 1898 W. H. Clair, Troy Womble, and C. G. Witherspoon (later a holder of various city and county offices) had established the new town's first homes and businesses. Because of the approaching railroad, in November residents of Deaf Smith County chose Hereford to replace La Plata as the county seat. The original wooden frame courthouse, transported by wagon to the new site, was used until the completion of a marble-faced structure in 1910.

By 1900 Hereford was a thriving railroad town with a population of 532. The first public school opened in 1900. Businesses included three general stores, two hotels, a restaurant, several specialty stores, Witherspoon and Gough (real estate agents and attorneys), Hereford State Bank, and wagon and feed yards. E. B. Black established his furniture store in 1901. F. L. Vanderburgh started his newspaper, the Hereford Reporter (later the Brand), at his printing office in February 1901. By 1902 five churches had been established in Hereford. Hereford College opened in September 1902 and operated for ten years.

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H. Allen Anderson | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Blue Water is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Blue Water is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Hereford)

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated