Redwater is twelve miles southwest of Texarkana in southeastern Bowie County. It grew up in the mid-1870s around a sawmill operated by two men named Daniels and Spence, who named the community Ingersoll, in honor of the agnostic Robert Ingersoll. A post office was established in 1881, and by 1884 the town had an estimated population of fifty. In 1886 a big revival meeting was held in the town, which resulted in about 110 conversions. Shortly after the meeting residents of the town, no longer wishing to honor the agnostic, decided that the name of the town should be changed. They had just completed a new well that yielded red water, and the town was renamed for this feature. The name of the post office was not officially changed until 1894. Although the population of the town swelled to an estimated 300 by 1892, by 1900 it had fallen to 128. It reached 250 in the 1920s. During World War II the Red River Army Depot and Lone Star Army Ammunition Plant were built just north of Redwater, providing thousands of jobs for county residents. The population of Redwater jumped from 250 in the early 1940s to 457 by 1950. In 1982 Redwater had a population of 460 and five rated businesses. In 1990 the population was 894. The population was 872 in 2000.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Cecil Harper, Jr. | © Texas State Historical Association
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