Panhandle Plains
2010 Census - 3,767
2000 Census - 4,000
Ballinger, Texas
Ballinger Texas History:
Ballinger was established on the Colorado River as a railroad stop on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway in 1886. The townsite was platted on a 1.7-mile square section of land. Lots were set aside for the courthouse square and public parkland. Santa Fe officials offered free property to Runnels City residents willing to relocate, and to any church wishing to build at the new townsite. The new townsite was extensively advertised and over 6,000 people attended the sale of town lots in June of that year. Almost half the lots were sold the first day. The town was originally named Gresham, and then Hutchings, and was finally renamed Ballinger. The Ballinger post office was established in 1886, the town became the Runnels County seat in 1888, and it incorporated in 1892. During the early years, ranching was the primary economic activity, and the town’s gambling halls and nine saloons attracted a criminal element. In 1888, the railroad line was extended to San Angelo, ending the need for a stagecoach line and bringing more family friendly settlers. By 1900, farming replaced livestock as the main industry, and the town had four cotton gins. In 1909, Andrew Carnegie gifted the town money to build a Carnegie Library which opened in 2011. During World War II, the open auditorium on the second level was converted to an Army-Navy Club to entertain cadets from nearby Harmon Training Center, a primary flight school for United States Army Air Force cadets. In 1975, the building was renovated and listed on the National Register of Historic places. Ballinger remains the commercial and shipping center for area ranchers and farmers. The Jim and Doris Struder Family built the white cross that is visible for miles. Ballinger is located on the Colorado River and Elm Creek at the intersections of U.S. 83, U.S. 67 and SH 158, 36 miles northeast of San Angelo, 36 miles southeast of Robert Lee, 64 miles southeast of Sweetwater, 56 miles southwest of Abilene, 41 miles southwest of Buffalo Gap, 36 miles southwest of Coleman, 16 miles north of Paint Rock, 20 miles northwest of Lake O.H. Ivie, 37 miles northwest of Eden, and 69 miles northwest of Brady, Texas.
Runnels County Veterans Memorial:
The Runnels County Veterans Memorial honors Runnels County veterans. The monument consists of seven stones. The center stone describes the memorial. This stone is flanked by two stones listing the names of those killed in action. The remaining four stones list those who served in the military. The memorial is located on the courthouse square. (325) 365-2633. 613 Hutchings Avenue.
Runnels County Courthouse, 1889:
The stone courthouse was designed in Second Empire style by architect Eugene T. Heiner. During a 1941 remodeling the courthouse’s Mansard roof and towers were removed and two wings were added. The courthouse square covers two city blocks and is one of the largest courthouse squares in Texas. The Charles H. Noyes Statue sculpted by famous Italian Sculptor Pompeo Luigi Coppini is located on the grounds. The 2010 Runnels County census was 10,501. The courthouse is a Texas Historical Landmark and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. (325) 365-2633. 613 Hutchings Avenue.