Temple, TX and Its Fascinating History
Every city scattered across the United States–or any nation–claims they are the most interesting, most unique, most special for one reason or another. And while there is always something neat and one-of-a-kind to be discovered in any giant metropolis or small town, some cities truly do set themselves apart. When it comes to a rich historical background, the often overlooked town of Temple, Texas has a fascinating origin and complex legacy that is well worth investigating.
From Railroad Town to Thriving City
Temple, TX has a beginning very unlike the origin stories of many towns. In 1880, a private landowner in central Texas decided to sell off a large chunk of his land–approximately 187 acres total–to three prominent railway companies. Those companies—the Colorado, Santa Fe, and Gulf Railway companies—decided it would be most effective to use the land as a construction camp and chose to call the camp Temple Junction, named after one of the lead engineers of the railroad. With that small inauguration, the foundation was laid for what today is a bustling city that is home to over 70,000 Texans.
Mudtown Officially Becomes Temple, TX
During the beginning years of inhabitation, what is known as Temple today was not commonly referred to as such. The local railway workers actually dubbed the village Mudtown, since it was a construction camp serving merely as a place for working men to eat and rest. While the village began primarily as a temporary home to these railway workers on the job, it did not remain that way for long. Within a few brief years, railroads were built through the town and people began flooding in from all over as a means to travel elsewhere. In the process, many of them stayed and found a home in the town. Shops, schools, and various businesses soon popped up, and in 1882—merely two years after the initial sale of private land—Temple was incorporated.
City Founded without Water
While it had a very quick rise to citydom, that rise was not without its immense struggles—some so debilitating that it’s incredibly impressive the town overcame them at all given the technological limitations of the time and the youth of the community. Temple, TX did not–and still to this day does not–have a natural usable water source. While today this can easily be overcome with modern innovation, in the 1800's it proved an immense challenge. Refusing to roll over and quit, the people of the town rose to the occasion. While some people dug wells and sold water, it was an expensive and unrealistic standard to build a community upon. Instead, folks attempted numerous projects, including the building of a giant standing pipe which is said to have collapsed. Finally, dams were built and adequate piping was laid from surrounding Texas lakes.
The Hidden Gem in Texas
With its fascinating foundation and rich history, Temple, TX truly is a memorable city with so much to offer. The incredible rise from a village built from scratch out of need for a railway system to a populous, productive city that many are proud to call home is inspiring and exemplary of the American spirit.
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