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HISTORY

Springtown, originally named Littleton Springs is located in northeast Parker County. The county was named after Isaac Parker, a relative of Cynthia Ann Parker, who was captured by the Indians in childhood and became the mother of the famous Comanche Chief Quannah Parker. Among the settlers who arrived in newly formed Parker County in 1859 was Captain Joseph Ward, a native of Patterson, New Jersey.

When Ward arrived at the headwaters of Walnut Creek, he was impressed by the wild, untamed beauty of the countryside. The rolling hills were dotted with thick clumps of oak and elm trees, which sheltered bears, panthers, deer, wolves, quail, and wild turkeys. He was especially impressed by Littleton Springs where 25 cold springs flowed from the base of a rolling hillside.

Ward began laying out a town site and, despite the problems brought on by nature, Comanche warriors, and the Civil War, the town grew and later changed its name to Springtown. By 1877, the town boasted a school, a hotel, two general stores, two blacksmith shops, and three cotton gins. By 1884, the town was incorporated.

That same year, the College Hill Institute and the Springtown Male and Female Institute were founded, and Springtown was soon considered the center of education for the area. By the turn of the century, the coming of public education and other changes had caused the schools to decline in attendance and the Male and Female Institute building became the Springtown High School. The College Hill Institute building was put on log rollers and moved by mule teams to the town square where it became the City Hall. An open-sided area for meeting was added to the new City Hall and was called the “Tabernacle” because of the numerous revival meetings held there.

In 1936, during the Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps moved City Hall and the old Tabernacle and constructed the present Tabernacle which continues to be the focus for town life. Weddings, religious services, political rallies, graduation ceremonies, funerals, and community activities have been held there. The community was especially proud of the stone and wood rail fence which kept horses, wagons, and buggies at a distance from the Tabernacle. A well on the north side provided cool water.

In more recent times, Springtown has experienced a period of slow but steady growth which has greatly accelerated in the last few years. The community has continued to express the spirit of the pioneers who fought Indians and nature to establish a town in the wilderness. The Tabernacle continues to represent the collective community spirit of Springtown as it has for many generations.

 

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