ebeling well near plainview

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Neat postcard I have of an Ogallala well west of Plainview, Texas. It appears to be a flowing well, but that is surely a pumphouse behind that gush of water. I estimate the card to be from around 1910. I poked around TWDB’s water-well database and found a well (11-15-504) owned by C.S Ebeling noted as “Old” when it was surveyed. The well had a 16-inch diameter pipe, another clue to its vintage.

The Plainview area is located in what was known as the shallow-water zone of the Ogallala where the depth to the water table was within reach of the suction pumps available at the time, generally less than 20 to 30 feet below surface. Water-level measurements at the Ebeling well confirm that water levels were within 20 feet of land surface, at least up until the mid-1940s when water levels began to drop. This corresponds to when deep-hole centripetal pumps became small and affordable enough for farmers to put them to use, increasing pumping and decreasing water levels:

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The last two measurements in the well were about 55 feet deep, suggesting that the hole was about that depth. No further measurements were made after that.

A well a couple miles to the west shows water levels declining upwards of 200 feet below land surface by 1977:

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I have other postcards of the Plainview area in my collection:

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Purported to be the largest lake fed by pumped groundwater, the Texas Land and Development Company built a lake behind the railway station in 1913 (more history on the lake as well as here). The present-day location is at E Givens Park.

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rudely borrowed from www.phylliswall.com

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this photo from flickr

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