History of Ballinger, Texas
Ballinger was created in 1886. Lying nestled along the Colorado River in the very heart of Texas with over 4,000 friendly people, beautifully restored historical homes and buildings, antique stores, active civic organizations, thriving downtown district, industrial plants and with an average daily temperature of 78 degrees, she proudly serves the surrounding Agri-Plex and Runnels County as county seat, with fertile farm and ranch lands producing primarily cotton, grain, sheep, cattle, and oil.
Ballinger is the perfect “host” city for the 25,000 surface acre O.H. Ivie Reservoir. LakeIvie is only 20 miles southeast of Ballinger on FM 1929, east of Hwy 83. Ballinger is proud of her beautiful, well kept 20 acre, tree shaded CityPark that is located along historical Elm Creek. The park features an extra large public swimming pool, outstanding playground equipment, picnic area with outdoor cooking facilities, hiking and bike trails and R.V. hookups. Ballinger has two “City Lakes” with recreational areas, R.V. hookups, and some of the best fishing in Texas.
The authentically restored Andrew Carnegie Library is worth a trip to Ballinger…and the last weekend of each April should always be set aside to attend the “Texas State Festival of Ethnic Cultures and Arts & Crafts Show”, which is held on the largest landscaped courthouse lawn in the State!Town in Texas”!
The festival features the Colorado River Bike Fest, a large parade, “ethnic food” booths, handmade arts and crafts displayed by approximately 100 different artists, live entertainment, a huge dance with a popular band on Saturday night…All this, plus the friendliest people you’ll ever meet is just a few of the many reasons Ballinger is called “The Greatest Little Town in Texas.”
Ballinger also boasts an incredible school system. The school district has a long tradition of achievements in sports, academic UIL, band awards, and high academic success of its students. Students are encouraged to set and achieve high goals as shown through their TAAS scores, the number of college graduates and accomplishments at UIL meets. Ballinger schools were named Exemplary for 2001 by the Texas Education Agency. To read more about our schools, click here.
Origin of the City Name
The Town of Ballinger was established June 29, 1886 by the Santa Fe Railroad. It was named for William Pitt Ballinger, an attorney for the Santa Fe Railroad. For some history about this Ballinger family see “The Handbook Of Texas Online”, article for Betty Eve Ballinger (1854-1936).
William Pitt Ballinger’s Law Office in Galveston, Texas is now known as “The Cradle”, where the Daughters Of The Republic Of Texas Organization was formulated.
Source: Daughters Of The Republic Of Texas Information.
“The Cradle” This building was originally the law office of William Pitt Ballinger, father of co-founder Betty Ballinger. Now known as the Cradle, it is cherished by the Daughters as the place where Miss Ballinger and her first cousin Hally Bryan Perry formulated the idea for their new organization (Daughters Of The Republic Of Texas). The Cradle has recently been restored to reflect the original furnishings of the late 1800s. ”
The Cradle, Location: 2903 Ave. O 1/2, Galveston
Hours: By Appointment , Admission: None-Donations accepted
Address: P.O. Box 3537, Galveston, TX77552
William Pitt Ballinger never visited Ballinger Texas.
The City of Ballinger was established in 1886 and Mr. Ballinger died in 1888 at the age of 63.
William Pitt Ballinger: Texas Lawyer, Southern Statesman, 1825 – 1888
by John Moretta
Hardcover: 400 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 1.26 x 9.30 x 6.27
Publisher: Texas State Historical Assn; (May 2000)
Book Review By: David S. Pettus
“Moretta has illuminated and obscure but imporant figure in Texas history. William Pitt Ballinger Was one of the most active and important men in Texas legal circles in the mid-nineteenth century. He left a very significant body of papers both personal and legal which are housed in three archives in Galveston, Houston and Austin, Texas. Ballinger practiced a wide range of law but was best known for his Supreme Count appeals in both the Texas and United States Supreme Courts and for representing railroads. Ballinger was widely respected which led him to be designated as the man to obtain pardons for Confederate officials and soldiers after the Civil War. His life and papers deserve more attention. Moretta has brought Ballinger to light after too many years of obscurity. A very important book in Texas legal and business history.“