A MIX OF WATER AND OIL
“Carrizo” is Spanish for a kind of cane grass that grew among the springs that once flowed around the Carrizo Springs community, the oldest community, in fact, in Dimmit County. Founded in 1865 by a group of settlers led by Levi English, a pioneer who lived for a time with the Comanche Indians, Carrizo Springs struggled to take hold during the last part of the nineteenth century, depending primarily on ranching. By 1904 things were looking up for Carrizo, considered the county seat, as local farmers began irrigating cropland with water from thirty artesian wells in the region and, with the establishment of a railroad spur for the San Antonio, Uvalde, and Gulf Railroad, the town’s population grew to around 1,200. The drought put a crimp in the progress, however, but Carrizo leaders were undaunted, updating their 1884 Italianate courthouse to a more modern Classical Revival style popular in the 1920’s. Elsewhere, however, Carrizo citizens were trapping javelinas and selling their hides to make ends meet. Hardships eased just a bit after the Second World War allowing Carrizo Springs to make modest headway for the proceeding half-century. Not so today, however, when an oil and gas boom, brought on by the exploitation of the Eagle Ford Shale formation, has Carrizo Springs busting at its seams for the first time, well, ever.