RUN, TEXAS. Run (Runn) is on U.S. Highway 281 seven miles south of Donna in Hidalgo County. In 1898 A. F. Hester and Tom J. Hooks, who were rice growing partners in the Beaumont region, bought options on 13,000 acres of the twenty-five-league Llano Grande royal land grant made to Capt. Juan Hinojosa of Reynosa in 1790. By 1902 sandaled workmen were clearing land and building canals and laterals with giant scrapers pulled by mule teams. In midsummer 1903 the brothers George and Ed Ruthven brought their families to the railway terminus at Alice; then they traveled by wagon seven days to Champion's Store on the Old Military Road. George Ruthven opened a general store and served as postmaster before moving to Donna in 1906. The post office was officially named Run, a contraction of Ruthven, in 1904; it was moved to Champion's Store, a jacal of whitewashed adobe with thatched roof and hard-packed earth floor. Andrew Champion, Sr., a native of Santa Maria and former Texas Ranger, was Run postmaster from 1906 to 1912. The store was adjacent to the commodious Champion home and became a nucleus for settlers in the newly cleared brushland. Both United States and Mexican currency were used, the ratio being two to one. The Run post office closed in 1916 but operated again from 1926 until 1929.
Mary Hester opened a school in her parents' home in 1905. In 1907 Andrew Champion, Sr., Myron Smith, and A. F. Hester, trustees, organized the Run School. J. Darling, the first teacher, stayed four months. He was followed by Rosa Hooks and Olive Vertrees, who taught twenty-two pupils. Menaced by seasonal floods in the Rio Grande and mounting depredations by roving marauders, families in the Run community began moving farther from the river, chiefly to the Donna area. Donna Hooks Fletcher, for whom Donna was named, was first. Andrew Champion, Sr., left one of his sons in charge of the riverfront store and opened a general store in Donna. In 1914 there were twenty-five people and three general stores in Run. Business at the Run location ended after bandits raided the store at gunpoint in 1915. Detachments from state militias and the United States armed forces were rushed to the Texas border to restore order. In 1936 Run had a population of fifty and two businesses. No population figures have been reported since that year. Levee and highway construction along the Military Road (now U.S. 281) has erased numerous bends and landmarks. The site of the first school in Run is in a cultivated field about a mile from the Runn Elementary School, which is affiliated with the Donna Independent School District.
Frank Cushman Pierce, Texas' Last Frontier: A Brief History of the Lower Rio Grande Valley (Menasha, Wisconsin: Banta, 1917; rpt., Brownsville: Rio Grande Valley Historical Society, 1962).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Minnie Gilbert, "RUN, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrr46), accessed November 28, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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