ROWE, TEXAS. Rowe, in southeastern Donley County, was established in 1890 as a shipping point on the Fort Worth and Denver City railroad. It took its name from Alfred Rowe, the English immigrant owner of the RO Ranch. The townsite was boosted by Isaac Smith, who first farmed this area. A post office was granted in April 1892. In 1903 R. E. Montgomery, townsite agent for the railroad, platted and named the streets. Soon the town had a church, a schoolhouse, a blacksmith shop, a general store, a hardware store, a bank, a gin, and a newspaper, in addition to the depot and cattle-loading pens. Two doctors had opened practice in Rowe by 1902. Overall, the town showed great promise as a business center. However, disputes arose between Smith and other town leaders, probably concerning use of the land and Smith's degree of control over the community. These disputes, gyp water, and over-sandy soil prompted many residents to propose moving the town a mile to the southeast. By 1907 the populace had begun moving their homes and businesses, including the post office, to this new location, which they named Hedley. Rowe thus passed into oblivion.

Virginia Browder, Donley County: Land O' Promise (Wichita Falls, Texas: Nortex, 1975).
H. Allen Anderson

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Handbook of Texas Online, H. Allen Anderson, "Rowe, TX," accessed January 23, 2018,

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