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Entry from June 18, 2011
Whiskey-taw Falls (Wichita Falls nickname)

The city of Wichita Falls, in the early 1900s, had about one saloon in every five businesses. By at least 1914, Wichita Falls was nicknamed “Whiskeyta Falls” (or “Whiskey-taw Falls”). The nickname is of historical interest today.
Wikipedia: Wichita Falls, Texas
Wichita Falls is a city in and the county seat of Wichita County, Texas, United States, United States. Wichita Falls is the principal city of the Wichita Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Archer, Clay and Wichita counties. According to the U.S. Census estimate of 2010, the city had a population of 104,553. In addition to Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls is also home to the “world’s littlest skyscraper”. Wichita Falls is sister city to Fürstenfeldbruck in Bavaria, Germany.
Handbook of Texas Online
WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS. According to tradition, the land where the city of Wichita Falls is presently located, in southeast Wichita County, was acquired in a poker game by John A. Scott of Mississippi in 1837.
By 1909 the town had thirty miles of sidewalk, five miles of sewers, and over one hundred businesses, including twenty-one saloons, which accounted for the nickname of Whiskeytaw Falls.
(Text from Volume 3 of the Handbook—ed.)
2 July 1914, Wellington (TX) Leader, pg. 6, col. 1:
Wreck in Whiskeyta Falls
Seventh street in Wichita Falls was the scene of a terrible wreck late yesterday afternoon.
7 September 1914, Wichita Daily Times (Wichita Falls, TX),“Baptist Revival Comes to Close,”  pg. 6, col. 1:
So great a reputation has Wichita Falls for its saloons, he said, that once a man addressed him “Rev. R. C. Miller, Whiskeyta Falls, Texas.”
Google Books
The Strange History of Bonnie and Clyde
By J. E. Treherne
London: Cape
Pg. 61:
At that time Wichita Falls had changed from a ranch town into a booming oil centre and was famous for its saloons, bars and cafes that had earned for it the nickname of ‘Whiskeytaw Falls’.
New York (NY) Times
By William Hauptman; William Hauptman is the author of ‘‘Good Rockin’ Tonight,’’ a collection of stories to be published this fall by Bantam Books
Published: August 07, 1988
THERE WAS A TIME NOT SO LONG AGO when my hometown of Wichita Falls was known as the worst town in Texas. The novelist Larry McMurtry, a Texan, once had a character call it ‘‘the ugliest place on earth.’‘
Its people had a reputation for being mean-spirited and hostile to outsiders, and its weather - which features blistering summer heat and a high incidence of tornadoes - made it the butt of countless jokes. In 1978, Texas Monthly published a list of the ‘‘worst jobs’’ in Texas. Sixth, after handling dead animals and high explosives, was ‘‘full-time resident of Wichita Falls.’‘
Fear of the hostile Comanche and the region’s aridity kept settlers out for a long time. But eventually they began to arrive, encouraged by a popular theory of the day that if one broke the soil, rain would inevitably follow. The slogan of the movement born from this theory was ‘‘Rain Follows the Plough.’’ By 1888, the town had a log schoolhouse, a Methodist Church and a White Elephant Saloon. It was during this period, according to some, that the town got its nickname of ‘‘Whiskey-Taw Falls.’‘
2 September 1991, Los Angeles (CA) Times, “It’s the hottest little ol’ bicycle race in Texas Wichita Falls doesn’t believe in soft-pedaling its wild and windy image” by J. Michael Kennedy, pg. A5:
At one time there were so many bars—one-fifth of all the businesses here—that the city was dubbed Whiskeytaw Falls.

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • Saturday, June 18, 2011 • Permalink

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