Small Town, America

I’ve been to Plainview, Texas probably a million times, driven all around town and done about all there is to do there. However, I’ve never really slowed down and thought about all Plainview truly has to offer. I actually graduated high school from Lockney, Texas, a town of 1,800 people about 15 miles from Plainview, but Plainview has always been the place to go for everything. I’ve never looked into the history of Plainview and I found it quite interesting when I did. Plainview was founded in 1887 by Z.T Maxwell and Edwin Lowden Lowe along the Running Water Draw. The name was decided on based on the wide open, treeless land surrounding the post office these men established. By 1889, the town had a church, a newspaper, a store, and a hotel.


The majority of Plainvew is based around the farming industry; therefore, the success of this town relies heavily on the soil and mineral cycle. Farmers actively plow and cultivate the land, adding fertilizer and alternating the crops planted in order to keep the soil in a condition that allows for crop growth.  I would say this is one of the more important of all of the commonwealths in Plainview because most of the other businesses in the area would not be around if it was not for the farming of the land.

I am not currently aware of any renewable energy sources being used in Plainview, or even Hale County. Floyd County, the county to the east of PLainview (Lockney is in Floyd County), has more than one “windmill farm”, though. So maybe the use of wind energy will slowly move to the west and Plainview will begin to use this method of renewable energy.

The city of Plainview was founded on the Running Water Draw, which provided farmers and rancher with water for their crops and animals. However, this is no longer the case. Plainview now has 16 public water supply wells and treats water from the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority. We have been in a drought (which is hopefully over), that caused many towns around Plainview to run low on water. This was not the case for Plainview, but they have put some water conservation restrictions in to place to keep water from being wasted.

The Running Water Draw in Plainvew, after a rain.
The Running Water Draw in Plainvew, after a rain.

Plainview offers a wide variety of health care options. Multiple clinics are open throughout the city, including pediatricians and a few specialty doctors. The hospital where I am currently doing my internship has multiple units, including an intensive care unit, as well as the ability to preform CT scans and X-rays. There are also a few home health and hospice options. Plainview also has two optometry offices, and multiple dentists. When it comes to being healthy, Plainview has a 24 hour gym, a YMCA, an activity center at the local college, and multiple parks to play at. Health is a very important aspect of commonwealth because that is what keeps the town thriving and able to care for itself.

Spirituality is very important in small towns, Plainview is no exception. Plainview offers many denominations of churches, which provide youth and small group services also. Everyone can find a “church home” that they love and fit in with.

As stated previously, Plainview is based mainly around the farming industry, which provides some food for the community. However, the beef packing plant that was based in Plainview recently closed, due to the drought and lack of cattle. This caused an increase in the price of meat, as well as a decrease in the jobs available in Plainview. We also have Azteca Milling, a corn masa flour manufacturer.

Growing up, I’ve never thought Plainview was all that exciting. I always said there was nothing to do there. However, there truly is multiple leisure and recreation places available. We have a bowling alley, a movie theater, a YMCA (with a swimming pool, basketball courts, and a gym), multiple city pools, and an activity center at the local college. Occasionally a carnival will come to town and once a year Plainview hosts a ranch rodeo and dance. Throughout the year, Plainview also has a few special occasion activities as well.

The movie theater.

Education is something I don’t know much about in Plainview. I did not attend school there, so I am not aware of their school system. There is one public high school, one private high school, and one “at your own pace” high school (Houston School). My brother graduated from Plainview Christian Academy, and he loved it. I can say that education is important within the community because there is a Baptist University located in Plainview, Wayland Baptist University.

Plainview was named based on the vast, empty land surrounding the town. Not much has changed, the animals are mainly cattle and the land is mainly farmed. The wildlife is minimal, minus coyotes and rabbits. There is a joke about the land around Plainview: it’s the only place in the world you can watch your dog run away for three days. That may be a little exaggerative, but the land is flat and there’s hardly any trees.

The flat, farmed, and cattle run land.
The flat, farmed, and cattle run land.

Plainview is home. There is just something about that town that makes me feel comfortable and safe. I may not have graduated from there, but I still consider it home. (Lockney is still home too!) There is a sense of community throughout the city. The people are kind and generous. Most of them would give the shirt off of their back to anyone in need. Honestly, I think that’s a small town thing though. I would’t trade that sense of place for the world.

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