Ralls is at the junction of U.S. highways 62 and 82 and State Highway 207, twenty-seven miles east of Lubbock in west central Crosby County.
City of Ralls. Founded by John R. Ralls, who donated land for a townsite. He erected greater part of the business district and gave free sites plus much of the cost of building each church in town. In 1911, he contributed 12 acres for school site. He also offered donation of 2,000 acres for site of Texas Technological College. Ralls, born in Culloden, Georgia, November 13, 1863; moved West in 1880’s. After settling litigation with C.B. Livestock Company, sponsors of towns of Crosbyton and Cedric, Ralls secured railroad station, 1916; city was incorporated January 6, 1922, after death of founder. – Historical Marker Text. Marker erected 1967. Marker located on the City Square, Watts and Main Street, Ralls.
Ralls was founded by John Robinson Ralls, who, with the help of W. E. McLaughlin, laid out a townsite in July 1911. At his own expense Ralls then began moving a number of businesses and houses from Emma to the new town. He also donated land in 1911 for a new school, and in 1913 the second school term was held on this site in a new $17,000 building. Benefiting from its location on the Santa Fe Railroad, Ralls thrived as new settlers and freight were brought in. The Ralls Chamber of Commerce was organized in 1917, and Percy Ralls, brother of John, became its first president. In 1922 the population of Ralls reached 950, and on January 6 of that year Ralls was incorporated.
The Great Depression brought problems, which were compounded by the worst hail and wind storm in Crosby County history on June 19, 1935. During the storm two residents were killed, and the compress at Ralls was unroofed. Prosperity returned during the 1940s as agriculture thrived. Area farms were irrigated, and a building boom got under way in the latter part of the decade. By 1951 more than 100 business establishments were located in Ralls. Over the years several school districts have consolidated with Ralls schools either wholly or in part. A partial listing includes the districts of Owens, League Four, Canyon Valley, Fairview, New Home, and Farmer. Governor Preston Smith dedicated the Ralls Historical Museum on March 6, 1970. The museum is housed in the old John R. Ralls Bank building and contains thousands of mementos pertaining to Crosby County history, including fifteen period rooms. Ralls, a retail and shipping center, is surrounded by a productive farming region that produces cotton, grains, soybeans, sunflowers, and vegetables. In 1980 Ralls, the largest town in Crosby County, had a population of 2,422 and in 1990 2,172. The population was 2,252 in 2000. Source: Handbook of Texas Online.
John R. Ralls Building. The largest of more than two blocks of business houses built between 1915 and 1919 by John R. Ralls, founder of this town. Used by the First National Bank which closed in 1930; the housed the Southwestern Public Service office until 1964. Ralls donated his ranch land for lots for early homesites, the city square, the public school and all organized churches after the railroad by-passed Emma and crossed his land. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1967. – Historical Marker Text. Marker located 801 Main Street, Ralls.
Ralls Cemetery. The original five acre tract of land for this burial ground was purchased from the C.B. Livestock Co. on September 7, 1915, four years after the town of Ralls was founded. The cemetery was first used for the interment of W.H. Shell (d. 1915). The Georgia marble Bible, erected in 1963 by the Ralls Garden Club, is one of many beautification projects by local organizations, including the Lions Club and Cemetery Association. Prominent community members are buried here, including John R. Ralls, town founder. Graves also include those of veterans of several wars. – Historical Marker Text. Marker erected 1985. Ralls Cemetery at texascemeteries.org