The Shamrock water tower has long been a part of the history of Shamrock and Wheeler County, and with its new designation as a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark, it will now become a part of Texas recorded history. Click Here for directions to this antique monument.
Soon after the incorporation of Shamrock in 1911, city leaders identified the need for a water works system. On July 4, 1912, a motion was carried for Howard Trigg to draw plans and specifications for a water works system to include a reservoir on Railroad Avenue, 40 feet west of Main Street where the Shamrock water tower stands today. Until this time, water was gathered at two wells — the North Main well or the westside well — or hauled to town in barrels by wagons.
A November 1, 1912, election authorized the sale of $15,000 in bonds for a waterworks system, and the process to bring water to Shamrock began. On September 20, 1915, city leaders accepted the bid of the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company to complete the tank and tower with a foundation.
The all-steel structure would consist of a round tank with a hemispherical bottom supported by four latticed channel columns held together with metal tie rods. The hemispherical bottom design was a technical innovation that Chicago Bridge and Iron first used in 1894.
Calling for a 75,000-gallon tank capacity, specifications sent to the state for approval in November 1915 indicate that the height from the foundation to the extreme bottom of the tank would be 140 feet, and the high water mark was not to exceed 165 feet. The tower was engineered to withstand wind pressure of 30 pounds per square foot, which was over one-half diametral plane of the tank, and 200 pounds per vertical foot of tower. This created a structure strong enough to hold the weight of the tank, combined with the weight of the water in the tank, and the force of the Panhandle winds upon these loads. Built at a cost of $6,560 in 1915, the water tower is still believed to be the tallest structure of its class in the state.
According to a representative of Chicago Bridge and Iron Inc., the Shamrock tower remains the tallest tank of its class constructed by their company to date, and estimates the tower’s height at 172-176 feet. After five years of working on this project, two local residents, Mickey and Pam Mitchell, were instrumental in the Shamrock water tower being named as a Texas Recorded Historical Landmark. This is the highest honor given to a structure in the State of Texas. With the help of community volunteers donating time, work skills, supplies and money, Water Tower Plaza was dedicated March 13, 2009, during the 2009 St. Patrick’s Day festivities.