Alson Asa Meredith and John C. Williams Generations Apart, Water in Common

March 1, 2008 | Politics

The West is a parched and arid land, and the great populations that find their home here must somehow also find their glasses full, their crops irrigated, and their livestock watered. The inhabitants of the West also require a source of water sufficient to supply their recreational needs. While the latter need may not be as significant as others, it is certainly important enough to merit the attention of citizens who have put down their roots in a region that does not always welcome visitors. A microcosm of the West, the West Texas Panhandle provides the onlooker with populations that have literal thirsts that must be quenched, livestock and crops that must be watered, and recreational needs to be met. Marked by such strange bedfellows as aridity, agricultural, and a beef raiser’s economy, the West Texas Panhandle does not just require water, rather, it lives or dies by the acquisition of it.

Under such conditions the people of West Texas could consider themselves fortunate if one man took seriously their need for a reliable water source and spent his life toward its acquisition: if one man dreamed dreams of a lake in the desert, then spent his life’s energies securing the construction of that lake. And if the existence of one such man made them feel blessed, how much more blessed should they feel if they knew there were two men of equal stature who had dedicated their lives to the development and maintenance of a reliable water supply in West Texas? Two men separated by nearly half a century, Alson Asa Meredith and John C. Williams, did just that, and the citizens of West Texas benefit every day from the toil and pains these two took to secure and maintain a viable water source for them. Read more…