Soon after residents voted to incorporate in March 1911, Shamrock officials identified the need for a reliable waterworks for the city. Prior to that time, citizens got their water from one of two town wells or hauled it to town in barrels on wagons. A November 1912 election authorized the sale of bonds in the amount of $15,000 for a drinking water system that included a tower and reservoir on Railroad Avenue. In September 1915, city leaders accepted the bid of the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company of Chicago, Illinois to build the water tower.
The all-steel structure was designed with a cylindrical tank with a hemispherical bottom, supported by four latticed channel columns held together with metal tie rods. The large tank has a capacity of 75,000 gallons, rising 176 feet above ground level. Workers utilized a steam threshing machine to raise the tower's standpipe. The tower was constructed of railway bridge grade steel riveted together using rivet grade steel. Engineers also had to account for the maximum pressure of Panhandle winds upon the load of the structure plus the weight of the water. According to records of the CB&I Co., in business since 1889, this substantial tower is the tallest tank of its class ever built by the company, and it remains one of the tallest water tanks in Texas. Built to provide water to a growing community,
the Shamrock water tower is also visible for about ten miles in any direction. Early 20th century travelers stopped here to water their horses or wagon teams in the concrete troughs under the tower, and travelers continue to mark their progress by the tower, an engineering and tourism icon.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark