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WICHITA FALLS, TEXAS

Wichita County Seat, Panhandle / North Central Texas

Hwy 79 and I-44
Hwys 287 and 281
16 miles S of Oklahoma
14 miles S of Burkburnett
28 miles E of Electra
77 miles NW of Decatur
118 miles NW of Fort Worth
136 miles NW of Dallas
Population: 104,831 (2010) 104,197(2000) 96,259 (1990)

Book Hotel Here > Wichita Falls Hotels

Wichita Falls, Texas Topics of Interest:

  • History in a Pecan Shell
  • Landmarks / Attractions
    Courthouse, museums, Wee-Chi-Tah Sculpture, world’s littlest skyscraper, bridges, state park, lakes...
  • Wichita Falls Chronicles
  • Wichita Falls Old Photos
  • Wichita Falls Hotels > Book Here
  • History in a Pecan Shell

    The falls in Wichita Falls, Texas
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    Wichita Falls was named after the river that was named after the Indians. The original falls have been lost, but replica falls have been built in recent years. Conveniently located off I-44.
    A timeline of Wichita Falls significant events:
  • John Scott acquires land in poker game that becomes Wichita Falls (folklore)
  • 1875: John Converse opens first store in the area
  • 1876: Town platted by M. W. Seeley, hired by heirs of John Scott
  • 1879: 1879 Post Office approved
  • 1880: 1880 First School opened
  • 1882: The Fort Worth and Denver Railroad reach Wichita Falls
  • 1883: Major flood washes away the town's namesake waterfall/ Joseph Kemp opens store
  • 1900: Lake Wichita Project set in motion
  • 1917: Population is 18,000 - mostly agricultural employment
  • 1918: Discovery of oil at Burkeburnett increases population to 40,000
  • 1920: Irrigation Project allowed irrigation for Wichita, Archer and Baylor Counties
  • 1928: Airline passenger service is started
  • 1941: Sheppard Field Opened for Air Corps training
  • 1979: Huge tornado hits the city killing 45 and destroying 20% of homes
  • Oil Capital

    In the first quarter of the 20th century, Wichita Falls had offices for the major players in the oil business - The Texas Company (Texaco), Sinclair, Magnolia, Sun (Sunoco), Prairie (bought out) and Humble.

    The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad as well as the Fort Worth and Denver made Wichita Falls their headquarters.

    In the 1920s Wichita Trucks were manufactured here and were sold in 68 Countries around the world.

    During the oil boom multiple tracks were laid to Burkburnett and two additional railroads (The Wichita Falls and Northwestern and the Wichita, Ranger and Fort Worth) were financed by oil money. There were 30 refineries in the area, with 13 of them in the city limits.
    Oil Fields in Wichita Falls, Texas old postcard
    Oil Fields in Wichita Falls
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
    Wichita Falls Landmarks / Attractions

    Book Hotel Here > Wichita Falls Hotels

    The 1916 Wichita County courthouse today, Wichita Texas
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, April 2006
    Wichita County Courthouse
    Wichita Falls Tx Wee-Chi-Tah Sculpture
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    Wee-Chi-Tah Sculpture
    Wichita Falls Tx RailRoad Museum Building
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    The Railroad Museum
    501 Eighth Street
    Wichita Falls Tx Railroad Museum Engine
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    The Railroad Museum
    Wichita Falls Tx Suspension Footbridge
    Photos courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    Wichita Falls Bridges
    Suspension Footbridge | Scott Avenue Bridge |
    Ohio Street Bridge
    WichitaFalls Tx Littlest Skyscraper
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    Wichita Falls Flim Flam Man and His Monument by Mike Cox

    The World’s Littlest Skyscraper

    Monument to a Successful Con Artist
    Wichita Falls TX - Riverside Cemetery Cactus
    Photo courtesy David Cole
    Riverside Cemetery
    Wichita Falls Tx Friberg Cooper Church
    Friberg Cooper Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2007
    See Texas Churches
    Wichita Falls Tx Kemp Building
    The Kemp Building in Wichita Falls
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    J.A. Kemp Wholesale Grocery Building , Wichita Falls Tx
    J.A. Kemp Wholesale Grocery Building historical marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    Coca Cola Bottling Company, Wichita FallsT X
    Coca Cola Bottling Company
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    Wichita Falls Tx Coke  is it Sign
    Coke is it!
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    Wichita Falls Tx John Ruskin Ghost Sign
    Ghost sign in an alley
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    More Ghost Signs
    Wichita Falls Tx Hamilton Bldg Parking Neon Sign
    Parking in neon
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    Old neon in Wichita Falls
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    Wichita Falls Tx Old Gibson Discount Sign
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    More Texas Old Neon
    Wichita Falls Tx old outdoor clock
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    Wichita Falls Tx Closed Silos
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    Wichita Falls Tx Closed Silos
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    More Grain Elevators
    Wichita Falls Tx St. James Hotel Historical Marker
    St. James Hotel Historical Marker
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
  • Kell House: Historic home of Frank Kell - 900 Bluff Street
  • Wichita Falls Fire and Police Museum:
    Avenue H and Giddings Street
  • Book Hotel Here > Wichita Falls Hotels
  • The falls in Wichita Falls, Texas
    Back to the falls
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2009
    Wichita Falls TX - Lucy Park

    Wichita Falls - Lucy Park
    Photo courtesy Holly Gibson, April 2015

    See Texas Road Trip - From Owls to Eiffel Tower >

    Nearby Destinations

  • Lake Arrowhead State Park:
    229 Park Road 63, Wichita Falls, TX 76310. 940/528-2211
    524-acre park with camping, fishing, swimming and boating.
    14 miles South on 281 then East on FM 1954.

  • Nearby lakes include Kemp, Kickapoo and Wichita.
  • Wichita County Towns
  • Do not miss Clara, Texas Escapes' favorite ghost town, or Fargo and Doan's Crossing in Wilbarger County.
  • Book Hotel Here > Wichita Falls Hotels
  • Wichita Falls Chronicles:
  • The Haunted Asylum of Wichita Falls by Mike Cox
    Mix mentally ill stereotypes with death and you have the ingredients for some pretty frightening ghosts stories.
  • Wichita Falls Falls for Flim Flam Brit by Mike Cox
    Before the wild oil boom that came with the discovery of a rich field, Wichita Falls was just a cattle town of around 5,000 folks. When a crisp and proper gentleman who spoke with a classic British accent arrived and took a room at the city’s best hotel, word got around quickly...
  • Two Ranchhands Meet Judge Lynch by Mike Cox
    In the late winter of 1896, two Waggoner Ranch cowboys took a notion that robbing banks would be less work – and definitely more profitable -- than wrangling cattle... William Foster Crawford and Elmer “Kid” Lewis left the sprawling ranch and rode toward Wichita Falls... Bursting into City National Bank with pistols drawn...
  • Ida Lee by C. F. Eckhardt
    On March 21, 1924, Mrs. Ida Lee Daughtery of Hall, Texas, died. She was a woman of some reputation—not as a ‘soiled dove,’ but as a devoted wife.
  • Elephant Execution in Witchita Falls by Mike Cox
    "Someday, perhaps, a work crew laying cable or pipe will unearth a large set of bones near a busy Wichita Falls intersection...."
  • Wichita Falls Vintage Photos
    Wichita County Courthouse and courthouse ground, Texas
    The 1886 Wichita County Courthouse and the 1890 Wichita County jail
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
    Wichita Falls Texas downtown street scene old post card
    Downtown Wichita Falls
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
    Wichita Falls railroad depot, Texas old postcard
    Wichita Falls Depot. See Wichita Falls Railroad Museum
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
    See Texas Depots| More Texas Towns
    Wichita Falls' Bob Waggoner Building
    Wichita Falls' Bob Waggoner Building
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
    Wichita FallsT X Kemp Hotel 1934 postcard
    Kemp Hotel
    1934 postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
    See Rooms with a Past | More Texas Towns
    Wichita Falls Area Towns:
    Electra
    Burkburnett
    Decatur
    Fort Worth
    Dallas
    See Wichita County
    See Central Texas North
    Texas Panhandle
    Book Hotel Here:
    Wichita Falls Hotels
    More Texas Towns & Hotels:
    Texas Town List
    Texas Ghost Towns
    Texas
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    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

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