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Midland County Seat, West Texas

I-20, Hwys 158 and 349
20 miles E of Odessa
18 miles W of Stanton
Halfway between El Paso and Fort Worth
Population: 115,069 (2010) 94,996 (2000)

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Midland Texas skyline
Midland's skyline as seen from Wadley Barron Park.
Photo Courtesy James Rowland, 12-20-04

History in a Pecan Shell

There were too many Midways in Texas when the Texas and Pacific reached this spot in June of 1881. The post office made it Midland and that's the way it has remained.

Midland got their post office in 1884 and promoters convinced about 100 Midwest families to move here by 1885.

By 1900 the population was right around 1,000.

Midland suffered 3 fires in a brief period (1905-09).

A second railroad (the Midland and NW Line) ran off the Texas and Pacific and connected Midland with Seminole. (According to some sources the train crews had to open and shut cattle gates along the rails). By 1921 the M & NW railroad had gone out of business.

During WWII, the Army Air Corps opened a bombardier school from 1942-1945. It later evolved into the Midland-Odessa Airport.

TX - Midland County Courthouse
The former Heritage Center is now the new Midland County Courthouse.
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, February 2013

Midland Landmarks & Attractions

  • Midland County Courthouse
  • The Sibley Nature Center: 1307 E. Wadley (in Hogan Park)
    Please call for hours - 432-684-6827
  • Midland County Historical Museum: 301 W. Missouri
  • Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, Library and Hall of Fame
    1500 I-20 West
  • The Midland Downtown Lion's Club Fire Museum: 1500 W. Wall
  • American Airpower Heritage Museum and Confederate Air Force Headquarters: At the Midland International Airport
  • Yucca Theatre c. 1927
  • The Petroleum Building c. 1932

    Midland Area Destinations:

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  • Midland Texas mural

    A mural in Midland
    Photo Courtesy Tom Hosier
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    Midland watertower and road
    The road to Midland
    Photo Courtesy Tom Hosier, 11-01
    A pumpjack in Midland Texas
    A pumpjack in Midland
    Photo Courtesy Tom Hosier

    Midland, Texas Chronicles

  • Roping a Locomotive by Mike Cox
    In the early 1880s the Texas and Pacific Railroad was laying a line across West Texas, headed eventually for El Paso and points west. Meanwhile, the Fort Worth and Denver railroad was putting down track in the direction of the vast Panhandle plains. By June 1881, the Texas and Pacific neared the mid-way point between Dallas and El Paso . When the mostly Irish track layers got roughly 30 miles from Big Spring, the railroad built a section house it called Midway. Within a year, the government established a post office there. However, since the nation had no shortage of post offices named Midway, the name got changed to Midland.

    As the rail line continued its westward progress, Midland became a shipping point for the large cattle ranches that had developed in the area. Cowboys employed by those ranches worked hard, but not all the time. Occasionally, they came to town to recreate. First told in 1965 by the late Tanner Laine, longtime state editor of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, a story about one way the boys came up with to amuse themselves is probably just folklore. Still, it might have happened. ... more

  • The Home Run that Never Was by Charles Watson
    Midland has always been a baseball town, as long as I can remember. The current class AA team is called the Midland Rockhounds and is a member of the Texas League...
  • Chinese Pavillion in Midland, Texas
    Chinese Pavillion: A gift to Midland from Dong Ying, China, Midland's Sister City
    Photo Courtesy James Rowland, 12-20-04
    Midland Tourist Information
  • Midland Chamber of Commerce
    109 N. Main, Midland, TX 79701, 1-800-624-6435
  • The Midland Convention and Visitors Bureau
    109 N. Main. Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. 1.800.624.6435 CVBWebsite: www.visitmidlandtx.com

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  • Midland Texas water tower

    Midland water tower
    Photo Courtesy Tom Hosier
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    Midland, Texas Forum
  • "You don't need to put bars on your windows - I'm from Vermont"
    Hi Folks, Came across your web site and found it very interesting. I'm a native of Hoosick Falls, NY now living in Schenectady, NY. I lived in Midland, Texas for 4 years from 1975 to 1980 and loved every minute of it. If I could I would go back there to live. I think the people of Texas are the nicest people I have ever met. Moved to Midland from New York State and when I first met my neighbor she thought about putting bars on her windows. But she quickly changed her mind. From then on I told people I was from Vermont. As a matter of fact, Barbara Bush, Sr. and I had the same pediatrician, Dr. Dorothy Wyvell. Many friends were made in Texas along with wonderful memories I will cherish forever. Now I'm going to sit here and remember for awhile. - Regards, Eileen Jones, May 29, 2006

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  • Midland, Texas Area Towns:
    Midland County | West Texas
    Odessa | Stanton
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