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Ector County TX
Ector County

Odessa Hotels


Ector County Seat, West Texas

31 51' 48" N, 102 21' 56" W (31.863333, -102.365556)
I-20, Hwy 385 and 302
20 miles W of Midland
60 miles W of Big Spring
Population: 116,416 (2017)
99,940 (2010) 90,943 (2000) 89,699 (1990)

Book Hotels Here > Odessa Hotels

Odessa Tx - Oil Field Wall Mural
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
Odessa Texas Oil Field Mural

History in a Pecan Shell

The name supposedly comes from railroad workers who claimed it reminded them of the Odessa region in the south of Russia. (See Naming of Odessa below.) The name did spring up at the same time the Texas and Pacific tracks were set down in July of 1881. Odessa got a post office in 1885 - a year before the town was platted. It was officially organized in 1891, but they didn't get around to incorporating until 1927.

The population was only 750 in 1925, but after oil was discovered in 1926, the population shot up to 5,000 by 1929. During WWII the increased need for oil swelled the population to 10,000.

Historical Marker:


After the Texas and Pacific Railway extended its line to the South Plains of Texas in 1881, the Odessa Land and Townsite Company of Zanesville, Ohio, began promotional efforts to attract settlers to its property along the rail line. Regular excursion trains brought many settlers to the area, including Charles and Lucy White, who came with their family from Indiana and helped transform this area from prairie to city. Their 1887 home serves as a museum today, a reminder of Odessa's early development. Odessa's first post office opened in 1885. The town was platted the following year and became county seat when Ector County was formally organized in 1891. The first elected county commissioners were M.G. Buchanan, J.W. Driven, James Bolton and J.L. Gray.

Located in the Permian Basin, in the midst of great oil and natural gas reserves, Odessa was a small farming and ranching town until oil was discovered on the W.E. Connell Ranch (16 mi. SW) in 1926. Growth was rapid, and the city was incorporated the following year, with S.R. McKinney as first mayor. By 1930, Odessa was an established oil center and after World War II, it became a major distribution and processing point in the petrochemical industry.

The city of Odessa serves as a vital trading center for this part of Texas and boasts civic, cultural and educational opportunities for citizens and visitors alike. With its roots in cattle and oil, the community is an important reflection of Texas history and heritage.
Odessa TX - Ector County Courthouse
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson
Ector County Courthouse
Odessa, Texas Landmarks / Attractions
  • Ector County Courthouse > next page
    The building constructed in 1964 is built around the 1938 courthouse.
  • Odessa Meteor Crater: I-20 (West) Exit FM 1936
  • Parker House Museum: 1118 Maple Street
  • Presidential Museum: 622 Lee Street
  • White-Pool House c.1887 112 E. Murphy Street
  • American Airpower Heritage Museum and Commemorative Air Force Headquarters: At Midland International Airport
  • Ector Theatre > next page
  • Globe Theatre > next page
  • The Jack Rabbit Statue - 802 N. Sam Houston next page
  • "Stampede" - Painted by Tom Lea for Odessa's 1940 Post Office, it was moved in 1970. The mural weighs 700 lbs. and measures 5' 7" by 16' 9". It currently hangs in the Post Office on 200 North Texas Avenue. next page
  • Odessa Oil Field Mural
  • Ector County Towns & Ghost Towns > next page
  • Odessa Hotels > Book Here
  • Jack Rabbit statue & historical markers, Odessa Texas
    Photo Courtesy Charlene Beatty Beauchamp
    The Jack Rabbit Statue and Historical Markers
    Odessa Tx Post Office  Mural Stampede by Tom Lea, 1940
    Odessa Post Office Mural: "Stampede"
    Odessa Tx - Globe Theatre Stage
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2010
    The Globe Theatre
    Odessa Tx - Ector Theater
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
    Ector Theater
    Odessa Tx - Oil Field Painted Mural showing derricks, pipes, and workers
    Odessa Texas Oil Field Mural detail
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
    Odessa Tx - Oil Field Painted Mural showing pipes, and workers
    Odessa Texas Oil Field Mural detail
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
    Odessa Tx - Oil Field Painted Mural showing workers
    Odessa Texas Oil Field Mural detail
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
    Odessa Tx - Oil Field Painted Mural showing workers
    Odessa Texas Oil Field Mural detail
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2009
    More Texas Murals
    Oil gusher, Odessa, Texas post card
    "'Black Gold'
    One of the many oil gushers of the rich Odessa oil fields"

    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
    Odessa, Texas multiview old postcard
    Odessa postcard showing watertower, courthouse, airport, high school and gusher
    Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
    Odessa TX - 1940s Kimbroughs Service Station
    Odessa 1940s Kimbroughs Service Station
    Jimmy Dobson Photo, June 2017
    Odessa TX - 1948 Barnsdall Gas Station
    The 1948 Barnsdall Gas Station
    Jimmy Dobson Photo, June 2017
     Odessa TX - 1959 Phillips 66 Gas Station
    The 1959 Phillips 66 Gas Station
    Jimmy Dobson Photo,
    Odessa TX - 1960 Esso Gas Station
    The 1960 Esso Gas Station
    Jimmy Dobson Photo, June 2017
    Odessa TX - 1963 Texaco Station
    The 1963 Texaco Station
    Jimmy Dobson Photo, June 2017
    Adventures with my 1972 Plymouth Cuda and
    my 67 Ford Mustang Fastback

    by Jimmy Dobson

    Odessa, Texas area destinations:
    Ector County Towns & Ghost Towns

    Distance from major cities
    274 miles from El Paso
    347 miles from Dallas | 494 miles from Houston
    336 miles from San Antonio | 334 miles from Austin

    Odessa Tourist Information
    Odessa Chamber of Commerce - 1-800-780-4678
    Website: www.odessachamber.com

    Book Hotel Here > Odessa Hotels | More Hotels

    Odessa, Texas Forum
  • Subject: Naming of Odessa
    Dear TE, A previous writer convinced you to change the "History in a Pecan Shell" to read as follows: "The name supposedly comes from railroad workers who claimed it reminded them of the Odessa region in Ukraine." This statement is historically incorrect. Throughout the 19th century, Odessa was a city in the Russian Empire. In fact, territory which includes present-day Odessa was won in the Russo-Turkish War of 1787-1792 by Russian forces on September 25th, 1789 and Empress of Russia, Catherine the Great named Odessa - the city being built on top of the ruins of the Turkic fortress - on January 10, 1795. From its founding and until the Soviet revolution of 1917, Odessa was certainly not in Ukraine, which did not even exist independently at that point anyway. After the revolution there was much turbulence on the territory comprising present-day Ukraine and control of Odessa changed hands several times until on December 30th, 1922, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic officially joined the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Odessa was included in this Ukrainian Republic, but this republic was not at all independent! On August 24th, 1991, Ukraine proclaimed independence and a constitution came five years after that. Thus, to claim that Odessa region was in Ukraine at anytime prior to 1917 is a mistake. Even asserting such claims for the time period between 1917 and 1996 is on very shaky grounds. After 1996, Odessa is certainly a city in Ukraine. Please consider revising your statement again to the following historically accurate one: "The name supposedly comes from railroad workers who claimed it reminded them of the Odessa region in the south of Russia." - Sincerely, Jake Berzon, Odessa Page newspaper, http://Odessa.OdessaPage.Com, May 18, 2007

  • Subject: The Name Odessa
    Quote from your site "The name supposedly comes from railroad workers who claimed it reminded them of the Odessa region in Ukraine. ..." In its turn the name of Ukrainian Odessa (established in 1794) has such a story: When the seaport was planned, Russian Empress Catherine II the Great said - it should be named in Hellenic style and feminine. While ancient Hellenic settlement Odessos situated nearby - its name was taken as the base and transformed into Odessa ("Odess" Hellenic part + "a" feminine end in Ukrainian and Russian) - the name of your Texas town and of my city - The Black Sea Pearl :) - Sincerely yours, Eugene, Odessa, Ukraine, August 09, 2005

  • Subject: Odessa Texas History
    Original Odessa is NOT in Russia!!!!!!! Original Odessa is a wonderful city on the Black Sea and belong to the UKRAINE, that is very principal. I would appreciate if you could change "Russia" on "Ukraine" in historical description of Odessa in Texas. Thank you in advance. - Yours Faithfully, S Preobrajensky, September 23, 2004

  • Subject: Post Office Mural
    Please try to include a picture of the mural in the Odessa post office. It's said to be the best of all the p.o. murals. I believe the name is "Stampede". - Larry Gaultney, October 19, 2005

  • Take a road trip

    Odessa, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Midland | Big Spring
    See Ector County | West Texas

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