According to the 1985 Centennial edition of the Midland Reporter-Telegram, a cowboy rode up to two men who were working on a transcontinental rail line that was being constructed in Midland County in the late 1800s.
"Why do they call this place Midway?" the cowboy asked the railroad workers.
One of the workers, of Irish descent, wiped the sweat from his forehead with his hat and the back of his arm, looked at the cowboy, and said in his finest brogue. "Because it's midway between hell and starvation."
U.S. Army Captain Randolph Marcy had been charged by the government to lay a rail route west from Fort Smith, Ark., through Indian Territory to Santa Fe, and to return by a southerly route across the Llano Estacado. His impressions of of the land that would later become Midland and the barrenness of West Texas?
"For a great portion of the distance, the surface of the earth is so perfectly firm and smooth that would appear to have been designed by the Great Architect of the Universe for a railroad."
Now you know.