But in poring over documents related to Midland, it is interesting to note what we have experienced as a town, decade by decade. And as 10-year spans go, the 1920s were a wild time to be a Midlander. How it must have felt to live here during that time and witnessed the growth of Midland.
Take a look at some of the major events of the decade, which opened to a population of 2,500:
The Scharbauer Hotel was built
The Thomas Building was built
Oil activity in the Permian Basin began in earnest when the Westrbrook Field in Mitchell County was discovered
First oil well in West Texas was drilled, nine miles south of Midland
Hwy. 80, “The Broadway of America,” built through Midland (1921)
Santa Rita gusher begins (May 1923)
The McCamey Field, which started the shift from San Angelo to Midland as oil capital of West Texas, was discovered.
Ira G. Yates No. 1-A opened the Yates oil field in Pecos County. (1926)
Gulf Oil Corp. moved its West Texas land and geology offices to Midland from San Angelo.
In 1926, the total production of all WestTexas oil fields was 46,106,508 barrels of oil.
Midland's first city hall – a combination police station, fire house and municipal services office, located at Loraine and Illinois -- was built
In 1928, an 18-foot strip of Wall St. was paved
1929 – The Hogan Building held its grand opening
By 1928, Midland's population had reached 3,000.
Those are just a few of the highlights of the Roaring 20s, Midland style, when we were a young town.
It could easily -- and likely successfully -- be argued that in the 1920s, Midland discovered itself as it forged a direction that would lead ever increasingly to an oil economy, a direction that remains our reality and what, to a large extent, still sustains us 90 years later.
(Photo: Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library, of Llano Hotel, corner of Abilene and Iowa streets, which would late be the intersection of Main and Wall. Today, you would be looking from the south at the Midland Center standing roughly in the Federal Building Parking lot where this photo was taken.)