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County
Wichita
Region
Panhandle Plains
Population
2010 Census - 104,553
2000 Census - 104,197
Nearby
Towns
Wichita Falls, Texas
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Wichita Falls Texas History:
In 1837, John A. Scott acquired the future Wichita Falls townsite by purchasing Texas land certificates.  Years later Scott’s heirs found the certificates. In 1876, they commissioned M.W. Seeley to plat a townsite. The Wichita River falls for which the town was named later washed away. The Wichita Falls post office was established in 1879. Residents donated a right-of-way to the Fort Worth and Denver Railway Company which completed a line to the town in 1882. The arrival of the railroad caused the town to grow rapidly. In 1883, Wichita Falls became the county seat of Wichita County. The town incorporated in 1889, and by 1890 it had 1,987 residents. By 1900, the presence of five railroads had made Wichita Falls a commercial and shipping center for northwest Texas and south Oklahoma. Lake Wichita was constructed by 1901 to provide water for the growing town. It was the town’s primary source of water until Lake Arrowhead was completed in 1966. Oil was discovered just east of the city in Clay County around 1903, and the Electra field opened in 1911. By 1913 the North Texas fields were producing 46 percent of all the oil in Texas. Refineries were established in Wichita Falls in 1915. The discovery of the Burkburnett fields in 1918 triggered a major oil boom. The depression slowed growth but did not stop it, due in part to a major oil discovery at nearby Kamay in 1938. In 1930, the town had 43,607 residents, and by 1940 it had 55,200 residents. The 1941 opening of Sheppard Field, an Army Air Corps training facility, boosted the population during World War I. By May 1945, 46,000 army personnel stationed at the base. By 1960, area oil production had declined though the area still ranked eighth in the state. By 1962 refinery activity had practically ceased. Wichita Falls was devastated on April 10, 1979, by one of the largest tornadoes ever recorded. The storm destroyed twenty percent of all the houses in town and damaged or destroyed numerous businesses. Miraculously only forty-five people were killed, although more than 3,200 were injured. The city made a rapid recovery, and within three years most of the damage had been repaired. Wichita Falls is located on the Little Wichita River at the intersections of IH-44, U.S. 281, U.S. 277, U.S. 82 and SH 79, 16 miles south of the Oklahoma/Texas border and the Red River, 15 miles southeast of Burkburnett, 47.5 mikles northwest of Nocona, 20 miles northwest of Henrietta, 48 miles northwest of Bowie, 58.5 miles northwest of Jacksboro, 44 miles northeast of Olney, 26 miles northeast of Archer City, 52 miles northeast of Seymour, 49.7 miles southeast of Vernon, 27 miles southeast of Electra, and 10.7 miles southeast of Iowa Park, Texas.
 
Texas Plains Trail Region:
The 52-county Texas Plains Trail Region includes the Texas Panhandle and Plains. It stretches from the Texas towns of Big Spring and Colorado City in the southern portion of the region, to Muleshoe and the New Mexico state border in the west, to Quanah and Knox City in the east, and to the top of the Texas Panhandle, from Dalhart in the west to Lipscomb in the east. The Texas Plains Trail Region organization is a nonprofit heritage tourism organization affiliated with the Texas Historical Commission. TPTR acts as an economic development initiative that helps Texas communities to promote their historic and cultural resources, and increase tourism to their areas. The organization helps promote travel to heritage destinations and historic sites. A name repeatedly mentioned in the history of West Texas is Cynthia Ann Parker, a young child captured during a raid on Fort Parker. She grew up among the Comanches, married Comanche chief Peta Nocona, and had three children, Pecos, Quanah and Prairie Flower. In 1860, a party of Texas Rangers led by Sul Ross, a future governor of Texas, rescued her and her infant daughter Prairie Flower; Charles Goodnight participated in this raid. Her son Quanah became famous as the last great war chief of the Comanche. One of TPTR’s most visible recent projects is the Quanah Parker Trail. When the project is completed, giant Quanah Parker arrow markers will have been installed in all 52 counties in the Texas Plains Trail Region. Some counties will have more than one installation. The arrows were created and donated by New Home, Texas, artist Charles Smith. As of early 2014, over 70 arrows had been installed in almost 50 counties. Each arrow will have a plaque giving pertinent historical information. (806) 747-1997. P.O. Box 88, Lubbock, Texas 79408. Email Plains Trail Map
 
Texas Travel Information Center:
The twelve Texas Travel Centers are managed by the Texas Transportation Department (TXDot). All are staffed by professional travel counselors who help travelers with routings and provide information on points of interest, events, and road conditions. Open daily, 8am-5pm; 8am-6pm, Memorial Day through Labor Day; closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Easter, New Year’s Day, and Thanksgiving. Travelers can also call the toll free line, (800) 452-9292. Road conditions are available 24 hours a day on the toll free line, and travel information is available 8am-6pm. The line also has information on fall foliage trails and spring wildflower trails.The Wichita Falls center is located at 900 Central Freeway; (940) 723-7931.
 
Sheppard Air Force Base:
The base is home to the 80th Flying Training Wing, the 82nd Training Wing, and the Sheppard NCO Academy. This Air Force base is located 5 miles north of Wichita Falls. Email 
 
Wichita Falls War Memorials:
The Vietnam War Memorial is located at 4709 Barnett Road. The World War I Memorial is located at 1300 7th Street, and the World War II Memorial is located at 900 7th Street.
 
Wichita Falls County Courthouse, 1916:
The courthouse was designed in classical revival style by architects Fields & Clarkson and Sanguiner & Pate. It is absolutely stunning how the 1961 and 1980 renovations so thoroughly removed all traces of the original courthouse and turned it into a typical modern office building; only the original courtroom on the 4th floor remains and it houses the heating and cooling equipment for the building. According to the Wichita County website, the 1961 remodeling reflects the plain style of the year it was done. The 2010 Wichita County census was 131,500. (940) 766-8100. 900 7th Street, Wichita Falls, TX 76301.