Panhandle Plains
2010 Census - 27,282
2000 Census - 25,233
Big Spring, Texas
Big Spring Texas History:
The town was named for the big spring which was a watering place for animals, Indians and early explorers. The spring was also a campsite on the Overland Trail to California, and on the Santa Fe Trail from Fort Smith, Arkansas to El Paso. Signal Mountain, ten miles southeast of Big Spring, was a landmark used by early cattlemen. Ranchers began arriving in the area in the late 1870s. The settlement was established in the late 1870s, and consisted of hide huts and saloons for buffalo hunters. In the 1880s, the Texas and Pacific Railway built a line several miles north of the springs. Area and residents and businesses moved to be closer to the tracks. In 1882, Big Spring became the county seat of the newly organized Howard County. The town’s first general store and the post office were established that same year. The opera house was built in 1905. The town incorporated in 1907. The population of Big Spring had grown to 13,375 by 1930. By 1936, area oil fields had 810 producing wells. During World War II, the Big Spring Army Air Corps Bombardier School was opened on land southwest of the city in 1942. Today the town is a petrochemical center, and a commercial and banking center for the county. Big Spring Lake State Park is located within the Big Springs city limits. A wind farm is located south of town on Moss Lake Road. Some wind turbines are located adjacent to U.S. 87. The town is also a wintering spot for Sandhill Cranes who live in the marshes along Beals Creek across the valley from the Texas State Veterans Home. Big Spring is located on Beals Creek at the intersections of U.S. 87, IH-20, SH 176 and SH 350, 49 miles southwest of Snyder, 39 miles southwest of the J.B. Thomas Reservoir, 39 miles southwest of Lake Colorado City, 43.6 miles northwest of Sterling City, 27.7 miles north of Garden City, 62 miles northeast of Odessa, 40 miles northeast of Midland, 20 miles northeast of Stanton, 44.8 miles southeast of Lamesa, and 41 miles south of Gail, 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
Vietnam Memorial of Big Spring:
The memorial includes a POW monument, a Huey, a tank, and a chapel. The memorial has hosted the Moving (traveling) Vietnam Memorial Wall. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial of Big Spring is located on the edge of the campus of Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf on Rackley Street, overlooking the former Webb Air Force Base.  
Howard County Courthouse, 1953:
The 1953 brick, concrete and tile courthouse was designed in modern style by architects Puckett and French. The beautiful 1908 sandstone courthouse was demolished in 1953. The 2010 Howard County census was 35,012. 315 S. Main Street.