Ken Brock (center) accepts one of ten Gold Book awards including Publisher of the Read more →
Odessa, Texas Facts:
- County: Ector/Midland
- Coverage Area (Total): 44 sq. miles
- Elevation: 2,900 ft.
- Population: 99,940
- Cities/Towns covered in local Names and Numbers Phone Book: Andrews, Crane, Gardendale, Goldsmith, Grandfalls, Imperial, Kermit, McCamey, Midland, Monahans, Odessa, Pyote, Terminal, Wickett, Wink
Odessa was founded in 1881 as a water stop used by the Texas and Pacific Railroad. The city was rumored to be named by railroad workers who thought the area reminded them of their home in Odessa, Russia. Odessa became the county seat of Ector County when it was organized in 1891, and remains the largest town of the county to this day. The city elected its first mayor, S.R. McKinney, and was incorporated in 1927.
The first producing oil well in the county was developed on the W.E. Connell ranch located southwest of Odessa in 1926. It experienced limited production, but was coupled with the opening of two additional oil fields in 1929 and 1930 to establish Odessa as a rapidly growing oil center. As demand for oil grew during World War II, Odessa became the world's largest inland petrochemical complex. And, in 1957, the Petrochemical Complex became the first privately financed, fully integrated plant in the United States for manufacturing synthetic rubber.
Odessa maintains a variety of attractions including: