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Big Spring, TX

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Big Spring History

Big Spring was founded in 1882 and officially incorporated in 1907. Its name comes from the single, large spring that served a major importance to all life in the surrounding area. In the early 1840s, the spring was the center of a territorial dispute between Comanche and Pawnee Indian tribes. And, in 1849, United States Army Captain Randolph B. Marcy led the first U.S. expedition to explore and map the area. At the time, the spring was marked as a campsite on the Overland Trail to California.

Ranching quickly became a major industry in the area of Big Spring as people began to migrate to the site by the 1870s. The completion of the Texas and Pacific Railroad led to the official founding of the city, and the discovery of oil in the 1920s allowed it to flourish. Big Spring continued development with the opening of Webb Air Force Base in 1951; the base initially opened during World War II as the Big Spring Bombardier School, a training base for bombardier pilots. After the war, it was converted to a U.S. Air Force training base named for James Webb, a Big Spring native who died during WWII. The base was active until it closed in 1977 and the facilities were deeded to the city.

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