“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers in Ector County, Texas

Clickable Map of Ector County, Texas and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Ector County, TX (53) Andrews County, TX (22) Crane County, TX (7) Midland County, TX (30) Upton County, TX (24) Ward County, TX (13) Winkler County, TX (15)  EctorCounty(53) Ector County (53)  AndrewsCounty(22) Andrews County (22)  CraneCounty(7) Crane County (7)  MidlandCounty(30) Midland County (30)  UptonCounty(24) Upton County (24)  WardCounty(13) Ward County (13)  WinklerCounty(15) Winkler County (15)
Odessa is the county seat for Ector County
Adjacent to Ector County, Texas
      Andrews County (22)  
      Crane County (7)  
      Midland County (30)  
      Upton County (24)  
      Ward County (13)  
      Winkler County (15)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1Texas, Ector County, Gardendale — 3055 — LeGrande Survey of 1833 — (S.E. Corner 18 mi. E. of this site)
On U.S. 385 at Texas Highway 158, on the right when traveling north on U.S. 385.
Made in era of Mexican rule in Texas for John Beales, who through partnerships, acquired 70,000,000 acres of land and gained the title of “Texas' largest land king”. Alexander LeGrande's survey covered about 2,000 miles in west . . . Map (db m86336) HM
2Texas, Ector County, Gardendale — 280 — Near site of Baker Ranch School
On U.S. 385 at Texas Highway 158, on the right when traveling north on U.S. 385.
Since there were no public schools in rural Ector County, R.W. Smith and Teague Baker in 1906 erected an 8'x10' school building in Baker's pasture. They hired a teacher at $15 a month, plus room and board, which each furnished on alternate months. . . . Map (db m86335) HM
3Texas, Ector County, Goldsmith — 2198 — Goldsmith
On West Gulf Avenue at Hendrickson Street, on the left when traveling east on West Gulf Avenue.
Opened as oil field June 14, 1935, with flow of 1140 bbls. of crude oil daily from discovery well. Within a month, shacks and tents housed 350 people. Harry L. Tucker in May 1937 platted town of Ector City. Name later changed to honor C. A. . . . Map (db m202016) HM
4Texas, Ector County, Notrees — 3617 — Notrees
On State Highway 302, 0.2 miles west of Marion Drive, on the right when traveling west.
Post Office established 1944 in drug store of C. J. Brown, Jr., who named it in response to U.S. Post Office Dept. request for title suitable to locality. Residents have since made history by planting shade trees. Now production hub of Permian . . . Map (db m72750) HM
5Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 996 — Comanche War Trail
On Business Interstate 20 at Newell Road, on the left when traveling east on Interstate 20Business .
A barbed, bristling flying wedge—the Comanches—rode into 18th century Texas, driving the Wichitas and Caddoes east, the Apaches west, becoming lords of the south plains. Harassed the Spanish and Anglo-Americans along frontier from Corpus . . . Map (db m73339) HM
6Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 16 — E.G. Rodman, Sr. — (1896 – 1976) — Walk of the Entrepreneurs —
Near U.S. 385.
Worked as roughneck, oilfield salesman before founding Rodman Supply of Odessa, 1935. Opened stores throughout Permian Basin. Legendary wildcatter completed hundreds of producing wells during 40-year career. With partners founded refineries, gas . . . Map (db m86321) HM
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7Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 18245 — Earl George Rodman, Sr. and William Douglas Noel
On North Grant Avenue, on the right when traveling north.
Earl George Rodman, Sr. (1896–1976) and William Douglas Noel (1914–1987) brought the petrochemical industry to Odessa. Rodman and Noel came together in 1946 to form the Odessa Natural Gasoline Company and enjoyed major success as their . . . Map (db m155289) HM
8Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 1379 — Ector County
On Business Interstate 20 east of Newell Road, on the left when traveling east.
Created February 26, 1887 from Tom Green County Organized January 15, 1891 Named in honor of Matthew Duncan Ector 1822-1879 Member of the Texas Legislature A Confederate Officer and outstanding jurist Odessa, The County . . . Map (db m86704) HM
9Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 1380 — Ector County Courthouse
On North Grant Avenue, on the right when traveling north.
Seat of justice for Ector, created out of Tom Green County in 1887 and organized in 1891. The 1891 courthouse was frame, the remodelled town sanitarium, moved to the present square. Its first floor had rooms for the sheriff, court clerks and . . . Map (db m118220) HM
10Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 1382 — Ector County Land Rush
On North Grant Avenue, on the right when traveling north.
Here in 1904 a fight involved almost every man in Ector County, over filing a claim for 4 sections of public land. Elias Dawson and Charlie Lewis each brought friends to help him file. Before courthouse doors opened, several men had clothes or . . . Map (db m202017) HM
11Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 1383 — Ector County Newspapers
On East 4th Street, on the right when traveling east.
In 1895, William C. "Uncle Billy" Griffin came to Odessa from Midland and began publishing Ector County's first Newspaper, the Odessa "Weekly News". The "Weekly News" lasted only a year, and was followed by six other short-lived weekly publications . . . Map (db m85785) HM
12Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 3 — Ector County Public Schools
Near West 8th Street at North Sam Houston Avenue, on the right when traveling west.
Earliest public schools in county met in land office, courthouse and church 1890-99. First school building in Odessa at 6th & Texas used 1899-1909. Baker and Judkins districts also had early school buildings. In 1909 new school built at 10th & . . . Map (db m85888) HM
13Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 1384 — Ector County's First Dry Hole
On North Grandview Avenue, on the right when traveling south.
Drilled in 1924 near this site. Geologists were forecasting oil and urgently needed potash, but Pennsylvania experts (using a chilled shop core drill) gave up the well at 900 feet, on "Red Bed" Rock--A substance new to them. Loss in this and a . . . Map (db m86854) HM
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14Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 1434 — El Paso Natural Gas Company's First Compressor Transmission Engine
Near Andrews Highway.
A landmark tool in man's conquest of energy. This compressor went into use in Culberson County, Tex., on Oct. 1, 1931, and served until 1969, aiding in the rise of the southwest as an industrial empire. This was the first compressor . . . Map (db m120670) HM
15Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 1472 — Emigrant Trail — Gateway to The West
On Andrews Highway, 0.2 miles north of East Yukon Road, on the right when traveling north.
Road of stubborn seekers of 1849 California gold fields and better life. Bringing the old, infant, the yet unborn and all worldly goods, family wagons entered Texas at Preston, on Red River, to go southwest via springs (including some now in . . . Map (db m120669) HM
16Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 16767 — Emmet V. Headlee, M.D
Near State Highway 338, 0.1 miles north of State Highway 191, on the right when traveling north.
Emmet V. Headlee was a fourth-generation physician; his great-grandfather, Elisha Headlee, was a Civil War surgeon. His grandfather and father practiced medicine in Teague (Freestone Co.), and Emmet was born there in 1900. At age thirteen, he saved . . . Map (db m86705) HM
17Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 2137 — General Matthew D. Ector — Ector County
On North Grant Avenue (U.S. 385), on the right when traveling north.
County Named for Texas Confederate General Matthew D. Ector 1822-1879 Enlisted 1861. Lieutenant 3rd Texas Cavalry. Fought in Arkansas, Missouri and Indian territory. As colonel led 14th Texas Cavalry Kentucky invasion. Made brigadier general . . . Map (db m85779) HM
18Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 19 — John Ben Shepperd — (1915 – 1990)
On John Ben Shepperd Parkway at Big Sky Way, on the right when traveling north on John Ben Shepperd Parkway.
Odessa and Texas civic legend, consummate volunteer leader. Chaired hundreds of committees; appointed by 7 governors and 4 presidents to state and national boards. Named Texas secretary of state (1950-52) at age 34. Elected twice as attorney general . . . Map (db m120591) HM
19Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 17 — M.O. Boring, Jr. — Walk of the Entrepreneurs
Near U.S. 385.
Founded Dixilyn Corporation, 1945. Operator of contract oil drilling rigs in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana. Went public 2 March 1961, first Odessa business on American Stock Exchange. Developed technology, built off-shore rigs and high-pressure . . . Map (db m86324) HM
20Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 3511 — Mrs. John L. Morris — (Marjorie)
Near Shakespeare Road, 0.2 miles east of Kermit Highway (Texas Highway 450), on the left when traveling east.
Originator, promoter of the Globe of the Great Southwest, world's most nearly authentic replica of the Globe theater in England made famous by the plays of William Shakespeare. Mrs. Morris was educated at North Texas State University and joined . . . Map (db m85890) HM
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21Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 3670 — Odessa
On West 8th Street at North Sam Houston Avenue, on the right when traveling west on West 8th Street.
After the Texas and Pacific Railway extended its line to the South Plains of Texas in 1881, the Odessa Land and Townsite Company of Zanesville, Ohio, began promotional efforts to attract settlers to its property along the rail line. Regular . . . Map (db m85786) HM
22Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 19 — Odessa Chuck Wagon Gang — “50 Years and Still Cooking”
Near U.S. 385.
Famous for pit cooked barbeque, community spirit, western hospitality. Founded March 1940 by 33 Chamber of Commerce members as Odessa goodwill ambassadors. Served 350 plates in Andrews at first feed. During next 5 decades volunteer cookers traveled . . . Map (db m86334) HM
23Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 3667 — Odessa Land & Townsite Company
On North Grant Avenue, on the right when traveling south.
The Texas & Pacific Railroad transferred 640 acres of its land grants here in 1886 to John Hoge of Zanesville, Ohio. He formed the Odessa Land & Townsite Company to promote sale of town lots. Prime house lots sold for $150 and business lots for . . . Map (db m85642) HM
24Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 3668 — Odessa Meteor Crater
On Meteor Crater Road, 2.1 miles south of West Murphy Street when traveling south.
The Odessa Meteor Crater, second largest in the United States and sixth in the world, was formed some 20,000 years ago when an iron meteorite believed to weigh 1,000 tons crashed into the earth near this site. Impact was so great that 4.3 million . . . Map (db m73340) HM
25Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 3668 — Odessa Meteor Craters
Near Interstate 20 Frontage Road at milepost 106,, 1.3 miles east of Farm to Market Road 866, on the right. Reported missing.
East and South (route marked) is located the Odessa Meteor Craters, formed in prehistoric time when a great shower of nickel-iron meteorites collided with the earth. Geologists estimate that the time of the meteor fall was about 20,000 years ago. . . . Map (db m86923) HM
26Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 18244 — Odessa Petrochemical Complex
On North Grant Avenue, on the right when traveling north.
In the 1950s, the Odessa Petrochemical Complex was the largest of its kind in the world. The first business to occupy the future complex was the Odessa Natural Gasoline Company founded in 1946 by four west Texas businessmen: W.D. Noel, E.G. . . . Map (db m155243) HM
27Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 3697 — Old Buffalo Wallow
Near State Highway 191.
The nearby depression survives from an epoch when great buffalo herds migrated through west Texas, many moving between present Canada and Mexico over two major trails in the Odessa area. Wallows began with individual buffalo rolling in the dirt to . . . Map (db m86803) HM
28Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 43 — Permian Basin Fair & Exposition
Near U.S. 385.
Founded in 1976 as the Ector County Fair, concept sprang from previous year's fun-of-a-gun activities held during local observance of U.S. Bicentennial. Fair's early years drew contestants to chili cook-offs, cow chip tossings and an annual beauty . . . Map (db m86329) HM
29Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 14 — Permian Basin Oil Show
Near U.S. 385.
Organized by Jerry Debenport as Little International Oil Show in June 1940. First held at West County Park with 53 exhibitors. Suspended during WWII but resumed in 1950 as Permian Basin Oil Show. In 1953 reorganized as non-profit sponsor of biennial . . . Map (db m86330) HM
30Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 29 — Sewell Ford
On East 8th Street, on the right when traveling west.
E.F. Sewell assembled and sold Model T Fords from his Arlington hardware store. Family moved to Crane in 1926 and established Ford dealership. In 1935 sons, Carl Sr. and Woody, purchased bankrupt Ford house in Odessa. At Texas and 2nd Street . . . Map (db m120588) HM
31Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 13490 — Site of Blackshear High School
On South Dixie Boulevard, on the right when traveling north.
In early 1890, Inez Rathbun earned money teaching area students at the Ector County Courthouse. About the same time, Ector County organized a public school system. Over the next decades, the number of students in the area steadily increased. In . . . Map (db m85636) HM
32Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 4813 — Site of Homestead of William C. Sublett
On North Grandview Avenue, on the right when traveling north.
Born 1835 in Alabama. Moved to north Texas before the Civil War, in which he served as a Confederate. After his wife died in 1874, he went to the Texas frontier to hunt Buffalo, taking his three young children with him. In 1881-1882 he . . . Map (db m120587) HM
33Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 4853 — Site of Livery Stable and Wagon Yard
On North Grant Avenue, on the right when traveling south.
In 1897, rancher and county official Francis M. Tallant opened Odessa's first livery stable and wagon yard on West 2nd Street, approximately 80 feet southwest of this site. Built close to the railroad station and to downtown, the stable was used by . . . Map (db m85644) HM
34Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 4845 — Site of Odessa College — 1889-1891
On Andrews Highway (U.S. 385) at East 25th Street, on the right when traveling south on Andrews Highway.
Established through efforts of Odessa Townsite Co., which gave $12,000; a northern Methodist group matched this fund in 1888. Rev. M. A. Daugherty, Pittsburgh, Pa., was placed in charge, and a 20-acre plot was alloted to the college. Erection . . . Map (db m85892) HM
35Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 4894 — Site of The Dawson Saloon — (of the 1890's)
On West 2nd Street (Business Interstate 20) east of North Lee Avenue, on the right when traveling east.
Frontier business of S.T. (Tol) and E.F. (Lish) Dawson, brothers. Lish Dawson, 1891-92 Sheriff of Ector County, had a barber chair in the Saloon, and helped tend bar. Liquor was in 40-gallon barrels. Ice for drinks was hauled from Great Lakes by . . . Map (db m85893) HM
36Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 4898 — Site of The Odessa Sanitarium
On North Grant Avenue (US 385), on the right when traveling south.
Established in 1886 by Odessa Townsite Company, the Odessa Medical and Surgical Sanitarium was directed by Dr. R.E. Haughton, a former railroad physician from Indiana. It was located in a two-story wooden structure of twenty rooms. By March 1890 . . . Map (db m118030) HM
37Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 34 — Temple Beth El
On Redbud Drive at North Grandview Drive, on the right when traveling west on Redbud Drive.
By WWII about 20 Jewish families lived in the Permian Basin. They gathered for religious and social events at the Midland Bombardier Base. In 1945 they established congregation Temple Beth El, the only Synagogue within 140 miles. Built at 4th Street . . . Map (db m120590) HM
38Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 5298 — The Cable Tool Rig
Near U.S. 385.
Equipment that replaced the spring pole drilling method used in America's earlier oil fields. The cable tool rig used a bit suspended on a steel drilling cable. The bit is dropped in the hole and the impact breaks up the formation. The broken pieces . . . Map (db m86316) HM
39Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 5299 — The Caprock
On Interstate 20 at milepost 104, on the right when traveling east.
A range of flat-topped ridges and cliffs stretching from Texas panhandle to 20 miles south of this point and extending into New Mexico. The name also refers to tough limestone that caps ridges. Rising sharply 200 to 1,000 ft. above plains. This . . . Map (db m86921) HM
40Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 47 — The Henderson House — 915 N. Alleghaney
On North Alleghaney Avenue south of West 10th Street, on the right when traveling south.
Built in 1916 at Grant and Pearl Streets by pioneer drug store owner and postmaster W.T. Henderson, Sr. (1886-1960) and his wife Burmah Adele Lambert (1887-1964). In 1925 the house was moved to this address in the first neighborhood developed north . . . Map (db m85889) HM
41Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 5362 — The Jackrabbit — (1964)
On West 8th Street at North Sam Houston Avenue, on the right when traveling west on West 8th Street.
True plains rabbit. Lives only in the west. Burro-like ears gave him his name. Color is protective, blending with sand and dry grass. Very long legs make him a swift runner, clocked at speeds to 45 miles an hour. Object of hunts with greyhounds. . . . Map (db m85885) HM
42Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 3669 — The Odessa Telephone Exchange
On North Grant Avenue, on the right when traveling south.
Began operation about 1897, with Edna Fielding as "central" (operator). After Miss Fielding's death in 1902, the Rev. G. B. Ely, a baptist minister, purchased the exchange. Pioneer rancher A. Quincy Cooper bought the system in 1911, and extended . . . Map (db m85639) HM
43Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 32 — The Parker Family
On Maple Avenue at East 13th Street, on the right when traveling north on Maple Avenue.
In 1907 James Early “Jim” Parker, Jr. (1876-1954) acquired his first land: two sections divided by the Andrews and Ector County line. He and Bessie Ola Lindley (1887-1974) married in 1908 and had six children: Jackson, Ray, James Walter, . . . Map (db m86813) HM
44Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 3988 — The Permian Basin
Near U.S. 385.
One of the two richest oil fields in the world. Discovery began in 1920 at a Mitchell County Well. Next came the 1923 Big Lake Strike, then the wild 1925 boom in Upton County, followed by production in Andrews, Crane, Ector, Martin, Midland, Pecos, . . . Map (db m86326) HM
45Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 5697 — The Waddell Pecan Tree
On North Lee Avenue, on the right when traveling south.
A few years after Odessa was founded in 1881, a squirrel stole a pecan from a neighbor's porch, and buried it in the yard of W. T. Malone, planting this tree. A rarity in the downtown area, it became a well-known landmark. When R. T. ("Cotton") . . . Map (db m85784) HM
46Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 5786 — The White-Pool House
Near East Murphy Street, on the left when traveling west.
Charles White (1824-1905) moved his family here from Indiana seeking new business opportunities and a drier climate for his wife's health. With the aid of his sons Wilfred Walton White and Herbert Haughton White, he constructed this two-story brick . . . Map (db m85637) HM
47Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 45 — Tom “Pinkie” Roden — (1911-1989) — Walk of the Entrepreneurs —
Near U.S. 385.
Founder of Pinkie's Inc., which at its peak was Texas' largest chain of retail liquor stores. Established first store in Sweetwater after repeal of prohibition. Initial Odessa site followed in 1938 at 312 E. 2nd Street. Expanded to 26 locations in . . . Map (db m86322) HM
48Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 18 — W.D. Noel — (1914 – 1987) — Walk of the Entrepreneurs —
Near U.S. 385.
Formed Trebol Oil, 1940; As operating partner drilled 52 producing wells in McCamey region before hitting first dry hole. With partner acquired Odessa Gasoline plant, founded gas gathering system, drilled discovery wells in Upton County, brought . . . Map (db m86318) HM
49Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 5750 — Well's Point — Texas & Pacific Railroad Wells
On Business Interstate 20, 0.3 miles east of Texas Highway 302, on the right when traveling east.
In 1879 railroad headed west out of Fort Worth. Preceding construction-on land later in town of Odessa-water wells were dug in July, 1881. Town section was thereafter called "Well's Point". One well was unusable because of alkali; other two wells . . . Map (db m86856) HM
50Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 27 — West Texas Relays — 50th Anniversary — 1944 – 1994 —
On East Yukon Drive, 0.2 miles west of North Grandview Drive, on the right when traveling west.
Nationally known as one of Texas' best track and field events. The first invitational was held April 1, 1944 at Odessa High School's dirt practice field. Seven area high schools competed in 14 events. In 1949 the meet moved to a new cinder track at . . . Map (db m120595) HM
51Texas, Ector County, Odessa — 12 — World's First Championship Jackrabbit Roping
On West 8th Street at North Sam Houston Avenue, on the right when traveling west on West 8th Street.
Contest began as “hare-brained” publicity stunt during 1932 annual Odessa Rodeo. Held at 3rd and Grant Street site despite objections from out-of-town do-gooders. Local sheriff opposed event but mayor and judge ruled no violation of . . . Map (db m85887) HM
52Texas, Ector County, Penwell — 1381 — Ector County Discovery Well — (2 mi. S.)
On Interstate 20 Frontage Road, 2 miles west of Farm to Market Road 1601, on the right when traveling east.
The discovery of oil in Ector County December 28, 1926, marked the beginning of a new economic era for this region. The first well, "J.S. Cosden No.1-A W.E. Connell", was named for the driller and owner of land. Its meager initial output of 38 . . . Map (db m86919) HM
53Texas, Ector County, Penwell — 3984 — Penwell
On Interstate 20 Frontage Road, 1 mile west of Farm to Market Road 1601, on the right when traveling west.
Birthplace of Ector County's oil boom. First civic development here was wide-open town, "Derrick City", platted March 1927, after Dec. 28, 1926, oil discovery by driller Josh Cosden on land of W. E. Connell, near the old farming and cattle station, . . . Map (db m86857) HM
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Jan. 27, 2023