Wichita Falls History 1922
Wichita Falls History Written in 1922
The city of Wichita Falls has always been the chief center of populations and in 1910 more than half the inhabitants of the county were located there. The population in 1890 was 1,987; in 1900, 2,480: in 1910, 8,200; and in 1920, 40,079. It is easily one of the most progressive and prosperous small cities of the state. Railroads gave it a start, and since then the presence of enterprising citizens and the abundance of such resources as oil and gas have brought about a city whose prosperity comes from its railway division points and shops, its extensive retail and wholesale trade, and its varied manufactures. The supply of natural gas, which is piped from the Petrolia field and sold to manufacturers at from four to eight cents a thousand feet, has brought several important industries from other cities and states to Wichita Falls. The city also is benefited by the daily production of more than 33,000 barrels of oil. At the beginning of 1914 the Chamber of Commerce enumerated more than forty manufacturing plants, most of which had been established within the last five years. These include a factory for the manufacture of auto trucks, a window glass factory, a bottle factory, a pottery, a fruit jar factory, flour mill, railroad shop, iron foundry, machine shops, ice factories, planing mills. brick and tile plants, broom factory, cotton compress, oil mills and many minor enterprises. About ten or twelve years ago some enterprising capitalists built a dam across Holliday Creek, five miles southwest of Wichita Falls, and thus created Lake Wichita, a body of water two miles by seven miles, furnishing water for the irrigation of several thousand acres of truck and fruit and other crops, water for the city and manufacturing purposes, while the lake itself has become a most attractive resort for the people of the city and of several counties. Owing to the rapid progress of the last ten years Wichita Falls now has 40,079 people. It has fully a third of the taxable values found in the entire county. It is a city of many hand some churches, well equipped and thoroughly organized with public schools, has a Federal building, hospital, street cars, the business section is paved, and its business buildings and the character and atmosphere of the city in general are in advance of older and more populous centers in the Southwest.
While Wichita Falls is known throughout the world as the chief city adjacent to the great new oil fields of North Texas, the far-seeing city builders who have built Wichita Falls from a village to the metropolis of the Northwest Texas Plains wish it to be known for its advantages as a home city, its new and magnificent buildings and its jobbing and agricultural resources as well as for its oil supremacy, As this book is being prepared for the press Wichita Falls is just coming into its own as a metropolitan city, having passed through the trying "growing pains" incident to the oil boom, which began here in July, 1918, and has lasted with more or less intensity until late in 1920, and the community has been busily engaged in transforming itself with the facilities necessary to take care of a population three times that which it had two years ago.
In June, 1918, Wichita Falls was a live, prosperous little West Texas city with a population of about 18,000. By June, 1919, this city was the center of oil operations and activities the like of which the world has rarely, if ever, witnessed. The population by that date. including transient oil operators, workmen and curious sight-seers, probably ran as high as 50,000, though all of these were never considered as citizens. The United States census of 1920 gives Wichita Falls 40,079, and this is believed to have been a very accurate count. The population of the city in 1910 was 8,200. The increase in population from 1910 to 1920 was 388 per cent, possibly the largest percentage of increase shown by any city which was listed in the 1910 census.