The name of Wichita Falls is derived from the Choctaw Indians who were the original settlers of the area in the early 1700's.  The name "wia chitoh," which means "big arbor," was a description of the grass-thatched arbors in the Wichita's village.



     Today Wichita Falls has a more diversified economy with some 185 manufacturing operations, an average unemployment rate of 4.6% for 1997, and a population that has surpassed the 105,000 mark.


     The area boasts an ever increasing interest in "the Arts" with its museums and galleries, ballet, and symphony.  It also has more than 40 parks, numerous outdoor recreation centers, including swimming pools, jogging trails, golf, tennis, picnicking and a multi-plex entertainment and event center.  (See the "Event Center" for additional information on the Multi-Purpose Event Center.")



     Of major significance is the fact that the City is in the process of seeking adequate funding at this time to completely rebuild and restore the downtown area.  Once the "heart of the city," the downtown area had, in the past few years, almost become a ghost town.  Thanks to the vision of some of its more progressive citizens, every effort is now being made to refurbish the downtown area once more into a bustling, thriving center of business commerce. 


     While the salaries in the area may not be comparable to those of Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston or Austin, the cost of living is considerably less, and the pressure to compete with "the Joneses" is almost unheard of. 


     Ultimately, if you're seeking to relocate to a "hometown" setting, where you might rear your children amidst an atmosphere of fine schools, an ample supply of churches, a low crime rate, and traffic that will get you anywhere in town within 15 minutes, then Wichita Falls may just be the answer to your prayers.


     Anglo-American settlers were drawn to the area during the 1860's with the lure of vast grass-rich prairies making the area home to the infamous North Texas cattle barons.   In need of money, the Texas Republic sold land certificates for fifty cents an acre. The original 640 acres which were to become the City, were rumored to have been won by John A. Scott in a poker game.  In 1892 the city became the county seat and was accessed by the Fort Worth & Denver City Railroad which would prove to be the first of several systems to serve Wichita Falls.


     Oats. wheat, and cotton crops were plentiful and supported the City's economy during the early 1900's.  World War I brought with it the discovery of oil which made the area a household name, almost overnight.  The Fowler No. 1 well in Burkburnett "Boomtown" Texas, became the area's first deep-well strike, and in 1919 the 4,000 feet wide and three mile long pool produced 3.3 million barrels of oil.


     Nicknamed the "Factory City," Wichita Falls had more than 100 manufacturing companies in the 1950's.  With 101,724 people in 1960, the self-proclaimed "Shiniest Buckle in the Sun Belt" was riding an all time high.  The economy proceeded on a strong note until the 1985 downturn in domestic oil production. 

Photography Courtesy of

Media Mindset

TigerDirect.com



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