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El Paso History 1922

El Paso History Written in 1922

The city of El Paso is the subject of some historical confusion, owing to a singular transposition of names. While the English colonies in America were yet in their infancy, El Paso del Norte, on the south bank of the Rio Grande, was an important town, and at the time of the Texas Revolution it had a population of several thousand. At that time the present site of the city of El Paso, on the north bank of the Rio Grande, contained only the imposing hacienda of Juan Maria Ponce de Leon.

Following the Mexican war the settlement on the north bank became a principal relay station on the Overland Mail Route, and a small settlement grew up under the name of Franklin, named for the first postmaster, Franklin Coons.

Late in the fifties the far-seeing statesmanship of Jefferson Davis, then Secretary of War, projected the line of the first transcontinental railroad through "The Pass." Roused by this action, the owners of the "Ponce Grant" mapped the nucleus of the future city through the agency of a young engineer, Anson Mills, since distinguished as a soldier and a diplomat, who gave to the plat the name of El Paso.

In 1889 the Mexican town of El Paso del Norte changed its name to Juarez, to commemorate the Mexican president of that name, and the American city became the sole heir to the historic name.

The American Civil war, crushing out, for the time, the prospect of a southern transcontinental railway, the little settlement slumbered for a generation. It was incorporated in 1873, but the corporation lapsed and was not restored until 1881, when the building in of the Southern Pacific Railway from the west, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway from the north and the Texas & Pacific Railway from the east, gave the impetus for the steady growth which mounted in 1890 to a population of 10,000, in 1900 to 16.000, in 1910 to 39.000 and in 1920 to 78,000.

The city is the center of an immense jobbing trade, covering trans-Pecos Texas, New Mexico and Southern Arizona, besides being the gateway for trade with the Republic of Mexico.



31° 46' 39.288" N, 106° 26' 32.856" W