If you have ever wondered how Odessa got its name, it was when the Texas & Pacific Railroad was being built through Texas.

According to the Texas State Historical Association, Russian rail workers that were from Odessa, Russia were working in the area and named it Odessa because they said the area resembled their home when Odessa was still a part of Russia.

The post office was first opened in 1885 but the actual formation of Odessa happened in 1886 when 300 acres were established as the townsite, those 300 acres are now the center of downtown Odessa.

Odessa became the county seat when Ector County was established from part of Tom Green County in January 1891 but Odessa was not incorporated as a city until 1927 and they elected the first mayor, S.R. McKinney.

When the first producing oil well was purchased in 1927 it did not start the first oil boom in the area right away but once Penn Field and Cowden Field were opened by 1930, the population ballooned to 5,000.

The population was over 10,000 during World War II and Odessa became the world's largest petrochemical complex that was not in an ocean or the Gulf of Mexico.

Odessa became a major distributor of oil in the 1950s and 1960s and by the 1980s had a population of over 80,000.

The results of the 2020 Census have the population of Odessa at 114,428, up from 94,940 in the 2010 Census.

With the population of Midland at 169,983 that makes the Midland/Odessa metro area over 280,000 as of the 2020 Census, and it all began as a water stop for the Texas & Pacific Railroad back in the late 1800s named by railroad workers from Odessa, Russia (Odessa, Ukraine once the country of Ukraine separated from Russia in 1991).

 

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