The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 281
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cattle, cowboys with some space also being devoted to the buffalo
and their pursuers.
The westward movement of the Texas and Pacific Railroad
reached a point forty miles west of Big Spring in July, 1881. A
small settlement which sprang up was called Midway because it
was the half-way point between Fort Worth and El Paso. Later
the name was changed to Midland. The community was a part
of Tom Green County until 1885 when the Texas legislature
created Midland County. County growth was steady but not phe-
nomenal. Ranchers found that sheep were profitable, and bankers
found that the ranchers needed financial service. Thus it was that
Midland's First National Bank was organized during the summer
of 1890. Griffin has skillfully woven the story of this institution
into the history of its community, but not at the expense of other
The arrival of the decade of the 192o's brought the discovery
of oil in the Permian Basin. This revelation provided a real
source of wealth for persons in the area. Santa Rita Number 1,
the famous University of Texas well, erupted in 1923 and the oil
rush began. Midland became a financial center for this boom,
and the two which followed in the late 1930's and 1940's played
an important part in producing the Midland of 196o0. Adequate
office space was made available, and the town became headquar-
ters for oil companies, geologists, and financiers. Griffin's descrip-
tion of the city of today and his optimistic predictions for tomor-
row seem to be substantiated by the history he has related.
A work of this calibre is somewhat difficult to criticize. The
author has made few, if any, historical mistakes. The editorial
work deserves praise as only one misspelled word was found
(p. 117). John Howard Griffin and Midland's First National
Bank are to be commended for this study of an important West
Texas city. Other concerns should follow this excellent example
in stimulating interest in the history of their own community.
JAMES M. DAY
Texas State Archives
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/313/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.