travelgrove Travel Guides

El Paso History, Texas

El Paso History – Early Settlement and Function

The per-Columbian settlements in the region of El Paso indicate thousands of years of inhabitation and there are also clues that the local populations were maize farmers. Later they mixed with the first Spanish who arrived in the area and gave the local culture a unique form that integrated all the populations and their customs, which is similar to what happened in present day Silver City and Roswell. The El Paso River became both a natural border between the Spaniards and the Apaches and provided excellent land for agriculture which was mostly vineyards and fruits. After the Mexicans’ revolt against the Spanish was successful in 1680 and all the Spanish were thrown out of the land, El Paso became the main administrative point from which they organized and tried to govern southwards.

El Paso History – Independence and Development

El Paso belonged to present day New Mexico and it was very far north for the needs and capabilities of most travelers, so very few people besides merchants and traders explored the area at that time. The Mexican and Texan wars were not heavily felt in the area and the present day situation which gives El Paso to Texas was decided between the Texans and the Mexicans in the Compromise of 1850, a very important year in El Paso history. After this, numerous changes started taking place in the area, including the blessing of a chapel and the fixation of the boundary on the thirty second parallel. In 1873 El Paso became a town proper after incorporating all the small communities that had developed in the area.

El Paso History – The Lawless City

The civil war saw many of the citizens of El Paso eager to join the Confederate States of America, and after the conclusion of the war population started to grow. Life in El Paso started to look a lot like in the western movies, with the new railroad bringing all kinds of gamblers, gunfighters, prostitutes, thieves, priests and even Chinese railroad workers to the area. The city soon became known for its lack of laws and legal activities until a powerful and potent marshal was brought in, Dallas Stoudenmire, who managed to bring some justice to town. Still, gambling and prostitution remained landmarks in El Paso history including in the prohibition times, till the government pressured local authorities to keep vice under control. After World War II the American rocket program was started in El Paso, and a V2 rocket is still on display in the city. In the same period the worldwide famous Margarita cocktail was invented in the city and since then El Paso grew more and more, reaching a level of development that hasn’t stopped to this day.

Ask our travel experts a question about El Paso

Things about El Paso you may be interested in


Read our members' reviews about El Paso

  • mohds2Why visit El Paso
    review by mohds2 posted more then 30 days ago
    The region of El Paso, the sixth largest city in the state of Texas, USA and the chair of El Paso County, is situated at the western tip of Texas on the northern region of the Rio Grande. El Paso's sister city is called the Ciudad Juárez. The culture and the economies of these 2 cities are...
view all

Read our members' travel tips about El Paso

  • TorontoguyMagoffin Homestead
    travel tip by Torontoguy posted more then 30 days ago
    Among all the historic hidden gems in El Paso, the Magoffin Homestead is maybe the most unique and beautiful. Everything has been left as it was the last time it had residents, so it still looks like people are living in it. The...
  • WazlingEl Paso Museum of Art
    travel tip by Wazling posted more then 30 days ago
    Located downtown, the El Paso Museum of Art is small gem of artworks from European, Mexican and Latin-American artists. The best thing about the place is that it is free for the public, though there are some exhibits that might be...
view all


Members Who Have Been to El Paso

the best travel deals provided by TravelZoo...
  •$58Frontier Airlines flightFrontier Airlines
    Denver, CO (DEN)  El Paso, TX (ELP)
    08/12/2024 07:24 pm
    El Paso, TX (ELP)  Denver, CO (DEN)
    08/21/2024 02:09 pm
  •$136Frontier Airlines flightFrontier Airlines
    Phoenix, AZ (PHX)  El Paso, TX (ELP)
    09/07/2024 02:14 pm
    El Paso, TX (ELP)  Phoenix, AZ (PHX)
    09/19/2024 02:52 pm
  •$151Frontier Airlines flightFrontier Airlines
    Houston, TX (IAH)  El Paso, TX (ELP)
    08/06/2024 09:47 pm
    El Paso, TX (ELP)  Houston, TX (IAH)
    08/14/2024 08:15 pm

El Paso City Ratings

  • Ratingunrated
    City Rankunrated
  • History & Culture: not rated
  • Night Life & Entertainment: not rated
  • Family & Fun: not rated
  • Outdoors Activities: not rated
  • Food: not rated
  • Sightseeing: not rated
  • Shopping: not rated
  • Public Transportation: not rated
  • Must visit this place: not rated
   Welcome to Travelgrove  register tell a friend bookmark it