MIDLAND, TEXAS. Midland, the county seat of Midland County, is on Interstate Highway 20, U.S. Highway 80, State highways 158, 191, 349, the Missouri Pacific Railroad, and numerous county and local roads, twenty miles northeast of Odessa and thirty-nine miles southwest of Big Spring in the north central part of the county at 32°00' north latitude and 102°10' west latitude. The elevation is 2,779 feet. Midland Draw runs through the northern section of the city limits.
In late June 1881 the Texas and Pacific Railway, which was building its line between Dallas and El Paso, established Midway Station, a section house, halfway between those two cities. The first permanent resident was Herman N. Garrett, who moved to Midway from California with a herd of sheep in 1882. Over the next two years a number of other ranchers moved into the area, and a post office was granted on January 4, 1884, when the area was still attached to Tom Green County. Because other towns in Texas were already named Midway, the site was renamed Midland to get the post office.
In early 1884 an Ohio real estate firm bought land at the site, established the Midland Town Company, and began to promote the settlement across the Midwest. The company drilled three water wells and held a successful land auction; by early 1885 there were 100 families living at the site. When Midland County was organized in March 1885, Midland became the county seat. A new courthouse was built by January 1886; later that year Baptist and Methodist churches were established in the town, and Midland's first school was opened.
In 1915 another railroad, the Midland and Northwestern line,
was built into the city, linking it with Seminole. By 1920 the
population was only 1,795; the Midland and Northwestern ceased
operations in 1921. This decline was soon reversed, however, by
the Permian Basin oil boom, which began in the 1920s.
Text from the Handbook of Texas Online