“A Shining Star of Texas”
Fort Stockton was founded in 1859 and named after Lt. Edward Dorsey Stockton. The fort was overtaken by the Confederates who abandoned it just one year later. In 1867 the army rebuilt a more permanent fort to protect travelers and settlers. A town site named Saint Gall was established in 1868 and it was selected as the Pecos County seat in 1875. An unpopular name, Saint Gall became Fort Stockton in 1881.
The energy industry is the largest sector of the area economy featuring companies like SandRidge Energy. However the retail and healthcare markets have seen continual growth in this county of over 5,000 square miles. The USDA, Texas Forest Service and the Texas A&M System all have regional offices within Fort Stockton. Agriculture also drives the economy with the area home to some of the state’s largest cattle ranches, the second largest pecan orchard in Texas and crops like “Pecos Cantaloupes,” alfalfa, peppers and cotton.
Pecos County Memorial Hospital provides high quality health services in a competent and efficient manner to patients throughout the Trans-Pecos Region. The hospital offers general medical and surgical care for inpatient, outpatient and emergency room patients. Emergency services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Fort Stockton Independent School District has two elementary schools, an intermediate school, one middle school and one high school. Butz High School serves as an alternative education facility and Pre-K services are also offered in Fort Stockton. Midland College Williams Regional Technical Training Center (WRTTC) offers higher education and workforce development in this region of West Texas. WRTTC is a full-service extension campus of Midland College. The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service serves Far West Texas through research and education in environmental systems management.
Fort Stockton features a hot semi-arid steppe climate with hot summers and mild to warm winters. On average this area receives just 13 inches of rain and 2 inches of snow each year. There are 263 sunny days with an average high temperature of 79 degrees and an average low temperate of 52.
The “Hub of the Trans-Pecos” features historical, recreational and modern leisure.
Fort Stockton and the Big Bend Region feature a spectacular landscape as the area lies within the Chihuahuan Desert. Big Bend National Park covers more than 704,000 acres featuring the Chisos Mountains and Rio Grande in addition to the Chihuahuan Desert. Hiking, camping and rafting are all popular at Big Bend. A cool oasis in the high desert is offered by Balmorhea State Park which features the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. The park also includes diving, geocaching, bird watching and desert wetlands. Additional attractions include Comanche Springs, Sierra Madera Crater, La Escalera Ranch, Elsinore Ranch and Desert Pines Golf Course.
History lives on in Fort Stockton with “The Fort,” Anne Riggs Memorial Museum, the historic Pecos County Jail and Hovey Schoolhouse. The town mascot, Paisano Pete, a giant roadrunner, is also a must see as is Mesa Vineyard, Texas’ largest winery.