Odessa, Texas facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Odessa, Texas
City
City of Odessa
Odessa City Hall in April 2014
Odessa City Hall in April 2014
Flag of Odessa, Texas
Flag
Location in the state of Texas
Location in the state of Texas
Country  United States of America
State  Texas
Counties Ector, Midland
Area
 • Total 44 sq mi (113.9 km2)
 • Land 43.9 sq mi (113.7 km2)
 • Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 2,900 ft (884 m)
Population (2015)
 • Total 118,918
 • Density 2,277/sq mi (879.0/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 79760-69
Area code(s) 432
FIPS code 48-53388
GNIS feature ID 1343067
Website www.odessa-tx.gov

Odessa /ˌˈdɛsə/ is a city in and the county seat of Ector County, Texas, United States. It is located primarily in Ector County, although a small portion of the city extends into Midland County. Odessa's population was 118,918 at the 2010 census making it the 29th-most populous city in Texas; estimates as of July 2015 indicate a population of 159,436 in the city. It is the principal city of the Odessa Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Ector County. The metropolitan area is also a component of the larger Midland–Odessa combined statistical area, which had a 2010 census population of 278,801; a recent report from the United States Census Bureau estimates that the combined population as of July 2015 is 320,513. In 2014, Forbes magazine ranked Odessa as the third fastest-growing small city in the United States.

Etymology

Odessa is said to have been named after Odessa, Ukraine, because of the local shortgrass prairie's resemblance to Ukraine's steppe landscape.

History

Odessa was founded in 1881 as a water stop and cattle-shipping point on the Texas and Pacific Railway. The first post office opened in 1885. Odessa became the county seat of Ector County in 1891 when the county was first organized. It was incorporated as a city in 1927, after oil was discovered in Ector County on the Connell Ranch southwest of Odessa.

With the opening of the Penn Field in 1929, and the Cowden Field in 1930, oil became a major draw for new residents. In 1925, the population was just 750; by 1929, it had risen to 5,000. For the rest of the twentieth century the city's population and economy grew rapidly during each of a succession of oil booms (roughly in the 1930s–50s, 1970s and 2010s), often with accompanying contractions during the succeeding busts (particularly in the 1960s and 1980s).

Geography

Odessa is located along the southwestern edge of the Llano Estacado in West Texas. It is situated above the Permian Basin, a large sedimentary deposit that contains significant reserves of oil and natural gas.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 44.0 square miles (114 km2). 43.9 square miles (114 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it (0.05%) is covered by water.

Climate

Odessa has the semiarid climate typical of West Texas. Summers are hot and sunny, while winters are mild and dry. Most rainfall occurs in late spring and summer; snowfall is rare. The area exhibits a large diurnal temperature range and frequent high winds.

Climate data for Odessa, Texas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 91
(32.8)
98
(36.7)
99
(37.2)
101
(38.3)
113
(45)
112
(44.4)
110
(43.3)
108
(42.2)
110
(43.3)
102
(38.9)
88
(31.1)
85
(29.4)
113
(45)
Average high °F (°C) 57.5
(14.17)
61.0
(16.11)
69.9
(21.06)
80.2
(26.78)
88.3
(31.28)
94.8
(34.89)
93.8
(34.33)
93.4
(34.11)
86.3
(30.17)
76.4
(24.67)
65.5
(18.61)
57.5
(14.17)
77.0
(25)
Average low °F (°C) 34.7
(1.5)
38.1
(3.39)
45.2
(7.33)
54.2
(12.33)
63.1
(17.28)
70.6
(21.44)
72.0
(22.22)
71.8
(22.11)
65.3
(18.5)
55.2
(12.89)
43.8
(6.56)
35.4
(1.89)
54.1
(12.28)
Record low °F (°C) 2
(-16.7)
−5
(-20.6)
19
(-7.2)
27
(-2.8)
33
(0.6)
50
(10)
56
(13.3)
53
(11.7)
43
(6.1)
30
(-1.1)
11
(-11.7)
5
(-15)
−5
(-20.6)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.50
(12.7)
0.67
(17)
0.68
(17.3)
0.58
(14.7)
1.77
(45)
1.22
(31)
1.54
(39.1)
1.84
(46.7)
1.97
(50)
1.58
(40.1)
0.66
(16.8)
0.57
(14.5)
13.57
(344.7)
Snowfall inches (cm) 0.4
(1)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.4
(1)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 3.3 3.4 3.5 2.6 4.0 3.9 4.2 4.8 4.8 4.8 2.7 3.1 45.0
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.1
Source: NOAA (normals 1981−2010, percent sunshine through 2009)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 2,407
1940 9,573 297.7%
1950 29,495 208.1%
1960 80,338 172.4%
1970 78,380 −2.4%
1980 90,027 14.9%
1990 89,699 −0.4%
2000 90,943 1.4%
2010 99,940 9.9%
Est. 2015 118,968 19.0%
U.S. Census Bureau Texas Almanac

As of the census of 2010, 99,940 people, 35,216 households, and 27,412 families resided in the city. The population density was 2,276.5 people per square mile (954.2/km²). There were 43,687 housing units at an average density of 995.1 per square mile (384.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.4% White, 5.7% Black, 1.1% Asian, 1.0% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 14.2% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race was 50.6%.

Of the 35,216 households, 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.6% were not families. About 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65, and the average family size was 3.21.

In the city, the population was distributed as 29.8% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 52 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,000 and for a family was $27,869. Males had a median income of $50,000 versus $19,000 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,096. About 16.0% of families and 18.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.9% of those under age 18 and 000.1% of those age 65 or over.

Arts and culture

Odessa, TX, welcome sign Picture 1824
Odessa welcome sign along Interstate 20
Ector Theatre, Odessa, TX DSCN1281
The 700-seat Ector Theatre at 500 N. Texas Ave. in Odessa opened in 1951. Now closed for regular films, it still hosts occasional community events, performing arts, and musical expositions.
Abandoned Historic Rio Theater in Odessa, TX DSCN1292
The abandoned Rio Theater on North Grant Street in Odessa opened in 1947 as the Scott Theater. In 2010, a community group attempted to acquire the building.
First Baptist Church, Odessa, TX DSCN0987
First Baptist Church in downtown Odessa; pastor Byron V. McWilliams (2014), a former accountant for an oil company in Houston and a two-term past president of Southern Baptists of Texas
Sunset Memorial Gardens, Odessa, TX DSCN1268
Sunset Memorial Gardens at 6801 Interstate 20E is one of two cemeteries in Odessa; the other, Ector County Cemetery, at 300 S Dixie Blvd.

Performing arts

The Midland–Odessa Symphony and Chorale (MOSC) was founded in 1962, and is the region's largest orchestral organization, presenting both Pops and Masterworks concerts throughout the year. Composed of professional musicians from the area, as well as Lubbock, San Angelo, and other surrounding cities, the MOSC is also home to three resident chamber ensembles: the Lone Star Brass, Permian Basin String Quartet, and West Texas Winds. These ensembles are made up of principal musicians in the orchestra, who come to the area from across the United States.

The Globe of the Great Southwest, located on the campus of Odessa College, the community college in Odessa, features an authentic replica of William Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. It hosts plays and other community groups throughout the year, as well as an annual Shakespeare festival.

Built in 1951, the Ector Theater served as one Odessa's finest theaters until it closed. Today, the renovated 700-seat theater provides the community with classic movies, live theatrical productions, and concerts.

The Permian Playhouse has provided music, dance, drama, suspense, and comedy for over 40 years.

Sports

The Odessa Jackalopes junior A ice hockey team plays its home games at Ector County Coliseum. High school football is also popular. Ratliff Stadium, which was featured in the movie Friday Night Lights, is home to the Odessa Bronchos and the Permian Panthers. It is one of the largest high school stadiums in the state, listed as seventh in capacity within Texas.

Tourism

White-Pool House in Odessa, TX Picture 1849
The White-Pool House, built in 1887, is the oldest structure still standing in Odessa. Open to visitors at 112 East Murphy Street near South Grant Avenue, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Stonehenge at University of Texas at the Permian Basin Picture 1851
Stonehenge replica on campus of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa
Parker Ranch House Museum, Odessa, TX DSCN1231
Parker Ranch House Museum at 1118 Maple Ave.; the restored structure was once the headquarters of a ranch that includes 175 sections of land in Andrews and Ector counties. Owned from the 1930s to the 1950s by Jim and Bessie Parker, the museum features exhibits of the ranching family.

Odessa's Presidential Museum and Leadership Library, on the campus of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, is the only facility of its kind in the United States—dedicated to the office of the Presidency, not any particular occupant of the Oval Office. There are also displays about the Presidents of the Republic of Texas. The museum was pushed to fruition by the late State Representative George "Buddy" West of Odessa. The building itself is named for West and his wife, Shirley.

After fighting financial hardships, the Presidential Museum closed its doors to the public as of 21 August 2009. In February 2010, additional funding allowed the doors to reopen, with negotiations pending for the University of Texas of the Permian Basin to take control of the museum.

The White-Pool House east of downtown is the oldest surviving structure in Odessa. It was built in 1887 and opened as an historic house museum in 1984.

Texon Santa Fe Depot, recently relocated to West Odessa, serves as a museum in honor of the old west and the railroads.

The Parker House Museum is Odessa's newest addition to the historical records of Odessa. In 1935, the Parker family moved into this modest house located on 1,290 acres (5.2 km2). It represents the lifestyle of a prominent ranching family, who served the communities of Andrews and Ector Counties since 1907.

Odessa Meteor Crater, an impact crater 550 feet (170 m) in diameter, is located southwest of the city.

Odessa has a Stonehenge replica on the campus of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Completed in 2004, the replica is horizontally equal to the Stonehenge in England, but only 70% of the vertical height of the original.

Rabbit as symbol

The jack rabbit has become the symbol of Odessa. Beginning in 1932, Odessa held a rodeo for roping rabbits. In one competition, cowgirl Grace Hendricks roped a rabbit from horseback in five seconds and beat her male competitors. The unusual rodeo ended in 1977 because of objections from the Humane Society. Many businesses and residences about Odessa display models of rabbits.

Transportation

Air and space

  • Odessa is served by Midland International Air and Space Port (ICAO code: KMAF, IATA code: MAF), which is located halfway between Odessa and Midland.
  • Schlemeyer Field (ICAO code: KODO, IATA code: ODO) is a general aviation airport located on Odessa's northeast side.

Midland International Airport is served by:

Midland Spaceport is served by:

  • Xcor Aerospace

Roads

  • I-20 (Interstate 20)
  • I-20 Bus. (2nd Street)
  • US 385 (Andrews Highway / Grant Avenue)
  • SH 191 (42nd Street)
  • [[Template:Infobox road/TX/link Spur|Template:Infobox road/TX/abbrev Spur]] (Kermit Highway)
  • [[Template:Infobox road/TX/link Spur|Template:Infobox road/TX/abbrev Spur]] (Faudree Road)
  • Loop 338
  • [[Template:Infobox road/TX/link FM|Template:Infobox road/TX/abbrev FM]] (County Road West)
  • [[Template:Infobox road/TX/link FM|Template:Infobox road/TX/abbrev FM]] (University Boulevard)

In popular culture

  • The book Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream, by author H. G. Bissinger, and the subsequent movie (Friday Night Lights) are based on the 1988 football season of the Permian High School, one of the two high school football teams in Odessa. Many of the characters mentioned in the book still reside in Odessa (as of January 2007). A TV show, also by the name Friday Night Lights, aired from 2006 to 2011. It is loosely based on the book and movie, but takes place in the fictional town of Dillon, Texas, itself partly based on Odessa.
  • Making News: Texas Style, a reality series on the TV Guide Channel, followed the reporters of the local CBS affiliate, KOSA-TV.
  • A portion of the Tommy Lee Jones film The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada was filmed in Odessa.
  • The truTV reality show Black Gold is based on three oil wells outside of Odessa, as well as some locations in Odessa, such as the local Hooters restaurant.
  • Odessa is mentioned in James A. Michener's Texas as a city where "[y]ou are more likely to be murdered ... than in any other city in the nation".
  • Odessa is used as the hometown setting for Claire Bennett and her family in Season 1 of the NBC show Heroes. The town is mentioned many times throughout the series.
  • In the novel No Country for Old Men, as well as the four time Academy Award winning film adaptation by the Coen brothers, Odessa is home to the mother of Carla Jean Moss, wife of protagonist Llewelyn Moss. Llewelyn sends Carla Jean to Odessa to stay with her mother when he learns he is being hunted by mobsters after finding $2 million.

Images for kids


Odessa, Texas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.