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Longview (Gregg County)

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Longview was platted by the Southern Pacific Railroad on rolling land north of the Sabine River, with the completion in 1869 of a twenty-five-mile extension from Marshall. The town was located on land purchased from Ossamus H. Methvin and was named by the railroad after the impressive view from Methvin’s hilltop house. As the railroad’s western terminus, Longview quickly developed into a regional trade center. The Texas and Pacific Railway (T&P) purchased the Southern Pacific in 1872 and pushed the line farther west to Dallas. By the late 1920s, Longview was a cotton and timber town. The discovery of the East Texas oilfield in 1930 saw Longview through the Great Depression as a thriving commercial and industrial center with a surge in population and new businesses. Increasing tax revenues funded civic buildings between 1932 and 1937 and a new highway that linked Longview with the heart of the oilfield in Kilgore. In 1943, Longview was the origination point of the “Big Inch” pipeline, through which millions of barrels of East Texas crude were transported to refineries on the East Coast, ensuring an uninterrupted supply for the war effort during World War II. Oil remains important to the city’s economy, and the city is a regional commercial center.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.

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