Between 1910 and 1920, the population of El Paso almost doubled, growing from having just 52,599 people to a city of 101,877 (according to the census records of the time).
But that was nothing compared to what was to come. One century later, the area had grown to about ten times that size, as El Paso’s metro population was 951,000 in 2020.
Here’s a look back at how the city stood back in the early 1900s, when there were so many fewer people, and only a couple of buildings were more than ten stories high.
Building modern El Paso (1914)
The El Paso Herald (El Paso, Texas) January 24, 1914
Far-sighted El Pasoans selected present Grand View addition as a future residential suburb of El Paso, and it is today one of the choice home localities in El Paso — Good car service
In every young town, there are from one to a number of men, who, farsighted and imbued with nerve to back their judgment, reap a rich harvest as a reward for their foresight. Such men, when they cast their lot in a town or village, or even a city that is growing, do things that their fellow men call unwise and foolish.
But in most cases, in after years, the very men who looked upon such actions and deals as foolhardy plunges into the darkness, are compelled to admit that the man who looked ahead and had confidence in his opinions, won out.
A good many years ago, when El Paso was not nearly as large as it is now, C R Morehead — with plenty of confidence in his judgment — believed he saw that the future El Paso would spread out over a wide area. He looked to the northeast of the city, then a barren landscape of rugged Mt Franklin foothills.
There was nothing in the way of improvement beyond the southern line of what is now Highland Park. The country was rough and rugged, with many gullies, depressions and unsightly declivities close to the mountain, giving it the appearance of a worthless area when casually glanced at.
Mr Morehead knew that one day El Paso would need all that country out there for homes. He secured about 430 acres in one piece, and bided his time.
Trinity Methodist Church in El Paso, Texas – Vintage postcard
Anson Mills Building in El Paso, Texas (1915)
First Presbyterian Church in El Paso, Texas (1910)
Ft Bliss El Paso – Growing in 1914
Morningside Heights – El Paso Texas (January 1914)
Old El Paso Texas – 1910s
Grand View home development
Not only is the Grand View section high, clean and healthy, but in summer, residents will tell you it is much cooler than the city or any of the lower sections about El Paso.
A good breeze is always blowing, and the people in Grand View get it. This is another important advantage the section enjoys over most others, and one that is highly appreciated by those who already live there.
From anywhere in Grand View, one gets a beautiful birds’ eye view of the city and the valley. The eye can reach for many miles down across the valley to the east and south. It is a picture that leaves no possibility of monotony.
The valley in summer presents a verdant picture, while in winter, there is always a shimmer of green that marks the course of the Rio Grande.
Seventy five thousand dollars was spent improving the Grand View section. A block of ground was donated to the Country Club, which erected a clubhouse now valued at $40,000. This, of course, added to the value of the property as a home section, and has already made the section the center of the city’s social life.
San Antonio Street in El Paso, Texas (early 1900s)
Scenes from El Paso in 1923: The county courthosue
First National Bank Building in El Paso Texas (1923)