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Facts about El Paso Texas for Kids


El Paso is the county seat of El Paso County, Texas, United States, and lies in far West Texas. El Paso is the 19th most populous city in the United States and the sixth most populous city in the state of Texas. Its metropolitan area covers all of El Paso County, whose population in 2010 was 800,647.

  • El Paso stands on the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte), across the border from Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico.
  • The two cities form a combined international metropolitan area, sometimes called El Paso–Juárez, with Juárez being the significantly larger of the two in population.
  • Fort Bliss, one of the largest military complexes of the United States Army, lies to the east and northeast of the city, with training areas extending north into New Mexico, up to the White Sands Missile Range and neighboring Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo.
  • The Franklin Mountains extend into El Paso from the north and nearly divide the city into two sections; the western half forms the beginnings of the Mesilla Valley, and the eastern slopes connect in the central business district at the south end of the mountain range.
  • At the time of the arrival of the Spanish the Manso, Suma, and Jumano tribes populated the area and were subsequently incorporated into the Mestizo culture, along with immigrants from central Mexico, captives from Comanchería, and genízaros of various ethnic groups.
  • Spanish explorer Don Juan de Oñate was born in 1550 in Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico and was the first New Spain (Mexico) explorer known to have observed the Rio Grande near El Paso, in 1598, celebrating Thanksgiving Mass there on April 30, 1598 (several decades before the Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving).
  • In 1680 the small village of El Paso became the base for Spanish governance of the territory of New Mexico, remaining the largest settlement in New Mexico until its cession to the US in 1848, when Texas took it in 1850.
  • The Hispanic civilian and military population, and the small community of Spanish friars and their Amerindian wards ranched the area, which was a grassland at the time, and developed small scale but successful agriculture consisting of vineyards and fruits.
  • With the Mexican Constitution of 1824, part of present-day El Paso became the southernmost locality of the Territorio de Nuevo Mexico (modern New Mexico) and part of the newly-established state of Chihuahua.
  • El Paso County was established in March 1850, with San Elizario as the first county seat.
  • Further west, a settlement on Coons’ Rancho called Franklin became the nucleus of the future El Paso, Texas.
  • With the arrival of the Southern Pacific, Texas and Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads in 1881, the population boomed to 10,000 by the 1890 census attracting newcomers ranging from businessmen and priests, to gunfighters and prostitutes.
  • The river defines the border between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez to the south and west until the river turns north of the border with Mexico, separating El Paso from Doña Ana County, New Mexico.
  • When this moisture moves into the El Paso area and places to the southwest, orographic lift from the mountains, combined with strong daytime heating, causes thunderstorms, some severe enough to produce flash flooding and hail, across the region.
  • Mayors and City Council members may not serve for more than ten years in their respective offices.
  • In 2009, El Paso was home to number 52, number 98 and number 100 of the 100 most congested roads in Texas, which are, respectively: North Zaragoza Road between Sun Fire Boulevard and Interstate 10; Lee Trevino Drive between Montana Avenue and Interstate 10; and Interstate 10 between Patriot Freeway and Loop 375.