The Texas and Pacific Railroad made Midland the midway point between El Paso and Ft. Worth in 1881. In fact, the town was previously called Midway, until it was changed to Midland. Construction began in 1880 as they laid tracks from Fort Worth and the camp grounds, shelters and supply stores not only brought workers to the town but also travelers from all over Texas. Like most areas where workers camped, there was water, food, and a place to rest for those passing through, whether they were driving cattle or simply surveying the land. However, Midland’s real economic boom came with the discovery of oil just before WWI. With this discovery and a well-maintained railroad traveling through the town, Midland experienced commercial success with the transportation of oil and materials for retrieving oil. Midland is in the heart of the Permian Basin, which other than Houston, was the area responsible for leading the nation’s energy industry. None of this could have been possible without the production of the railroad through Midland.