Longview, Texas

The city of Longview is a quintessential Texan city that occupies about 54.8 square miles in Gregg County of which it is the county seat. The city has an estimated population of about 79,000 and is a principal city in the Longview Metropolitan Statistical Area covering multiple counties.

It is a city of scenic natural beauty enhanced by cedars, pines, maples and oaks and boasts of having 100 acres of heritage. The city is a treasure trove of art and rich history. The Heritage Plaza along with other various museums stands as a testimony of the rich past of the city. The city experiences a hot and humid summer followed by pleasant fall and a mild winter. Spring brings in rains and allows the transition from winter to summer.

Longview is well connected with Interstate 20 and U.S highway 259 connecting it to the rest of the country. Amtrak and American Eagle Airlines provide the rail and air services respectively.

Welcome to the city of Longview, where you will be able to make just about anything happen. It has something to appeal to everyone's senses. The city is known for its ambient social atmosphere and its lively residents.

Longview History

Longview has a rich history dating back to more than 140 years. The origin of the city lays west of Earpville, along the present US 80 highway. Soon after the war, the pacific railroad was allowed to expand its operations towards California. During the process of acquisition of land, a farmer O.H. Methvin gave 100 acres of land for a sum of one gold dollar and another 50 acres for $500 under the condition that a city must be built on those 100 acres leading to the birth of 'Longview'. The name signified farsighted plans and was inspired by a scenic view from the top of Rock Hill.

By 1871, as the lots were getting sold, the remaining 50 acres was used to extend the town Westside attracting investors and leading to rapid development of the town with streets, post office and other civic amenities. Commercial train service began at Longview on February 22 of the same year and by May, the town of Longview spread across an area of one square mile. It was incorporated and 20 year old James Stephen Hogg was appointed as the first native born mayor of Longview.

In 1872, Longview went on to serve as the temporary head of the Southern Rail in the United States and was served by the International Railroad Co. As the railroad extended towards Dallas, B.W. Brown, representative of the neighboring Upshur County, urged for the formation of Gregg County, which was named after the slain John Gregg who was a Confederate General.  He proposed that Longview should be its county seat, which led to a gradual expansion of Longview.

The railroad boom of the 1870s further accelerated the growth with numerous wooden structures filing the town until the fire of 1877, which destroyed the most of the wooden structures downtown. This paved the way for brick and stone structures. Cultivation of cotton, supported by the railroad led to growth in the economy and also the well-known Santa Fe line. Gradually, by the 1890s, various civic departments and financial institutions were set up. Longview received their first telephones and a courthouse in 1897.

Agriculture combined with railroad and lumbering led to the further growth and gave way for the Santa Fe line which runs southwest from Longview Junction. Soon after the Great Depression, the Oil boom in the 1930's led to the discovery of east Texas Oil Field, which was the biggest in the world. More than half of the oil field was situated in Gregg County which turned their fortunes and also played an important role during World War II, by supplying fuel to the allies.

In the recent past, the city has seen a great deal of growth in various sectors including industries, schools and colleges. Petroleum and transport sectors sustained a healthy economy compared to other parts of the country and contributed to the growth of the nation as well.

About Longview, Texas

Longview is a city located in the State of Texas spreading over an area of about 54.8 square miles and is the county seat of Gregg County. It is a principle city and commercial hub of the Longview Metropolitan Statistical Area comprising of Gregg, Rusk and Upshur counties.

The city is surrounded by towns and smaller cities like Gladewater, Ore city, Diana, Lakeport, and Kilgore along with incorporated areas like Spring Hills , Greggton, Judson, Longview Heights and Pine Tree. Longview has people from various racial backgrounds with Whites, African Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Outlanders and Asians along with Hispanics and Latinos.

The city has an effective governing body with numerous public services departments. Being a county seat, it houses both state and federal government offices. The city has a stable economy, thanks to various industries and the East Texas Oil Field in addition to the technology and service sectors. Longview is also home for various famous retail chains and is a shopping hub for the surrounding regions.

The amazing climate, with a mild winter and pleasant spring and autumn in addition to great scenic natural beauty attracts tourists. The tourist attractions in Longview include One Hundred Acres of Heritage in the historic downtown district which takes people back in time to the initial oil boom days of the region. Museums like Gregg County Historical Museum, Longview Museum and East Texas Oil Museum are among a few of the attractions. There are various recreational and amusement centers like a kids station, Longview Paintball Sports, LazerX, archery club and a handful of golf clubs promising quality amusement for all age groups.

The city also hosts numerous annual events attracting flocks of locals as well as tourists. The multicultural festival held every fall offers wide range of live entertainment, exhibitions and cuisines from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds which are a part of Longview. Zonta Antique Show and Sale attracts antique dealers from all over the country to display and sell their wares.

Bikers and biker clubs from the states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas get together at the annual Memorial Day Weekend Motorcycle Rally to enjoy the open rally along with night music. The Great Texas Balloon race is a world class event held every year since its inception in 1978. Longview has various art and culture centers including the museum of fine arts, Longview Ballet Theatre, Opera East Texas and other associations.

About Gregg County, Texas

Gregg County named after the slain Confederate General John Gregg is located in the state of Texas and has the city of Longview as its county seat. Gregg County spans over a total area of 276 square miles with an estimated population of about 111,379 according to the 2000 census. Gregg County is surrounded by Upshur County in the north, Harrison County in the east, Rusk County in the south and Smith County in the west.

Gregg County was created in January 1873 upon the convention of the Texas State Legislature. The bill for the formation of the new Gregg County by carving out parts from Harrison, Rusk and Upshur counties was introduced by B.W Brown, a Democratic representative. According to his proposal, he wanted the new county to be named Longview or Roanoke, but later the proposed name was changed in honor of the Confederate General and Texan leader John Gregg and a popular election was held to select the county seat.

During the oil boom followed by the World War I, Gregg County was able to undergo tremendous development. Gregg County, with almost 50 percent of the East Texas Oil Field, played a major role during World War II by supplying crude oil, which was required for fuelling the Allies. Local political influences helped the county to convince the government to build Harmon General Hospital near Longview during the course of war which was later donated for usage as LeTourneau Technical Institute.

Gregg county had the largest petrochemical complex in Texas after the establishment of the Texas Eastman plant in 1950 followed by Schlitz Brewery in 1964, which contributed to the industrialization of the area. Gregg county has various major roads traversing through it ensuring connectivity. Interstate 20, U. S. Highway 80, 259 and 271 along with State Highway 31 and 42 are a few of the major roads in the area.