Lubbock History

The Hub City of West Texas Located in the heart of West Texas, Lubbock is a thriving city of more than 200,000 people. Serving as the hub of the region’s economy, education, and health care, it is the distribution and wholesale center of West Texas. Distributing goods for a 200 mile radius in every direction, it houses major firms in every field of commerce, thus earning the name the “Hub City”.

The history of Lubbock is as varied and fascinating as that of any western community in the United States. Some 150 million years ago, this area (now known as the Plains) was once a vast lake. The passage of time combined with the forces of wind and other natural occurrences created the level surface of the Plains as it appears today.

It was across these plains, in 1540, that the Spanish explorer Captain Francisco Vasquez de Coronado came to explore the Southwest. He is believed to have camped in the well known “Lubbock Lake Site” and in the area known as Yellow House Canyon. Spanish explorers named many of the geographical features of this area, and these names are still being used today. La Punta de Agua, or the Place of Water was the original name given to the Lubbock lake Site. The southern high plains were called Llano Estacado, Yellow House Canyon was Canon Casas Amarillos and Ransom Canyon was Canon de Restate, or Canyon of Ransom. In this Canyon of Ransom, trading was done between the Indians and Spanish traders for captives and goods. Today, many relics of the Coronado Period are on display at the Museum of Texas Tech on the Texas Tech University campus.

Until the late 1800’s, Comanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne Indians roamed the Plains for the heavy populations of buffalo, antelope, prairie dogs, wolves, and coyotes. In 1870, General R.S. Mackenzie came into this area to clear the Plains by killing off the great herds of buffalo. Following the slaughter of buffalo, the grassy plains became sparsely inhabited. Mackenzie Park is named after this general.

The first white settlers, Quakers, came to the northern part of what is now Lubbock County. Their small settlement existed for many years, and was the origin of farming on the Plains.

The 1887 Texas Land Act, and other land promotions, encouraged more people to come to the Plains. Eventually, two towns formed. “Old Lubbock” and “Monterey” were about the same size, with about 250 residents each. In December 1890, the two towns joined and accepted a new site. This new site became “Lubbock”, named after Tom S. Lubbock, a Texas hero who had signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. He had been a Texas Ranger, a Confederate officer, and was the brother of Francis R. Lubbock, Governor of Texas during the Civil War. On March 10, 1891, the county government was formed and Tom Lubbock’s namesake city was declared the County Seat.

The cattle industry also began to expand on the Plains during the 1880’s, leading to great cattle empires. The first such empire was the “10A” ranch, later changed to “The Cross C”, which included about 245,000 acres purchased at between 24 and 40 cents per acre. Many other ranches followed, including the “XIT”, “Lazy S”, “Matador”, “T Bar”, “Spade”, “Spur”, and “Pitchfork” ranches. One of the biggest problems these ranches faced was undependable surface water.

Plentiful water shallow depths were soon discovered. This water was accessed by windmill powered wells. Ranchers hired crews that sometimes did nothing but travel from windmill to windmill, repairing them in an effort to keep water flowing to the cattle herds. Eventually, pumps fueled by gasoline began to replace some windmills due to their ability to pump greater quantities of water. The American Wind Power Museum of Lubbock has preserved many of these old windmills for future generations.

This newly discovered water made land too valuable for grazing cattle. Ranchers sold their land, originally costing less than a dollar, for about $25 per acre (today, the same acreage sells many times that). The land was cut open by plows for the farming of cotton, grain, and other crops. In 1902, there were only four bales of cotton in the entire county. In 1919, the number of bales had risen to 13,865, and by 1932, an incredible 100,000 bales had been grown. Currently, Lubbock County has been able to produce between two and three million bales of cotton annually!

The first train pulled into Lubbock from Plainview on September 25, 1909, amid hissing steam, billowing smoke, and a good old fashioned town celebration, complete with the “Old Brass Band”. The arrival of “John Santa Fe” is credited to Monroe G. Abernathy, a Lubbock realtor who served as the town’s representative with Santa Fe officials. Abernathy worked for many years and suffered many false starts before seeing Lubbock arrive as the Hub of the Plains – in terms of transportation at least.

The railroad was just another way to aid in the growth of this “oasis on the plains”. As the population increased, so did the need for education. In 1922, the Texas legislature created a university for West Texas. On August 28, 1923, Lubbock was officially declared to be the home of the new Texas Technological College. A citywide celebration for more than 30, 000 people included a barbecue offering 35,000 pounds of beef, along with 10,000 ears of roasted corn and 1,950 gallons of coffee.

The doors of the college opened in 1925 with 1,379 students and a physical plant for maintenance operations, valued at $1,433,984. In 1969, the college was renamed Texas Tech University. Since then, Texas Tech has emerged as a first class educational and research institution. More than 25,000 students have passed through this university, and the physical plant is now valued at $1,010,384,586. Texas Tech also houses the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Built in 1976, this center is a world renowned medical school and teaching hospital, making many advances in surgical, neonatal and burn wound care.

Public education in Lubbock has also progressed. The first Lubbock school was located in the county jail and had one teacher. The first Lubbock High School graduation was held in 1909 at the Opera House. When the school burned in 1909, Central Ward School was built of brick. The second school building was built in 1917 and was located at 17th Street and Avenue M. Schools construction has continued as the city has grown. Today, Lubbock Independent School District has an enrollment of more than 31,000 students. Other school districts, such as Frenship and Lubbock Cooper, accommodate many Lubbock students from the southeast, southwest and west sides of the city.

In 1936, Lubbock’s own Buddy Holly was born. A rock n roll legend, Buddy Holly has attracted followers and inspired musicians around the world. Today his memory lives on in the Hub City and each year fans flock to his gravesite over 40 years after his untimely death. The recently opened Buddy Holly Center, located in the historic Depot District, showcases unique memorabilia belonging to Buddy Holly. An annual music festival pays tribute to Holly and his music, as well as other West Texas musicians, including Lubbock’s own Mac Davis, Waylon Jennings, Tanya Tucker, the Maines Brothers, and Bob Wills. In 1999, the Texas State Legislature designated Lubbock as the “Music Crossroads of Texas”

In 1970, a devastating tornado struck Lubbock, destroying more than $136 million in property, and several lives were lost. In the tough pioneer spirit for which West Texans are known, the citizens united, a bond package was approved, and many municipal improvements resulted. The Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, The Lubbock International Airport, and the Canyon Lakes Park system were built. In 1972, the South Plains Mall was constructed, making the city a retail and wholesale trade center of a 26 county area in Texas and New Mexico.

The Lubbock Lake Landmark was designated a state historical site in 1989. Studies done at this important archeological preserve has traced the history of this area further than most sites across North America.

Also of note in 1989, Texas Tech University President Lauro Cavazos was appointed U. S. Secretary of Education. Texas Tech University celebrated the 75th anniversary of it’s founding in 1998. One year later, the 15,000 seat United Spirit Arena was opened on the Texas Tech Campus. This arena plays host to Texas Tech’s men and women’s basketball teams and volleyball team, as well as world renowned national and international entertainers, such as Elton John, Pearl Jam and the Dixie Chicks with lead singer Natalie Maines, a Lubbock native.

Lubbock’s history is varied and fascinating. With an agricultural base, the county and city have prospered greatly and Lubbock’s economy continues to flourish in many different areas, from ranching and farming to libraries and museums, from electronics and engineering to relics from the past.

The city of Lubbock will continue to grow and attract more and more people to its friendly, welcoming atmosphere.

A bigger, better Lubbock! Visit us today!


Prehistory At the Lubbock Lake Site in north Lubbock, archeological investigations have documented the following sequence of prehistoric human use:

1. The PaleoIndians of 128000 years ago, who hunted animals now extinct like mammoth, horse, camel, and giant buffalo;

2. The Archaic people of 65002000 years ago, who hunted the modern buffalo; and

3. The nomadic protohistoric and historic Indians and earliest Europeans, who continued to depend on the buffalo for a livelihood.

1541 Francisco Vasquez de Coronado leads an expedition onto the Llano Estacado, perhaps as far south as Yellow House Canyon.

1600s Spanish trading parties pass through Yellow House Canyon enroute to the Concho River from Santa Fe. The Spanish name most of the major geographic features of the area, including Cañon Casas Amarillas (Yellow House Canyon), Cañon de Rescate (Ransom Canyon), and Llano Estacado (Staked Plains).

1872 General Ranald S. Mackenzie “rediscovers” the route across the South Plains while searching for cattle rustlers.

1875 Buffalo hunters and Comanches periodically skirmish on the South Plains, culminating in a day long battle in Yellowhouse Canyon in early 1875. Buffalo hunters move onto the southern range, working from supply centers in Taylor, Scurry and Stonewall Counties. Causey Brothers “preempt” (lay claim to) Yellow House Canyon and build a half dugout at Buffalo Springs.

1876 Texas Legislature establishes Lubbock County and names it for Tom S. Lubbock, a former Texas Ranger killed in the Civil War and brother of Francis R. Lubbock, the Civil War governor of Texas.

1879 First Anglo settlement on the South Plains is established in Lubbock County. Founder Paris Cox plans a Quaker farming community at Estacado on the Crosby Lubbock County line.

1880 As it is believed that Estacado is in Crosby County, only 25 persons are listed on the United States census for Lubbock County in June. Bertha Cox, first recorded birth in Lubbock County, is delivered by Dr. William Hunt at Estacado.

c. 1882 George W. Singer opens the first store in Lubbock County on Yellow House Canyon.

1884 Western Land and Livestock Company of Davenport, Iowa establishes the huge IOA Ranch in Lubbock County. The company eventually controls some 100 sections of ranch land in the county, with a fence that stretches from Hockley to Crosby County along a line that corresponds with presentday 19th Street. 1886 Original Singer’s store burns. Singer rebuilds one half mile down the Canyon, where his store serves as trading post and post office for the few settlers in the county.

1888 Rollie Burns becomes manager of the IOA Ranch.

1889 Frank E. Wheelock comes to Lubbock with the IOA Ranch. Other persons important in Lubbock history who are in the county at this time include Rollie Burns, Will and Van Sanders, and George Wolffarth.

1890 – 91 The first wave of settlers arrives in Lubbock County to settle school land purchased from the state under the Land Act of 1887. Two rival settlements spring up on opposite sides to Yellowhouse Canyon. W.E. Rayner plats the first town, Monterey, on the south. Old Lubbock, or North Town is laid out on the north side by Frank E. Wheelock and Rollie Burns in August 1890. A lively competition arises between the two settlements, as the town with the largest following will become the Lubbock County seat. Since none of the town site promoters desire a protracted county seat fight, they agree to consolidate the two towns at a third location near the center of the county. In early 1891, buildings from the rival town sites are moved to the new settlement: Lubbock. Even the two story Nicolett Hotel is moved across the canyon to the corner of what becomes Broadway and Avenue H. By July 1891, the infant city had 250 inhabitants, making it the fastest growing town on the South Plains.

1891 Lubbock County, with Lubbock as the county seat, is organized after an election in March. The Lubbock Leader, Lubbock’s first newspaper, begins publication.  Miss Minnie Tubbs conducts the first school term, with all classes meeting together in the jail. 25 students were enrolled with an average attendance of 15 to 18 students.

1892 Baptist and Methodist congregations are established in Lubbock.

1900 Lubbock County reports a population of 293 in the 1900 census, an 887 percent increase over 1890. At the turn of the century, Lubbock had: “The only newspaper in the county, one good public school…two large general merchandise stores, one drug store, one hotel, one barber shop, one blacksmith shop, one wagon and feed yard, two doctors, two lawyers, one real estate and insurance firm, [and] scores of honest, upright people who are anxious to see the town build up.” The first issue of the Lubbock Avalanche is printed on May 4.  Liff Sanders, of the Church of Christ, becomes the first resident preacher of any denomination in Lubbock.

1901 First cotton is harvested in Lubbock County, with a total yield of thirty bales. Lubbock’s first bank is established.

1904 First gin in Lubbock County is built by subscription from Lubbock townspeople.

1906 The Staked Plains Telephone Company is established in Lubbock.

1907 The Overton Addition, Lubbock’s first residential addition, is platted west of the Original Town square mile. It is named for its developer Dr. M.C. Overton. The Overton neighborhood is bordered by 4th St., Ave.Q., 19th St., and University Ave.  Lubbock Independent School District created by the 30th Texas Legislature; operations begin in the fall.

1909 Though railroad schemes were numerous after the turn of the century, the Santa Fe is the first railroad into Lubbock, arriving in September. Six additional Santa Fe lines eventually radiate from Lubbock, the “Hub of the Plains.” With the advent of the railroad and the growth of agriculture, Lubbock emerges as the regional marketing and service center of the South Plains.  In April, the town of Lubbock incorporates as a city and begins providing a modest number of city services. Frank Wheelock is elected the city’s first mayor.  Lubbock I.S.D. graduates its first senior class, with ten members.  Texas A&M Agriculture Experiment Station opens north of Lubbock.  The Twentieth Century Club is the first women’s club organized in the city.

1910 Lubbock’s population is 1.938 in the 1910 census, the first year figures are reported for the “urban area.” Regularly scheduled railroad passenger service begins on January 11. The first irrigation wells in Lubbock County are drilled, although large scale irrigated farming did not occur on the South Plains until the 1940’s.  First Lubbock High School built in the 1600 block of 13th St.

1911 The City Commission hires the city’s first two policemen.

1913 Lubbock Chamber of Commerce is founded, and sponsors the first Lubbock County fair.

1917 In March, voters approve the present city charter.  George M. Hunt School opened at 17th St. and Ave. N.; named for an original townsman and landowner in Estacado and Lubbock. He also served as a school trustee.  Mt.Gilead Baptist Church is established, the first church organized in the city’s African American community. It is quickly followed by other congregations, including five established in the 1920’s: Carter Chapel AME, Bethel AME.  Messiah Presbyterian, Mt. Vernon United Methodist, and the Church of God in Christ.

1920 Lubbock’s population in the 1920 census is 4,051, a 109 percent increase in ten years.  The city’s first paving contract is awarded to Panhandle Construction Company. Twenty blocks in downtown Lubbock are paved in brick, beginning a project that ends with the advent of asphalt pavement in 1930.  Panhandle South Plains Fair Association is established to sponsor the annual event.  Schools opened for Hispanic and African American students.

1921 The present system of naming streets is adopted by the City Commission on the recommendation of a joint City Chamber of Commerce committee.  Rotary is established as Lubbock’s first men’s service club.

1921 – 22 Four rural or “ward schools” were opened for rural county students. These schools were called Northwest Ward School, Northeast Ward School, Southeast Ward School and Southwest Ward School.

1922 The new “Mexican School” is opened. Later named Guadalupe when a new building was built in 1930.  1923 In February, Governor Pat Neff signs Senate Bill 103, authored by State Senator William H. Bledsoe, establishing Texas Technological College. The locating Board, meeting in August, announces that Lubbock will be the home of the new school.  Lubbock celebrates the announcement with a barbecue attended by more than 30,000 people.  Home delivery of mail begins.  New Lubbock High School built south of Broadway between 13th and 14th Streets. Old high school becomes the Central Ward Elementary School.  K. Carter Elementary School is built at 6th St. and Ave. Q.

1924 The cornerstone for the Texas Technological College Administration building is laid in a ceremony on November 11.  The growth of Lubbock’s Hispanic population leads to the establishment of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

1925 Texas Technological College opens in September, with an initial enrollment of about 1,000 students. Local bus service is established.  First six stories of the Hotel Lubbock, now Pioneer Retirement Hotel, are completed. Six more stories will be added in 1929.

1926 First Board of City Development is appointed by the City Commission.

1927 Burrus Elevators, the first large grain storage facility in Lubbock, is constructed on 4th Street.  Dupre Elementary opens at 2008 Ave. T. It is named after former Superintendent of Schools M.M. Dupre.  Sanders Elementary opens at 610 Auburn. It is named after Liff Sanders, the first resident minister in Lubbock.  1928 The Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway begins service to Lubbock, adding another spoke to the “Hub of the Plains.” The Fort Worth and Denver depot on Avenue G will be designated as the city’s first historic landmark in 1979.

1929 Plains Museum Society, now West Texas Museum Association, founded to promote and support a museum at Texas Tech.  Meadowbrook Golf Course opens.  First successful oil well is drilled in Lubbock County.

1930 Lubbock’s population increases to 20,520, indicative of the rapid growth of the local economy in the 1920’s. Lubbock Municipal Airport opens north of town. The original airport hangar is now occupied by WesTex Aviation.  New Guadalupe School building is built.

1931 The present Lubbock High School is completed on 19th Street.  The building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. The old Lubbock High School becomes Carroll Thompson Junior High, now demolished. A new Lubbock County jail is built on Main Street.

1932 Lubbock’s first commercial radio station, KFYO, begins broadcasting in April.  The new Federal Building and Post Office is constructed on the north side of Broadway near the County Courthouse.

1933 Lubbock’s all time record low temperature, minus 17 degrees,  is set on February 8.

1934 George H. Mahon is elected the first United States Representative from the new Nineteenth Congressional District, which includes Lubbock County.

1935 Mackenzie State Park is established, combining existing city and county parks with additional acreage under state ownership.

1936 Buddy Holly, who will rise to rock and roll fame in the 1950’s, is born in Lubbock.

1939 On January 1, Texas Technological College is defeated by St. Mary’s in Tech’s first Cotton Bowl appearance.  Lubbock High School wins the city’s first state football championship, defeating Waco High School 2014.  Lubbock High will win state two more times; in 1950 and 1951.  Roscoe Wilson Elementary opens at 2801 25th St. Mr. Wilson was an early settler and attorney in the City of Lubbock. He was a member of the City Charter Commission and the Lubbock School Board.  Summer temperatures reach as high as 109 degrees, a record that stands until 1994.

1940 Lubbock’s population increases only 55 percent, to 31,853, in the 1940 census. This increase, the smallest rate since the town’s establishment, indicates the effects of the Great Depression on the South Plains.  The new Lindsey Theater opens on Main Street, with “The Mark of Zorro” as its feature presentation.  Bean Elementary opens at 3001 Ave. N. It is named after George R. Bean, L.I.S.D. Trustee and first Trustee President.  Bean was one of the first inhabitants of Lubbock County in 1880 and was a prominent lawyer, judge and landowner

1941 First city zoning ordinance enacted.  Lubbock Army Airfield, an advanced flying school, is established west of town.  Record precipitation, 40.55 inches, falls in Lubbock during this year.

1942 South Plains Flying School is located at the Lubbock Municipal Airport, operating until 1945.

1944 McWhorter Elementary opens at 2711 1st St. It is named after pioneer and civic leader B.O. McWhorter.

1945 The city’s first commercial air flight occurs when Braniff’s “Super B Liner” flies into Lubbock Municipal Airport.  Chatman’s Hospital, the first black hospital in West Texas, is established in Lubbock.

1946 Lubbock Symphony Orchestra established.  Harwell Elementary opens at 4101 Ave. D. It is named after civic leader Chris Harwell who was active in the local Masonic Lodge.

1947 The present day Jackson Elementary School opens as the “Cottage School” at 2101 2nd St. The present school building opened in 1949. It is named after A..C. Jackson, the first business manager of L.I.S.D.  Hutchinson Junior High opens at 32nd and Canton Ave. It is named after Dr. J.T. Hutchinson, founder of the Lubbock Sanatorium which is now Methodist Hospital.  Slaton Junior High opens at 32nd and Ave. Q. It is named for O.L. Slaton, early Lubbock banker and businessman. Mr. Slaton was a cofounder of what is today the First National Bank of West Texas.

1949 Lubbock Army Airfield is renamed Reese Air Force Base in honor of World War II hero Augustus Reese, Jr. of Shallowater.  Brown Elementary School opens at 2301 36th St. It is named after teacher, principal, landowner and Judge P.F. Brown.  Overton Elementary opens at 29th and Louisville. It is named after Dr. M. C. Overton, doctor of general medicine and real estate developer. Dr. Overton was a member of the First L.I.S.D. Board of Trustees.  Posey Elementary opens at 1301 Redbud Ave. It is named after early banker and businessman Walter S. Posey. Posey and O.L. Slaton were founders of First National Bank.

1950 Lubbock’s population, as measured by the 1950 census, increases to 71,747.  Present Lubbock County Courthouse is built at Broadway and Texas.  Iles Elementary opens as a part of the Dunbar school complex.  It is named after Ella R. Iles, one of the first African American educators in Lubbock.  Wolffarth Elementary opens at 3202 Erskine. It is named after pioneer rancher and civic leader George C. Wolffarth.

1951 High Plains Underground Water Conservation District Number 1 is established in Lubbock.

1952 Lubbock’s first television station, KDUB, begins broadcasting in November.  Matthews Junior High opens at 417 Akron Ave. It is named after former Superintendent of Schools, R.W. Matthews.  Hodges Elementary opens at 5001 Ave. P. It is named after early merchant and landowner C.N. Hodges who owned the land the school was built on.  Stubbs Elementary opens at 3501 Toledo Ave. It is named after Mrs. Lou Stubbs. She was an early settler and the first woman to serve on the Lubbock School Board.  Wheelock Elementary opens in the 3000 block of 42nd St. It is named for early settler, founder, businessman, Mayor and County Commissioner F.E. Wheelock.

1954 The first Lubbock Public Library opens on 19th Street across from Lubbock High School.  Arnett Elementary School opens at 701 E. Queens in far northern Lubbock. It is named after a longtime local rancher and banker Sam C. Arnett.

1955 Integration allows students to enroll in the attendance area of their residence.  Monterey High School opens. The school is named for Monterey, one of the rival townsites consolidated to form Lubbock.  Maedgen Elementary opens at 3815 44th St. It is named after Lubbock banker C. E. Maedgen, founder of the Lubbock National Bank. Mr. Maedgen was active in financial and civic affairs and a member of the L.I.S.D. Board of Trustees.  Wheatley Elementary opens at 2800 Redbud St. After first being named the Seiber School, its name was changed to honor Ms. Phyllis Wheatley at the suggestion of the African American community in Lubbock. Ms. Wheatley was the first prominent African female poet in the United States.

1956 Plains Cotton Growers organizes to promote and protect the interests of Plains cotton growers and allied industries and businesses.  Texas Technological College becomes a member of the Southwest Conference.  City of Lubbock Auditorium and Coliseum complex opens.  Bayless Elementary opens at 2511 55th St. The school is named after R.F. Bayless, the local passenger agent for the Santa Fe Railroad. Bayless served as a member and secretary of the L.I.S.D. School Board.  1957 Lubbock Christian College opens with 16 faculty members and 110 students.  Atkins Junior High opens at 5501 Ave. U. It is named after W.B. Atkins, longtime manager of the Higginbotham Bartlett Lumber Co. and member of the LISD Board of Trustees.  Rush Elementary opens at 4800 15th St. It is named for George A. Rush, civic leader and City Council member. The land the school sits on as well as the neighborhood surrounding it was once part of the Rush ranch.

1958 Smylie Wilson Junior High opens at 4401 31st St. Mr. Wilson was an early settler, businessman, and civic leader. He was also an LISD Trustee and purchasing agent Bozeman Elementary opens at 3101 E. 2nd St. after having been in temporary buildings since 1951. The school is named after local businessman and developer Kenneth Bozeman who donated the land for the school.

1959 The first Hispanic newspaper in the city, El Seminario, begins publication Plane crash on February 3rd kills Lubbock native Buddy Holly and rock and roll singers Richie Valens and the Big Bopper.  This is known as “The day the music died.” Dunbar High School, named for the African American poet Paul Dunbar, opens at 2010 E. 26th Street.  Parsons Elementary opens at 2811 58th St. It is named for civic leader and School Board Trustee E.J. Parsons. Mr. Parsons was manager of J.C. Penney and Co. in Lubbock for many years.  Stewart Elementary opens at 47th St. and Utica Ave. It is named for Dr. Allen T. Stewart, pediatrician, civic leader and member of the L.I.S.D Board of Trustees.

1960 Lubbock’s population in the 1960 census reaches 128,691, including 10,287 African Americans, 11,642 Hispanics, and 106,762 Anglos and others.

1961 Texas Technological College basketball team defeats the University of Texas, 6360, for its first Southwest Conference title.  The Manhattan Heights Times, first African American newspaper in the city, begins publication.  Alderson Junior High opens on Walnut St. between 4th St. and Parkway. It is named after businessman and car dealer Walter E. Alderson. Mr. Alderson was on the L.I.S.D. Board of Trustees, President of the Automobile Dealers Association and President of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce. Alderson Junior High was the first airconditioned school building built in Lubbock.  Evans Junior High opens at 4211 58th St. It is named for William H. Evans, attorney and former head of the TTU Department of Education.  The new Guadalupe School building opens.  Martin Elementary School opens at 3315 E. Broadway. It is named after Ruel E. Martin, an executive with Dunlap’s department stores, civic leader and L.I.S.D. School Board member.  Wright Elementary opens north of Loop 289 at 1302 Adrian. It is named for Neil H. Wright. Mr. Wright was the first insurance agent in Lubbock and was a member of the L.I.S.D. Board of Trustees. He also founded the Lubbock Crippled Children’s Council.  Lowrey Field opens at 66th St. and Ave. L. It is named after educator and athletic business manager E.J. “Pinky” Lowrey. It serves as baseball field for Monterey High School and football facilities for all of LISD.  1962 Parkway Elementary opens at 406 North Zenith in northeast Lubbock. It is named for the neighborhood where it is located.

1963 Mackenzie Junior High opens at 12th and Bangor Ave. It is named for Ranald S. Mackenzie, early cavalry officer and rediscoverer of the Yellowhouse Canyon Route across the Llano Estacado.

1964 Bowie Elementary School opens at 2902 Chicago Avenue after having been in temporary buildings since 1962. It is named after Alamo hero James Bowie.  Haynes Elementary School opens at 3802 60th St. It is named after E.R. Haynes, first Superintendent of L.I.S.D.  Wester Elementary School opens at 4602 Chicago Ave. It is named for Lubbock attorney and school board trustee J.K.  Wester.

1965 Coronado High School, named for the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, opens at 34th Street and Vicksburg Avenue.  Hardwick Elementary School opens at 1420 Chicago Ave. It is named after Paul Hardwick, local banker and Board of School Trustees member.

1966 The new Hunt Elementary School is built at 415 Ivory.  Tubbs Elementary opens at 3311 Bates St. It is named for longtime resident and pioneer Isham Tubbs. The Tubbs home can still be seen south of 4th St. and west of Frankford Ave.  1967 Opening ceremonies held at Texas Tech School of Law.  Estacado High School, named for the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, opens in east Lubbock.

1968 Murfee Elementary opens at 6901 Nashville. It is named after city and county pioneer educator Miss Mae Murfee who taught in the first Lubbock County rural school.

1969 Lubbock State School for the Mentally Retarded opens.

1970 A massive tornado strikes Lubbock on May 11. 28 people lose their lives to the twister, which leaves a path of destruction through the northern and central parts of the city.  Lubbock registers a moderate increase in population in the 1960 – 1970 decade, numbering 149,101 citizens in the 1970 census. Of these 10,912 were African American, 23,883 Hispanic, and 114,306 Anglo and others.  K. Carter Elementary School is closed after the tornado destroys part of the neighborhood it served. The building is sold and becomes the Scottish Rite facility.  Guadalupe Elementary is heavily damaged by the tornado, but is repaired and reopened.

1972 Texas Tech University School of Medicine is dedicated. South Plains Mall opens for business.

1973 Mahon Elementary School opens at 2110 Cornell. It is named after longtime US Representative George Mahon who served for many years as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

1975 Williams Elementary opens at 4812 58th St. It is named for former LISD Superintendent Nat Williams.

1976 The Lubbock Regional Airport is dedicated in April.  Texas Tech Red Raiders are Southwest Conference football co-champions (with Houston).  During the U.S. Bicentennial, The Ranching Heritage Center opened in conjunction with a Trail Drive, July 4, 1976.

1977 The Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, named in memory of the people who lost their lives in the 1970 tornado, opens.  The Yellowhouse Canyon Lakes, a water recreation and land reclamation project under development since the late 1960’s, is dedicated.

1978 Sanders Elementary closes as an elementary school.

1980 By the time of the 1980 census, Lubbock’s population increased to 173,979: 16,136 African American, 38,276 Hispanic and 133217 Anglo and others.

1981 The Texas Tech Schools of Nursing and Allied Health are funded by the state legislature for the first time.

1982 Marsha Sharp becomes head coach of the Lady Raiders Basketball Team.

1983 Honey Elementary School opens at 3615 86th St. Named after local brother and sister educators, Floyd and Glenys Honey, this school is significant because it was the first school built in ten years because of controversy over desegregation and busing. It was the first of three L.I.S.D. schools, along with Waters and Whiteside, built south of Loop 289.  Waters Elementary School opens at 3006 78th St. It is named after Lubbock attorney and School Trustee J.K. Waters.  Whiteside Elementary opens at 7508 Albany Ave. It is named after James H. Whiteside who owned and operated the Plains Laundry. Mr. Whiteside was a member of the School Board and President of the Trustees as well as serving on the State Board of Education.

1984 Expansion of the Lubbock International Airport is completed. Lubbock celebrates Jubilee 75, the seventy fifth anniversary of the city’s incorporation.

1985 The Texas Tech Men’s Basketball Team wins the Southwest Conference basketball title and receives a bid to the NCAA Tournament.  South Plains Mall expands with the addition of the Mervyn’s wing.

1985 The Texas Tech Men’s Basketball Team wins the Southwest Conference basketball title and receives a bid to the NCAA Tournament.  South Plains Mall expands with the addition of the Mervyn’s wing.

1986 Ramirez Elementary opens at 702 Ave. T. It is named for Jose S. Ramirez, owner of Jose’s Restaurant, civic leader and the first Hispanic member of the Lubbock School Board.  The Tech Men’s Basketball Team wins a second consecutive SWC title.  The Mall again expands with the addition of the Beall’s wing.  Spike Dykes becomes head coach of the Red Raider Football Team after the resignation of David McWilliams at the end of the 1986 season.

Ramirez Elementary opens at 702 Ave. T. It is named for Jose S. Ramirez, owner of Jose’s Restaurant, civic leader and the first Hispanic member of the Lubbock School Board.  The Tech Men’s Basketball Team wins a second consecutive SWC title.  The Mall again expands with the addition of the Beall’s wing.  Spike Dykes becomes head coach of the Red Raider Football Team after the resignation of David McWilliams at the end of the 1986 season.

1987 Smith Elementary opens at 8707 Dover Ave. It is named for former Texas governor Preston Smith. Governor Smith is from the Lubbock area and served the region as a state legislator before being elected Governor.  O’Bannion Baseball Field opens at 5518 Brownfield Rd. It is named after the late Coronado High School principal Max O’Bannion.  Dorothy Lomax Center opens at 1601 24th St. adjacent to O.L. Slaton Junior High. It serves as an athletic facility and outreach center.

1989 Texas Tech President Lauro F. Cavazos is named Secretary of Education under the Bush Administration.  Irons Junior High opens at 5214 79th St. It is named for Ed Irons, former Superintendent of the Lubbock Independent School District.

1990 According to the 1990 US census, Lubbock has a population of 186,206: 570 Native American, 2,617 Asian, 15,939 African American, 41,916 Hispanic, and 125,164 Anglo.  Cinemark Movies 12 opens. It is the first multi-screened, high-tech theater in Lubbock with the new digital surround sound technology.

1991 Methodist hospital expansion begins.  Dedication of Lake Alan Henry in Garza County, creating a new water source for Lubbock.  Creation of Broadway Festivals Inc. to support 4th on Broadway, which would become the largest annual event in the city and be recognized as one of the best downtown festivals in Texas.

1992 Interstate 27 is completed through central Lubbock inside Loop 289.  South Loop 289 is widened to six lanes between I27 and Spur 327 at South Plains Mall.  Cavazos Junior High opens at 210 N. University. It is named for Dr. Lauro F. Cavazos, former President of Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and U.S. Secretary of Education during the Bush administration.

1993 The Texas Tech University Lady Raider Basketball Team wins the NCAA National Championship.  University Medical Center expansion begins. The OmniMax Theater at the new Science Spectrum opens.  The name “Depot District” is adopted for an area of entertainment and retail businesses around the old Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway Depot.

1994 Lubbock’s all-time record high temperature of 114 degrees is reached on June 27, 1994. This temperature broke a record of 111 set the day before. The summer of 1994 was the hottest summer in Lubbock’s recorded history with the temperature exceeding 100 degrees more than 25 days.  The old Chatman Hospital is reopened as a University Medical Center neighborhood clinic.  Dunbar High School becomes Dunbar Junior High.  Pioneer Retirement Hotel closes for renovation.  Cinemark Movies 12 expands to Movies 16.  Texas Tech mascot “Double T” is killed in a freak accident during the third quarter of the first football game of the 1994 season. Ironically, the accident occurred on the 40th anniversary of the Masked Rider tradition. Tech rallied from a 17 point deficit to defeat New Mexico 3731.  Texas Tech leaves the Southwest Conference. With the addition of Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor and Texas A&M, the “Big 8” becomes the “Big 12,” with conference play beginning in the fall of 1996.  Texas Tech, as Southwest Conference co-champion, makes its first Cotton Bowl appearance since 1939.

1994-95Texas Tech teams win a record number of Southwest Conference titles, including football co-championship, men’s and women’s basketball championships, and baseball championships.

1995 The Lubbock Crickets play their first games as members of the Texas-Louisiana Baseball League. The Base Closure and Realignment Committee (BRAC) recommends the closing of Reese Air Force Base.

1996 Lubbock City Council rejects Southwestern Public Service offer to buy the municipally owned Lubbock Power and Light.  Lubbock remains the largest city in the U.S. served by two electric power companies.  First annual Buddy Holly Music Festival is held on the weekend closest to the internationally known singer’s birthday.

1997 Lubbock elects Windy Sitton as the city’s first woman mayor.  Reese Air Force Base closes