Located in the north Texas panhandle area, Wichita Falls has a population of about 101,000 people. The summers in Wichita Falls are quite hot, with temps in the high 90s and it is not unusual for temps to reach over 100. The winters are mild with temps in the 50s. There is an average snowfall of 5 inches. Wichita Falls is located in ‘tornado alley' and has had two devastating tornados, including one that was one of the largest ever recorded (in 1979). Those moving to Wichita Falls will discover a family-friendly area with an award-winning school system.
The median household income in Wichita Falls is lower than the state average. The cost of living in Wichita Falls is much lower than the national average. Unemployment there is currently 7.7 percent. While oil used to be the major economic source in the area, after the economic down-turns in that industry, Wichita Falls has managed to diversify. While Sheppard Air Force Base is the top employer in the city, health care and education also employ a major share of the workforce. Other top employers include the Howmet Corp., an AT&T service center and Lear Sigler.
During the 1860s the Texas Republic was in need of money, so the area around Wichita Falls was acquired in a land sell-off by John Scott. He forgot all about the land, and the certificates were discovered by his heirs who then hired M. W. Seeley to plot out a town. Over time, a few settlers made the town home, and added a church and some other amenities. The railroad arrived in 1881 and this provided just the boom that the town needed. The town was incorporated in 1889. By the early 1900s, the city had a streetcar system, many businesses and a hotel. The discovery of oil in the area gave the city a real boost and that carried it through the Great Depression without much problem. In 1941 the city got Sheppard Field, a training base for the Air Corp that later became Sheppard Air Force Base. Although the city was devastated by one of the largest tornados ever recorded in 1979, it rebuilt and is thriving today.
The Kell House Museum has exhibits from the late 1800s. The Museum of North Texas History preserves the history of the area and has both permanent and rotating exhibits. The Wichita Falls Railroad Museum takes you on a walk back in time to learn all about the railroads of the area. The city has numerous art galleries and sculptures. There are several casinos close by for those who enjoy gambling. In September, you can attend the Wichita Falls FallFest that has music, food, entertainment and many other things to do and see. The annual Hotter ‘N Hell 100, held in August, is a bike race that features a race of 100 miles completed in one day. The Legends of Country Swing Music Festival is held in June. In addition, there are abundant outdoor sports activities in the city.