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TERMINAL, TX

TERMINAL, TEXAS. Terminal is at the intersection of U.S. Highway 80 and Farm Road 1788 and on the Missouri Pacific railroad in west central Midland County. The community developed around a dirt landing strip built in 1927 by oilman Samuel Addison Sloan, who leased 220 acres of grassland between Midland and Odessa from rancher Clarence Scharbauer and had the landing strip graded, a water well drilled, and a hangar built for his private plane. In 1928 military planes began landing at Sloan Field to refuel. On January 1, 1929, Sloan was killed when his plane crashed near Colorado City, but his landing strip had developed into an airport with refueling facilities, a passenger terminal, a flying school, a snack bar, and a residence. A small detachment of an army unit was stationed there.

After Sloan's death his family bought the land he had leased for the airfield. On July 1, 1939, they sold the land to the city of Midland, and the airfield became Midland Municipal Airport. In 1941 the army opened a bombardier school at the airport and renamed it Midland Army Air Field. In 1946 the air base was given inactive status, and the little community around it received a second-class post office, named Terminal because of the airport.

In February 1947 the buildings on the base were converted to civilian use, and the city of Midland, which still owned the land, reclaimed its airport. Some military buildings became residences, and others were converted to federal use. In 1949 the community reported a population of 100 and four businesses. At some time a public school and a church served the community. By 1958 the population had increased to 400 and the businesses to thirty-two. In 1965 Midland annexed the community. The municipal airport, renamed Midland International Airport, served a wide region of West Texas and Eastern New Mexico in 1990.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

James L. Colwell, "`Hell From Heaven!' Midland Army Air Field in World War II," Permian Historical Annual 25–27 (1985–87).

Julia Cauble Smith

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Julia Cauble Smith, "TERMINAL, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlt09), accessed April 24, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.