The town of Fort Hancock is on State Highway 20 and the Southern Pacific Railroad thirty miles northwest of Sierra Blanca in southwestern Hudspeth County. It developed just east of the military installation of the same name, which was originally established as Camp Rice in 1881. Camp Rice was renamed Fort Hancock in May 1886, in honor of Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock, who had died earlier that year. Also in 1886 a post office was established with Albert Warren as postmaster. In 1887 a new railroad depot was built at Fort Hancock, and in 1890 the town had a population of 200, a general store, a hotel, and a meat market. The army abandoned the fort in 1895, and by 1914 the population of the town had dropped to fifty. In the late 1920s, however, its population was estimated at 400. By the mid-1930s the number of residents had declined to 136, but in the 1940s it rose to 500. By the early 1970s it was an estimated 400 and remained at that level through the early 1990s. During the late 1980s Fort Hancock had five churches and two schools. In 2000 the population was 1,713.