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El Paso has a strong federal and military presence.
Further west, a settlement on Coons' Rancho called Franklin became the nucleus of the future El Paso, Texas.
The evidence suggests 10,000 to 12,000 years of human habitation.
The earliest known cultures in the region were maize farmers.
In the 1870s, a population of 23 non-Hispanic whites and 150 Hispanics was reported. Spanish-language newspapers, theaters, movie houses, and schools were established, many supported by a thriving Mexican refugee middle class.
With the arrival of the Southern Pacific, Texas and Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroads in 1881, the population boomed to 10,000 by the 1890 census, with many Anglo-Americans, recent immigrants, old Hispanic settlers, and recent arrivals from Mexico. Large numbers of clerics, intellectuals, and businessmen took refuge in the city, particularly between 19.
The location of El Paso as well as the arrival of these more wild newcomers caused the city to become a violent and wild boomtown known as the "Six Shooter Capital" because of its lawlessness. Ultimately, the violence of the Mexican Revolution followed with the large Mexican diaspora which had fled into El Paso.
Indeed, prostitution and gambling flourished until World War I, when the Department of the Army pressured El Paso authorities to crack down on vice (thus benefitting vice in neighboring Ciudad Juárez). In 1909, William Howard Taft and Porfirio Díaz planned a summit in El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, an historic first meeting between a U. president and a Mexican president and also the first time an American president would cross the border into Mexico But tensions rose on both sides of the border, including threats of assassination, so the Texas Rangers, 4,000 U. In 1915 and again in 19 various Mexican revolutionary societies planned, staged, and launched violent attacks against both Texans and their political Mexican opponents in El Paso.
As early as the mid-1840s, alongside long extant Hispanic settlements such as the Rancho de Juan María Ponce de León, Anglo settlers such as Simeon Hart and Hugh Stephenson had established thriving communities of American settlers owing allegiance to Texas.
Stephenson, who had married into the local Hispanic aristocracy, established the Rancho de San José de la Concordia, which became the nucleus of Anglo and Hispanic settlement within the limits of modern-day El Paso, in 1844.
Fort Bliss is one of the largest military complexes of the United States Army and the largest training area in the United States.
Also headquartered in El Paso are the DEA domestic field division 7, El Paso Intelligence Center, Joint Task Force North, United States Border Patrol El Paso Sector, and the US Border Patrol Special Operations Group (SOG).
In 1680, the small village of El Paso became the temporary base for Spanish governance of the territory of New Mexico as a result of the Pueblo Revolt, until 1692 when Santa Fe was reconquered and once again became the capital.