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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.
El Paso itself, incorporated in 1873, encompassed the small area communities that had developed along the river. However, this period was short lived as the Mexican Revolution greatly impacted the city, bringing an influx of refugees – and capital – to the bustling boom town.
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.
A military post called "The Post opposite El Paso" (meaning opposite El Paso del Norte, across the Rio Grande) was established in 1854.William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Biggs Army Airfield, and Fort Bliss call the city home.Fort Bliss is one of the largest military complexes of the United States Army and the largest training area in the United States. El Paso stands on the Rio Grande river across the Mexico–United States border from Ciudad Juárez, the most populous city in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
El Paso has a strong federal and military presence.
The earliest known cultures in the region were maize farmers.