city, seat (1856) of Maverick county, southwestern Texas, U.S., on the Rio Grande, bridged to Piedras Negras, Mexico, 130 miles (210 km) southwest of San Antonio. It evolved as a garrison town laid out as El Paso de Aguila (Spanish: "Eagle Pass"), so named for the area's abundant birds of prey, near Camp California (on the Gold Rush Trail) and Fort Duncan (1849, now restored in a city park). During the Civil War it was an outlet for Confederate goods that were blockaded elsewhere. The city had special importance during the Mexican Revolution, and as Camp Eagle Pass it was under military authority until 1916. An army airfield, decommissioned after World War II, brought many servicemen into the area. A port of entry, its economy depends on border trade, tourist traffic, farm and ranch business, and industries (notably oil and gas production). Inc. 1908. Pop. (1990) 20,651; (2000) 22,413.
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