Both Crane County and the county seat of Crane were named after William Carey Crane who was a founder of the old Baylor University in Independence, Texas.
Crane County was formed in 1887 from land that had once been Tom Green County and was finally organized in 1927. The city of Crane was founded in 1927 after the discovery of a large pool of underground oil.
The county is located on the La Entrada Al Pacifico (U.S. 385) halfway between I-20 to the north and I-10 to the south. The community enjoys a quiet, family oriented atmosphere and is conveniently situated only 30 miles away from the city of Odessa and 50 miles from Midland.
Seven miles south of Crane on U.S. 385 is a marker signifying the "Horsehead Crossing of the Pecos." Although the crossing could not be pin-pointed due to flooding and conditions, this is thought to be the vicinity. The name stems from an abundance of horse and mule skulls found there. The animals died from drinking too much water too fast. The crossing wasn't used after the coming of the railroad, but before that it was the only logical low-water crossing for miles for Indians, stagecoaches and cattle herds.
The Goodnight-Loving Cattle Trail and the Butterfield Overland Mail Route also traveled through the county.
The county’s rich history is chronicled in the Museum of The Desert Southwest. Exhibits include artifacts of Native Americans, cowboys, the Horsehead Crossing, Castle Gap fossils, and memorabilia of the petroleum industry. – County Judge John Farmer