Big Lake, Texas
The community of Big Lake developed with the building of the Orient Railroad in 1911, and served as the marketing and retail center for the surrounding cattle and sheep ranches. The University of Texas owned much of the rather arid grazing land around Big Lake where, in 1923, a large oil pool was discovered with the Santa Rita No. 1. The discovery made the University of Texas one of the richest schools in the nation.
Today Big Lake is the seat of Reagan County, where its name was derived from the large, shallow depression to the south that forms a broad, shallow lake during rare wet seasons.