Snyder was settled in 1878 by W.H. (Pete) Snyder, who opened a trading post. The townsite was laid out in 1882, and the Scurry County was organized two years later.
In 1950 Snyder grew from 4,000 population to more than 12,000 after the discovery of Canyon Reef Oil Field, and it is now the center of the largest unitized (operated by a single operator) oil field in the world. Industries include petroleum processing, farming and ranching, and other diversified industries, as well as , the home of Western Texas College.
Snyder lies on U.S. 84, a segment of the Ports to Plains Highway connecting the state's heartland to coastal ports.