The seat of Culberson County
, Van Horn is located southeast of El Paso
and east of Sierra Blanca
along I-10, where it meets with Hwy 54 out of Pine Springs
and US 90 toward Marfa
In 1899 the first Old Settlers' Reunion was held; it would become Van Horn's biggest event, held annually on August 28 and featuring rodeo events, dancing, and a barbecue. In 1910 Robert Espy set the world record for roping and tying a goat (eleven seconds).
In the late 1930s population had reached 1,600. By that time, thanks to the increasing popularity of automobile travel, the completion of US 80, and Van Horn's proximity to the Guadalupe Mountains, the Big Bend, and Carlsbad Caverns, tourism had assumed an increasingly prominent role in the local economy.
With the completion of I-10 and the establishment of the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, some 10,000 vehicles pass through Van Horn every day.