Fort Stockton is the seat of Pecos County, and lies southwest of Odessa on I-10, US highways 67, 290, and 385, and the Santa Fe Railroad, 329 miles northwest of San Antonio and 245 miles east of El Paso.
It grew up around Comanche Springs, at one time the third largest source of spring water in Texas, and near the military fort founded in 1859 and named for Robert Field Stockton.
In 1980 Fort Stockton had a broad-based economy and a population of 8,868. In addition to its irrigated agriculture and extensive ranches, it had become a major center for the production, processing, and distribution of oil, gas, and sulfur. Its historic sites, including Comanche Springs, the remains of the old fort, and the Annie Riggs Memorial Museum, are tourist attractions.
In 1990 the population was 8,524.