Longview was founded in the early 1870's when Southern Pacific Railroad extended its track from Marshall westward into Gregg County. The railroad laid out a new town on land purchased from Ossamus Hitch Methvin Sr. Management for the railroad called the new settlement Longview, reportedly because of the impressive view from Mr. Methvin's house. Longview incorporated on May 17, 1871, the first community in Gregg County to do so. The population of Longview grew to 5,036 in the 1930's, and more than doubled to 13,758 by 1940 – due to the discovery of crude oil in the area. Longview's growth has continued throughout the years and has a population of 80,455 as of the 2010 Census.
Longview is the county seat of Gregg County and is located on the U.S. Interstate 20 and U.S. Highway 80 corridor that stretches from Dallas/Fort Worth through Shreveport/Bossier City, La., Dallas lies 125 miles west of Longview, and Shreveport is 60 miles east. Longview is proud to be the hub of East Texas outdoor recreation and leisure travel, and is famous for its fine dining and historic downtown. The Great Texas Balloon Race is a competitive event attracting world class hot air balloon pilots from around the world who compete for points toward national and international titles. There are 25 lakes, within 75 miles of Longview, providing many outdoor activities.