The railroad reached the area in the 1880s, and Mexican cowboys who brought cattle herds to the railhead called the site el campo, the countryside. When El Campo was incorporated in 1905, the city fathers used the Spanish words to name the city. Now, it is a center for agriculture (largest rice-producing county in the state), oil, gas and manufacturing. Historical murals painted on buildings can be found throughout the town. El Campo is known for its great waterfowl hunting and excellent fishing. The city has a variety of restaurants and is famous for its barbecue.