Pullman became a town in approxiametly 1877, then known as "Three Forks." The original name was given from a geographical perspective because Missouri Flat Creek, Dry Fork Creek, and the South Fork of the Palouse Rivers joined together at this point.
In 1881, three settlers, Daniel McKenzie, Bolin Farr, and Orville Steward, applied for a postal permit under the name "Pullman." One theory is that the adopted name came from George Pullman, the king of the great railroad sleeping-car. Pullman soon became known for its artesian wells which lured newcomers to the area. The community grew with six businesses and professional men who pushed the growth that brought Washington State College, the State's land grant educational institution, to Pullman in 1890. Opening in 1892 with 21 students, Washington State College is now Washington State University with an enrollment of nearly 17,000 students at the Pullman campus alone.
Pullman's 24,675 residents are a mix of Washington State University students, faculty and staff intertwined with families and individuals employed in agriculture, government, retail, trade technology and services. Home to world-class Washington State University, Pullman benefits from a diverse and international student population, PAC 10 sporting events as well as cultural and entertainment programs. Pullman enjoys 14 distinct parks and natural areas. Winter 2004 marked the opening of the new Pullman Regional Hospital, while the modernized Lincoln Middle School was dedicated in spring 2005.