A Look Back at the Beginning of the East Texas Oil Fields
Growing up in East Texas I was surrounded by pump-jacks and oil wells all my life, and aware of the rich history associated with the East Texas Oil Boom. In fact, my high school mascot was a Roughneck.
Yesterday I was exposed to this interesting map that was drawn by E.D. Ray in 1933. The map represents over 10,000 wells that appeared across East Texas following the discovery oil with the Daisy Bradfrod #3 Well by C.M. 'Dad' Joiner on October 5, 1930.
The map has been enlarged and is for sale through the Legacy of Texas, which is how I stumbled across it, reading about Texas History. The map is not drawn to scale, but it does contain funny labels and illustrations. One label reads, "Bus loaded with suckers,” or “Load of Lawyers on way to Tyler to get injunctions.”
The history of the East Texas Oil Boom has been well preserved at The East Texas Oil Museum on the campus of Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas. In the video below, you'll notice the use of the map above as well.
I've not only visited this museum multiple times, but I graduated from Kilgore College and walked past it daily on my way to and from class. The Oil Boom affected East Texas so dramatically that the small town I grew up in, was founded during the boom, and the high school graduated its first class in 1937.