The Texan Times

April 9th, 1903

Oil

For years, Texans have seen oil, but Texas Oil had little value. Spaniards used oil oozing out of the ground to fix holes in their boats. Farmers complained about oil ruining their crops. Without the need for oil in automobiles and railroads or the need of oil by-products, people underestimated the uses of oil. As railroads began using oil instead of coal, oil's demand skyrocketed.

Oil in Texas

About 40 years ago, Pennsylvania became the first state to produce American Oil. 7 years later, the Melrose Petroleum Oil Company drilled Texas's first successful oil well in Nacogdoches country. Since the didn't produce enough oil, it was abandoned. All other Texas wells were equally disappointing.

A Discovery

Then, one day, drillers tapped into a major oil reserve in Corsicana. The discovery encouraged drilling across East Texas. Patillo Higgins was a man who dreamed of finding oil. He started his business making bricks at his plot of land near Spindletop Hill. He believed there was oil under his land even though Geologists believed there was little oil in the Gulf Coast region.

Spindletop Hill

In 1892, Higgins organized a partnership to buy Spindletop Hill. The partnership was composed of George W. O'Brien, George W. Carroll, Emma E. John, and J. F. Lanier. The were called the The Gladys City Oil Company. After three unsuccessful attempts at striking oil, Lanier and Higgins left the company. Later, Anthony Lucas made a lease with The Gladys Company. Even after an unsuccessful attempt of finding oil, Lucas remained convinced that there was oil underneath Spindletop. He managed to secure the assistance of John H. Galeyqv and James M. Guffey who financed Lucas's project and brought Al and Curt Hamill, an experienced team of drillers. Lucas spudded in a well on October 27, 1900. On January 10 mud began bubbling from the hole. The startled roughnecks fled as six tons of four-inch drilling pipe came shooting up out of the ground. After several minutes of quiet, mud, then gas, then oil spurted out. The Lucas geyser, found at a depth of 1,139 feet, blew a stream of oil over 100 feet high until it was capped nine days later and flowed an estimated 100,000 barrels a day.

A New Age

Lucas and the Hamills finally controlled the geyser on January 19, when a huge pool of oil surrounded it, and throngs of oilmen, speculators, and onlookers had transformed the city of Beaumont. A new age was born. The world had never seen such a gusher before. By September 1901 there were at least six successful wells on Gladys City Company lands. Oil was now used for everything. Pens, ink, plastic, automoblies, railroads, literally everything. This was truly a new age.

Dear Editor

Supporting Boom Towns

Dear editor,

We are really happy with the progress of U.S, and the boom towns that are sprouting every because of the discovery of oil. Boom Towns are important, as there are many jobs offered and all important resources needed such as a home, money, water, etc. are available here Someone dare say that’s not true.”I am earnin’ so much as an oil factory worker in these boom towns that all this almost looks like a dream” says Mr. Rhynerson. Thank you so much for listening to what we have to say.

Sincerely,

Govind Joshi

Against Boom Towns

Dear Editor,

Even though we’re happy to see the US progressing, we don’t like these boom towns we’re hearin’ ‘bout. First of all, the oil from nearby cities got has literally destroyed our whole North end of the farm. Do people really need to use those good for nothin’ automobiles? Can’t they just use a horse? “I almost got run over by one of those automobiles yesterday. It was scary”, says Mr. Joshi. Secondly, this big population is using up our water source! That is just outrageous! I hope you look into this matter. Thank you for listening to us.

Sincerely,

Oliver Rhynerson

Koffee with Kaz

Today, we have with us an oil factory worker. Clell Reed and he will tell us a little more about himself.


Kaz: Okay Mr. Reed, how is life working in the factory?

Clell: It is a lot of fun, working the machines and getting drenched in oil.

Kaz: Is your job dangerous?

Clell: Well, of course! Anything could happen. You could lose your arm in a machine or even die.

Kaz: *Chuckles nervously* That's great! How did the oil industry affect your life?

Clell: It has opened many doors for me. It has paved the roads, built more schools, and has done more for me than any other industry and has made my life in the US better.

Kaz: Oh, I'm happy that oil has affected you in good ways! How has it affected your family?

Clell: The factory manager pays me enough money each month for me to support my family and there is still some left for my wife and children's entertainment. But still, my family is always worried that something might happen to me someday...

Kaz: I'm glad your family loves you and is worried about you. Well, Mr. Reed, that's it for today. We loved having you here!