A Guide to the Spindletop Oilfield Collection, 1855, 1886-1932
Discovered in Beaumont, Texas in January 1901, the Spindletop salt dome oilfield became the most productive oilfield in the world at that time and marked the beginning of the modern oil industry. Exploratory drilling began in 1892 by the Gladys City Oil, Gas, and Manufacturing Company, which met numerous unsuccessful attempts until hitting oil in 1901. The geyser, the first major gusher of the Texas Oil Boom, expelled an estimated 100,000 barrels a day. As a result, land prices in Beaumont skyrocketed and its population dramatically rose. By 1985, over 153,000,000 barrels of oil had been produced from the Spindletop oilfield.
Source: Wooster, Robert, and Christine Moor Sanders, “Spindletop Oilfield.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed on May 10, 2011. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/dos03.
Contracts, letters, stock certificates, deeds, tax documents, and a map comprise the Spindletop Oilfield Collection, 1855, 1886-1932, relating to the first Texas oil boom. The collection includes several contracts (1901-1902) for Robert L. Cox’s company to sell land and flowing oil wells on Spindletop, some stipulating that oil was to be guaranteed at three cents per barrel. Additionally, an early hand-drawn map (1855) details a 25-acre tract of land near Spindletop.
This collection is open for research use.
Spindletop Oilfield Collection, 1855, 1886-1932, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection processed by Evan Usler, May 2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers