W. K. Gordon, Jr., Scrapbook:
Born in Loriella, Virginia, on January 26, 1862, W. K. (William Knox) Gordon, Sr., was a railroad surveyor, mine manager, civil and mining engineer, and an independent oil and gas producer, W. K. Gordon, Sr., is perhaps best known as the man behind the discovery of oil in central Texas. Gordon was vice-president and manager of the Texas and Pacific Coal Company in Thurber, Texas. The transition of Thurber from a wholly company-owned town to a unionized mining operation was facilitated by Gordon who came to terms with the striking miners at the Worth Hotel in Fort Worth in 1903. The discovery of rich coal deposits in the eastern United States led Gordon to his search for oil and gas deposits west of Thurber. The discovery of oil on the McCleskey farm in 1917 led to the birth of the Ranger Oil Field and the subsequent death of Thurber and its coal mines.
W. K. Gordon, Jr., a Fort Worth independent oil and gas producer, rancher, and civic and business leader, was the son of W. K. (William Knox) Gordon, Sr., and Fay Kearby Gordon. He graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1930. After post-graduate work at New York University, he returned to Fort Worth to accept a position with Southwestern Life Insurance Co. During World War II, Gordon served as an anti-aircraft artillery officer in the South Pacific, earning many commendations including the Bronze Star. After the war, he resumed his work with Southwestern Life. After his father's death in 1949, the younger Gordon managed and developed his father's land and oil and gas operations. Gordon remained with Southwestern Life and served as director of various organizations around the Dallas/Fort Worth area until his death on November 17, 1996. He was survived by his wife, Anna Melissa Hogsett Gordon, and children Marguerite Melissa Gordon and William Knox Gordon III. Mrs. Gordon preserved the Gordon legacy and Thurber area history by opening the W. K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas in 2002 and donating the W. K. Gordon, Sr. Papers to the University of Texas at Arlington.
Scrapbook. Created by W. K. Gordon, Jr., this scrapbook is comprised of newspaper clippings, printed materials, and correspondence which document the life and work of his father, W. K. (William Knox) Gordon, Sr. All material is chronologically arranged to trace the discovery of the Ranger Oil Field, the senior Gordon's career with the Texas and Pacific Coal Company, and the transformation of Thurber and Ranger to ghost towns.
Open for research.
Literary Rights Statement
Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use by any and all other current or future developed methods or procedures must be obtained in writing from Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards.
Gift of Mrs. W. K. Gordon, Jr., 2003.
W. K. Gordon, Jr., Scrapbook, AR449, OS386, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Libraries.
Accessioned as number 2003-23.
The W. K. Gordon, Jr., Scrapbook was received by Gerald Saxon on August 27, 2003. The scrapbook was processed and finding aid prepared by Tara S. Kirk in 2005. The finding aid was updated by Brenda S. McClurkin in October 2012.
The scrapbook is fragile. Please use preservation photocopies provided for researcher use.