On June 9, 1894–120 years ago today–workmen from the American Well and Prospecting Company went to drill a water well and struck oil instead.
It would be hard to exaggerate–even for a Texan–the importance of the discovery of “Texas tea”. From modest beginnings of 3 barrels a day, annual production peaked in 1900 at over 839,ooo barrels. During its first 100 years, the Corsicana field alone produced 44 million barrels of oil, establishing the commercial potential of Texas oil production.
Texas oil became a major industry, enabling countless other related industries and increasing public revenue which, in turn, was used to underwrite state colleges and other beneficial developments. Oil became part of our Texas culture, enriching the state and, indeed, the nation by fueling industry and transportation.
…and it could again.