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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Abilene in Taylor County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

First Exploratory Oil Well in Taylor County

 
 
First Exploratory Oil Well in Taylor County Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 29, 2014
1. First Exploratory Oil Well in Taylor County Marker
Inscription. Founded in 1881, the city of Abilene became a regional economic center, yet civic boosters believed that the discovery of oil and gas in the area had the potential to advance the area’s economy and population even further. Significant oil discoveries had been made in Texas by 1915, including the discovery of oil 40 miles east near Moran in Shackelford County. Rather than relying on the initiative of outsiders, Chamber of Commerce members chose to solicit the interest of large petroleum companies to drill for oil in northeastern Taylor County.
     Dr. J.A. Udden was hired to conduct a geological survey of the area, and he recommended two surface structures for further testing; one located five miles southeast of Abilene, and a second located about 2.5 miles northeast of town. Correspondence from city leaders to several oil and gas companies encouraged them to come to the area to drill for oil. The Frank P. Fox Oil Company of Indianapolis expressed interest in drilling in the Abilene area in 1915 and the company leased land and began drilling 6.5 miles southeast of Abilene on the Jon Bowyer lease (which was not one of the two locations identified by Udden and later verified by additional testing). Although drilling proceeded to 3,340 feet, the site was abandoned when no oil was found. However, positive signs at the site spurred interest
First Exploratory Oil Well in Taylor County Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 29, 2014
2. First Exploratory Oil Well in Taylor County Marker
View to northeast
in a second well drilled 1.75 mi. northwest. Oil was discovered at this second well, which would produce 6 barrels of oil and 11 barrels of water each day. While gas and oil production did not become profitable in Taylor County until the 1930s, this first oil venture was an important early step in the creation of a significant Taylor County industry.
 
Erected 2009 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 15925.)
 
Location. 32° 21.469′ N, 99° 41.496′ W. Marker is near Abilene, Texas, in Taylor County. Marker is on Vinson Road (County Road 114) 0.9 miles east of Farm to Market Road 1750, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Abilene TX 79602, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Lytle Gap Potosi Methodist Church (approx. 2.7 miles away but has been reported missing); Lindbergh in West Texas (approx. 3.8 miles away); The Texas 36th Division Memorial Highway (approx. 4.3 miles away); Abilene State School (approx. 4.6 miles away); Fletcher Ranch (approx. 5.5 miles away); Prairie Dogs
View to East Along County Road 114 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 29, 2014
3. View to East Along County Road 114
(approx. 5.5 miles away); The 'Real' Camp Barkeley (approx. 5.6 miles away); Judge Walter R. Ely (approx. 5.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Abilene.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
View to West Along County Road 114 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, September 29, 2014
4. View to West Along County Road 114
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 278 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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