Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
El Dorado in Union County, Arkansas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Oil in Arkansas — The Smackover Field

 
 
Oil in Arkansas — The Smackover Field Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 1, 2018
1. Oil in Arkansas — The Smackover Field Marker
Inscription.  A little over a year after the initial oil discovery by Dr. Busey, the Oil Operators Trust--Murphy #1, a wildcat well staked on a geologic feature called the Norphlet dome, drilled into the gas-cap of what would become the huge Smackover Oil Field. The well blew out and made a crater 500 feet across and 150 deep, which swallowed up the rig, the derrick, and all of the drilling equipment. The well caught fire and created a 300 foot high natural gas flare, which made night seem like day in downtown El Dorado ten miles away. This well would lead to the discovery of the giant Smackover Oil Field, and later that summer the first oil well, the Reverend Charlie Richardson #1 was completed. The oil boom accelerated with the discovery of this huge oil field, and the populations of towns like Norphlet and Smackover grew to over 10,000 in only a few weeks. Many of the Smackover Field oil wells came in at over 50,000 barrels of oil a day, and one, the #1 Burton, gauged at 74,500 barrels a day. At the peak of the boom Arkansas was one of the leading oil producing states in the nation. During the first five years of the boom more
Oil in Arkansas — The Smackover Field Marker (third from front). image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 1, 2018
2. Oil in Arkansas — The Smackover Field Marker (third from front).
money flowed into El Dorado than the total appraised value of all the property in the state. This influx of wealth gave El Dorado, in the 1920s, the distinction of having one of the largest concentrations of millionaires in the country, and allowed the citizens of El Dorado to construct the biggest and most elaborate county courthouse in the state, three magnificent churches, and a downtown full of fine buildings, including what was at that time one of the tallest buildings west of Mississippi, the Lion Oil Building.
 
Location. 33° 12.678′ N, 92° 39.784′ W. Marker is in El Dorado, Arkansas, in Union County. Marker is on South Jefferson Avenue near East Cedar Street, on the right when traveling south. Located in Oil Heritage Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 117 East Cedar Street, El Dorado AR 71730, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Oil in Arkansas — Chaos (here, next to this marker); Oil in Arkansas — The Wildcatters (here, next to this marker); Oil in Arkansas — The Discovery (here, next to this marker); For Service in Iraq and Afghanistan (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Gunfight on the Square (about 300 feet away);
12-foot Band Wheel, part of the Oil Heritage Park image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, August 1, 2018
3. 12-foot Band Wheel, part of the Oil Heritage Park
The big wheels on old pump jacks are "band wheels", which connect the pump jack to an engine of one sort or another - steam in the old days, and oil or electric these days. A giant belt, in other words the "band", enables the engine to rotate the axis of the band wheel.
The Gunfight on El Dorado's Courthouse Square, Oct. 9, 1902 (about 300 feet away); El Dorado Masonic Temple (about 400 feet away); Union County Second Courthouse (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in El Dorado.
 
Also see . . .  American Oil & Gas Historical Society story on the First Arkansas Oil Wells. (Submitted on August 8, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNatural ResourcesNotable Places
 

More. Search the internet for Oil in Arkansas — The Smackover Field.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 8, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 8, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 59 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 8, 2018, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
Paid Advertisement