“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Tulsa in Tulsa County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)

Tulsa's First Oil Strike

Fueling the rise of the automobile era


Tulsa's Historic Route 66

Tulsa's First Oil Strike Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, October 22, 2019
1. Tulsa's First Oil Strike Marker
Inscription.  With the growing popularity of the automobile and the internal combustion engine in the early twentieth century, gasoline became the primary product derived from crude oil, rather than earlier products such as kerosene and lubricants. To produce gasoline, raw petroleum was refined to distill a more useful material. Because it was not easy to transport crude oil, small independent oil companies built refineries next to their oil fields. Just prior to 1920, West Tulsa was home to 18 mostly small independent refineries. As petroleum production stabilized in the 1930s, larger oil companies conglomerated smaller independent companies and consolidated the refinery process at larger, more expansive facilities.

Tulsa's First Oil Strike: Sue Bland No. 1
Indian Territory (prior to Oklahoma Statehood in 1907) attracted the attention of "Eastern oil interests" when a commercially producing well, the Nellie Johnstone No. 1, was drilled near Bartlesville in 1897. In the spring of 1901, Jesse A. Heydrick arrived in the small railroad/cattle town of Red Fork representing such "Eastern investors" prospecting for
Tulsa's First Oil Strike Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, October 22, 2019
2. Tulsa's First Oil Strike Marker
a possible petroleum producing site. He hired a drilling crew which had been active in the Sapulpa area and they shipped their drilling equipment to Red Fork on the Frisco. The Frisco refused to release their gear until shipping charges were paid. Two Red Fork promoters and physicians, Dr. Fred S. Clinton and Dr. J.C.W. Bland paid the charges to release their equipment. The two doctors steered Heydrick and the crew to a parcel of un-allotted land just east of platted Red Fork at the foot of Red Fork Hill (now called Lookout Mountain). The drilling began in late May. When the "gusher" came in the early morning hours of June 25, 1901, Dr. Clinton wasted no time in obtaining a power of attorney from Sue A. Bland, the wife of Dr. Bland and a Muscogee-Creek citizen, and taking the train to Muscogee where he persuaded the U.S. Indian Agent to designate the site of the well as the Homestead Allotment of Sue Bland, thereby making her the land owner and recipient of royalties for production from the well.

News of the gusher brought more than 2,000 people to Red Fork to witness this discovery, including Oklahoma City businessman Robert Galbreath who moved to Red Fork and leaped to fame and fortune with his drilling of the Ida Glenn No. 1 discovery well and the opening of the hugely productive Glenn Pool, starting on November 22, 1905 Red Fork, Sapulpa and Tulsa

Looking north on Southwest Boulevard. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, October 22, 2019
3. Looking north on Southwest Boulevard.
became hubs for the distribution and banking of this industry, which would make Tulsa the 20th Century oil Capital of the World.
Erected 2019 by Tulsa Route 66 Commission. (Marker Number 24.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the U.S. Route 66 marker series.
Location. 36° 7.04′ N, 96° 0.434′ W. Marker is in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in Tulsa County. Marker is on Southwest Boulevard, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3333 Southwest Boulevard, Tulsa OK 74107, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Sapulpa Road (approx. 0.2 miles away); Clinton Heights (approx. 0.7 miles away); Quanah Retail Center (approx. 0.8 miles away); Route 66 Historical Village (approx. 0.8 miles away); Red Fork (approx. 1.2 miles away); First Oil Well in Tulsa County (approx. 1.3 miles away); West Tulsa (approx. 1.3 miles away); Crystal City (approx. 1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tulsa.
Categories. Industry & CommerceNatural ResourcesRoads & Vehicles

More. Search the internet for Tulsa's First Oil Strike.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 1, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 1, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 48 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 1, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
Paid Advertisement