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Borger in Hutchinson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

The Panhandle Oil Boom & the Borger Field

 
 
The Panhandle Oil Boom & the Borger Field Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 7, 2022
1. The Panhandle Oil Boom & the Borger Field Marker
Inscription.  Geologist Charles Gould founded the University of Oklahoma Geology Department in 1900, which was the first accredited school dedicated to petroleum geology. He was recruited by the Roosevelt administration as part an ongoing assessment of the country's natural resources to survey the water sources starting at the headwaters of the Canadian River in southeast Colorado through to the interior of Indian Territory which would soon become the State of Oklahoma in 1907. A component of the study's focus was to gain a better understanding of the occasional flooding of the Canadian. The dams along the Canadian today are in no small part, due to Gould's original work.

Gould recruited several of his students for this "horse and buggy" effort which was carried out in the summers between class schedules. Traveling by horseback and covered wagon during three successive seasons from 1903 to 1905, Gould and his colleagues mapped the geological features of the Panhandle. Gould left the University in 1911 and opened his first petroleum geology office in Oklahoma City. He would always be closely associated with University of Oklahoma and, at the age
The Panhandle Oil Boom & the Borger Field Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 7, 2022
2. The Panhandle Oil Boom & the Borger Field Marker
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of 66, signed on with the Natural Park Service as a regional geologist.

Gould was hired by Amarillo businessmen to survey the area north of Amarillo for oil & gas in 1916 after he'd reported seeing evidence of oil bearing structures during his water survey. His reports led to the drilling of the Panhandle's first gas well on the Robert B. Masterson ranch north of Amarillo in 1918. Gould later helped set the location of the Gulf No. 2 on Samuel Burk Burnett's 6666 ranch in Carson County, which in 1921, became the Panhandle's first successful oil well. When the Masterson well became the Panhandle's first gas well in 1918, the field was expected to last about 20 years. December 2018 marked its 100th anniversary as a producing well. Charles Gould's work ultimately led to the Panhandle oil boom.

What was on the minds of the Gulf Production Company's geologists in 1921 may never be known, but their choice of a location for Gulf's third well in the Texas Panhandle was right on the money. After drilling the Gulf No. 1 on Burk Burnett's 6666 ranch in Carson county - then called the largest gas well in the world - and later drilling the first oil well in the Texas Panhandle, the Gulf-Burnett No. 2 - a few miles west of the Gulf No. 1, the company headed north across the Canadian River to the Dial Ranch for their next wildcat.

The Gulf Burnett No. 1 could
The entrance to the Oil Patch Place with marker at the back side of the markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 7, 2022
3. The entrance to the Oil Patch Place with marker at the back side of the markers
produce millions of cubic feet of gas per day but it was capped because the pipelines to move the gas to market didn't yet exist. It made sense to use the well's vast gas resources to fire Gulf Dial's boilers, so a pipeline was run from their original well, the Gulf Burnett No. 1 on the 6666 ranch to the Gulf Dial wellsite. By today's standards, running 13 miles of gas pipeline to the Gulf Dial No. 1 might not seem like a big task, but in 1922 it required dozens of men and the best equipment available to complete the project because the line had to cross the Canadian River. At the time, there were no bridges crossing the river between Canadian, Texas and the Amarillo/Dumas road. With its steep escarpment banks and a mile or more of quicksand, not to mention the threat of floods, the Canadian was a formidable obstacle. No dams had yet been built on the Canadian - either in Texas or New Mexico, and the river often ran bank to bank wide with rushing torrents of red, muddy, debris-filled water that would wash anything down river that crossed its path.

The Gulf Dial No. 1 was the first producing oil well in Hutchinson County and though it was never more than a 125 barrel per day producer, it was one of the most reliable wells in the field. The same is true for the Gulf's Burnett No. 2, which was still pumping oil toward the end of the 20th century. These wells were the vanguard
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of thousands of oil wells which created billions of dollars in wealth and jobs for millions, not to mention the founding of several towns in the county which included Borger, Stinnett and Gruver, a few miles north in Hansford County.

In 1922, the Smith-Capers Well on Dixon Creek, appeared to be a big strike about two weeks before the Gulf Dial No. 1, but it's flow quickly faded. It sparked a partnership that resulted in the formation of the Dixon Creek Oil Co. headed by a former Klondike gold miner, Tex McIlroy. This company drilled the 7000 barrel a day Dixon Creek "gusher" well that would put the new field - and the new City of Borger, on the map.

Following up on a tip from his sister whose husband was a Gulf Oil production foreman on the 6666 property, Missouri businessman, Asa P. "Ace" Borger had been watching the area since late 1925 and saw promise in a prospective town site. Word of the Dixon Creek well convinced him to act. He purchased 240 acres of ranch land from John Weatherly and founded the town under his name. His promotional efforts and the formation of his new town gave the new strike its name - the Borger Oil Field.
 
Erected by Hutchinson County Historical Museum.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical month for this entry is December 2018.
 
Location.
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35° 40.358′ N, 101° 23.371′ W. Marker is in Borger, Texas, in Hutchinson County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of North Main Street and East 7th Street. The marker is located in the courtyard north of the Hutchinson County Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 618 North Main Street, Borger TX 79007, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Nitro Storage Safe & Do-It-Yourself Drilling Rig (here, next to this marker); 1950 GMC Winch Truck (here, next to this marker); LeRoi Motor-Generator Set (here, next to this marker); Auxiliary Equipment from the Early Borger Oil Field (here, next to this marker); Bessemer Gas Engine (here, next to this marker); Allis-Chalmers/Cooper Winch Tractor (here, next to this marker); The Huber Paraffin Scraper (a few steps from this marker); Boomtown (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Borger.
 
Also see . . .  Borger, Texas. Wikipedia (Submitted on June 23, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 23, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 22, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 57 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 23, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Aug. 19, 2022