Near Rankin in Upton County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
The Benedum Oil Field and Townsite
(About 9 mi. East)
His work began in 1890. With a partner, Joe C. Trees, he discovered or developed oil fields in Illinois, West Virginia, Louisiana (The Great Caddo Field); The Tuxpam in Mexico; deMares in Colombia, South America; and in Texas the Desdemona, Big Lake, Yates, East White Point, Susan Peak and Benavides.
Discovery of Big Lake Field (1923) on University of Texas land tapped the great wealth of the Permian Basin, which opened in 1920 with a small discovery. Alford No. 1 original well in Benedum field (later reclassified as a gas field), was completed Jan. 4, 1948, at a depth of 12,011 feet by Slick-Urschel Oil Co., under a partnership agreement. The field later benefited by dedication of Benedum Townsite.
The "Great Wildcatter" was an oil pioneer whose work enriched one of the world's large constitutional permanent university funds. Revenues from oil and gas operations give Texas the largest permanent public school fund in the world.
Erected 1965 by Historic Survey Committee - State of Texas. (Marker Number 5219.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 31° 19.197′ N, 101° 56.735′ W. Marker is near Rankin, Texas, in Upton County. Marker can be reached from U.S. 349 south of Farm to Market Road 1555. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Rankin TX 79778, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Colonels John C. and William F. Upton (approx. 6½ miles away); Upland (approx. 6½ miles away); Rankin (approx. 8.6 miles away); Upton County (approx. 8.6 miles away).
Also see . . . Michael Late Benedum. A biography by the City of Bridgeport, West Virginia, Michael Benedum's home town. (Submitted on August 26, 2010.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 23, 2019. It was originally submitted on August 21, 2010, by Steve Henderson of Marble Falls, Texas. This page has been viewed 842 times since then and 13 times this year. Photo 1. submitted on August 21, 2010, by Steve Henderson of Marble Falls, Texas. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide area view of marker and its surroundings. • Photo of the oil field. • Can you help?