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

W. H. Abrams Well No. 1

W. H. Abrams Well No. 1 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Debbie A. Sutherland, August 30, 2011
1. W. H. Abrams Well No. 1 Marker
West Columbia Field
Inscription. In 1920, Texas & Pacific Railway official William H. Abrams (1843-1926) of Dallas owned this old plantation land, then considered fit only for pasture. He leased mineral rights to the Texas Company (now Texaco, Inc.), whose drilling reached a climax on July 20, 1920. At 7:45 that evening a massive jet of oil and gas erupted from a 2,754-foot depth, heralding a major discovery now known as West Columbia Field.

W.H. Abrams No.1 was a gusher. Three pipe lines were laid at once to draw the oil to earthen tanks, filled by powerful steam pumps with over 20,000 barrels daily. For Abrams, this wildcat well was a second bonus, as land he owned in Mitchell County produced the first oil in the Permian Basin in June 1920.

Locally, land that sold for 10˘ an acre in 1840 and $5 an acre in 1888 now brought $96,000 an acre for mineral rights, irrespective of surface values. Yet the boom days were hazardous. Brazoria County oldtimers suffered along with oilfield workers, all living precariously and dangerously until the flow of oil money led to better schools, roads and general social conditions. Half a century later, the socio-economic significance of the West Columbia discovery could be acknowledged as a nationwide contribution.
Erected 1977 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 9515.)
Location. 29° 10.248′ N, 95° 40.221′ W. Marker is near West Columbia, Texas, in Brazoria County. Marker is on State Highway 36 half a mile south of County Road 4, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: West Columbia TX 77486, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Home of George B. McKinstry (approx. 1˝ miles away); Columbia - The First Capital of The Republic of Texas (approx. 2.3 miles away); Columbia (approx. 2.4 miles away); Columbia Rosenwald School (approx. 2.4 miles away); Vietnam Veterans Memorial (approx. 2˝ miles away); Columbia United Methodist Church (approx. 2˝ miles away); Near Site of First Capitol of the Republic of Texas (approx. 2˝ miles away); Old Columbia Cemetery (approx. 2˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Columbia.
Regarding W. H. Abrams Well No. 1. Wells and "iron horses" can be seen still in the area.
Categories. Notable Events
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 18, 2012, by Debbie A. Sutherland of West Columbia, Texas. This page has been viewed 542 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on February 18, 2012, by Debbie A. Sutherland of West Columbia, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide shot of marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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