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

Church and Fields Oil Discovery Well

(Drilling site 2.25 miles southeast)

 
 
Church and Fields Oil Discovery Well Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, July 10, 2015
1. Church and Fields Oil Discovery Well Marker
Inscription. Since 1839 Texas has set aside her public lands to finance education. The University of Texas at Austin acquired the land at this site in 1883, after the first owner, a railroad company, returned it to the state as worthless. For years McElroy Ranch grazed cattle here. On similar terrain 70 miles to the southeast the Santa Rita Gusher blew in during 1923, and soon other University lands were being explored for oil.

Church & Fields Exploration Company, composed of George M. Church and Robert Fields of San Angelo, obtained a permit late in 1925 to drill in section 34, block 30, in University land on McElroy Ranch. On Dec. 28, 1925, contractor Burton F. Weekley and Driller John Garlin started the Church & Fields well, 2.25 miles southeast of this spot. In March 1926 this became Crane County's first oil producer, opening a new major field for west Texas. Soon other wells were drilled and local population rose from 27 to about 4,500. In Sept. 1927 county government was organized as a result of the oil field activity.

Until 1955 the discovery well continued to produce. Since the day it proved successful and an asset to education and energy production, over a billion barrels of oil have come from University of Texas lands.
 
Erected 1978 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number
Church and Fields Oil Discovery Well and Crane County Markers image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, July 10, 2015
2. Church and Fields Oil Discovery Well and Crane County Markers
851.)
 
Location. 31° 30.199′ N, 102° 21.457′ W. Marker is near Crane, Texas, in Crane County. Marker is on U.S. 385 7.4 miles north of Texas Highway 329, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Crane TX 79731, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Crane County (here, next to this marker); William Carey Crane (approx. 7.4 miles away); Juan Cordona Lake (approx. 7.4 miles away).
 
Categories. EducationIndustry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 16, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 193 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 16, 2015, by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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