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New oil well starts Ranger boom

October
21
1917

On this day in 1917, McClesky No. 1 came in. This oil well began the boom in Ranger, Texas. By June 1919 twenty-two wells were being drilled in the area and eight refineries were open or under construction. Ranger may have had 30,000 residents at one time. Pictures from the boom days show derricks sprouting up like trees throughout the town. The boom also brought the usual social accompaniments--gambling houses, brothels, and frequent killings in the oilfields. By 1921, however, the boom was over.

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