Joiner, Columbus Marion [Dad] (1860–1947)

By: Dorman H. Winfrey

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: January 29, 2022

Columbus Marion (Dad) Joiner, oilman, the son of James and Lucy Joiner, was born near Center Star, Lauderdale County, Alabama, on March 12, 1860. He began a law practice in Tennessee in 1883 and was a member of the legislature of that state from 1889 to 1891. He moved to Oklahoma in 1897, where he made and lost two fortunes in oil before moving to Texas in 1926. Despite the contrary opinion of geologists, Joiner was convinced of the possibility of oil deposits in Rusk County, and in 1930 he drilled eight miles west of Henderson, using a flimsy pine rig and battered tools. His first two wells were unsuccessful, and he and his associates went further in debt, but the third well, Daisy Bradford No. 3, came in on October 3, 1930, thus opening up the largest oilfield in the world up to that time, the East Texas oilfield. As "father" of the field, Joiner was given the nickname Dad. He became involved in several lawsuits and after 1940 lived in retirement in Dallas. Beset by financial problems, he went into voluntary receivership and sold his well and leases for $1 million to Haroldson L. Hunt. He married twice, the second time to Dea England on September 8, 1933. Joiner died on March 27, 1947, and was buried in Dallas. Though his estate had an estimated value of $3 million as late as 1938, Joiner's personal and real property at the time of his death was described as only of "nominal value." The town of Joinerville was named for him.

Dallas Morning News, March 29, 1947. Dallas News, May 30, 1950. Harry Harter, East Texas Oil Parade (San Antonio: Naylor, 1934). Houston Post-Dispatch, September 7, 14, 21, 28, October 4, 5, 12, 1930. Carl Coke Rister, Oil! Titan of the Southwest (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1949). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

  • Oil and Gas Industry
  • Oil Entrepreneurs and Wildcatters
Time Periods:
  • Great Depression
  • Texas in the 1920s
  • North Texas
  • Dallas/Fort Worth Region
  • Dallas

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Dorman H. Winfrey, “Joiner, Columbus Marion [Dad],” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 25, 2022,

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January 29, 2022

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