Texas Day by Day

On this day in Texas history…

New oil well starts Ranger boom

October 21st, 1917

https://www.tshaonline.org/images/handbook/entries/Desdemona in its oil boom
Image taken at random from the related Handbook of Texas entry, Ranger, Desdemona, and Breckenridge Oilfields

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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