The easy-going rural life of East Texas changed drastically with the discovery of oil in 1930 and 1931 – years of hardship, scorn, luck and wealth which brought people, ideas, institutions and national attention to East Texas.
In 1929, a 70-year-old wildcatter, Columbus Marion “Dad” Joiner, unsuccessfully drilled two dry holes south of Kilgore. Then in May, Joiner spudded a third hole on the Daisy Bradford farm in Rusk County. It was not until Oct. 3, 1930 that a production test was done, resulting in a gusher – the discovery well, Daisy Bradford
Two months later, oil fever had begun to mount with a production test by Bateman Oil Company on the Crim family farm, south of Kilgore. On Sunday morning, Dec. 27, while Mrs. Crim was attending church, the Lou Della Crim well blew in, flowing at 22,000 barrels a day.
The well was only nine miles from Daisy Bradford No. 3, yet no one was aware that the two wells were part of what was then a geological phenomenon – an incredible deposit of oil in the Woodbine formation had “pinched out” as it tilted upward against the Sabine Uplift creating the massive East Texas Oil Field. Next >