The Mother of Our Oil Industry; Spindletop Gushed 118 Years Ago

Think in your mind of the hottest most humid forest of tall pine trees and wide shady oaks pocked by large areas of swamp complete with gators and snakes at your feet and flying stingers swarming at your head, which gets hammered periodically by the worst monsoon rains, that endures freezing winter days and burning summers you’ve ever walked through and you’re pretty much imagining the general Beaumont, Texas area around the turn of the 20th century.

Beaumont like many cities of the region extending across the Sabine River into DeRidder and the greater Calcasieu Parish area as it was then, had an economy based on timber. Sawing and milling the trees that grew in the lush forests along with the requisite general merchandise stores, banks, small farms and schools comprised life for those living in those times, that is right up until the morning of January 10, 1901.

In 1901 the world of SWLA and SETX consisted of what we mostly see, neatly cleaned up of course, in movies of the period. A world where the children could not only hitch a team of horses to the family wagon but drive the team and wagon as well if needed. Butter was churned on farms from milk that human hands had hand-milked as very few farms were electrified much less had mechanized farm equipment. And for the record, no microwave ovens existed, flat screen tv’s, tabs, computers, video games or other so-called smart devices other than a wood and lead pencil and your own ability to do long division...

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