Church and Fields Oil Discovery Well

Church and Fields Oil Discovery Well (HM1LWK)

Location: , TX Crane County
Country: United States of America
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N 31° 30.199', W 102° 21.457'

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(Drilling site 2.25 miles southeast)

Since 1839 Texas has set aside her public lands to finance education. The University of Texas at Austin acquired the land at this site in 1883, after the first owner, a railroad company, returned it to the state as worthless. For years McElroy Ranch grazed cattle here. On similar terrain 70 miles to the southeast the Santa Rita Gusher blew in during 1923, and soon other University lands were being explored for oil.
Church & Fields Exploration Company, composed of George M. Church and Robert Fields of San Angelo, obtained a permit late in 1925 to drill in section 34, block 30, in University land on McElroy Ranch. On Dec. 28, 1925, contractor Burton F. Weekley and Driller John Garlin started the Church & Fields well, 2.25 miles southeast of this spot. In March 1926 this became Crane County's first oil producer, opening a new major field for west Texas. Soon other wells were driller and local population rose from 27 to about 4,500. In Sept. 1927 county government was organized as a result of the oil field activity.
Until 1955 the discovery well continued to produce. Since the day it proved successful and an asset to education and energy production, over a billion barrels of oil have come from University of Texas lands.
Marker Number851
Year Placed1978
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, July 17th, 2015 at 10:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13R E 750963 N 3488409
Decimal Degrees31.50331667, -102.35761667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 30.199', W 102° 21.457'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 30' 11.94" N, 102° 21' 27.42" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near US-385, TX , US
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