Bob's Oil Well

Bob's Oil Well (HM1Z5Q)

Location: Matador, TX 79244 Motley County
Country: United States of America

N 34° 0.722', W 100° 49.692'

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Inscription
Greenville, Texas native Luther Bedford "Bob" Robertson (1894-1947), a veteran of World War I, came to Matador in the 1920s. He was a gas station attendant in 1932 when he decided to open a service station here. To promote his new business, he built a wooden oil derrick over the station. He patented his design, and in 1939 replaced the wooden derrick with one of steel that reached 84 feet in height and included lights.
Robertson was a gifted businessman and promoter, and he used any opportunity to advertise his operation and attract customers. He kept a cage of live rattlesnakes for the amusement of tourists, and from that initial attraction grew a zoo that included lions, monkeys, coyotes, a white buffalo and other animals. He paid long distance truckers to place advertising signs at strategic points across the nation noting the mileage to Bob's Oil Well in Matador, and they became well known to the motoring public. As a result of his success, Robertson enlarged his operation to include a grocery, café and garage.
In addition to his business skills, Robertson was an active civic leader in Matador. He was particularly interested in recognizing the efforts of those who served in the military during World War II.
Bob Robertson died in 1947, and two weeks later a high wind toppled the steel derrick that had
been the trademark of his business. His widow, Olga (Cunningham) (d. 1993), restored it two years later with even larger lights. The business did not continue long after, however, and closed in the 1950s. Later efforts to reopen it were short-lived. Today, the site serves as a reminder of a time when such bold roadside architecture was in its infancy and of a man who, through his business, widely promoted his adopted hometown.
Details
HM NumberHM1Z5Q
Tags
Year Placed2005
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, June 24th, 2017 at 3:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14S E 331182 N 3764997
Decimal Degrees34.01203333, -100.82820000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 0.722', W 100° 49.692'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 0' 43.32" N, 100° 49' 41.52" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)806
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1720 Pipkin St, Matador TX 79244, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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