Boom of high excitement and strategic importance. When oil demand was high during World War I, Texas Pacific Coal Company General Manager W.K. Gordon, a believer in deep drilling, persuaded his company to make the venture that started Ranger's oil boom at McClesky No. 1 (1 mi. S). This blew in, October, 1917, as a 1700-barrels-a-day gusher. Later gushers yielded up to 7,000 and 11,000-barrels-a-day each.
Ten daily trains brought in prospectors packed in the aisles or on tops of coaches. Ranger's dozen or so houses became a city of drillers, suppliers, oil company offices. Living quarters were so scarce that not only were beds of day-tour men occupied by the graveyard-tour men, but overstuffed chairs were also rented for sleeping. Food was hard to get and prices were high. For two rainy years, Ranger was a sea of mud. A sled taxied people across streets, or a man in hip boots carried them piggyback. However, money was plentiful, and forces of vice moved in. After five murders occured in one day, law officers arrested many criminals and expelled gamblers and vagrants.
Ranger's success overshadowed its troubles. It is said to have yielded in a year twice the wealth of best years in California and Klondike gold fields.