It’s not an anniversary well-celebrated in Texas….but it should be, at least noted. January 10, 1901 marks the discovery….or big blowout….of Spindletop, the oil field just south of Beaumont that launched the Texas oil economy…American industry….fuel to win World War II… it was the beginning of a new era...in a spectacular fashion.
Spudded on October 27…on the morning of January 10, mud began bubbling from the hole…the depth 1139 feet….and then the startled drillers ran as six tons of drill pipe burst from the ground, followed by gas and then a stream of oil over 100 feet high. A gusher…that took the drillers Al and Curt Hamill nine days to cap. Texas history… and personal to many Houstonians…whose grandfathers were part of that historic day.