RANGER, DESDEMONA, AND BRECKENRIDGE OILFIELDS . Although the Ranger, Desdemona, and Breckenridge oilfields are sometimes considered separately, they are more logically discussed together because of their geographical proximity, times of discovery, and production figures. The oil prospecting in 1890 at Abilene found neither oil nor water, and no more test holes were drilled in this general region until 1912, when test holes in Eastland County indicated oil seven miles south of Ranger. In 1915 a good producer was brought in at Strawn, ten miles east of Ranger. A 200-barrel producer was brought in near Breckenridge in October 1916, and exploration continued in the Ranger area. In 1917 William Knox Gordon was persuaded by a group of Ranger citizens to finance a deep test well near Ranger. On October 21, 1917, the second test hole blew in under good pressure at 3,431 feet. This McClesky No. 1 well, a 1,700-barrel producer, opened the Ranger boom. Within a year, Ranger's population climbed from 1,000 to 30,000, mostly men, and Ranger became a typical oil-boom town. Gordon's company, the Texas Pacific Coal Company (reorganized as the Texas Pacific Coal and Oil Company), had leased most of the field, and as gusher after gusher came in, the territory was subleased at prices as high as $8,000 an acre. Independent operators and small companies fanned out from Ranger and opened such fields as the Gray-Hightower, the Parsons, the Sinclair-Earnest, and the Lake Sand. The most spectacular area was the Brewer pool, which produced more than $2 million worth of oil in 1918 and launched a frenzied drilling campaign. By 1919 eight producing horizons had been opened, and the field had produced nearly four million barrels of oil, which, because of its good quality and economic stimulus emanating from World War I , brought a top price of about $4.25 a barrel.

Read More About Desdemona

- Some Say It Was Right Here -

Desdemona, Texas

Henderson, Texas

The Prettiest Little Town In Texas


Top Camping Spots

Find the most popular Texas camping destinations across the state.


Great Texas Food

Great food can be found all across the Lone Star state.