The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 4
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The well was bored through several "veins of oil" before
reaching a depth of 106 feet where the auger, according to
Barrett, "dropped through a vein six inches deep, when oil,
water, and gas gushed to the top of the well." Although the
initial production of this, the first oil well to be completed in
Texas, was only about ten barrels per day, Barrett was con-
vinced of the future potentialities of the area. He cased the
well with iron pipe, capped it, and went to Pennsylvania in
October, 1866, to secure assistance in developing the new field.
There he interested John F. Carll in the project, and they
began operations with approximately $5,000 worth of equip-
ment shipped from Pennsylvania. Their explorations were
unsuccessful, and Carll returned to Pennsylvania, while Barrett,
unable to secure financial assistance, was forced to abandon his
efforts to develop the area.
Nacogdoches was not the only locality in Texas where
there was interest in the acquisition of leases and in the
exploration for oil in the years immediately after the War
between the States. On August 2, 1865, Edward von Hartin,
of Galveston, and John F. Cotton entered into a copaitnership
"for the purpose of obtaining Petroleum by boring wells or
otherwise ..." on lands owned by Cotton, and a test well was
sunk to a depth of about one hundred feet in what is now the
Saratoga Field. Showings of gas and heavy oil were encoun-
tered, but the well was abandoned because of inadequate ma-
Richard W. Dowling, the hero of Sabine Pass, had also been
acquiring oil and gas leases, including one in what is now the
city of Houston, and in 1866 he and his associates acquired
leases covering lands in various counties from Jefferson to Clay
and from Tyler to Bexar.
Although numerous attempts were made to secure oil by
drilling, boring, and digging over widely scattered areas prior
to 1866, they were not attended with any degree of success,
other than at the one well at Nacogdoches. Gas was found
near Graham in Young County in a well being drilled for salt
water in 1871 or 1872, and in 1879 appreciable quantities
were located in southwestern Washington County, where it was
piped to a near-by house and burned as fuel.
It was not until the period from 1886 to 1890 that the pro-
ducing and marketing of oil and the production and reported
utilization of gas actually began in Texas. There was a revival
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/20/: accessed May 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.