The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 41
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and peddlers of souvenir bottles filled with oil crying their
wares; lease brokers shouted their "bargains" from boxes or
wore signs in their hats as they mingled with the crowds
that sometimes filled the street from building line to building
line. Booths were built in the yard of the Crosby House, cus-
tomers standing on the sidewalk. One tiny office was head-
quarters of five promotional companies-for the first nation-
wide speculation in oil stocks reached a "Mississippi Bubble"
magnitude. The Manufacturers' Record published an estimate
that the actual investment in the field was $11,000,000 but that
the total capitalization of Texas oil companies was almost
$232,000,000. Incidentally, some metropolitan newspaper writ-
ers gave the field a new name, Swindletop.
Lines in front of cafes were a block long; grocery stores
never closed; in fact, night and day meant little, for men would
set out at midnight with lanterns to search for "gas bumps"
and indications of oil. Unable to find a place to sleep, two men
bought a mattress and placed it on the sidewalk on the principal
street. A man, flipping through a roll of $100 bills, came across
a "ten-spot," which he tore up with the remark, "Small change,
what are you doing here?" A woman who owned a little truck
patch and a few hogs for which she hauled slop from town in
two barrels on a dilapidated wagon leased her land for a for-
tune. A printer, who bought a lease and resold it the same day
for a profit of $30,000, put on a celebration in which nearly all
the printers in town joined; with a band, they went from bar
to bar, drinking wine until the entire $30,000 was gone.
Out on the Hill, hundreds of wells were crowded on 140 acres;
the legs of derricks interlapped; and some leases, notably in
the Hogg-Swayne tract, which was divided up and sold by for-
mer Governor James S. Hogg and associates, were so small that
there was only room for the derrick and space for the boiler
had to be rented. And, speaking of boilers, it is related that a
drilling crew left a well for lunch and, when they returned, the
boiler had been stolen, though it had one hundred pounds of
steam. There were explosions, raging gas wells, and fires that
claimed men's lives.
What was Spindletop ? A mound, about three miles southeast
of Beaumont, which rose ten or fifteen feet above the flat
coastal country. But actually the mound that the world knows
as Spindletop was not Spindletop at all; originally, it was
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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/m1/57/: accessed July 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.