The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973 Page: 499
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ties of the state of Kansas plunged into the industrial age. Mineral
wealth provided the wherewithal for this development. Zinc smelters,
cement, glass, and clay products plants were established throughout the
region, having been attracted to Kansas because of seemingly endless
supplies of the mineral fuels, coal and gas. Simultaneously, oil was dis-
covered in Kansas and in 1904-1905, when Kansas cement production
was i o percent of national output, Kansas ranked seventh as an oil
Francis Schruben describes the evolution of the oil industry in
Kansas during those years. The dates in the title, however, are slight-
ly misleading for less than io percent of the book is given over to the
period after 1905. But, for the period 188o-1905, Schruben does a rea-
sonably good job in chronicling the events surrounding the discovery of
oil fields near Paola, Neodesha, and other places, the establishment of
the Standard Oil Company refinery in Neodesha, the problems of pro-
duction and distribution, and the significant clash between the inde-
pendent oil producers and Standard Oil. The two chapters devoted to
the conflict with Standard focus upon the efforts of the Kansas legisla-
ture to establish a state-owned refinery, to classify oil pipelines as com-
mon carriers within the state, to set maximum rates for the transporta-
tion of oil, and to pass anti-price discrimination measures.
Unfortunately, Schruben conceives his topic very narrowly. He makes
no effort to provide the reader with information about economic events
within the oil region. This was an exciting and unsettling period for the
region and its communities but oil was not the dominant factor.
Schruben barely mentions other industrial developments, and he fails
totally to connect the exploitation of Kansas oil with the general eco-
nomic progress of the state. He says nothing about uses for oil discov-
ered within his time span. He is, moreover, quite naive in his treatment
of the racial and ethnic tensions which complicated labor relations
throughout the region, particularly in the Pittsburg coal fields and the
Allen and Crawford county zinc plants.
Schruben makes good use of manuscript and other primary sources,
including county archival materials. His choice of illustrative material
was excellent. He has, then, written an adequate study which with a
little imagination and a broadening of focus might have been a very
University of Kansas
JOHN G. CLARK
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973, periodical, 1973; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101202/m1/555/: accessed May 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.