The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 78
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ce Spirit of Saita Rita
GEORGE A. HILL, JR.*
UNDER THE AUSPICES of Santa Rita, Saint of the Impossible,
on May 27, 1923, the first oil well on University land
blew in, out of control, and to the utter amazement of the
operators who had toiled for so long and so patiently with un-
remitting faith, courage, and persistence.
The Santa Rita well in Reagan County was the University
discovery well in the great Permian Basin, and its literal
eruption was the most fortuitous combination of the forces
of nature and the labors of man, heralding a new economic
and social era in a vast and largely undeveloped domain, the
full significance and beneficence of which is even now hardly
The royalties to The University of Texas ensuing from this
and subsequent discoveries, and the wise use to which the same
have been and are now being devoted, and the changes wrought
in the course of the history of Texas, have made this modest
celebration of the Twenty-first Anniversary of the event an
appropriate occasion for the members of the Texas oil industry
to appraise the event, and also do honor to two great Texas
institutions: The University of Texas and the Texas State
These two institutions are devoted to the exaltation of the
spirit, cultivation of the mind, and activation of a virile and
dynamic patriotism through the dissemination of knowledge
of the experiences of the past, and the advancement of our
material well-being under a political system that enlists the
fullest expression of the freedom of man and the subserviency
of the State to that inviolate freedom. They are each in part
custodians of the fruits of this achievement, and worthily
have they performed their trust.
But the event which we are gathered to celebrate is not
the product of miraculous occurrence, royal beneficence, dic-
tator's edict, or socialized planning. It is the natural conse-
*An address commemorating the Twenty-first Anniversary of the Santa
Rita Discovery Well, delivered at Austin, Texas, May 27, 1944, at a
dinner of the Texas Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, honoring The
University of Texas and the Texas State Historical Association.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945, periodical, 1945; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/m1/82/?rotate=270: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.