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"Time is what we want most, but what we use the worst."
~William Penn

Monday, September 12, 2011

Moments in Texas History ~ 9.12.2011

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First producing oil well in Texas comes in
September 12, 1866
On this day in 1866, the first producing oil well in Texas came in at a depth of 106 feet at Oil Springs in Nacogdoches County. The Melrose Petroleum Oil Company, which had been organized in December 1865 by Lyne Taliaferro (Tol) Barret and four partners, began drilling in the summer of 1866. Taliaferro, a Nacogdoches County merchant born in Virginia in 1832, had first contracted to lease 279 acres near Oil Springs in 1859, but the Civil War put a temporary halt to his exploration. The first well produced about ten barrels a day, but the low price of oil and the political unrest accompanying Reconstruction made the development of the field unfeasible. Barret suffered extensive financial losses and returned to the mercantile business in Melrose. Later he saw the field developed with an oil boom in 1887. Barret died in 1913. Though he received little acclaim during his lifetime, in 1966 memorial markers were dedicated at his grave in Melrose and at Stephen F. Austin State University to mark the 100th anniversary of the drilling of the first producing oil well in Texas.
First producing oil well in Texas comes in
Country singer born in country town
September 12, 1909
On this day in 1909, country singer Kenneth Threadgill was born in Peniel, Texas. In 1933 he moved to Austin and began working at a service station; by December, he had bought the establishment and turned it into Threadgill's Tavern. After World War II the place became an important musical venue where eventually Janis Joplin, for instance, performed. Long a country music singer, Threadgill was quiet on the national scene until his first movie soundtrack and album in the early 1980s, when he and Willie Nelson appeared together and sang in the film Honeysuckle Rose. Some of his best-known songs were "Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine," "There's a Star-Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere," "T for Texas, T for Tennessee," and "It Is No Secret What God Can Do." Threadgill died in 1987. The tavern is now Threadgill's Restaurant.
Early colony holds first election
September 12, 1844
On this day in 1844, just nine days after reaching their new settlement, Henri Castro, empresario of the Republic of Texas, and his first thirty-five colonists held an election to choose two justices of the peace, a constable, and the settlement's name, Castroville. Henri Castro, a learned, wise, and humane man, received contracts for two grants of land on which he was to establish 600 families. In the management of his colonies, he is more comparable to Stephen F. Austin than any other Texas empresario. He had an unbounded faith in the capacity of intelligent men for self-government. During Castro's colony's first year the population grew to 2,134. Although the colony suffered from Indian depredations, cholera, and the drought of 1848, the population increased sufficiently for the formation of Medina County in 1848.
posted by Jeff - 9.12.2011  -  The Texas State Historical Association

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