Victoria County

Oil History in Victoria County

Although various ranchers discovered oil in the late nineteenth century when drilling for water, they considered it a nuisance and a hazard to valuable grazing lands. Nevertheless, the first mineral leases were contracted by Guffey Petroleum Company of Pittsburgh (later Gulf Oil Corporationqv) soon after the Spindletop discovery in 1900. Various drilling operations occurred, some by the local Victoria Oil and Gas and Guadalupe Valley Oil companies; the first commercial oil and gas wells were not struck until 1930, at McFaddin. Other fields followed but developed slowly because of the Great Depressionqv and flooded oil markets. Oil production in 1984 was 2,187,416 barrels, valued at $57,449,254.

From Roy Grimes, ed., 300 Years in Victoria County (Victoria, Texas: Victoria Advocate, 1968; rpt., Austin: Nortex, 1985). Leopold Morris, Pictorial History of Victoria and Victoria County (San Antonio, 1953). Victor Marion Rose, History of Victoria (Laredo, 1883; rpt., Victoria, Texas: Book Mart, 1961). Robert W. Shook and Charles D. Spurlin, Victoria: A Pictorial History (Norfolk, Virginia: Donning, 1985). Victoria Advocate, 88th Anniversary Number, September 28, 1934; Progress Edition, March 10, 1963; October 12, 1976. The Victoria Sesquicentennial "Scrapbook" (Victoria, Texas: Victoria Advocate, 1974).