Interstate 10 near Van Horn, Culberson County.

Interstate 10 near Van Horn, Culberson County. Photo by Robert Plocheck.



Texas Economy: The Oil Patch Recovers Slowly

In fiscal 2017, the state economy added 298,600 non-farm jobs, an increase of 2.5 percent, to reach 12,333,900. Texas added more new jobs than any other state during this time frame. Private-sector employment rose by 2.7 percent while government employment (federal, state and local) grew by 1.4 percent.

The state’s rate of job growth, at 2.5 percent, was the second highest among the 10 most populous states and the fifth highest among all states. . . . click

Oil and Texas: A Cultural History

For Texans, the 20th century did not begin on January 1, 1901, as it did for everyone else. It began nine days later, on Jan. 10, when, spurting drilling pipe, mud, gas and oil, the Lucas No. 1 well blew in at Spindletop near Beaumont.

The gusher spewed oil more than 100 feet into the air until it was capped nine days later. With that dramatic fanfare, Texas’ economy was wrenched from its rural, agricultural roots and flung headlong into the petroleum and industrial age.  . . .

History of Oil Discoveries in Texas

Indians found oil seeping from the soils of Texas long before the first Europeans arrived. . . .  Melrose, in Nacogdoches County, was the site in 1866 of the first drilled well to produce oil in Texas. The driller was Lyne T. Barret. Barret used an auger, fastened to a pipe, and rotated by a cogwheel driven by a steam engine — a basic principle of rotary drilling that has been used since, although with much improvement..  . . .


Toll Collections in Texas