Tuckertown

Date

1977

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Volume Title

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Abstract

In June, 1894, oil was discovered in Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas. A search for markets for oil began, and oil companies formed to search for more oil. This oil boom led to the building of a small refinery in Corsicana and to the expansion of drilling eastward toward Powell, Texas. While drilling for oil around Powell, drillers struck a deeper, greater producing field that extended southwestward. This discovery occurred in January, 1923. In May, 1923, a second deep, large producing well was completed. These discoveries began a major oil boom in the Powell Field. As a result of these and other similar discoveries, the direction of the field was proven. The news of discovery of large producing wells attracted many people from all over the United States to the area. People came to speculate, invest, work, operate businesses, or to provide other services to the increasing population. Due to a lack of transportation and to the long, hard work, it was necessary that towns be built to serve the needs and desires of the people who came into the oil boom area. A number of these temporary towns sprang up in the oil field. The first, and largest, of these was Tuckertown which was located in the discovery end of the field. Tuckertown was very similar to other boom towns of the United States. Businesses were established to provide food, clothing, shelter and entertainment. There were repair shops, warehouses, and a few small homes or tents owned by some residents. Tuckertown had many illegal activities such as gambling, prostitution, and bootlegging. These activities were generally overlooked by law officers since there was a demand for these activities by many people of the oil field. As preliminary drilling moved southward, Tuckertown declined in size and importance. The majority of the oil field inhabitants needed to be near their place of work. Other towns of smaller size were established toward the middle and southwest end of the oil field. As Tuckertown’s population declined, its physical buildings also declined in number. Many businessmen and residents tore down their buildings and moved to a more opportune location. By 1931, almost all of Tuckertown had disappeared. The last building was town down in 1955. Peak production in the oil field was reached in 1925. From that year to 1977, oil production had declined to a point where oil production within this field is very minimal. Oil and the oil industry have played an important role in Navarro County history. Tuckertown is remembered by some residents as a bustling, boomtown phenomenon of the boom period. But today, there is only a concrete block in a cow pasture to remind those people of boom town days.

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Keywords

Petroleum--Texas--Navarro County.

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