Midland: Window to the West

An illustrated history of Midland, Texas, paired with the histories of local businesses and organizations that make the city great.

An illustrated history of Midland, Texas, paired with the histories of local businesses and organizations that make the city great.


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By Damon Kennedy, PhD.<br />

Commissioned by <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Chamber of Commerce

Thank you for your interest in this HPNbooks publication.<br />

For more information about o<strong>the</strong>r HPNbooks publications, or information about<br />

producing your own book with us, please visit www.hpnbooks.com.



by Damon Kennedy, PhD.<br />

Commissioned by <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Chamber of Commerce<br />

His<strong>to</strong>rical Publishing Network<br />

A division of Lammert Incorporated<br />

San An<strong>to</strong>nio, Texas

Above and opposite: Competing for a place in <strong>the</strong> sun, <strong>the</strong> Plains Prickly Pear Cactus, up, up and away.<br />


First Edition<br />

Copyright © 2011 His<strong>to</strong>rical Publishing Network<br />

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including pho<strong>to</strong>copying, without permission in writing<br />

from <strong>the</strong> publisher. All inquiries should be addressed <strong>to</strong> His<strong>to</strong>rical Publishing Network, 11535 Galm Road, Suite 101, San An<strong>to</strong>nio, Texas, 78254. Phone (800) 749-9790.<br />

ISBN: 9781935377511<br />

Library of Congress Card Catalog Number: 2011934854<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>: <strong>Window</strong> <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>West</strong><br />

author: Damon Kennedy, PhD.<br />

cover artist: Tom Lovell<br />

contributing writer for “Sharing <strong>the</strong> Heritage”: Joe Goodpasture<br />

His<strong>to</strong>rical Publishing Network<br />

president: Ron Lammert<br />

project managers: Joe Neely<br />

Robin Neely<br />

Wynn Buck<br />

administration: Donna M. Mata<br />

Melissa G. Quinn<br />

book sales: Dee Steidle<br />

production: Colin Hart<br />

Evelyn Hart<br />

Glenda Tarazon Krouse<br />

Omar Wright<br />





6 CHAPTER I <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin<br />

17 CHAPTER II <strong>the</strong> wide open range<br />

28 CHAPTER III <strong>the</strong> queen city of <strong>the</strong> South Plains<br />

40 CHAPTER IV <strong>the</strong> tall city<br />

50 CHAPTER V urban <strong>Midland</strong><br />


98 SPONSORS<br />



Prairie mixer: Saw<strong>to</strong>oth Daisies,<br />

Wild Buckwheat, Mare’s Tails,<br />

among Siberian Elms.<br />


Any attempt <strong>to</strong> acknowledge those who have assisted in <strong>the</strong> completion of this project would fall<br />

short. However, I would like <strong>to</strong> thank <strong>the</strong> Jean Page, Doug Page, and Naomi Moore. Without <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

volunteer efforts at <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> County His<strong>to</strong>rical Museum much of <strong>Midland</strong>’s his<strong>to</strong>ry would be<br />

inaccessible and I would have been unable <strong>to</strong> ga<strong>the</strong>r many of <strong>the</strong> pho<strong>to</strong>s in this book. I would<br />

also like <strong>to</strong> thank Kathy Shannon and Leslie Meyer at <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin Petroleum Museum. At <strong>the</strong><br />

George W. Bush Childhood Home, Inc., thanks <strong>to</strong> Paul St. Hilaire. Additional thanks goes <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Abell-Hanger Foundation for allowing <strong>the</strong> use of <strong>the</strong> Tom Lovell paintings. Fur<strong>the</strong>r gratitude<br />

goes <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Chamber of Commerce for allowing me <strong>the</strong> opportunity <strong>to</strong> get <strong>to</strong> know my<br />

adopted community. Thanks <strong>to</strong> James Collett for allowing me <strong>to</strong> view his work prior <strong>to</strong> publication.<br />

For meeting my unreasonable requests at <strong>the</strong> end of this project, I would like <strong>to</strong> thank Ka<strong>the</strong>rine<br />

Curry-Inskeep and J. Don Wallace. Last but certainly not least, I must thank Mike Makowsky,<br />

Paula Marshall-Gray, and Peggy Kennedy for <strong>the</strong>ir edi<strong>to</strong>rial assistance. When writing, each offered<br />

valuable insight. This book is dedicated <strong>to</strong> my girls: Susanne, Kaitlyn, and Madelyn.<br />

Damon Kennedy<br />



Various aspects of <strong>Midland</strong>’s his<strong>to</strong>ry have been recounted in numerous books and articles. Each<br />

has made a unique contribution <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> overall s<strong>to</strong>ry of <strong>the</strong> community. Samuel D. Myres, The<br />

Permian Basin, Petroleum Empire of <strong>the</strong> Southwest: Era of Discovery, From <strong>the</strong> Beginning <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Depression<br />

(El Paso: Permian Press, 1973) and Samuel D. Myres, The Permian Basin, Petroleum Empire of <strong>the</strong><br />

Southwest: Era of Advancement, From <strong>the</strong> Depression <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Present (El Paso: Permian Press, 1973) are<br />

<strong>the</strong> most valuable scholarly his<strong>to</strong>ries of <strong>Midland</strong> and <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin. Several o<strong>the</strong>r works proved<br />

helpful: John Howard Griffin, Land of <strong>the</strong> High Sky (<strong>Midland</strong>, Texas: First National Bank, 1959);<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County His<strong>to</strong>rical Society, The Pioneer His<strong>to</strong>ry of <strong>Midland</strong> County, Texas, 1880-1926 (Dallas:<br />

Taylor Publishing, 1984); Bill Modisett, His<strong>to</strong>ric <strong>Midland</strong>: An Illustrated His<strong>to</strong>ry of <strong>Midland</strong> County (San<br />

An<strong>to</strong>nio: His<strong>to</strong>ric Publishing Network, 1998); and James Collett, <strong>Midland</strong> (San Francisco: Arcadia<br />

Publishing, 2010). Two recent articles of note: Myatt Murphy, “Business Focus: <strong>Midland</strong> & Odessa<br />

TX,” Southwest Airlines Spirit, February 2010 and Skip Hollandsworth, “That’s Oil Folks,” Texas<br />

Monthly, September 2010. The <strong>Midland</strong> Reporter Telegram is a vital <strong>to</strong>ol for researching <strong>the</strong> his<strong>to</strong>ry<br />

of <strong>Midland</strong>. Of particular interest <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> reader is <strong>the</strong> abundance of material published during<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>’s centennial in 1981.<br />

Unless o<strong>the</strong>rwise noted, <strong>the</strong> pho<strong>to</strong>graphs contained in this book came from <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> County<br />

His<strong>to</strong>rical Museum. O<strong>the</strong>r contribu<strong>to</strong>rs include <strong>Midland</strong> College, Ka<strong>the</strong>rine Curry-Inskeep, J. Don<br />

Wallace, <strong>the</strong> Petroleum Museum, George W. Bush Childhood Home Museum, <strong>the</strong> Permian His<strong>to</strong>rical<br />

Archives, and <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Chamber of Commerce. Images without citations are considered <strong>to</strong> be in<br />

<strong>the</strong> public domain.<br />

Autumn prairie: Broom Snakeweed<br />

in bloom.<br />



C HAPTER<br />


I<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County occupies more than<br />

900 square miles at <strong>the</strong> center of <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin. <strong>Midland</strong> is <strong>the</strong> county<br />

seat and <strong>the</strong> administrative center of<br />

<strong>the</strong> vast petroleum industry in<br />

<strong>the</strong> region.<br />

Originally called Midway Station, <strong>Midland</strong> was one of many s<strong>to</strong>ps along <strong>the</strong> Texas and Pacific<br />

Railroad in 1881. <strong>Midland</strong> County, named for its county seat, has been a cultural and economic<br />

crossroad for more than 12,000 years. Paleo-Indians first inhabited <strong>the</strong> region. Their cultures<br />

developed over thousands of years. The Paleo-Indians gave way <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Apache, who in turn yielded<br />

<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Comanche. Spanish explorers briefly visited <strong>the</strong> region, but <strong>the</strong> Comanche people stubbornly<br />

protected <strong>the</strong>ir lands. Eventually, <strong>the</strong> Comanche succumbed <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> onslaught of American<br />

settlement, as <strong>the</strong> first permanent residents came in search of range land for <strong>the</strong>ir herds. Abundant<br />

grasses first attracted ranchers <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>, but <strong>the</strong> life blood of <strong>the</strong> county lay underneath <strong>the</strong><br />

earth’s surface.<br />


<strong>Midland</strong> County covers 902<br />

square miles and lies at <strong>the</strong><br />

heart of <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin.<br />

Today <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin<br />

region of <strong>West</strong> Texas and<br />

Sou<strong>the</strong>astern New Mexico is a<br />

diverse area of approximately<br />

500,000 people. Noted as <strong>the</strong><br />

administrative center of <strong>the</strong> oil<br />

industry in <strong>the</strong> region, <strong>Midland</strong><br />

is also home <strong>to</strong> numerous<br />

agricultural interests, <strong>to</strong>urist<br />

s<strong>to</strong>ps, educational institutions,<br />

and health care facilities.<br />

Although popularly viewed as<br />

geographically unimpressive,<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> has emerged as <strong>the</strong><br />

center of <strong>the</strong> region’s social,<br />

political, and economic life.<br />

Resting along <strong>the</strong> confluence<br />

of two major geographic regions of <strong>the</strong> Great<br />

Plains, thousands of years of wind and erosion<br />

created <strong>the</strong> level land of <strong>Midland</strong> County.<br />

Creeping south, <strong>the</strong> first, <strong>the</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn High<br />

Plains is a vast, treeless expanse once covered by<br />

thick grasses. Extending north from <strong>the</strong> Hill<br />

Country, <strong>the</strong> second, <strong>the</strong> Edwards Plateau is a<br />

tableland where breaks in plains begin <strong>to</strong> appear.<br />

The soil is generally <strong>to</strong>o shallow <strong>to</strong> support<br />

farming, but mesquite shrubs and buffalo grasses<br />

offer some of <strong>the</strong> best ranch land in <strong>the</strong> region.<br />

Although dubbed a “basin,” <strong>the</strong> elevation of<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County is relatively high, ranging<br />

between 2,550 and 2,900 feet above sea level.<br />

The Permian Basin gets its name as a result<br />

of having some of <strong>the</strong> thickest Permian age<br />

deposits of rock in <strong>the</strong> world. The final of seven<br />

phases of <strong>the</strong> Paleozoic Era, <strong>the</strong> Permian Period<br />

spanned between 250 million and 300 million<br />

years ago. During <strong>the</strong> period, most of Earth’s<br />

major land masses made up Pangea, a single<br />

“super-continent” with a vastly different climate<br />

and <strong>to</strong>pography. At that moment in time, <strong>the</strong><br />

Earth had generally lower sea levels with much<br />

warmer water. As a result, <strong>the</strong> Permian Period<br />

witnessed <strong>the</strong> mass extinction of ninety percent<br />

of <strong>the</strong> Earth’s marine and seventy percent of <strong>the</strong><br />

Earth’s land animals.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> sits a<strong>to</strong>p <strong>the</strong> remnants of an ancient<br />

Permian age sea. The Permian Sea, once a shallow<br />

body of water roughly <strong>the</strong> size of <strong>the</strong> Great<br />

Salt Lake in Utah, has undergone significant<br />

changes. Over <strong>the</strong> course of 250 million years,<br />

<strong>the</strong> limes<strong>to</strong>ne floor of <strong>the</strong> sea bed filled with<br />

sediments, chemical layers (magnesium, limes<strong>to</strong>ne,<br />

dolomite, and anhydrite), and finally<br />

continental deposits. Water returned periodically.<br />

Successive layers of muddy water, clay, and<br />

sand eventually filled <strong>the</strong> sea, until <strong>the</strong> bot<strong>to</strong>m<br />

of <strong>the</strong> sea buckled. Deposits of later geologic<br />

periods rest above <strong>the</strong> Permian Sea, giving <strong>the</strong><br />

region its distinctive geological characteristics.<br />

Above: A Texas and Pacific<br />

Railroad locomotive.<br />



COLLECTION, 76-093.642.2.<br />

Below: The Permian Sea exhibit at <strong>the</strong><br />

Petroleum Museum.<br />



COLLECTION, 93-003.24695.02.<br />


Above: The Folsom Culture, a hunterga<strong>the</strong>rer<br />

people, lived in <strong>Midland</strong><br />

County as far back as 12,000<br />

years ago.<br />

Below: In pre-horse Texas, c. 1500,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Apache dominated.<br />

Despite once being covered by a shallow sea,<br />

water has always been scarce resource in <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin. Today average rainfall <strong>to</strong>tals<br />

only fifteen inches annually. Surface pools of<br />

water (except <strong>the</strong> many swimming pools in<br />

backyards throughout <strong>the</strong> county) are rare.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>’s water comes from deep beneath <strong>the</strong><br />

Earth’s surface.<br />

Resting above Permian sediments, <strong>the</strong><br />

Ogallala Aquifer spans from South Dakota in<br />

<strong>the</strong> north <strong>to</strong> Texas in <strong>the</strong> south. Ogallala water<br />

has been utilized by humans and animals for<br />

thousands of years and accounts for about ninety<br />

percent of all water in Texas aquifers. While<br />

most Texas geologic formations yield some<br />

water, most are insufficient for large populations.<br />

Without <strong>the</strong> Ogallala Aquifer (or some o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

source of water), sizeable human populations<br />

could not be sustained in <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin.<br />

Even more diverse than <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin<br />

geology, <strong>the</strong> first human inhabitants of <strong>the</strong><br />

American southwest arrived in <strong>the</strong> region<br />

approximately 12,000 years ago. With a vastly<br />

different climate (<strong>the</strong>n cooler, wetter, and<br />

greener) than what we know <strong>to</strong>day, <strong>Midland</strong><br />

County attracted Paleo-Indians who traveled in<br />

small bands, hunting mammoths and giant<br />

bison. Because <strong>the</strong> small populations moved<br />

constantly, <strong>the</strong>y collected few possessions and<br />

left little trace of <strong>the</strong>ir presence. While <strong>the</strong>re are<br />

no written records (excepting pic<strong>to</strong>graphs) and<br />

few material objects remain <strong>to</strong> tell <strong>the</strong>ir s<strong>to</strong>ry,<br />

anthropologists have identified <strong>the</strong> earliest<br />

people in Texas by evaluating <strong>the</strong> s<strong>to</strong>ne <strong>to</strong>ols<br />

fashioned largely of flint. The Clovis<br />

Culture, named for Clovis, New<br />

Mexico, where archeologists first<br />

discovered <strong>the</strong> Clovis spear point<br />

along <strong>the</strong> Blackwater Draw, extended<br />

far beyond <strong>West</strong> Texas. Clovis<br />

populations persisted for more than<br />

500 years until climactic changes<br />

forever transformed <strong>the</strong> physical<br />

landscape of Texas.<br />

Between 10,000 and 11,000 years<br />

ago, <strong>the</strong> Earth began <strong>to</strong> warm as <strong>the</strong><br />

last ice age came <strong>to</strong> an end. Modern<br />

wea<strong>the</strong>r patterns emerged making<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County warmer and dryer.<br />

Water sources dried up and <strong>the</strong> contest<br />

for natural resources intensified.<br />

As a result, <strong>the</strong> mammoth, which had<br />

been <strong>the</strong> staple of <strong>the</strong> Clovis Culture’s<br />

diet, became extinct. In order <strong>to</strong> survive,<br />

Paleo-Indians improved upon<br />

<strong>the</strong> Clovis point, which made <strong>the</strong>m<br />

more effective hunters. The technological<br />

leap proved necessary <strong>to</strong><br />

ensure <strong>the</strong> Folsom Culture would be<br />


more effective hunters in a landscape where food<br />

sources were increasingly scarce. Archaeologists<br />

first discovered <strong>the</strong> Folsom point thrust in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

ancient bones of giant bison near Folsom, New<br />

Mexico. The Folsom point was a smaller, wider<br />

point utilized <strong>to</strong> kill giant bison, which had<br />

replaced <strong>the</strong> mammoth as <strong>the</strong> major source of<br />

food. The bison, however, also suffered as a<br />

result of climate change, again forcing Paleo-<br />

Indians <strong>to</strong> adapt.<br />

The period of persistent adaptation<br />

continued for thousands of years. During <strong>the</strong><br />

later period of Archaic Indians, <strong>the</strong> inhabitants<br />

of <strong>West</strong> Texas became gradually more sedentary.<br />

With <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> ice age, small animals<br />

began <strong>to</strong> thrive and a limited number of crops<br />

could be planted and cultivated with greater<br />

predictability. Although still not farmers,<br />

Archaic Indians increasingly ga<strong>the</strong>red fruits and<br />

vegetables, providing a far more diverse set of<br />

food sources. Greater resources and continued<br />

refinement of technologies such as gauges,<br />

knives, and projectile points enabled continued<br />

population growth. Almost inevitably, <strong>the</strong><br />

greater population resulted in increased conflict.<br />

Amidst <strong>the</strong> conflict, <strong>the</strong> Apache emerged as <strong>the</strong><br />

first great political, economic, and military<br />

power in <strong>the</strong> region that now encompasses<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County.<br />

Migrating south from <strong>the</strong> High Plains after<br />

1500, <strong>the</strong> Apache gradually absorbed smaller<br />

bands of Indians. The complete Apache<br />

dominance would lead <strong>the</strong> Spanish <strong>to</strong> dub<br />

<strong>the</strong> region Apacería. Stretching from Texas west<br />

<strong>to</strong> California and north <strong>to</strong> Colorado, Apacería<br />

encompassed a diverse and inhospitable<br />

terri<strong>to</strong>ry. Accordingly, <strong>the</strong> Apache emerged<br />

as an adaptive and hearty people. Not a<br />

unified people, many small bands make up <strong>the</strong><br />

Apache. In <strong>West</strong> Texas, <strong>the</strong> Mescalero Apache<br />

dominated. Their reach extended far beyond<br />

that of any previous cultures. The ability <strong>to</strong><br />

relocate proved <strong>the</strong> Mescalero’s greatest asset.<br />

Mobility enabled <strong>the</strong>m <strong>to</strong> raid effectively and<br />

after <strong>the</strong> arrival of <strong>the</strong> Spanish in <strong>the</strong> mid 1500s<br />

conflict extended throughout Apacería.<br />

The Comanche probably met <strong>the</strong> first<br />

Spaniard in Texas when Álvar Núñez Cabeza de<br />

Vaca washed ashore following <strong>the</strong> wreck of his<br />

ship off <strong>the</strong> coast of Galves<strong>to</strong>n in November<br />

1528. Cabeza de Vaca roamed throughout<br />

Texas, <strong>the</strong> American southwest and Mexico for<br />

eight years. While he may very well have ventured<br />

in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin, no one knows for<br />

sure his exact course of travel. When Cabeza<br />

de Vaca returned <strong>to</strong> Mexico, naked and heavily<br />

tat<strong>to</strong>oed, he had ga<strong>the</strong>red vital information,<br />

including s<strong>to</strong>ries of vast riches. The publication<br />

Above: By <strong>the</strong> 1700s, <strong>the</strong> Comanche<br />

empire greeted Spaniards as <strong>the</strong>y<br />

entered Texas..<br />

Below: The Texas Yellowstar.<br />




Above: Tom Lovell’s painting,<br />

Coronado’s Expedition crossing <strong>the</strong><br />

Llano Estacado.<br />



PETROLEUM MUSEUM, 2002-038.006.<br />

Below: Tom Lovell’s painting,<br />

Comanche Moon.<br />



PETROLEUM MUSEUM, 2002-038.001.<br />

Opposite, clockwise, starting from <strong>to</strong>p:<br />

Stephen Long’s 1822 map of his<br />

journey provided a glimpse in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

geography of <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin.<br />

Randolph Marcy.<br />

Randolph Marcy, The Prairie<br />

Traveler. Less critical of <strong>the</strong> harsh<br />

landscape, Marcy saw potential in <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin.<br />

of his journal created a frenzy of speculation<br />

and prompted later explorations in Texas.<br />

Enthusiastic, Francisco Vázquez de Coronado<br />

followed <strong>the</strong> ancient Indian trails in<strong>to</strong> Texas and<br />

skirted <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin as he explored New<br />

Mexico and <strong>the</strong> Panhandle of Texas beginning in<br />

1541. His year long journey brought <strong>the</strong><br />

Spanish in<strong>to</strong> greater conflict with <strong>the</strong> Apache.<br />

The two continued <strong>to</strong> fight. The arrival of (and<br />

war with) <strong>the</strong> Comanche, however, soon overshadowed<br />

conflict with <strong>the</strong> Spanish.<br />

War between <strong>the</strong> Apache and Comanche<br />

empires raged for more than 150 years. The<br />

southward push of <strong>the</strong> Comanche relegated <strong>the</strong><br />

Apache <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> confines of <strong>West</strong> Texas by <strong>the</strong> mid<br />

1700s. Like <strong>the</strong> Apache, <strong>the</strong> Comanche consisted<br />

of numerous bands. The largest of five major<br />

divisions, <strong>the</strong> Penetakas eventually pushed <strong>the</strong><br />

Apache out of <strong>West</strong> Texas and came <strong>to</strong> dominate<br />

<strong>the</strong> region. The late 1600s acquisition of <strong>the</strong><br />

horse (previously extinct in North America) had<br />

enabled Comanche successes.<br />

Once in Texas, <strong>the</strong> Comanche<br />

adopted an equally important<br />

technology, firearms. Warfare<br />

with Apache and Spaniards<br />

persisted. Warfare, like a<br />

game, produced winners and<br />

losers both among <strong>the</strong><br />

Comanche and <strong>the</strong>ir enemies.<br />

Comanche warriors would<br />

often go <strong>to</strong> extremes by<br />

“counting coup,” where a<br />

brave would <strong>to</strong>uch a living<br />

enemy ra<strong>the</strong>r than kill him. Dominance required<br />

bravery and skill, and <strong>the</strong> Comanche soon controlled<br />

<strong>the</strong> land previously dubbed Apacería. The<br />

Spanish renamed <strong>the</strong> region Comanchería.<br />

Comanche encroachment had resulted in an<br />

intensification of warfare between Apache and<br />

Comanche, Apache and Spaniard, and Spaniard<br />

with Comanche. The arrival of Americans in<br />

Texas shortly after <strong>the</strong> turn of <strong>the</strong> nineteenth<br />

century fur<strong>the</strong>r complicated matters. Looking<br />

for cheap land and opportunity <strong>to</strong> acquire<br />

wealth, Americans first settled <strong>the</strong> Hill Country.<br />

Soon after <strong>the</strong>ir arrival, Mexico won its hard<br />

fought independence from Spain, creating<br />

widespread political instability. The turmoil<br />

throughout Mexico, and in Texas specifically,<br />

prevented settlement in Comanchería beyond a<br />

well established frontier line north of <strong>the</strong> populated<br />

areas around San An<strong>to</strong>nio. The Comanche<br />

Empire dominated <strong>West</strong> Texas for most of <strong>the</strong><br />

nineteenth century. Even after Texas independence<br />

(1836) and eventual<br />

annexation in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> United<br />

States (1845), American settlement,<br />

with <strong>the</strong> exception of a<br />

few isolated camps of buffalo<br />

hunters and traders, moved<br />

slowly north and west. Virtually<br />

no one saw <strong>the</strong> potential of <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin, perhaps because<br />

in 1820 Stephen Long had characterized<br />

much of <strong>the</strong> state as<br />

“<strong>the</strong> Great American Desert.”<br />

In contrast <strong>to</strong> Long, Randolph<br />

Marcy, who led <strong>the</strong> first<br />

American military expedition<br />

sent specifically <strong>to</strong> explore <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong> area, identified <strong>the</strong><br />


potential value of <strong>the</strong> region. “For a great portion<br />

of <strong>the</strong> distance of <strong>the</strong> surface of <strong>the</strong> earth is<br />

so perfectly flat and smooth,” he said “that it<br />

would appear <strong>to</strong> have been designed by <strong>the</strong><br />

Great Architect of <strong>the</strong> Universe for a railroad.”<br />

The Marcy expedition had been sent <strong>to</strong> explore<br />

south <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> thirty-second parallel for possible<br />

railroad construction as well as <strong>to</strong> patrol <strong>the</strong><br />

Great Comanche War Trail. Importantly, Marcy<br />

identified <strong>the</strong> region as an important hub of<br />

travel in all directions. When Marcy arrived<br />

in 1849, however, he discovered that <strong>the</strong><br />

Comanche dominated <strong>the</strong> region. Like any good<br />

Army officer, Marcy studied his enemy. He also<br />

routinely drilled his men in order <strong>to</strong> show <strong>the</strong><br />

necessary force <strong>to</strong> give <strong>the</strong> illusion of supremacy.<br />

In conversations with <strong>the</strong> men of his command,<br />

Marcy had frequent discussions of <strong>the</strong><br />


Above: John Pope.<br />

Below: Herds of buffalo once<br />

numbered in <strong>the</strong> millions. Buffalo<br />

hunters systematically slaughtered <strong>the</strong><br />

animals during <strong>the</strong> 1870s.<br />

potentially negative consequences of interaction<br />

between Indians and Americans. To improve<br />

relations, Marcy hoped <strong>to</strong> have similar conversations<br />

with Indians. As a result, he reached out<br />

<strong>to</strong> small bands of Comanche.<br />

Captain Marcy studied <strong>the</strong> terrain in addition<br />

<strong>to</strong> its people. He mapped <strong>the</strong> landscape<br />

and predicted both its value as a site for railroad<br />

construction and as rangeland. During his<br />

travels through <strong>Midland</strong> County and <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin, Marcy noted <strong>the</strong> fossilized<br />

remains of sea life. He even suggested <strong>the</strong> land<br />

might be home <strong>to</strong> mineral resources. Marcy<br />

alone could not bring stability <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> region and<br />

his greatest success came in <strong>the</strong> form of maps<br />

and charts. The scouting party not only<br />

ga<strong>the</strong>red information regarding <strong>the</strong> human<br />

inhabitants of <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin, but also<br />

measured accurate distances between reliable<br />

water sources. Marcy gave <strong>the</strong> name “Mustang<br />

Springs” <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> reliable water supply fed by <strong>the</strong><br />

Mustang Draw. He had no idea <strong>the</strong> region dated<br />

back more than 300 million years. Marcy and<br />

his men also made important notes about <strong>the</strong><br />

plant and animal life in <strong>the</strong> region.<br />

A single tragic episode vaulted <strong>the</strong> Marcy<br />

expedition in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> public eye when a band of<br />

Comanche killed a man with a very famous lineage.<br />

Lieutenant Montgomery Pike Harrison,<br />

<strong>the</strong> grandson of noted explorer Zebulon Pike,<br />

grandson of ninth President of <strong>the</strong> United<br />

States William Henry Harrison, and bro<strong>the</strong>r of<br />

future President of <strong>the</strong> United States Benjamin<br />

Harrison died along <strong>the</strong> Bluff Creek near present<br />

day Big Spring. Convinced that Indian depredations<br />

had been <strong>the</strong> result of mistreatment,<br />

Harrison sought <strong>to</strong> talk with ra<strong>the</strong>r than shoot at<br />

native peoples. His attempt <strong>to</strong> prove his <strong>the</strong>ory<br />

got him killed. Harrison encountered two<br />

Indians who feigned friendship. The three sat,<br />

talked, and smoked. When <strong>the</strong> Indians asked <strong>to</strong><br />

see Harrison’s rifle, he produced <strong>the</strong> weapon.<br />

A mounted patrol later discovered Harrison’s<br />

body scalped, stripped, and mutilated. The<br />

Indians had killed Harrison with his own gun<br />

while he had attempted <strong>to</strong> converse with <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

The murder, reported widely, fueled <strong>the</strong> already<br />

intense flames of Indian hatred in Texas.<br />

Admitted in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> United States four years<br />

before <strong>the</strong> arrival of Marcy, Texas immediately<br />

felt a population growth as Americans began<br />

migrating westward and coming in<strong>to</strong> greater<br />

contact with hostile Comanche who refused <strong>to</strong><br />

concede terri<strong>to</strong>ry. Although Comanche residents<br />

of <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin numbered only around<br />

2,000 in 1849, <strong>the</strong>y posed a significant threat.<br />

The highly mobile Comanche utilized <strong>the</strong><br />

Great Comanche War Trail that connected <strong>West</strong><br />

Texas <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Chihuahuan Desert. Traversing vast<br />

amounts of terri<strong>to</strong>ry from <strong>the</strong> High Plains of<br />

Texas <strong>to</strong> Horsehead Crossing and on <strong>to</strong><br />

Comanche Springs in present day Fort<br />

S<strong>to</strong>ck<strong>to</strong>n, <strong>the</strong> trail led <strong>the</strong> Comanche in and out<br />

of Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Mexico.<br />

Tensions heightened as more Americans<br />

made <strong>the</strong>ir way <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin, once<br />

again bringing <strong>the</strong> region <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> attention of<br />

<strong>the</strong> rest of <strong>the</strong> country. Slavery, ra<strong>the</strong>r than<br />

railroad construction and Indian depredations,<br />

consumed <strong>the</strong> political debate in <strong>the</strong> United<br />

States Congress by <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> 1840s.<br />

The successful Compromise of 1850 quieted<br />

<strong>the</strong> rhe<strong>to</strong>ric, but slavery remained <strong>the</strong> most<br />

important issue facing America. Congress<br />

proved incapable of divorcing any issue from a<br />

discussion of slavery. The desire <strong>to</strong> construct a<br />

transcontinental rail line proved worthy of<br />

provoking additional controversy in 1853 when<br />


<strong>the</strong> United States Congress sent four parties<br />

west <strong>to</strong> survey potential sites for construction<br />

of a railroad that would connect <strong>the</strong> Atlantic <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Pacific Ocean.<br />

In search of <strong>the</strong> ideal route for construction,<br />

John Pope, Lieutenant in <strong>the</strong> United States<br />

Army Corps of Topographical Engineers,<br />

surveyed Texas along <strong>the</strong> thirty-second<br />

parallel. Pope entered <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin in<br />

1853. He immediately saw <strong>the</strong> benefit of <strong>the</strong><br />

flat terrain but identified lack of water as a<br />

major stumbling block <strong>to</strong> construction and<br />

maintenance of a railroad. Pope returned <strong>to</strong><br />

Texas two years later in search of water. He<br />

dug a well along <strong>the</strong> Pecos River near <strong>the</strong><br />

Texas-New Mexico state line, tapping in<strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> ancient underground sources of water and<br />

demonstrating <strong>the</strong> land was not without <strong>the</strong><br />

vital resource.<br />

Although scare water supplies continued <strong>to</strong><br />

hamper American settlement, <strong>the</strong> greatest danger<br />

continued <strong>to</strong> be <strong>the</strong> Comanche. To combat<br />

<strong>the</strong> threat, <strong>the</strong> United States Army constructed<br />

military installations along a line south of what<br />

would become <strong>Midland</strong> County. Extending from<br />

Fort Worth <strong>to</strong> Fort Davis, <strong>the</strong> outposts sought<br />

<strong>to</strong> pacify <strong>the</strong> region. Before <strong>to</strong>o long, however,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Civil War broke out and Texas joined <strong>the</strong><br />

Confederacy. The Confederate Army proved<br />

incapable of defending Texans from <strong>the</strong><br />

onslaught of Indian attacks. During <strong>the</strong> course<br />

of <strong>the</strong> Civil War, Confederates lost <strong>the</strong> minimal<br />

gains of terrain made by <strong>the</strong> United States Army<br />

prior <strong>to</strong> 1861.<br />

Not until well after <strong>the</strong> Civil War ended in<br />

1865 did <strong>the</strong> American military succeed in<br />

removing <strong>the</strong> Comanche and o<strong>the</strong>r Plains tribes<br />

from <strong>the</strong> Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Plains, thus opening <strong>the</strong><br />

region <strong>to</strong> Anglo settlement. Two key fac<strong>to</strong>rs<br />

determined <strong>the</strong> fate of <strong>the</strong> Comanche in <strong>West</strong><br />

Texas. First, <strong>the</strong> arrival of buffalo hunters in<br />

<strong>the</strong> middle of <strong>the</strong> nineteenth century marked <strong>the</strong><br />

beginning of <strong>the</strong> slaughter of <strong>the</strong> primary food<br />

source for <strong>the</strong> Indians. Second, <strong>the</strong> Red River<br />

War of 1874-1875 finally pushed <strong>the</strong> Comanche<br />

and o<strong>the</strong>r tribes on <strong>to</strong> reservations in what<br />

would later become Oklahoma. Within a few<br />

years, Americans had taken up residence in<br />

an area dominated by what John R. Bartlett,<br />

<strong>the</strong> head of <strong>the</strong> American section of <strong>the</strong><br />

United States-Mexican Border Commission, had<br />

described as “a desolate, barren waste, which can<br />

never be rendered useful by man or beast.”<br />

United States Army Colonel William Shafter<br />

played a key role in dispelling <strong>the</strong> myth that <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin contained nothing of value. In<br />

July 1875, he led nine men and a caravan of<br />

supplies in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> region, as he scouted and<br />

mapped <strong>the</strong> terrain. Like those who came<br />

before, Shafter made <strong>the</strong> search for water his<br />

primary concern. Shafter, unlike his predecessors,<br />

ventured off of established trails and<br />

reported that <strong>the</strong> area had greater potential than<br />

previously thought. Grasses and animals<br />

thrived and Shafter believed “<strong>the</strong> frontier settlements<br />

of <strong>West</strong>ern Texas would be advanced 150<br />

miles within two years.” Soon <strong>the</strong> rapid growth<br />

proved his assertion.<br />

One might think that a place as flat, dry, and<br />

remote as <strong>Midland</strong> might well be a wasteland,<br />

but local residents will tell you <strong>Midland</strong> has an<br />

undeniable appeal, epi<strong>to</strong>mized by its early<br />

settlement. In spite of all its original detrac<strong>to</strong>rs,<br />

<strong>the</strong> community has grown steadily and<br />

continues <strong>to</strong> grow <strong>to</strong>day. The Texas and Pacific<br />

Railway Company (T&P) made its way in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin just over five years after Shafter<br />

marched from Fort Davis through <strong>the</strong> area.<br />

Indeed, <strong>the</strong> region had been underestimated<br />

by most. As a later T&P promotional declared,<br />

<strong>the</strong> railroad opened a “national highway along<br />

<strong>the</strong> path of empire.<br />

William Shafter.<br />


Above: Skull of <strong>the</strong> “<strong>Midland</strong> Minnie.”<br />

Right: The now extinct<br />

Columbian Mammoth.<br />



Although <strong>the</strong> mystery of human migration in North America may never be solved, important clues exist. One of those clues<br />

turned up in <strong>the</strong> sands six miles southwest of <strong>Midland</strong>, and an accidental find proved <strong>to</strong> be one of <strong>the</strong> most important linkages<br />

between modern man and ancient Texans.<br />

Amidst drought conditions that gripped <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin during <strong>the</strong> early 1950s, relentless winds shifted <strong>the</strong> earth across<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County. The changing landscape intrigued a number of amateur archeologists, and a frenzy of exploration ensued.<br />

While exploring an exposed lake bed along Monahans Draw on <strong>the</strong> Scharbauer Ranch in <strong>the</strong> summer of 1953, one such explorer,<br />

Keith Glasscock, discovered human skeletal remains. A pipeliner by trade, <strong>the</strong> astute Glasscock resisted <strong>the</strong> urge <strong>to</strong> disturb <strong>the</strong><br />

site. He retrieved a few remnants in danger of being lost <strong>to</strong> wind or rain and mailed <strong>the</strong> samples (skull fragments, two metacarpals,<br />

and a rib) <strong>to</strong> Fred Wendorf, an anthropologist living in Santa Fe, New Mexico.<br />

Initially dubbed “<strong>Midland</strong> Man,” <strong>the</strong> human remains underwent preliminary research. Wendorf speculated that <strong>the</strong> artifacts<br />

could be as old as 20,000 years, which would have made <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> find <strong>the</strong> oldest in North America. Without additional<br />

research, however, nothing could be made definitive. Excited, Wendorf and Glasscock organized a formal dig. On Oc<strong>to</strong>ber 29,<br />

1953, <strong>the</strong> party, which now consisted of additional anthropologists and archaeologists, unear<strong>the</strong>d cultural material that assured<br />

<strong>the</strong> team that <strong>the</strong> site contained ancient artifacts. Two later visits <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Scharbauer Ranch uncovered additional cultural material.<br />

In <strong>to</strong>tal, <strong>the</strong> team unear<strong>the</strong>d over 100 artifacts, including Folsom spear points, bone fragments, as well as <strong>the</strong> remains of <strong>the</strong> long<br />

extinct horse, antelope, and camel.<br />

Regardless of <strong>the</strong> age, <strong>the</strong> abundance of material made <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> discovery one of <strong>the</strong> most important in North America.<br />

Research continued. Close analysis of <strong>the</strong> fossilized skull and bone fragments revealed that “<strong>Midland</strong> Man” was, in fact, a woman.<br />

Artifacts continued <strong>to</strong> reveal additional insight. With dating technology in its infancy, testing produced numerous results.<br />

Some speculated that <strong>the</strong> site could date back as far as 37,000 years, which would make <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> discovery three times as<br />

old as any o<strong>the</strong>r in North America. Debates regarding <strong>the</strong> exact age continue, but knowledgeable observers generally place<br />

“<strong>Midland</strong> Minnie” somewhere between 8,000 and 12,000 years old.<br />

Indeed, no one knows for sure when “<strong>Midland</strong> Minnie” arrived in Texas, and <strong>the</strong> circumstances surrounding her death will<br />

never be revealed. We do know, however, that she traveled <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> County centuries before Spanish conquistadors dreamed<br />

of riches yet discovered. Minnie’s s<strong>to</strong>ry is <strong>the</strong> root of human his<strong>to</strong>ry in <strong>Midland</strong> and in <strong>the</strong> whole of <strong>the</strong> United States.<br />

Left: The now extinct Great Bison.<br />

Below: <strong>Midland</strong> Point.<br />


Above: Frozen tundra.<br />


Right: Yucca peek-a-boo.<br />



C HAPTER<br />


II<br />

In <strong>the</strong> spring of 1880 <strong>the</strong> Texas and Pacific Railway Company (T&P) began construction of track<br />

west along <strong>the</strong> thirty-second parallel. Mired in confusion, financial difficulties plagued initial<br />

construction. With track finally completed <strong>to</strong> Fort Worth, <strong>the</strong> horizon looked clear for construction<br />

all <strong>the</strong> way <strong>to</strong> El Paso. On June 23, 1881, <strong>the</strong> T&P reached <strong>the</strong> half way point between Fort Worth<br />

and <strong>the</strong> terminus of <strong>the</strong> line in El Paso. To celebrate, crews drove a ceremonial spike and dubbed<br />

<strong>the</strong> s<strong>to</strong>p “Midway Station.” Flowery speeches and publicity followed. The T&P built a station house<br />

and construction proceeded westward. An unimpressive place, Midway had seemingly little <strong>to</strong> offer<br />

enterprising individuals willing <strong>to</strong> move <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> western expanses of Texas. Even though railroads<br />

attracted people, <strong>the</strong> profitability of <strong>the</strong> Texas and Pacific Railway Company depended almost<br />

exclusively upon land sales. As a result, <strong>the</strong> company began a national advertising blitz. Offering<br />

cheap land and attractive payment plans, <strong>the</strong> railroad campaign fulfilled William Shafter’s prediction<br />

that settlers would soon populate <strong>the</strong> region.<br />

The Llano Hotel, mid-1880s.<br />


Above: Holding pens in <strong>Midland</strong>,<br />

in 1885.<br />

Below: Route of <strong>the</strong> Texas and<br />

Pacific Railroad.<br />

The vastness of <strong>the</strong> terrain proved <strong>to</strong> be<br />

Midway’s greatest asset. Since <strong>the</strong> conclusion of<br />

<strong>the</strong> Civil War, <strong>the</strong> cattle industry had steadily<br />

grown throughout Texas. Charles Goodnight<br />

and Oliver Loving blazed a cattle trail following<br />

<strong>the</strong> old Butterfield Overland Mail route from<br />

Fort Belknap on <strong>the</strong> Concho River <strong>to</strong> Fort<br />

Sumner, New Mexico, in 1866. The Goodnight-<br />

Loving Trail crossed <strong>the</strong> Pecos River via<br />

Horsehead Crossing (approximately 100 miles<br />

south of <strong>Midland</strong>). In <strong>the</strong> nineteenth century,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Pecos flowed rapidly, and few places existed<br />

where drovers could cross <strong>the</strong> river safely and<br />

efficiently. Horsehead Crossing claimed <strong>the</strong> lives<br />

of many animals that would get stuck along<br />

its muddy banks and sink in <strong>the</strong> quicksand.<br />


In spite of <strong>the</strong> hazards, <strong>the</strong> Goodnight-Loving<br />

trail guided cowboys away from hostile<br />

Comanche still living in <strong>the</strong> Texas Panhandle<br />

and Oklahoma. The trail also opened <strong>the</strong> eyes of<br />

many cattlemen <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> possibility of herding<br />

lives<strong>to</strong>ck in <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin. Although <strong>the</strong><br />

trail brought cattlemen through <strong>the</strong> region, it<br />

did little <strong>to</strong> bolster a permanent population.<br />

Some twenty years after <strong>the</strong> opening of <strong>the</strong><br />

Goodnight-Loving Trail, a traveler through<br />

Midway described <strong>the</strong> community as a place<br />

with “no houses in view except <strong>the</strong> section<br />

house built by <strong>the</strong> railroad company and a small<br />

cabin occupied by a solitary sheep rancher a<br />

mile away.”<br />

The single sheepherder must have been<br />

Herman Nelson Garrett. Midway had only one<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r permanent resident, Lum Medlin, an antelope<br />

and buffalo hunter. Garrett arrived in<br />

Midway shortly after <strong>the</strong> T&P in 1882. Born in<br />

Illinois, he had moved with his family <strong>to</strong> New<br />

York and eventually <strong>to</strong> California. Midway<br />

promised all season ranching, good climate, tall<br />

grasses, and wide open ranges; Garrett determined<br />

<strong>to</strong> go. Leaving his wife and daughter, he<br />

<strong>to</strong>ok 300 sheep <strong>to</strong> El Paso by way of <strong>the</strong><br />

Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Pacific Railroad and <strong>the</strong>n drove <strong>the</strong>m<br />

<strong>to</strong> Midway. He spent his first year in a hastily<br />

constructed shack built of lumber appropriated<br />

from <strong>the</strong> T&P. Situated along <strong>the</strong> Mustang<br />

Draw ten miles nor<strong>the</strong>ast of <strong>the</strong> railroad, Garrett<br />

established himself as a successful<br />

sheep and cattle man.<br />

With <strong>the</strong> T&P completed <strong>to</strong><br />

El Paso in 1883, Garrett sent<br />

for <strong>the</strong> rest of his family.<br />

Eventually <strong>the</strong> family grew<br />

by six additional children.<br />

Garrett erected <strong>the</strong> first windmill<br />

in <strong>the</strong> area, and he also<br />

demonstrated <strong>the</strong> possibility<br />

of ranching on <strong>the</strong> arid landscape.<br />

Garrett and his “Y-Bar”<br />

ranch paved <strong>the</strong> way for<br />

future (and much larger)<br />

ranching enterprise. Today,<br />

Garrett has become <strong>Midland</strong>’s<br />

forgotten pioneer.<br />

Ranching soon began <strong>to</strong><br />

attract additional sheepherders<br />

and cattlemen <strong>to</strong> Midway.<br />

W. H., George, John, and Buck<br />

Cowden arrived in Midway in 1883. Originally<br />

from Palo Pin<strong>to</strong> County, <strong>the</strong> bro<strong>the</strong>rs established<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir headquarters west of <strong>the</strong> community. They<br />

utilized <strong>the</strong> railhead <strong>to</strong> ship <strong>the</strong>ir cattle east. The<br />

JAL Ranch (still in operation <strong>to</strong>day) eventually<br />

became one of <strong>the</strong> largest in <strong>the</strong> southwest. Of<br />

equal importance, Nelson Morris, a former<br />

Chicago meatpacker, later bought 200,000 acres<br />

of surrounding terri<strong>to</strong>ry and became <strong>the</strong> first <strong>to</strong><br />

fence <strong>the</strong> land around Midway.<br />

An 1884 report exaggerated<br />

<strong>the</strong> immediate impact ranching<br />

had on Midway. The report<br />

claimed 72,000 sheep and<br />

35,000 cattle grazed on <strong>the</strong><br />

vast amounts of land within<br />

twelve miles of <strong>the</strong> community.<br />

Despite <strong>the</strong> bloated numbers,<br />

ranchers now saw Midway as a<br />

place of opportunity.<br />

Although a community<br />

with a growing reputation<br />

for grazing, Midway lacked<br />

political organization. In late<br />

1883, Herman Garrett constructed<br />

a building intended<br />

<strong>to</strong> be <strong>the</strong> Midway post office,<br />

but because of <strong>the</strong> many<br />

Texas <strong>to</strong>wns already named<br />

“Midway,” <strong>the</strong> community<br />

Above: Nelson Morris first fenced<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> area lands.<br />

Left: Major cattle trails.<br />

Below: Herman Nelson Garrett.<br />


The first <strong>Midland</strong> County courthouse,<br />

in 1885.<br />

name changed <strong>to</strong> “<strong>Midland</strong>.” On January 4,<br />

1884, state officials approved a post office for<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>. With a railroad and a post office,<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> had much needed administrative<br />

structure upon which <strong>to</strong> build a thriving<br />

community. With <strong>Midland</strong> poised <strong>to</strong> grow in<br />

1884, an Ohio real estate company bought land<br />

near <strong>the</strong> post office, established <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Town Company (MTC), and began promoting<br />

<strong>the</strong> T&P s<strong>to</strong>p as an up and coming community.<br />

The MTC sold lots of various sizes at affordable<br />

prices. A residential lot 50x140 feet sold for<br />

between $50 and $200; commercial lots of<br />

26x140 feet sold for between $100 and $400.<br />

In addition <strong>to</strong> MTC efforts, <strong>the</strong> T&P constructed<br />

an Emigrant House (boarding house/hotel)<br />

and continued <strong>to</strong> promote <strong>Midland</strong> and court<br />

potential land buyers. To aid construction<br />

efforts, <strong>Midland</strong>’s first business, a lumber yard,<br />

appeared. Initially, settlers built crude homes of<br />

adobe or clapboards, and water had <strong>to</strong> be<br />

hauled in from Monahans. A local newspaper,<br />

The Enterprise, began publication. The community<br />

gradually expanded.<br />

By <strong>the</strong> end of 1884, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> population<br />

did not exceed <strong>the</strong> necessary 300 required for<br />

county incorporation. Still part<br />

of Tom Green County (San<br />

Angelo is <strong>the</strong> county seat),<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> residents pushed <strong>to</strong><br />

incorporate <strong>Midland</strong> County,<br />

with <strong>Midland</strong> <strong>the</strong> county seat.<br />

The edi<strong>to</strong>r of The Enterprise<br />

clamored that if <strong>the</strong> Texas<br />

Legislature would not organize<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County, <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong> seat<br />

of government in Tom Green<br />

County ought <strong>to</strong> be moved <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong>, which he rightfully<br />

said was nearer <strong>the</strong> geographic<br />

center. The edi<strong>to</strong>r of <strong>the</strong> San<br />

Angelo Standard voiced <strong>the</strong><br />

attitudes of San Angelo residents<br />

when he scoffed at <strong>the</strong><br />

idea of an “imaginary village”<br />

becoming <strong>the</strong> county seat.<br />

Because <strong>the</strong> community did not<br />

have <strong>the</strong> necessary number of<br />

permanent residents, <strong>Midland</strong><br />

announced a <strong>to</strong>wn lot sale. The<br />

T&P offered special rates <strong>to</strong><br />

travelers willing <strong>to</strong> view <strong>the</strong> lots. On <strong>the</strong> dates of<br />

land sales, community and railroad officials<br />

encouraged residents and visi<strong>to</strong>rs <strong>to</strong> sign a petition<br />

sent <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Texas Legislature requesting<br />

incorporation. On 28 February 1885, <strong>the</strong> State<br />

of Texas incorporated <strong>Midland</strong> County.<br />

Accordingly <strong>the</strong> community elected officers<br />

who presided over <strong>the</strong> first county commissioners<br />

court on August 10, 1885. In <strong>the</strong> initial meeting,<br />

<strong>the</strong> court dealt with numerous agenda items.<br />

The commissioners created <strong>the</strong> first school district<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong> and approved an MTC proposal<br />

<strong>to</strong> construct a jail and a cemetery. The MTC<br />

donated 3,000 dollars for <strong>the</strong> jail and land for<br />

both sites. The court also ordered an accurate<br />

mapping of <strong>the</strong> county and appropriated sixtytwo<br />

dollars for stationary. The Commissioners<br />

Court did nothing terribly earth shattering, but<br />

<strong>the</strong>y played a necessary role in <strong>the</strong> political evolution<br />

of <strong>Midland</strong>, and by extension <strong>the</strong> entire<br />

area. Governance implied permanence. The<br />

County Commissioners worked <strong>to</strong> stabilize <strong>the</strong><br />

community, making <strong>Midland</strong> far more attractive<br />

<strong>to</strong> prospective settlers. As a result, a new and<br />

important breed of pioneer resettled in <strong>the</strong><br />

region. The first physician, W. E. Bailey, arrived<br />


in <strong>Midland</strong> County in 1885. A graduate of <strong>the</strong><br />

Philadelphia School of Medicine, Bailey later<br />

served as county health officer.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> still faced a crucial test: could<br />

enough water be located <strong>to</strong> sustain <strong>the</strong> expanding<br />

population? Drillers soon discovered sources<br />

of reliable underground water. Residents <strong>the</strong>n<br />

constructed three community wells, installed<br />

hand pumps, and invited <strong>the</strong> community <strong>to</strong> help<br />

<strong>the</strong>mselves <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> water. Like <strong>the</strong> large pools of<br />

underground oil in later years, <strong>the</strong> availability<br />

of ano<strong>the</strong>r subsurface resource, water, proved <strong>to</strong><br />

be <strong>the</strong> natural resource most responsible for<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>’s early expansion.<br />

The initial period of good feeling and growth<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong> (and throughout Texas) appeared <strong>to</strong><br />

end during 1886 and 1887. In <strong>the</strong> summer of<br />

1886 <strong>the</strong> already limited amount of rain that fell<br />

over <strong>Midland</strong> s<strong>to</strong>pped. Grasses wi<strong>the</strong>red. Sheep<br />

and cattle began <strong>to</strong> starve and die. To make matters<br />

worse, <strong>the</strong> winter brought blizzards. The<br />

already famished lives<strong>to</strong>ck, particularly cattle,<br />

drifted in <strong>the</strong> wind and driving snow until <strong>the</strong>y<br />

s<strong>to</strong>pped along drift fences where <strong>the</strong>y froze <strong>to</strong><br />

death. In addition <strong>to</strong> unpredictable wea<strong>the</strong>r,<br />

ranchers faced additional troubles. Fluctuating<br />

prices, preda<strong>to</strong>ry animals (wolves), and o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

nuisances (jackrabbits and grasshoppers) hindered<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir ability <strong>to</strong> make a profit in <strong>the</strong> late<br />

1880s. When Permian Basin counties reached<br />

out for government aid, <strong>Midland</strong> refused. No<br />

one wanted <strong>to</strong> admit that <strong>the</strong> community had<br />

suffered <strong>the</strong> same hardships. As a result, many<br />

dejected Texans made <strong>the</strong>ir way <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> in<br />

search of new opportunities. Among <strong>the</strong> many<br />

that relocated, Oscar Brax<strong>to</strong>n Holt came in<br />

1886. Holt had worked on a cot<strong>to</strong>n farm and as<br />

a clerk in his fa<strong>the</strong>r’s s<strong>to</strong>re. He drove a small<br />

herd of thirty cattle <strong>to</strong> thirty miles west of<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>, carved a dugout, and lived <strong>the</strong>re for<br />

two years. He and his descendants became<br />

prominent members of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> community.<br />

Strangely enough, in a land noted for aridity,<br />

new opportunity came in <strong>the</strong> form of windmills<br />

drawing water from deep within <strong>the</strong> earth.<br />

The first water wells in <strong>Midland</strong> had utilized<br />

hand pumps, but pumping large quantities of<br />

water by hand <strong>to</strong> fill s<strong>to</strong>rage tanks proved<br />

impractical. On his Chicago Ranch north of<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>, Nelson Morris demonstrated that <strong>the</strong><br />

windmill could resolve <strong>the</strong> problem in <strong>Midland</strong><br />

County. Soon o<strong>the</strong>r area ranchers replaced <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

hand pumps with wind powered windmills.<br />

Morris gained a reputation as an innova<strong>to</strong>r and<br />

ranchers came from hundreds of miles <strong>to</strong> see<br />

how windmills might help <strong>the</strong>ir operations.<br />

With <strong>the</strong> prospect for water, a lone farmer even<br />

appeared in <strong>Midland</strong>. He planted watermelon<br />

and pumpkin. Windmills provided some relief,<br />

but in time, however, even <strong>the</strong> windmills failed<br />

<strong>to</strong> completely resolve <strong>the</strong> water problem in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>. The relentless winds demolished<br />

poorly constructed windmills which had been<br />

designed with <strong>the</strong>ir blades <strong>to</strong>o close <strong>to</strong>ge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>to</strong><br />

be functional in <strong>West</strong> Texas. Additionally, <strong>the</strong><br />

dry heat and sun warped <strong>the</strong> wooden water<br />

s<strong>to</strong>rage tanks. Necessity is <strong>the</strong> mo<strong>the</strong>r of invention<br />

and soon revisions <strong>to</strong> windmill construction<br />

as well as s<strong>to</strong>rage tanks made <strong>the</strong> windmill<br />

<strong>the</strong> savior of <strong>Midland</strong>. In a short time, windmills<br />

cropped up in every yard in <strong>to</strong>wn. As a result,<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> came <strong>to</strong> be known as “Windmill City.”<br />

The windmill had revived <strong>the</strong> spirits of<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>ers. Mrs. J. H. Frame recalled that in<br />

1888 “<strong>the</strong>re wasn’t a vacant house in <strong>to</strong>wn,” and<br />

<strong>the</strong>re was “a windmill at just about every<br />

house.” With <strong>the</strong> water crisis alleviated,<br />

ranchers turned <strong>to</strong> ano<strong>the</strong>r crucial need. The<br />

drought had created a problem of indebtedness<br />

and <strong>Midland</strong> needed a bank. S<strong>to</strong>re owner<br />

W. E. Connell had moved <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> two years<br />

prior. He pooled money with John Scharbauer<br />

<strong>to</strong> create Connell Bro<strong>the</strong>rs and Scharbauer,<br />

Agreement <strong>to</strong> construct <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong><br />

County courthouse. The courthouse<br />

was said <strong>to</strong> have cost local<br />

taxpayers nothing.<br />


Above: The Holt Ranch..<br />

Below: Chicago Ranch cowboys..<br />

Opposite, clockwise, starting from <strong>to</strong>p:<br />

The windmill emerged as one of <strong>the</strong><br />

early symbols of <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />




Texas and Pacific Railroad<br />

depot, 1890.<br />

One of many dust s<strong>to</strong>rms over<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>, February 20, 1894.<br />

a private bank capable of lending money <strong>to</strong><br />

local residents. The name later changed <strong>to</strong><br />

W. E. Connell and Company and in 1890<br />

became <strong>the</strong> First National Bank of <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

Connell served as cashier (one of <strong>the</strong> most<br />

important bankers in <strong>the</strong> state, he later became<br />

president of <strong>the</strong> First National Bank of Fort<br />

Worth). The First National Bank of <strong>Midland</strong><br />

solidified <strong>Midland</strong>’s position as <strong>the</strong> center of<br />

cattle and commerce in <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin, and<br />

although <strong>the</strong> drought continued, <strong>Midland</strong> was<br />

becoming a prosperous community.<br />

By 1890, <strong>Midland</strong> had become an established<br />

community as evidenced by <strong>the</strong> growing number<br />

of significant structures throughout <strong>to</strong>wn.<br />

The Llano Hotel attracted visi<strong>to</strong>rs with its<br />

impressive architecture. Herman Garrett constructed<br />

an impressive brick home (near Big<br />

Spring and Louisiana), and <strong>Midland</strong> had more<br />

than 100 o<strong>the</strong>r houses. Schools and churches,<br />

however, became <strong>the</strong> most influential buildings.<br />

The first permanent schoolhouse appeared in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> in 1890. By assessing a twenty cent tax,<br />

<strong>the</strong> county paid one teacher and two assistants<br />

<strong>to</strong> teach students until <strong>the</strong>y reached <strong>the</strong> tenth<br />

grade. Three years later <strong>the</strong> community replaced<br />

<strong>the</strong> temporary building with a two s<strong>to</strong>ry brick<br />

structure. With students ranging in age between<br />

seven and seventeen, 421 pupils attended. The<br />

school employed fifteen teachers. <strong>Midland</strong> also<br />

contained numerous churches. Baptists completed<br />

<strong>the</strong> first house of worship and <strong>the</strong><br />

Methodists soon followed. Coupled with <strong>the</strong><br />

economic infrastructure, homes, churches, and<br />

schools brought “civilization” <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> community.<br />

Visible evidence of prosperity masked <strong>the</strong><br />

reality that in a community dominated by<br />

agriculture, <strong>Midland</strong> and <strong>the</strong> surrounding<br />


anches were becoming increasingly desperate<br />

for precipitation. With only periodic episodes of<br />

rain, <strong>the</strong> drought, which had begun in 1886,<br />

persisted through 1891. Desperation had<br />

reached an all new high when <strong>the</strong> United States<br />

Department of Agriculture (DOA) came up with<br />

a scheme <strong>to</strong> end <strong>the</strong> drought. Many believed<br />

(perhaps out of desperation, hoped) rain could<br />

be created by “exciting” <strong>the</strong> atmosphere. The<br />

concussive forces of explosive dynamite and gas<br />

in clouds might create rain. The DOA planned<br />

an elaborate test and conducted experiments<br />

on <strong>the</strong> Chicago Ranch. On August 25, 1891,<br />

scientists released four balloons, each filled<br />

with 1,000 cubic feet of an explosive oxygenhydrogen<br />

gas. After an electrical charge<br />

de<strong>to</strong>nated <strong>the</strong> balloons, <strong>the</strong> scientists launched<br />

homemade mortars filled with blasting powder<br />

as well as kites with TNT attached. Additional<br />

ground de<strong>to</strong>nations occurred. The tests failed.<br />

Heavy rains fell <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> northwest, but none in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County. Three additional attempts also<br />

failed <strong>to</strong> produce results.<br />

In time, <strong>the</strong> 1890s brought rain and <strong>the</strong> land<br />

once again showed signs of life. The community<br />

also blossomed. The population expanded <strong>to</strong><br />

over 1,000 as <strong>Midland</strong> grew in<strong>to</strong> one of <strong>the</strong> most<br />

important cattle shipping centers in <strong>the</strong> region.<br />

Boasting multiple churches, hotels, a fine<br />

school, and an opera house, <strong>Midland</strong> attracted<br />

settlers and visi<strong>to</strong>rs. In 1898, <strong>Midland</strong>’s population<br />

temporarily exploded <strong>to</strong> near 2,500 as a<br />

result of a massive “Cowboy Carnival.” Noted<br />

for <strong>the</strong> free flowing beer and abundant barbeque<br />

(beef donated by local ranchers), <strong>the</strong> festivities<br />

lasted only one day. Mo<strong>the</strong>r Nature intervened.<br />

An unexpected cold front brought fourteen<br />

inches of snow. Even though <strong>the</strong> carnival had<br />

ended prematurely, <strong>the</strong> festivities exemplified<br />

<strong>the</strong> optimism in <strong>Midland</strong> in <strong>the</strong> 1890s. No one<br />

doubted that <strong>the</strong> twentieth century would bring<br />

tremendous prosperity.<br />

Much like <strong>the</strong> booming decade of <strong>the</strong> 1890s,<br />

<strong>the</strong> first ten years of <strong>the</strong> new century brought<br />

continued growth and positive change. <strong>Midland</strong><br />

boosters, among <strong>the</strong>m <strong>the</strong> edi<strong>to</strong>r of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Gazette, began promoting <strong>the</strong> community as <strong>the</strong><br />

“Queen City of <strong>the</strong> South Plains.” The Watson<br />

School of Music opened in 1900. Ned Watson<br />

and his wife, Lydia, directed minstrel shows and<br />

a classical string quartet. The two also provided<br />

symphony education in <strong>Midland</strong> for thirty<br />

years. In addition <strong>to</strong> new cultural opportunities,<br />

<strong>the</strong> economic infrastructure expanded. A second<br />

bank, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> National Bank, appeared in<br />

1902. The cattle industry in <strong>Midland</strong> shipped<br />

more than two million dollars annually and a<br />

more sophisticated financial structure proved<br />


Above: <strong>Midland</strong> parade on<br />

July 4, 1908.<br />

Right: <strong>Midland</strong> in 1902.<br />

Opposite, <strong>to</strong>p: Lea<strong>the</strong>r ribbon worn at<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>’s Cowboy Carnival, 1898.<br />

Opposite, bot<strong>to</strong>m: Cowboy Carnival<br />

badge, 1898.<br />


invaluable. In 1905 crews erected an impressive<br />

red sands<strong>to</strong>ne courthouse. <strong>Midland</strong>, however,<br />

quickly outgrew its administrative structure.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> felt growing pangs during <strong>the</strong><br />

period between 1900 and 1909. Laws passed<br />

by city officials exemplified concerns. In<br />

September of 1901 officials had attempted <strong>to</strong><br />

incorporate <strong>the</strong> city; although <strong>the</strong> proposal succeeded<br />

by a vote of ninety-three <strong>to</strong> sixty-nine,<br />

<strong>the</strong> arrangement faltered. <strong>Midland</strong>ers shifted<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir attention <strong>to</strong> making immediate change in<br />

<strong>the</strong> form of laws regulating conduct within <strong>the</strong><br />

community. One such law assessed fines for<br />

making <strong>to</strong>o much noise, especially if <strong>the</strong> ruckus<br />

threatened <strong>to</strong> “frighten horses or teams within<br />

this city.” One (now humorous) case later tested<br />

<strong>the</strong> ordinance. The uncle of local ranchers Foy<br />

and Leonard Proc<strong>to</strong>r spooked a number of horses<br />

when he drove an au<strong>to</strong>mobile through <strong>to</strong>wn.<br />

Arrested for “driving an au<strong>to</strong>mobile faster than<br />

eight miles an hour in <strong>the</strong> city of <strong>Midland</strong>,”<br />

Proc<strong>to</strong>r faced potential charges. The court ultimately<br />

dismissed <strong>the</strong> case. Ano<strong>the</strong>r law levied<br />

a $200 fine on “every able-bodied person<br />

who lives without employment or labor, and<br />

who has no visible means of support.”<br />

Additional laws prohibited spitting on walls<br />

or sidewalks or in any public place (hotels,<br />

churches, railway depots). Local ordinances<br />

also forbade horseracing on public streets and<br />

driving herds through <strong>the</strong> community.<br />

While new laws improved individual<br />

conduct in <strong>Midland</strong>, <strong>the</strong> community still<br />

needed greater administrative structure.<br />

Consequently, <strong>the</strong> idea of incorporation<br />

resurfaced in 1906. By a vote eighty-three<br />

<strong>to</strong> twenty-eight, officials approved a plan<br />

of incorporation, which enabled <strong>Midland</strong><br />

<strong>to</strong> progress rapidly over <strong>the</strong> next several<br />

years. Telephones became more widely utilized<br />

with <strong>the</strong> introduction of electricity in 1907.<br />

Constructed next <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> courthouse, an electric<br />

station provided local residents with fairly<br />

reliable electricity. Limited output restricted<br />

<strong>the</strong> use of electricity <strong>to</strong> daylight hours until<br />

10:00 p.m. The availability of electricity, in<br />

addition <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> city’s incorporation, exemplified<br />

<strong>the</strong> maturation of <strong>Midland</strong>. Efforts continued<br />

in subsequent years, but <strong>the</strong> community<br />

faced potentially devastating setbacks in 1909<br />

and 1910.<br />



Left: Clarence Scharbauer.<br />



COLLECTION, 76-093.062.1.<br />

Right: The Scharbauer Ranch became<br />

known for <strong>the</strong>ir quality registered<br />

Hereford cattle.<br />

Amidst <strong>the</strong> drought and blizzard of 1886-1887, many <strong>West</strong> Texas agriculturalists lost <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

land and lives<strong>to</strong>ck. In <strong>Midland</strong>, however, many ranchers wea<strong>the</strong>red <strong>the</strong> s<strong>to</strong>rm and <strong>the</strong><br />

corresponding economic setback. The persistence of <strong>Midland</strong> ranchers impressed upon many <strong>the</strong><br />

real value of <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin and resulted in an influx of settlers. One of <strong>the</strong> many men who<br />

relocated, John Scharbauer, established his ranch in <strong>Midland</strong> County which soon emerged as one<br />

of <strong>the</strong> preeminent ranching enterprises.<br />

Originally from Schenectady, New York, John Scharbauer came <strong>to</strong> Texas as a young man. He<br />

began herding sheep near Eastland but continually moved his s<strong>to</strong>ck west. His journey carried him<br />

through numerous <strong>West</strong> Texas counties, and in 1887 he settled in <strong>Midland</strong>. At age thirty-five,<br />

Scharbauer immediately made an impact on <strong>the</strong> community, and he became known as “Uncle<br />

John.” Although he successfully moved large quantities of sheep, he turned his attention <strong>to</strong> cattle.<br />

In 1888 he sold his sheep and established a cattle ranch south of <strong>Midland</strong>. Like <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r premier<br />

Texas cattlemen, Scharbauer <strong>to</strong>ok an interest in <strong>the</strong> industry, <strong>the</strong> lives<strong>to</strong>ck, and <strong>the</strong> environment.<br />

Scharbauer carefully managed <strong>the</strong> size of his herds and moni<strong>to</strong>red <strong>the</strong>ir consumption of<br />

resources. He introduced registered Herefords <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> region, and Scharbauer Ranch cattle<br />

commanded <strong>to</strong>p dollar. Soon, additional <strong>Midland</strong> area ranchers followed suit and culled inferior<br />

breeds from <strong>the</strong>ir herds. Although not <strong>the</strong> first lives<strong>to</strong>ck in <strong>Midland</strong>, Scharbauer cattle put<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> on <strong>the</strong> map.<br />

The cattle industry alone created <strong>the</strong> desire <strong>to</strong> establish banking<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong> and Scharbauer pooled interests with W. E. and W. F.<br />

Connell in a private bank known as Connell Bro<strong>the</strong>rs and<br />

Scharbauer. Eventually known as <strong>the</strong> First National Bank of <strong>Midland</strong>,<br />

<strong>the</strong> financial institution became <strong>the</strong> premier lender in <strong>the</strong> region.<br />

Scharbauer’s success and faith in <strong>the</strong> region led him in 1889 <strong>to</strong><br />

court his bro<strong>the</strong>r, Christian <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>. Christian brought ano<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Scharbauer destined <strong>to</strong> make a great impact on <strong>Midland</strong>. Clarence,<br />

his ten year old son, worked for his uncle herding sheep near<br />

Stan<strong>to</strong>n. As a youth, Clarence attended school in <strong>Midland</strong> and<br />

worked as a cowboy each summer. At <strong>the</strong> age of sixteen, <strong>the</strong><br />


enterprising young cattleman acquired his own herd. Soon he established <strong>the</strong> VXL brand.<br />

Clarence attended Baylor University, but his heart was in cattle. After only one year in Waco,<br />

he shifted his focus back <strong>to</strong> cattle. Clarence, John, and Christian organized <strong>the</strong> Scharbauer Cattle<br />

Company in <strong>Midland</strong> during 1901. At twenty-two years of age, Clarence became <strong>the</strong> company’s<br />

first manager. Like his uncle John, he oversaw <strong>the</strong> scientific management of land and cattle<br />

and fur<strong>the</strong>r enhanced his reputation as well as <strong>the</strong> reputation of his ranching enterprise<br />

and <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

The Scharbauer Cattle Company professionalized ranching in <strong>Midland</strong> County. The family<br />

emerged as a leader in <strong>the</strong> ranching industry throughout Texas and <strong>the</strong> United States. While <strong>the</strong><br />

Scharbauer family’s agricultural interests expanded <strong>to</strong> include <strong>to</strong>p quality horses, oil was later<br />

discovered on <strong>the</strong> Scharbauer Ranch. The family remained prominent not as a result of <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

wealth. Ra<strong>the</strong>r, <strong>the</strong> Scharbauer family name is attached <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> s<strong>to</strong>ry of <strong>Midland</strong> as a result of <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

deep seeded connection <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> community.<br />

The First National Bank of <strong>Midland</strong>,<br />

in 1908.<br />


C HAPTER<br />

III<br />



Devastation from <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> fire<br />

of 1909.<br />

With <strong>Midland</strong> on <strong>the</strong> cusp of great things, several substantial fires created chaos in 1909 and<br />

1910. The fires demonstrated not only <strong>the</strong> pitfalls of rapid growth, but also <strong>the</strong> challenges <strong>to</strong> a<br />

community with inadequate water resources. In April of 1909 a blaze fueled by spring winds<br />

threatened <strong>to</strong> destroy <strong>the</strong> entire community. Although a bucket brigade had been organized <strong>to</strong><br />

combat <strong>the</strong> spread of fires, efforts proved inadequate. The fire swept through <strong>Midland</strong> and<br />

consumed <strong>the</strong> First National Bank, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> National Bank, <strong>the</strong> Llano Hotel as well as a number<br />

of o<strong>the</strong>r structures. City leaders responded by calling for <strong>the</strong> condemnation of all dangerous<br />

structures, whe<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong>y had been damaged by <strong>the</strong> fire or not. Later residents of <strong>Midland</strong> approved<br />

a 50,000 dollar bond for <strong>the</strong> creation of a water system. Completed in Oc<strong>to</strong>ber of <strong>the</strong> following year,<br />

<strong>the</strong> system aided <strong>the</strong> newly established volunteer fire department.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> witnessed dynamic change during 1910. The Progressive Era reform spirit that had<br />

swept <strong>the</strong> nation reached <strong>Midland</strong>. Progressivism manifested itself in an array of new city<br />

ordinances. Modeling new laws after similar measures enacted throughout <strong>the</strong> United States,<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> leaders sought <strong>to</strong> create regulations that promoted both personal and governmental<br />

responsibility and efficiency. Accordingly a 9:00 p.m. curfew had been levied on residents under <strong>the</strong><br />

age of sixteen, with parents responsible for compliance. To improve sanitation, businesses had <strong>to</strong><br />

properly maintain privies. Additionally, officials mandated <strong>the</strong> recording of vital statistics and a new<br />

poll tax levied a one dollar fee on all males between <strong>the</strong> age of twenty and sixty years of age, “idiots<br />

and lunatics excepted.” Anyone violating <strong>the</strong> new ordinances would be required <strong>to</strong> pay fines. To aid<br />

enforcement of new ordinances, <strong>the</strong> city paid a Marshall $1,200 annually.<br />


The Progressive impulse fur<strong>the</strong>r manifested<br />

itself in education. The Texas Legislature had<br />

created <strong>Midland</strong> Independent School District in<br />

1907 and <strong>the</strong> community responded with<br />

efforts <strong>to</strong> reopen <strong>Midland</strong>’s first public library.<br />

The library had been discussed as early as<br />

1903 when a group of female members of <strong>the</strong><br />

’99 Club appointed a committee <strong>to</strong> oversee<br />

<strong>the</strong> organization and construction of a facility.<br />

Although successful in <strong>the</strong> short term, <strong>the</strong><br />

library floundered without broad community<br />

support. In 1910 <strong>the</strong> Women’s Wednesday Club,<br />

ano<strong>the</strong>r volunteer organization, raised funds for<br />

building repairs and additional books. Their<br />

efforts revived <strong>Midland</strong>’s first public library,<br />

again making educational resources available <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong>ers. The greatest educational achievement<br />

of 1910, however, was <strong>the</strong> opening of<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Christian College (MCC).<br />

The September 1910 enrollment of <strong>the</strong> first<br />

107 students in classes at <strong>Midland</strong> Christian<br />

College finalized two years of hard work.<br />

Trustees of Texas Christian University (TCU)<br />

had determined <strong>to</strong> establish a satellite campus<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong> during <strong>the</strong> spring of 1908.<br />

Influential <strong>Midland</strong>ers moved quickly <strong>to</strong> accommodate<br />

<strong>the</strong> plan. Thus citizens ga<strong>the</strong>red <strong>to</strong> discuss<br />

concerns. Held on December 4, 1908, <strong>the</strong><br />

first meeting of <strong>Midland</strong>ers had accomplished<br />

little o<strong>the</strong>r than appointing temporary trustees.<br />

Two days later, a vote formalized <strong>the</strong> previously<br />

appointed Board of Trustees. Herman Garrett<br />

Clockwise, starting from <strong>to</strong>p:<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Christian College, c. 1910.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Christian College band.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Christian College catalog.<br />


Above: <strong>Midland</strong> fire department<br />

display <strong>the</strong>ir new pull cart and hoses.<br />

Below: Flood of 1914, when it rains in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>…it usually pours.<br />

donated land west of <strong>the</strong> courthouse <strong>to</strong> support<br />

<strong>the</strong> effort. Proceeds from <strong>the</strong> sale of lands<br />

would be used <strong>to</strong> construct facilities. With <strong>the</strong><br />

aid of TCU officials, <strong>the</strong> MCC Board carved <strong>the</strong><br />

first 300 lots out of more than 225 available<br />

acres. Each sold for an average of seventy-five<br />

dollars. Additionally, designers planned <strong>the</strong><br />

future campus. Before <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> year,<br />

Walter Taylor of Fort Worth won a contract <strong>to</strong><br />

construct <strong>the</strong> first campus building. At a cost of<br />

35,000 dollars, crews completed <strong>the</strong> three s<strong>to</strong>ry<br />

structure during May of 1910. The s<strong>to</strong>ne building<br />

contained offices and classrooms on <strong>the</strong><br />

first two floors, with boys and girls dorm rooms<br />

on <strong>the</strong> third floor. Completed later, a separate<br />

dorm referred <strong>to</strong> as <strong>the</strong> “Dog House,” became<br />

<strong>the</strong> home of male students.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Christian College endeavored <strong>to</strong><br />

educate students by offering a variety of courses<br />

and extracurricular activities. Courses included<br />

liberal arts, bookkeeping, shorthand, painting,<br />

piano, voice, ora<strong>to</strong>ry, and Bible studies. Sports<br />

also fac<strong>to</strong>red in<strong>to</strong> campus life. MCC boasted<br />

basketball, baseball, football, and tennis teams.<br />

Football seems <strong>to</strong> have been as significant in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> <strong>the</strong>n as it is <strong>to</strong>day. The MCC Herefords<br />

once defeated a Roscoe football team by <strong>the</strong><br />

score of 92-0. O<strong>the</strong>r campus activities included<br />

choral, orchestra, literary society, and Spanish<br />

club. Rules stringently governed <strong>the</strong> behavior of<br />

students insisting that “students shall be gentlemen<br />

and ladies in <strong>the</strong>ir conduct.” Campus codes<br />

demanded regular class attendance and also forbade<br />

<strong>the</strong> “use of <strong>to</strong>bacco in and about college<br />

buildings, loafing in <strong>to</strong>wn,” and “contracting<br />

unnecessary debts.” Although <strong>the</strong> majority of<br />


students came from outside of <strong>Midland</strong>, <strong>the</strong><br />

community certainly benefited from <strong>the</strong> presence<br />

of an institution of higher learning. One of<br />

MCC’s most important students, J. Evetts Haley,<br />

made a life long contribution <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

The promise of 1910 ended in tragedy when<br />

yet ano<strong>the</strong>r fire almost leveled <strong>Midland</strong>. The fire<br />

broke out in <strong>the</strong> barn of W. A. Holloway when<br />

an oil heater exploded. The dry wooden structure<br />

soon succumbed <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> rapidly spreading<br />

flames. Yet again, as The <strong>Midland</strong> Reporter<br />

indicated, “It seemed that <strong>the</strong> whole business<br />

portion of our city was hopelessly<br />

doomed.” The fire leapt from building <strong>to</strong><br />

building. The <strong>Midland</strong> Dry Good and<br />

Grocery Company went up in flames, <strong>the</strong>n<br />

<strong>the</strong> Martin-Campy Jewelry Company.<br />

Adjoining buildings soon burned as <strong>the</strong> fire<br />

raged out of control. The volunteer fire<br />

department assembled, started <strong>the</strong> water<br />

station’s pump, and began fighting <strong>the</strong> fire.<br />

Low pressure made it difficult <strong>to</strong> control<br />

<strong>the</strong> blaze. The volunteers halted <strong>the</strong> flames,<br />

but not before many buildings sustained<br />

damage, including Bigham and Lee Vehicles<br />

and Implement S<strong>to</strong>re, Klapporth’s Saddlery,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Scharbauer, <strong>the</strong> Boaz, and <strong>the</strong> Stag<br />

Hotels. The only human casualty, George<br />

Mauldin, died in <strong>the</strong> fire. According <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

The <strong>Midland</strong> Reporter, “His body was burned <strong>to</strong><br />

a crisp.”<br />

Without <strong>the</strong> water station, <strong>Midland</strong> would<br />

have sustained much greater losses. Merchants<br />

promised <strong>to</strong> reopen. The First National Bank<br />

stepped up by offering 600,000 dollars in reconstruction<br />

loans. By <strong>the</strong> end of 1911, <strong>Midland</strong><br />

had rebounded. The Fort Worth Record reported,<br />

Above: “Crystal Ballroom” in <strong>the</strong><br />

Scharbauer Hotel, March 22, 1940.<br />



COLLECTION, 82-030.019.<br />

Below: Gulf oil geologists in <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong> area, 1926.<br />


Top: Down<strong>to</strong>wn <strong>Midland</strong>,<br />

July 4, 1911.<br />

Middle: <strong>Midland</strong> Fair Parade,<br />

Oc<strong>to</strong>ber 3, 1912.<br />

Bot<strong>to</strong>m: <strong>Midland</strong> in 1926.<br />

“New s<strong>to</strong>res being opened up, new irrigation<br />

wells being bored, new people coming in, and<br />

large increases in banking transactions are some<br />

of <strong>the</strong> convincing proofs that prosperity has<br />

come back <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> country.” As a sign of<br />

that prosperity, many <strong>Midland</strong> residents built<br />

substantial new homes. Additionally, numerous<br />

water wells cropped up throughout <strong>the</strong> county.<br />

W. J. Morgan drilled <strong>the</strong> first irrigation well for<br />

farming in 1911. The well produced more than<br />

2,000 gallons of water per minute. Morgan s<strong>to</strong>red<br />

<strong>the</strong> water and flooded furrows. The method,<br />

although wasteful and inefficient produced high<br />

yields. Soon small farms of between 100 and 200<br />

acres throughout <strong>Midland</strong> adopted <strong>the</strong> method.<br />

Cot<strong>to</strong>n, alfalfa, cantaloupes, and watermelons<br />


appeared in local fields. Mostly family enterprise,<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> area farms rarely utilized outside sources<br />

of labor. Mexican Americans, however, picked<br />

cot<strong>to</strong>n seasonally.<br />

Between 1910 and 1920, <strong>the</strong> pace of <strong>Midland</strong><br />

change slowed. Although <strong>Midland</strong> Christian<br />

College more than doubled its enrollment, <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong> population hovered around 2,500<br />

citizens. In 1913, <strong>the</strong> Nelson Morris Estate<br />

(Morris had died in 1907) sold <strong>the</strong> Chicago<br />

Ranch <strong>to</strong> David Fasken, a Canadian lawyer. On<br />

<strong>the</strong> land, Fasken formed <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Farms<br />

Company. Fasken <strong>the</strong>n granted <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> and<br />

Northwestern Railway Company (M&N) right<br />

of way for <strong>the</strong> construction of a railroad from<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> <strong>to</strong> Seminole. Fasken’s nephew Andrew<br />


Above: First National Bank of<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> was <strong>the</strong> financial backbone<br />

of <strong>the</strong> community for almost<br />

100 years.<br />

Below: <strong>Midland</strong> County library, 1931.<br />

Opposite, <strong>to</strong>p: <strong>Midland</strong> in <strong>the</strong> 1930s.<br />

Opposite, bot<strong>to</strong>m: Hogan Building,<br />

later renamed <strong>the</strong> Petroleum Building.<br />

moved <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> <strong>to</strong> oversee construction, which<br />

occurred between 1915 and 1916. Because it was<br />

a limited operation, <strong>the</strong> M&N leased an engine<br />

from <strong>the</strong> Texas and Pacific Railway Company.<br />

Although never prosperous, <strong>the</strong> line served <strong>the</strong><br />

needs of local ranchers during World War I.<br />

The outbreak of <strong>the</strong> Great War and <strong>the</strong> onset<br />

of drought in 1917 highlighted <strong>the</strong> challenges of<br />

<strong>the</strong> decade. In August of 1914, WWI had begun<br />

in Europe. Initially <strong>the</strong> demand for agricultural<br />

commodities drove prices up. Although less<br />

than eight percent of domestic cattle ever<br />

reached foreign markets, o<strong>the</strong>r fac<strong>to</strong>rs such as<br />

rationing and “meatless days” promised <strong>to</strong> keep<br />

American cattle prices at an all time high.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> ranchers looked optimistically <strong>to</strong> a<br />

future of high prices and unprecedented profits.<br />

In 1917, however, Mo<strong>the</strong>r Nature intervened<br />

once again. Ano<strong>the</strong>r severe drought hit <strong>the</strong><br />

region. Cattle starved and died. The few crops<br />

that had been planted wi<strong>the</strong>red away. Numerous<br />

land owners faced foreclosure and <strong>the</strong> lack of<br />

spending money resulted in <strong>the</strong> failure of several<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> businesses. Ranchers and merchants<br />

increasingly went <strong>to</strong> local banks in search of<br />

funds <strong>to</strong> sustain <strong>the</strong>ir operations. <strong>Midland</strong><br />

banks often extended financing despite <strong>the</strong> fact<br />

that many loans had been carried longer than<br />

recommended. The <strong>to</strong>tal number of ranches in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County declined by forty-five during<br />

<strong>the</strong> decade, and WWI, which had generally<br />

been good for agriculture and industry, had not<br />

been so kind <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

The 1920s dawned with a sense of foreboding.<br />

The faltering economy fur<strong>the</strong>r resulted in<br />

<strong>the</strong> closure of <strong>Midland</strong> Christian College in 1921<br />

and <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> and Northwestern Railway<br />

Company in 1923. There were signs of new life,<br />

however, and <strong>the</strong> community rebounded during<br />

<strong>the</strong> “Roaring Twenties.” <strong>Midland</strong> soared <strong>to</strong><br />

new heights. Baseball came <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> in 1921<br />

when Los Patrillos, a Mexican American semiprofessional<br />

baseball team, played <strong>the</strong>ir first<br />

game. The team succeeded for over forty years,<br />


and <strong>Midland</strong> gradually recovered, but at a relatively<br />

slow pace. <strong>Midland</strong>’s first hospital opened<br />

in 1922. The population more than doubled<br />

from 2,500 <strong>to</strong> near 5,000 inhabitants during <strong>the</strong><br />

decade. Largely a result of <strong>the</strong> growth of Permian<br />

Basin oil production, geologists, land men, and<br />

drillers all became new residents of <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

Oilfield development had begun in<br />

<strong>West</strong>brook in 1920. Later <strong>the</strong> same year <strong>the</strong><br />

Colorado City Record fueled <strong>the</strong> speculative<br />

impulse with <strong>the</strong> headline, “Oil, Oil, Rumors of<br />

Oil!” Although <strong>the</strong> <strong>West</strong>brook Field never produced<br />

great quantities, <strong>the</strong> prospect of oil transformed<br />

Big Spring. A similar frenzy occurred in<br />

Scurry County and <strong>the</strong>n Reagan County. Santa<br />

Rita #1 came in on May 28, 1923. Drillers soon<br />

overran surrounding ground. Due <strong>to</strong> its proximity<br />

<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> initial strikes, San Angelo became<br />

<strong>the</strong> center of oil speculation, but wildcatters <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> north and west would later make <strong>Midland</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> center of a massive oil producing region.<br />

During <strong>the</strong> mid-1920s, <strong>the</strong> opening of oil<br />

fields nearer <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> stimulated growth.<br />

Gradually, <strong>Midland</strong> emerged from <strong>the</strong> prolonged<br />

economic downturn created by drought,<br />

agricultural failures, and bank foreclosures. The<br />

expansion of <strong>the</strong> oil economy attracted numerous<br />

petroleum companies <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>, which<br />

was at <strong>the</strong> geographic center of <strong>the</strong> growing<br />

boom. Created in 1924, <strong>the</strong> Chamber of<br />

Commerce organized a campaign <strong>to</strong> promote<br />

<strong>the</strong> community. The Chamber proved an invaluable<br />

booster. Pressure from members resulted in<br />

a variety of improvements, such as a new city<br />

sewage system. Additionally, Highway 80 was<br />

completely paved through <strong>to</strong>wn in 1925,<br />

literally opening new avenues of community<br />

development. Streetlights appeared <strong>the</strong> following<br />

year. The Llano Hotel underwent substantial<br />

upgrades, and Clarence Scharbauer decided <strong>to</strong><br />

build a first rate hotel in 1927. The Scharbauer<br />

Hotel had <strong>the</strong> finest amenities, including <strong>the</strong><br />

“Crystal Ballroom,” an opulent space utilized for<br />

formal dances and <strong>the</strong> ga<strong>the</strong>ring of public<br />

figures and oil executives. The Leggett Building<br />

went up <strong>the</strong> same year. Containing abundant<br />

office space, <strong>the</strong> structure fur<strong>the</strong>r enticed oil<br />

companies <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>. Additionally, new<br />

construction created jobs and potential work<br />

brought additional African Americans and<br />

Mexican Americans <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> community.<br />


Above: The Yucca Theatre opened<br />

December 9, 1929.<br />

Below: Samuel Sloan with his<br />

bro<strong>the</strong>r Harvey.<br />



COLLECTION, 76-093.067.<br />

Many saw, as <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Daily Telegram<br />

reported, “possibilities beyond ordinary speculation.”<br />

T. S. Hogan proved one of <strong>the</strong> most<br />

important visionaries. A former Montana<br />

Sena<strong>to</strong>r, Hogan had been active in <strong>the</strong> oil industry<br />

in Montana and Colorado. After Gulf Oil<br />

Corporation made discoveries in Up<strong>to</strong>n County,<br />

Hogan sent his son Fred <strong>to</strong> scout <strong>the</strong> Permian<br />

Basin. In 1927 Hogan purchased 405 acres from<br />

Herman Garrett and encouraged local residents<br />

<strong>to</strong> beautify <strong>the</strong> community. He claimed <strong>to</strong> be<br />

ready “<strong>to</strong> help build <strong>Midland</strong> in<strong>to</strong> a city.” In<br />

speeches and articles he promoted <strong>Midland</strong> as<br />

<strong>the</strong> future capi<strong>to</strong>l of <strong>the</strong> oil industry in <strong>West</strong><br />

Texas. Hogan not only proved an invaluable<br />

booster, he put his words in<strong>to</strong> action. He began<br />

construction of <strong>the</strong> Hogan Building (<strong>the</strong><br />

Petroleum Building), and true <strong>to</strong> his vision,<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> soon started <strong>to</strong> resemble an oasis with<br />

trees and grass along <strong>the</strong> major thoroughfares.<br />

Already at a crossroads of major agricultural<br />

and petroleum traffic, <strong>Midland</strong> needed an airport.<br />

Regional oil man Samuel Sloan, who had<br />

been trained as a pilot during<br />

World War I and flown<br />

in France with <strong>the</strong> 278th<br />

Aero Squadron of <strong>the</strong> United<br />

States Army Air Service, had<br />

a love for flying and decided<br />

<strong>to</strong> take on <strong>the</strong> project. He<br />

found suitable land halfway<br />

between <strong>Midland</strong> and<br />

Odessa. He <strong>the</strong>n carved his<br />

airfield out of <strong>the</strong> flat grassland<br />

leased from Clarence<br />

Scharbauer. Sloan Field contained<br />

a graded dirt landing<br />

strip, a water well, and a<br />

small hangar. A small passenger<br />

terminal, refueling<br />

station, and training facility<br />

opened in 1928. In August<br />

of <strong>the</strong> following year Amelia<br />

Earhart landed at Sloan<br />

Field. Unfortunately, Sloan<br />

never met <strong>the</strong> famous avia<strong>to</strong>r.<br />

He had died in a plane<br />

crash on New Years day, but<br />

his airport project remains<br />

an important asset <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin.<br />

Although <strong>Midland</strong> was at <strong>the</strong> center of <strong>the</strong><br />

vast Permian Basin oil producing region, oil<br />

had not yet been found in quantity in <strong>Midland</strong><br />

County. Regardless, <strong>Midland</strong>ers remained<br />

hopeful. Following several failed attempts <strong>to</strong><br />

drill a producing well, Philips Petroleum drilled<br />

a test well twelve miles sou<strong>the</strong>ast of <strong>Midland</strong><br />

during March of 1929. The effort generated<br />

buzz throughout <strong>the</strong> county but <strong>the</strong> well only<br />

produced trace amounts of oil. Plagued by<br />

troubles including lost <strong>to</strong>ols and a broken down<br />

engine, drillers plugged and abandoned <strong>the</strong> site<br />

during July. Despite an inauspicious start <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

petroleum industry, <strong>Midland</strong> continued <strong>to</strong><br />

progress as evidenced by <strong>the</strong> completion of <strong>the</strong><br />

new City Hall, <strong>the</strong> Hogan Building, and <strong>the</strong><br />

Yucca Theater in 1929.<br />

While regional oil production had vastly<br />

outpaced consumption, causing many wildcatters<br />

<strong>to</strong> fail, <strong>the</strong> unusually wet winters between<br />

1927 and 1929 had resulted in an upswing in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County’s agricultural profitability.<br />

Cot<strong>to</strong>n farms, which had appeared in recent<br />

years, prospered. As a result, many African<br />

Americans relocated <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>. Additionally,<br />

<strong>the</strong> rains highlighted <strong>the</strong> value of <strong>the</strong> Texas and<br />

Pacific railroad and Highway 80, both of which<br />

ran directly through <strong>Midland</strong>. While muddy,<br />

unpaved roads inhibited travel <strong>to</strong> and from San<br />

Angelo, paved roads in <strong>Midland</strong> made <strong>the</strong><br />

movement of commodities much easier. The<br />

ongoing development of infrastructure paid<br />

huge dividends in <strong>the</strong> midst of <strong>the</strong> nation’s<br />

greatest economic collapse. With strong agricultural<br />

and industrial sec<strong>to</strong>rs of its economy in<br />

1929, <strong>Midland</strong> proved <strong>to</strong> be somewhat insulated<br />

from <strong>the</strong> prolonged hardships of <strong>the</strong> Great<br />

Depression. No doubt <strong>Midland</strong>ers suffered, but<br />

economic diversification proved <strong>the</strong> savior of<br />

<strong>the</strong> community.<br />

The depths of <strong>the</strong> Great Depression reached<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> in 1930. During <strong>the</strong> early years of <strong>the</strong><br />

decade, <strong>the</strong> return of drought and a faltering oil<br />

industry throughout Texas had a profound<br />

impact on <strong>the</strong> community. Oil companies that<br />

had come <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> in <strong>the</strong> mid 1920s began <strong>to</strong><br />

move out of <strong>the</strong>ir office space. The Petroleum<br />

Building, locally referred <strong>to</strong> as “Hogan’s Folly,”<br />

remained more than eighty percent vacant for<br />

many years. Its owner, T. S. Hogan, almost<br />

bankrupt, surrendered <strong>the</strong> building <strong>to</strong> credi<strong>to</strong>rs.<br />


The widening depression had an adverse<br />

effect on virtually everyone. The jobless rate<br />

reached thirty-three percent and <strong>to</strong> alleviate<br />

suffering <strong>Midland</strong>ers established <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Community Welfare Association (MCWA). An<br />

organization promoted by <strong>the</strong> Chamber of<br />

Commerce, <strong>the</strong> MCWA provided relief in <strong>the</strong><br />

form of food and clothing. Because of <strong>the</strong><br />

immense need for aid in 1932 local drives fell<br />

short of needed supplies. As a result <strong>the</strong> MCWA<br />

applied for money under <strong>the</strong> Reconstruction<br />

Finance Corporation (RFC), which made<br />

Federal money available for relief. The establishment<br />

of <strong>the</strong> RFC marked <strong>the</strong> Federal government’s<br />

move <strong>to</strong>ward direct involvement in<br />

<strong>the</strong> economic crisis, which proved <strong>to</strong> be <strong>the</strong><br />

necessary first step <strong>to</strong>ward recovery.<br />

In some ways, <strong>Midland</strong> and <strong>the</strong> State of Texas<br />

moved ahead of <strong>the</strong> Federal government. During<br />

August of 1930, <strong>the</strong> Texas Railroad Commission<br />

(TRC) had issued <strong>the</strong> first statewide proration<br />

order, which limited daily production of oil.<br />

The impetus for <strong>the</strong> decree had been steadily<br />

declining prices and a growing concern for<br />

preserving finite natural resources. The TRC<br />

hoped that by limiting supplies of oil, prices<br />

would increase. Most small producers, who<br />

thought <strong>the</strong> TRC had conspired <strong>to</strong> force <strong>the</strong>m<br />

out of operation, opposed <strong>the</strong> policy. The TRC’s<br />

policy of proration, however, set <strong>the</strong> precedent<br />

for Federal/state agreements negotiated between<br />

1932 and 1935. Regardless of <strong>the</strong> controversy,<br />

proration, in addition <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> increased tariff on<br />

foreign oil, once again made drilling in <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin a profitable venture. Oil prices<br />

rose from a woeful $0.10 per barrel in 1930 <strong>to</strong><br />

$0.60 per barrel a few years later.<br />

For all of <strong>the</strong> positive gains in <strong>the</strong> petroleum<br />

industry after 1932, <strong>Midland</strong> agriculture slowed<br />

dramatically. Yet ano<strong>the</strong>r drought, which had<br />

begun in 1930, had begun <strong>to</strong> wreak havoc.<br />

Cot<strong>to</strong>n production dropped by more than sixty<br />

percent, and cattle prices fell dramatically. As<br />

had been <strong>the</strong> case for industry, agriculture<br />

witnessed change brought on by government<br />

programs. The United States Congress passed<br />

<strong>the</strong> Agricultural Adjustment Act (AAA) in 1933.<br />

The AAA regulated both production and prices.<br />

Cattlemen throughout <strong>the</strong> west successfully<br />

opposed <strong>the</strong> addition of cattle <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> list of<br />

commodities whose prices were controlled<br />

under <strong>the</strong> provisions of <strong>the</strong> AAA. When prices<br />

continued <strong>to</strong> falter, however, cattlemen lobbied<br />

for controls. In April of 1934 Congress amended<br />

<strong>the</strong> AAA <strong>to</strong> included controls of cattle prices.<br />

Legisla<strong>to</strong>rs also set aside two hundred million<br />

dollars for <strong>the</strong> purchase of cattle. Some of <strong>the</strong><br />

money funded <strong>the</strong> destruction of lives<strong>to</strong>ck.<br />

Although popularly viewed as one of <strong>the</strong> most<br />

unsavory New Deal programs, many deemed<br />

<strong>the</strong> culling of herds <strong>to</strong> be humane and necessary.<br />

The destruction of s<strong>to</strong>ck eased <strong>the</strong> suffering of<br />

malnourished animals and also reduced<br />

competition for diminishing natural resources.<br />

Regardless of popular opinion, <strong>the</strong> AAA brought<br />

short-term stabilization <strong>to</strong> agricultural prices.<br />

The United States Supreme Court, however,<br />

later declared <strong>the</strong> AAA unconstitutional.<br />

The fortitude of <strong>Midland</strong>ers, government<br />

programs, and a bit of luck brought <strong>the</strong><br />

community out of <strong>the</strong> depths of <strong>the</strong> Great<br />

Depression by 1935. The oil industry in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> began <strong>to</strong> recover and production in <strong>the</strong><br />

Goldsmith Field brought oil companies and<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir personnel back <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> community. When<br />

much of <strong>the</strong> country could see no light at <strong>the</strong><br />

end of <strong>the</strong> tunnel, <strong>Midland</strong> fortunes began <strong>to</strong><br />

reverse. The influx of people created a severe<br />

housing shortage as <strong>the</strong> population of <strong>Midland</strong><br />

County exploded <strong>to</strong> almost 12,000. After 1935,<br />

oil and an impending war in Europe brought a<br />

decade of tremendous prosperity, during which<br />

time <strong>Midland</strong> would solidify its position as <strong>the</strong><br />

industrial center of <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin.<br />

Difficult economic times hit <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Christian College especially hard.<br />


JOHN<br />

V. PLISKA<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> has a rich his<strong>to</strong>ry of flight. One of <strong>the</strong> earliest airplane designers,<br />

John V. Pliska called <strong>Midland</strong> home between 1907 and 1956. Born in Tyne,<br />

Moravia, December 6, 1879, Pliska came <strong>to</strong> Texas in 1896. He worked as a<br />

blacksmith in central Texas and in 1903 determined <strong>to</strong> relocate. He set out for<br />

Mexico where <strong>the</strong> government had been courting skilled foreign labor. During<br />

<strong>the</strong> journey, Pliska s<strong>to</strong>pped in <strong>Midland</strong> and explored <strong>the</strong> community. Before<br />

leaving, he ventured in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> local blacksmith’s shop where he discovered an<br />

abundance of work. Pliska offered <strong>to</strong> help repair a windmill owned by<br />

C. C. Slaughter and his work thoroughly impressed Slaughter. When Pliska<br />

became an American citizen in 1905, he moved <strong>to</strong> Slaughter’s Running Water<br />

and Long S ranches, where he worked for two years.<br />

With his bro<strong>the</strong>r-in-law, Pliska purchased a blacksmith shop in <strong>Midland</strong> in<br />

1907. The following year he began planning for <strong>the</strong> construction of an<br />

airplane. In <strong>the</strong> early days of flight, airmen had <strong>to</strong> possess <strong>the</strong> skills of an<br />

engineer, mechanic, and pilot. Fortunately, Pliska had been trained by <strong>the</strong><br />

Austro-Hungarian Army in <strong>the</strong> craft of ballooning. Additionally, he had<br />

knowledge of aerodynamics due <strong>to</strong> his experiences with gliders. During 1909,<br />

Pliska ga<strong>the</strong>red equipment and materials necessary <strong>to</strong> complete his airplane<br />

project. A bit fearful and skeptical of his design, Pliska moved slowly.<br />

Although he worked consistently, after two years of labor he still did not a<br />

have plane that could get airborne.<br />

When a Wright Bro<strong>the</strong>rs Model B landed in <strong>Midland</strong> while making a crosscountry<br />

journey, Pliska viewed <strong>the</strong> craft with enthusiasm. He streng<strong>the</strong>ned his<br />

effort <strong>to</strong> complete an aircraft of his own. To assist continued design and<br />

construction efforts, Pliska enlisted <strong>the</strong> aid of Gary Coggin, a local au<strong>to</strong>mobile<br />

mechanic. Soon <strong>the</strong> two men traveled <strong>to</strong> Sandusky, Ohio, <strong>to</strong> purchase<br />

an engine. Pliska paid $1,500 for a Roberts Mo<strong>to</strong>r Company engine that<br />


produced between forty and fifty horsepower. Coggin and Pliska finally assembled <strong>the</strong> plane in<br />

Pliska’s blacksmith shop. With a fuselage and propeller made of wood, wings made of canvas,<br />

bicycle wires for struts, and three bicycle wheels with Goodyear tires, <strong>the</strong> plane made its maiden<br />

voyage over <strong>the</strong> Quien Sabe Ranch sou<strong>the</strong>ast of <strong>Midland</strong> in 1912. The underpowered machine<br />

got airborne but could not maintain flight for more than fifteen minutes. To lighten <strong>the</strong> aircraft,<br />

Pliska replaced <strong>the</strong> canvas with silk. The experiment failed.<br />

Pliska remained determined <strong>to</strong> achieve sustained flight. He continued <strong>to</strong> improve upon his<br />

design and construction method. He eventually made flights of two miles. Excited, he agreed <strong>to</strong><br />

fly his plane at <strong>the</strong> 1912 Fourth of July celebration in Odessa. Due <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> heat, lack of humidity,<br />

and rough runway, Pliska never got his craft airborne. Angered by <strong>the</strong> failure, <strong>the</strong> raucous crowd<br />

demanded refunds of <strong>the</strong>ir entrance fee and threatened Pliska. Embarrassed, Pliska fled Odessa.<br />

He later disassembled <strong>the</strong> airplane.<br />

Several fac<strong>to</strong>rs contributed <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> dismantling of <strong>the</strong> plane. Some speculate that a dejected<br />

Pliska abandoned his flight plans as a result of <strong>the</strong> humiliation he had felt in Odessa.<br />

Undoubtedly Pliska wished his show had gone off without any hitches. A later flight crashed in<strong>to</strong><br />

mesquite trees. More than anything else, <strong>the</strong> expense of constant repairs and pressure from his<br />

wife resulted in his abandonment of his aircraft. Pliska s<strong>to</strong>red <strong>the</strong> plane above his blacksmith<br />

shop. He died in 1956. In 1962, his children donated <strong>the</strong> aircraft <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> City of <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

The Abell-Hanger Foundation funded a renovation project and <strong>the</strong> Pliska airplane now hangs in<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> International Airport.<br />

Opposite: John V. Pliska, 1911.<br />

Below: The Pliska airplane at <strong>the</strong><br />

1912 Fourth of July Celebration<br />

in Odessa.<br />


C HAPTER<br />

IV<br />


Running casing. Painting by<br />

John Scott.<br />



PETROLEUM MUSEUM, 2005-009.039.<br />

Between 1925 and 1935 <strong>the</strong> ancient geology that had given <strong>the</strong> region its name now provided<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> and <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin with a new identity—oil. <strong>Midland</strong> began <strong>to</strong> transition from a strictly<br />

agricultural economy <strong>to</strong> a more diverse economy that included <strong>the</strong> burgeoning oil industry. During<br />

that ten year period, <strong>the</strong> community experienced <strong>the</strong> first of what would become many booms<br />

and busts in <strong>the</strong> local economy. Although initially <strong>the</strong> boom was in administration ra<strong>the</strong>r than<br />

production, <strong>Midland</strong> benefited greatly by <strong>the</strong> increased presence of <strong>the</strong> oil industry. After 1935<br />

proration, price stabilization, and <strong>the</strong> coming of World War II (WWII) brought unprecedented<br />

growth and prosperity <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>. The second oil boom in <strong>Midland</strong> forever transformed <strong>the</strong><br />

community, but <strong>the</strong> boom and bust cycle typical of <strong>the</strong> petroleum industry persisted. <strong>Midland</strong>,<br />

however, remained <strong>the</strong> center of <strong>the</strong> oil industry in <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin.<br />

Oil prices rose from $0.97 per barrel in 1935 <strong>to</strong> $1.22 per barrel in 1945. While businesses<br />

throughout <strong>the</strong> nation continued <strong>to</strong> flounder, oil companies that had previously fled <strong>Midland</strong><br />

returned en masse. Dramatically increased oil profits stimulated additional exploration and drilling<br />

in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> area. Increased production brought geologists, geophysicists, landmen, brokers,<br />

drillers, crews, and <strong>the</strong>ir families <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> community. As had been <strong>the</strong> case in o<strong>the</strong>r communities<br />

witnessing such rapid growth, <strong>the</strong> migration of thousands of people over <strong>the</strong> next decade created a<br />

housing crisis in <strong>Midland</strong>. To help alleviate <strong>the</strong> problem, over a few days in 1935, Humble Oil and<br />

Refining Company relocated more than seventy portable houses and <strong>the</strong>ir occupants. Humble Oil<br />

officials scattered houses originally at an oil camp in McCamey throughout <strong>Midland</strong>. In order <strong>to</strong><br />

make <strong>the</strong> dwellings more attractive, crews added a brick veneer. Houses that had once been on<br />

trucks became permanent residences for Humble Oil employees.<br />


<strong>Midland</strong> had always seized <strong>the</strong> opportunity<br />

<strong>to</strong> cement its position as <strong>the</strong> most contemporary<br />

community in <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin. In addition<br />

<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> residential construction boom, <strong>the</strong><br />

commercial construction trend continued at<br />

<strong>the</strong> city center when <strong>the</strong> First National Bank<br />

built new facilities. Additionally, <strong>the</strong> Wilkinson-<br />

Foster, Humble, Permian, and Honolulu<br />

buildings heightened <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> skyline. The<br />

Hogan Building, almost vacant before 1935,<br />

filled up virtually overnight. The transformation<br />

of <strong>the</strong> skyline led <strong>Midland</strong> <strong>to</strong> be known as <strong>the</strong><br />

“Tall City.”<br />

Commercial oil had not yet been discovered<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong> County, but with additional regional<br />

exploration, oil men operating out of <strong>Midland</strong><br />

infused additional capital in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> local<br />

economy. With American demand for petroleum<br />

for au<strong>to</strong>mobile fuel, fuel oil, kerosene, and<br />

lubricants ever increasing, highly motivated<br />

individuals and oil companies completed<br />

approximately 8,900 wells in <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin<br />

during 1938 and 1939. The spectacular<br />

expansion in <strong>the</strong> region also resulted in ancillary<br />

development. The growth of <strong>the</strong> petroleum<br />

industry fueled <strong>the</strong> expansion of <strong>Midland</strong>’s<br />

economic infrastructure. <strong>Midland</strong> witnessed<br />

<strong>the</strong> construction of new roadways, railroads,<br />

pipelines, s<strong>to</strong>rage facilities and refineries. Banks<br />

lent more money, which resulted in more<br />

drilling. The Permian Basin had emerged as one<br />

of <strong>the</strong> most significant petroleum producing<br />

regions in <strong>the</strong> country and <strong>Midland</strong>, on <strong>the</strong> eve<br />

of WWII, had positioned itself at <strong>the</strong> executive<br />

and economic center of petroleum production<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin.<br />

With war looming in Europe, oil companies<br />

fur<strong>the</strong>r expanded <strong>the</strong>ir operations in <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin in anticipation of increased<br />

demand. Oil prices remained high as a result of<br />

expanded overseas markets. Federal programs<br />

such as Lend-Lease ensured American petroleum<br />

would find a buyer. When <strong>the</strong> United States<br />

entered WWII following <strong>the</strong> bombing of Pearl<br />

Harbor on December 7, 1941, petroleum production<br />

proved one of <strong>the</strong> keys <strong>to</strong> vic<strong>to</strong>ry.<br />

Although <strong>Midland</strong> County did not contribute<br />

crude oil <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> cause, <strong>the</strong> community supported<br />

efforts <strong>to</strong> win <strong>the</strong> war in o<strong>the</strong>r ways. <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Army Air Field, which had opened earlier in<br />

1941, became <strong>the</strong> most significant contribution<br />

made by <strong>the</strong> community during <strong>the</strong> war years.<br />

Then Chamber of Commerce President Bill<br />

Collyns described <strong>the</strong> community as “air minded.”<br />

To fur<strong>the</strong>r support <strong>the</strong> war effort,<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>ers also planted “vic<strong>to</strong>ry gardens” and<br />

embraced rationing of necessary materials<br />

(gasoline, rubber, silk).<br />

WWII created a surge in <strong>the</strong> American economy,<br />

but a critical shortage of labor threatened<br />

<strong>the</strong> war effort. Because many American men had<br />

been deployed <strong>to</strong> Europe and <strong>the</strong> Pacific, <strong>the</strong><br />

labor pool had diminished. During World War<br />

II, American industry demanded workers. As a<br />

result, a growing number of women, Mexican<br />

Americans, and African Americans entered <strong>the</strong><br />

work force. <strong>Midland</strong> was no exception.<br />

While significant numbers of African<br />

Americans did not work in petroleum related<br />

businesses or agriculture in <strong>Midland</strong>, <strong>the</strong> black<br />

community witnessed an expansion of entrepreneurialism.<br />

New businesses cropped up around<br />

Lee Street, which had become <strong>the</strong> epicenter of<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>’s black community. In addition, African<br />

American social clubs blossomed. Membership<br />

Above: Fort Worth Super “D”<br />

Spudder manufactured during<br />

<strong>the</strong> 1930s.<br />



66-003.056.<br />

Left: A <strong>Midland</strong> National Bank five<br />

dollar bill.<br />


Above: The Humble Building.<br />

Below: The <strong>Midland</strong> Army Air Field.<br />

addressed <strong>the</strong> growing needs of <strong>the</strong> black<br />

community, which had traditionally existed on<br />

<strong>the</strong> fringes of <strong>Midland</strong> society. Although new<br />

jobs opened <strong>to</strong> African Americans, education<br />

remained <strong>the</strong> most pressing need within <strong>the</strong><br />

community. Renamed George Washing<strong>to</strong>n<br />

Carver in 1943, <strong>Midland</strong> Colored School first<br />

opened in 1932 served <strong>the</strong> needs of <strong>the</strong> small<br />

but thriving African American population in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>. Largely isolated and self-sufficient,<br />

<strong>the</strong> black community continued <strong>to</strong> endure <strong>the</strong><br />

sting of racism even though large numbers of<br />

black men had volunteered <strong>to</strong> fight and die for<br />

freedom and democracy on battlefields across<br />

<strong>the</strong> globe.<br />

Like African Americans, Mexican Americans<br />

transformed <strong>the</strong> community during <strong>the</strong> 1940s.<br />

The Mexican American population,<br />

however, faced many of<br />

<strong>the</strong> same challenges of cultural<br />

division. Their numbers began<br />

<strong>to</strong> stabilize as fewer laborers<br />

migrated from South Texas<br />

following harvests. Mexican<br />

American soldiers returning<br />

from war entered <strong>the</strong> workforce<br />

and generally discovered<br />

improved wages and working<br />

conditions. Moreover, new<br />

opportunities appeared. Drilling<br />

crews across <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin<br />

included Mexican American<br />

laborers, and o<strong>the</strong>r avenues of<br />

employment opened as well. In<br />

1949, Isidro “Sid” Trevino became <strong>the</strong> first<br />

Hispanic police officer in <strong>Midland</strong>. He eventually<br />

rose <strong>to</strong> assistant police chief before his<br />

retirement. Additionally, <strong>the</strong> Mexican American<br />

baseball team, Los Patrillos, continued <strong>to</strong><br />

entertain <strong>Midland</strong>ers.<br />

Women also made <strong>the</strong>ir mark on <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

Social clubs, which had traditionally been <strong>the</strong><br />

vehicle for voicing women’s opinions, continued<br />

<strong>to</strong> play a key role during <strong>the</strong> course of WWII.<br />

The Women’s Wednesday Club and <strong>the</strong> Altrussa<br />

Club, later known as <strong>the</strong> Friends of <strong>the</strong> Library,<br />

continued <strong>to</strong> serve as agencies for community<br />

activism and change. Although women did not<br />

hold numerous positions of authority, <strong>Midland</strong><br />

witnessed a growing number of women wage<br />

earners. Of particular significance, <strong>Midland</strong><br />

women increasingly worked outside <strong>the</strong> home.<br />

Nationally, more than six million women had<br />

entered <strong>the</strong> workforce by 1943. For women<br />

and minorities, wartime experiences laid <strong>the</strong><br />

groundwork for social and cultural change<br />

cemented during <strong>the</strong> next two decades.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> conclusion of World War II in 1945,<br />

Texas produced forty-five percent of American<br />

petroleum. Many feared that <strong>the</strong> end of WWII<br />

might result in a sharp decline in oil prices.<br />

Instead, both production and consumption<br />

increased dramatically. The first major commercial<br />

oil strike in <strong>Midland</strong> County occurred in<br />

November 1945 in what became known as<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Field. Although only a small strike,<br />

Humble Oil and Refining Company No. 1, a<br />

discovery well, produced 4,540 barrels of oil in<br />


two months. Over <strong>the</strong> next two years, <strong>the</strong> site<br />

yielded only 15,000 barrels. As a result, Humble<br />

plugged and abandoned <strong>the</strong> well. The focus<br />

of attention shifted south. In 1947 Humble<br />

opened <strong>the</strong> South <strong>Midland</strong> Field. Although <strong>the</strong><br />

field produced only small amounts, <strong>the</strong> discovery<br />

fur<strong>the</strong>r prompted industry leaders <strong>to</strong> expand<br />

<strong>the</strong> economic infrastructure.<br />

Likewise, <strong>Midland</strong>ers renewed efforts <strong>to</strong><br />

expand cultural and economic opportunities.<br />

Chartered in 1947, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Community<br />

Theater enhanced cultural experiences in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> and created a buzz that enhanced<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>’s reputation as a hub for entertainment.<br />

The following year, <strong>the</strong> Scharbauer Hotel grew<br />

by 100 rooms and <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Tower opened,<br />

adding more than 67,000 square feet of office<br />

space <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>’s central business district.<br />

Although described as “poor in mineral wealth,”<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> proved <strong>to</strong> be “rich in infrastructure.” In<br />

1949 Life magazine featured a pho<strong>to</strong>graph of <strong>the</strong><br />

lobby of <strong>the</strong> Scharbauer Hotel, which served as<br />

an informal s<strong>to</strong>ck exchange. At <strong>the</strong> time, some<br />

speculate that at least fifty million dollars worth<br />

of business had been done in <strong>the</strong> hotel lobby<br />

annually. The national media attention in addition<br />

<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> grand opportunities made <strong>Midland</strong> an<br />

attractive community for ambitious businessmen.<br />

For <strong>the</strong> next several years, drilling continued<br />

throughout <strong>Midland</strong> County. Production grew<br />

and more impressive discoveries yielded greater<br />

returns. On February 1, 1949, Texas Company<br />

completed its No. 1 Clarence Scharbauer. The<br />

successful completion of <strong>the</strong> well opened <strong>the</strong><br />

Warfield pool. The search for oil in <strong>Midland</strong><br />

County, however, remained a gamble. Less than<br />

one month after <strong>the</strong> Scharbauer discovery <strong>the</strong><br />

Tex-Harvey Oil Company opened <strong>the</strong> Tex-<br />

Harvey Field with <strong>the</strong> discovery well, No. 6-14-B<br />

Mrs. B. W. Floyd. Wildcatter Arthur Harvey,<br />

who had been successful in East Texas, made<br />

<strong>the</strong> discovery. Initial development progressed<br />

slowly, but <strong>the</strong> Tex-Harvey Field devolved more<br />

rapidly by <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> decade. Two additional<br />

wells located in <strong>the</strong> Pegasus Field on <strong>the</strong><br />

border of <strong>Midland</strong> and Up<strong>to</strong>n Counties fur<strong>the</strong>red<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> oil boom of <strong>the</strong> late 1940s.<br />

The Permian Basin had become <strong>the</strong> premier<br />

oil producing region in Texas, and oil had<br />

brought unprecedented prosperity <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County had finally started producing,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> city of <strong>Midland</strong> continued <strong>to</strong> grow as<br />

a result of <strong>the</strong> influx of petroleum interests.<br />

As early as 1948, <strong>Midland</strong> rancher Jack B.<br />

Wilkinson had sold his land and started construction<br />

of additional down<strong>to</strong>wn office space.<br />

Completed in three phases, <strong>the</strong> twenty-two<br />

s<strong>to</strong>ry (300 feet tall) Wilco Building opened an<br />

additional 200,000 square feet of office space.<br />

When he finally completed all of his projects,<br />

Wilkinson had built more than<br />

one third of all office space in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>. To fill his buildings,<br />

Wilkinson sought out executives,<br />

geologists, scientists, and<br />

a variety of o<strong>the</strong>rs involved in<br />

<strong>the</strong> petroleum industry. Soon<br />

a new breed of individual<br />

began <strong>to</strong> make up <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong><br />

population: well-educated professionals.<br />

Not that <strong>the</strong> new<br />

arrivals were any smarter than<br />

<strong>the</strong> people who already lived in<br />

<strong>the</strong> community, but many of<br />

<strong>the</strong> men and women courted<br />

by Wilkinson had been educated<br />

in some of <strong>the</strong> nation’s elite<br />

universities, and <strong>the</strong>y carried a<br />

new refinement <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

Far from an elitist bunch, <strong>the</strong><br />

newcomers settled in <strong>to</strong> and<br />

became an integral part of <strong>the</strong><br />

community. George H. W. Bush<br />

for example, who had first<br />

settled in Odessa, relocated <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong> as a result of <strong>the</strong> community’s<br />

economic potential<br />

and growing sophistication.<br />

Above: Two future presidents, George<br />

H. W. Bush with George W. Bush.<br />



Left: The lobby of <strong>the</strong><br />

Scharbauer Hotel.<br />

Below: The Wilco Building, 1957.<br />


Above: Dr. Viola Coleman.<br />



Below: The Carver School.<br />

Unprecedented growth, however,<br />

rapidly butted up against <strong>the</strong><br />

greatest barrier <strong>to</strong> progress in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>—inadequate water supply.<br />

The his<strong>to</strong>ric lack of water<br />

once again emerged as a major<br />

concern during <strong>the</strong> early 1950s.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County had endured a<br />

prolonged drought that crippled<br />

agriculture and threatened <strong>to</strong><br />

leave <strong>Midland</strong> without sufficient<br />

water supplies. In response, <strong>the</strong><br />

community approved more than<br />

eleven million dollars in bonds <strong>to</strong><br />

locate water. The City of <strong>Midland</strong><br />

secured water from <strong>the</strong> Paul Davis<br />

Water Field, which promised <strong>to</strong><br />

provide a community of 150,000<br />

people with water for fifty years.<br />

The economic infrastructure<br />

of <strong>Midland</strong> continued <strong>to</strong> develop. <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Memorial Hospital opened in 1950. The hospital<br />

offered state of <strong>the</strong> art facilities <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> ever<br />

expanding community. Additionally, W. D .B.<br />

Cooper became <strong>the</strong> first African American<br />

physician at <strong>the</strong> newly opened hospital. The following<br />

year, <strong>the</strong> first black female physician, Dr.<br />

Viola Coleman, arrived in <strong>Midland</strong>. Although<br />

still segregated in isolated wards, <strong>the</strong> African<br />

American patients received exceptional treatment<br />

in <strong>the</strong> new hospital facilities.<br />

While <strong>the</strong> 1950s economy boomed throughout<br />

<strong>the</strong> country, <strong>Midland</strong> wealth skyrocketed. In<br />

communities of similar size, <strong>to</strong>tal buying<br />

income increased by fifty percent. In <strong>Midland</strong>,<br />

<strong>to</strong>tal buying income increased by 197 percent.<br />

Retail sales grew by 143 percent compared <strong>to</strong><br />

fifty-eight percent in comparable <strong>to</strong>wns. With<br />

guidance from <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Chamber of<br />

Commerce, city officials adopted <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong><br />

City Plan, 1950, which promoted <strong>the</strong> expansion<br />

of social, cultural, and economic opportunities.<br />

The impact of continued construction was felt<br />

immediately. The <strong>Midland</strong> Symphony played<br />

its first concert in 1953 and in <strong>the</strong> same year<br />

KMID-TV went on <strong>the</strong> air. By 1959 <strong>Midland</strong><br />

boasted an impressive 600 petroleum related<br />

offices servicing almost 2,000 producing fields<br />

throughout <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin.<br />

In addition <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> being <strong>the</strong> social, cultural,<br />

and business center, <strong>Midland</strong> Independent<br />

School District (MISD) established <strong>Midland</strong> as<br />

<strong>the</strong> educational envy of <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin.<br />

During <strong>the</strong> 1950s, <strong>Midland</strong> Public Schools<br />

enrollment skyrocketed from approximately<br />

3,700 students <strong>to</strong> more than 14,600. District<br />

officials expanded overcrowded facilities.<br />

During <strong>the</strong> decade, eleven new elementary<br />

schools went up, along with three additional<br />

junior high schools. MISD allocated additional<br />

funds <strong>to</strong> meet <strong>the</strong> growing educational needs<br />

of <strong>the</strong> African American community. The district<br />

built Washing<strong>to</strong>n Elementary, an all black<br />

primary school. Additionally, <strong>the</strong> Carver School<br />

underwent expansion and reopened as Carver<br />

Junior/Senior High School (Following Court<br />

mandated desegregation, Carver closed in<br />

1968, but not before <strong>the</strong> school won a 2A state<br />

football championship).<br />

The 1950s had changed <strong>Midland</strong> in unprecedented<br />

ways, but <strong>the</strong> unparalleled prosperity of<br />

<strong>the</strong> decade waned after 1958. <strong>Midland</strong> in <strong>the</strong><br />

1960s witnessed an overall slump in <strong>the</strong> economy.<br />

His<strong>to</strong>rically, <strong>Midland</strong> had undergone a series<br />

of stresses resulting from <strong>the</strong> boom and bust<br />

economy created by cycles of drought in agriculture<br />

and fluctuating prices in <strong>the</strong> petroleum<br />

industry. Where world consumption had once<br />

outpaced petroleum production, <strong>the</strong> opening<br />

of overseas oil fields flooded <strong>the</strong> market<br />

and drove oil prices down steadily<br />

throughout <strong>the</strong> decade. Empty houses<br />

(<strong>Midland</strong> had an estimated 3,000 houses<br />

empty at <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> 1960s) dotted <strong>the</strong><br />

landscape and oil companies once again<br />

began <strong>to</strong> flee <strong>the</strong> community. Down<strong>to</strong>wn<br />

offices, filled <strong>to</strong> capacity ten years earlier,<br />

also emptied. Symbolic of <strong>the</strong> decade,<br />

in 1967 <strong>the</strong> last passenger train departed<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>, never <strong>to</strong> return. Fortunately,<br />


<strong>the</strong> departure of Texas and Pacific passenger<br />

service did not symbolize a larger exodus of<br />

people and prosperity. As had always been<br />

<strong>the</strong> case, <strong>Midland</strong> turned <strong>to</strong> development as<br />

a means <strong>to</strong> stabilize <strong>the</strong> economy. Highway 80<br />

became Interstate 20, which fur<strong>the</strong>r entrenched<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> at <strong>the</strong> epicenter of <strong>the</strong> Permian<br />

Basin economy.<br />

In 1967 <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Chamber of Commerce<br />

commissioned a study of social and economic<br />

conditions in <strong>Midland</strong>. The Urban Land<br />

Institute (ULI) surveyed <strong>Midland</strong> and reported<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir findings. According <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> ULI, <strong>the</strong> community<br />

possessed “high quality people; good<br />

supply and range of living accommodations;<br />

excellent air; highway and rail transportation;<br />

outstanding public school system; fine cultural<br />

activities such as <strong>the</strong> symphony, community<br />

<strong>the</strong>ater, art colony, and good climate.” The ULI,<br />

however, identified drawbacks. <strong>Midland</strong> lacked<br />

water, an institution of higher learning,<br />

industrial labor, and most critically, economic<br />

diversification. To <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Chamber of<br />

Commerce, <strong>the</strong> <strong>to</strong>ne of <strong>the</strong> Urban Land Institute<br />

report seemed <strong>to</strong>o negative. As a result, <strong>the</strong><br />

Chamber organized a local study that produced<br />

Objectives for <strong>Midland</strong> in 1967. The report identified<br />

future goals for <strong>Midland</strong> and laid <strong>the</strong><br />

groundwork for <strong>the</strong> diversification<br />

of industry and <strong>the</strong> expansion<br />

of social and cultural<br />

opportunities for all <strong>Midland</strong>ers.<br />

Fur<strong>the</strong>r, <strong>the</strong> 1967 Objectives<br />

addressed <strong>the</strong> critical need for<br />

new schools and additional<br />

water resources.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> had emerged <strong>to</strong><br />

become something unimaginable<br />

seventy-five years before.<br />

Randolph Marcy had been <strong>the</strong><br />

first <strong>to</strong> identify <strong>the</strong> potential of<br />

<strong>the</strong> region. Subsequent ranchers<br />

and oil men transformed <strong>the</strong><br />

community in<strong>to</strong> an economic<br />

powerhouse. Although it <strong>to</strong>ok<br />

some time, <strong>Midland</strong> emerged as<br />

<strong>the</strong> hub of <strong>the</strong> vast oil producing<br />

Permian Basin region. Oil<br />

brought unimaginable prosperity<br />

<strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>. Increasingly however,<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> had become a<br />

single industry economy. Instead<br />

of <strong>the</strong> diversity that had seen<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> economy through<br />

<strong>the</strong> Great Depression, a single<br />

industry—oil became <strong>the</strong> be all<br />

and end all. The perils of a boom<br />

and bust economy would test<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> in subsequent decades.<br />

Above: A Texas and Pacific Railway<br />

ticket book, c. 1960.<br />

Below: Individual buildings that made<br />

up <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> skyline during<br />

<strong>the</strong> 1950s.<br />


Right: During <strong>the</strong> 1950s, <strong>Midland</strong> had<br />

a lot <strong>to</strong> brag about.<br />

Below: Down<strong>to</strong>wn <strong>Midland</strong> at night,<br />

c. 1965.<br />


Above: By <strong>the</strong> 1950s, <strong>the</strong> Permian<br />

Basin was dotted with pumping units.<br />



Left: Sunset in <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />




Clockwise, starting from <strong>the</strong> <strong>to</strong>p:<br />

“Dummy Bombs” dropped throughout<br />

<strong>the</strong> Permian Basin.<br />

Targeting <strong>the</strong> enemy over<br />

Permian Basin.<br />

Live fire exhibition, July 4, 1942.<br />

Opposite: <strong>Midland</strong> Army Air Field<br />

boasted a fleet of approximately 150<br />

Advanced Trainer (AT) 11 aircraft.<br />



Wins<strong>to</strong>n Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II, claimed <strong>the</strong> war had been won on <strong>the</strong> sea of American oil.<br />

Ironically, <strong>the</strong> contribution of <strong>Midland</strong> came in an entirely different form. Indeed <strong>Midland</strong> played a crucial role during WWII, but instead<br />

of oil fields, <strong>Midland</strong> Army Air Field (MAAF) significantly contributed <strong>to</strong> vic<strong>to</strong>ry in both <strong>the</strong> European and Pacific <strong>the</strong>aters of war.<br />

While oil played a crucial role in both Europe and <strong>the</strong> Pacific, <strong>the</strong> Allied vic<strong>to</strong>ry in WWII resulted in large part due <strong>to</strong> air<br />

supremacy. In <strong>West</strong> Texas, <strong>the</strong> United States Army trained many of <strong>the</strong> men piloting, navigating, and dropping ordinance. More<br />

than a year and a half prior <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> bombing of Pearl Harbor and America’s entrance in<strong>to</strong> WWII, military officials began searching<br />

for civilian facilities that might be utilized for defense. Because of <strong>the</strong> open terrain and deeply patriotic population, <strong>the</strong> United<br />

States Army identified <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Municipal Airport as an ideal facility for air combat training. The largest New Deal program,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Works Progress Administration (WPA), had previously invested heavily in <strong>Midland</strong>’s airport and <strong>the</strong> condition of facilities<br />

along with <strong>Midland</strong>’s strategic location proved <strong>the</strong> perfect combination.<br />

Founded in mid-1941, MAAF soon developed as one of <strong>the</strong> most sophisticated bombardier training bases managed by<br />

<strong>the</strong> United States Army Air Force. In 1941 <strong>the</strong> Army Air Corps had fewer than 200 qualified bombardiers, but American<br />

manufacturing facilities were poised <strong>to</strong> produce 500 aircraft per month that were capable of delivering ordinance. The significant<br />

discrepancy and looming war created a need for men and new training facilities. At MAAF, <strong>the</strong> first airmen reported for duty<br />

during September 1941 and in <strong>the</strong> following month <strong>the</strong> Army named Lieutenant Colonel Isaiah Davies (Davies was promoted<br />

twice in <strong>the</strong> following year, making him a Brigadier General) <strong>the</strong> commanding officer of <strong>the</strong> Advanced Twin-Engine and<br />

Bombardier School. With construction of three 6,000 foot runways complete, MAAF was poised <strong>to</strong> make and impact in combat<br />

when <strong>the</strong> United States entered <strong>the</strong> war in December 1941.<br />

Bombardier training remained an imperfect art when <strong>the</strong> first class of 119 cadets reported for duty in February 1942. To master<br />

<strong>the</strong> craft, each cadet received twelve weeks of combined ground and flight training and dropped approximately 200 practice<br />

bombs. The Army Air Corps utilized two types of “Dummy Bombs,” one filled with concrete <strong>to</strong> simulate explosive ordinance, and<br />

<strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r filled with sand <strong>to</strong> simulate chemical weaponry. Using <strong>the</strong> latest technology, <strong>the</strong> <strong>the</strong>n <strong>to</strong>p secret Norden bombsite,<br />

bombardiers became effective “precision bombers.” One of <strong>the</strong> more memorable moments for MAAF came on July 4, 1942 when<br />

<strong>the</strong> Army Air Corps conducted a live fire exercise over “Little Tokyo.” Nearly 20,000 people witnessed <strong>the</strong> event, some parked in<br />

cars within 600 yards of exploding ordinance, and RKO Studios filmed <strong>the</strong> event for use in <strong>the</strong>ir upcoming film, Bombardier.<br />

MAAF trained not only Americans, but also a number of foreign bombardiers, including, Dutch, Brazilian, and Chinese cadets<br />

(<strong>the</strong> first all foreign class graduated in December 1945). The last class of American airmen graduated in January 1946. MAAF,<br />

however finalized training of a few Chinese cadets prior <strong>to</strong> final closure of <strong>the</strong> base in June 1946.<br />

As <strong>the</strong> largest bombardier training facility in <strong>the</strong> world, MAAF, along with <strong>the</strong> entire state of Texas, played an enormous role<br />

in <strong>the</strong> effort <strong>to</strong> defeat <strong>to</strong>talitarianism and win WWII. Airmen bombarded <strong>West</strong> Texas rangeland until <strong>the</strong> conclusion of <strong>the</strong> war.<br />

At its peak, MAAF housed more than 7,000 airmen. The cadets had forever altered <strong>the</strong> physical landscape of <strong>West</strong> Texas, but more<br />

importantly, <strong>the</strong> men had altered <strong>the</strong> social, economic, and political landscape of Europe and <strong>the</strong> Pacific.<br />


C HAPTER<br />


V<br />

Groundbreaking for <strong>Midland</strong> College,<br />

in 1973.<br />


While, <strong>the</strong> pace of change slowed after 1967, <strong>Midland</strong> continued <strong>to</strong> prosper during <strong>the</strong><br />

1970s and beyond. Enduring sometimes dramatic cycles of economic prosperity and decline, city<br />

planners and business leaders began <strong>to</strong> recognize <strong>the</strong> potentially devastating effects of <strong>the</strong> boom and<br />

bust cycles in <strong>the</strong> petroleum industry. Economic diversification, however, <strong>to</strong>ok root very slowly.<br />

Oil and gas remained <strong>the</strong> primary economic venture in <strong>Midland</strong>. The final decades of <strong>the</strong> twentieth<br />

century brought significant and sometimes tumultuous social, political, and economic changes <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong>. Even more so than in previous decades, hardships everywhere made <strong>Midland</strong> <strong>the</strong> regional<br />

urban center.<br />

Although <strong>the</strong> late 1960s and early 1970s marked an important point of departure in <strong>Midland</strong>’s<br />

economic his<strong>to</strong>ry, no one knew <strong>the</strong> tremendous upheaval on <strong>the</strong> horizon. <strong>Midland</strong>’s population<br />

continued <strong>to</strong> grow and highly visible changes occurred. The Museum of <strong>the</strong> Southwest moved in<strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Turner Mansion in 1968 and <strong>Midland</strong> College opened <strong>the</strong> following year. In 1972 <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Cubs and Texas League baseball came <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> and construction began on an impressive new<br />

Federal center, district court, and post office complex named for George Mahon.<br />

In January 1973, however, <strong>the</strong> S<strong>to</strong>ck Market collapsed setting off a wave of panic as well as an<br />

economic malaise that would last years. Additionally, <strong>the</strong> Yom Kippur War and failing international<br />

agreements with Arab countries led <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> decision of <strong>the</strong> Organization of Petroleum Exporting<br />

Countries (OPEC) <strong>to</strong> cut production of oil and <strong>to</strong> raise <strong>the</strong> price of crude by an as<strong>to</strong>nishing seventy<br />

percent. In addition, in Oc<strong>to</strong>ber 1973, Arab members of OPEC declared an oil embargo in response<br />

<strong>to</strong> American foreign policy in <strong>the</strong> region. The use of economic leverage over <strong>the</strong> United States<br />

coupled with <strong>the</strong> growing rate of inflation in <strong>the</strong> aftermath of <strong>the</strong> January s<strong>to</strong>ck market crash led<br />

<strong>the</strong>n Secretary of State Henry Kissinger <strong>to</strong> broker a peace deal <strong>to</strong> end <strong>the</strong> Yom Kippur War, which<br />

benefited Egypt and Syria who were failing in <strong>the</strong>ir effort against Israel.<br />


Although President Richard Nixon<br />

issued “Project Independence,” a proposal<br />

that would make <strong>the</strong> United<br />

States energy independent by <strong>the</strong> end<br />

of <strong>the</strong> decade, <strong>the</strong> nation continued <strong>to</strong><br />

consume petroleum products in massive<br />

quantities. The OPEC embargo<br />

coupled with <strong>the</strong> American industrial<br />

need for oil resulted in skyrocketing<br />

prices and a growing demand for<br />

Permian Basin oil. Government price<br />

controls created artificial scarcity that<br />

resulted in gasoline rationing and<br />

long lines at filling stations. The price<br />

per barrel of <strong>Midland</strong> area crude rose<br />

dramatically and once again <strong>Midland</strong><br />

wea<strong>the</strong>red an economic s<strong>to</strong>rm that<br />

threatened <strong>to</strong> cripple <strong>the</strong> entire country<br />

for <strong>the</strong> remainder of <strong>the</strong> decade.<br />

The ongoing oil crisis had continued positive<br />

impact on <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin. Petroleum exploration<br />

and drilling returned in full force. New<br />

methods of recovery (secondary and tertiary<br />

projects) revitalized “old” wells and oil companies<br />

once again went in search of “new” oil in<br />

<strong>the</strong> region. Gradually housing surpluses in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> turned <strong>to</strong> housing shortages as <strong>the</strong><br />

population swelled <strong>to</strong> new heights. <strong>Midland</strong><br />

homes, once priced extremely low now became<br />

among <strong>the</strong> most expensive in <strong>the</strong> United States.<br />

Despite <strong>the</strong> expense, first time home buyers<br />

entered <strong>the</strong> market in droves. New apartments<br />

and condominiums sprang up throughout <strong>to</strong>wn<br />

<strong>to</strong> alleviate <strong>the</strong> housing shortage.<br />

The building boom extended beyond housing.<br />

The Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library<br />

opened in 1974. <strong>Midland</strong> Community Theater<br />

moved <strong>to</strong> a new home in 1978 and <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Memorial Hospital expanded <strong>the</strong> following year.<br />

The growing population also heightened <strong>the</strong><br />

need for a permanent home for <strong>Midland</strong> College.<br />

The college had previously used public school<br />

facilities <strong>to</strong> educate junior college students.<br />

Initially, <strong>the</strong> arrangement worked well with a<br />

low <strong>to</strong>tal enrollment, but with <strong>the</strong> influx of new<br />

people <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>, students began flocking <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong> College. Enrollment grew from around<br />

700 in 1970 <strong>to</strong> nearly 2,200 four years later.<br />

After a bond rejection, in 1972 <strong>Midland</strong> voters<br />

approved five million dollars for construction<br />

on <strong>the</strong> 150 acres campus. By<br />

1975 <strong>the</strong> College boasted an expansive<br />

Administration Building. Additionally,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Learning Resources Center housed<br />

<strong>the</strong> library and additional classrooms.<br />

The Science Faculty Building and<br />

Occupational and Technical Building<br />

contained classrooms and office space<br />

for instruc<strong>to</strong>rs. The Physical Education<br />

Building gave students an opportunity<br />

<strong>to</strong> exercise <strong>the</strong>ir bodies as well as <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

minds. Crews also wrapped up construction<br />

on <strong>the</strong> Maintenance Building.<br />

Three years later construction completed<br />

on <strong>the</strong> Fine Arts Building, an addition<br />

<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Occupational and Technical<br />

Above: Grande Communications<br />

Sports Complex.<br />


Below: Garfield entrance <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong> College.<br />



Above: Down<strong>to</strong>wn <strong>Midland</strong> at night.<br />

Below: <strong>Midland</strong> courthouse<br />

renovation, 1970.<br />

Building, and <strong>the</strong> Chaparral Center, a multipurpose<br />

event center.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> celebrated its centennial during<br />

1981. Parades, concerts and a host of o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

celebrations marked <strong>the</strong> occasion. A euphoric<br />

attitude existed among residents<br />

of <strong>Midland</strong>. The community<br />

was in a mood <strong>to</strong><br />

celebrate. And why not?<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> had <strong>the</strong> highest<br />

per capita income ($16,467)<br />

in <strong>the</strong> country and <strong>the</strong><br />

unemployment rate s<strong>to</strong>od at<br />

four percent. The euphoria<br />

manifested itself in a sense<br />

of perpetual boom. Virtually<br />

no small city in <strong>the</strong> United<br />

States could claim <strong>the</strong> luxury<br />

of <strong>Midland</strong>. The community<br />

was even home <strong>to</strong> a<br />

Rolls Royce dealership. The<br />

following year, Forbes listed<br />

eight <strong>Midland</strong>ers among its<br />

400 richest men in America.<br />

Nowhere in <strong>the</strong> country<br />

could prosperity be felt<br />

quite as much as in <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> height of <strong>the</strong> boom, <strong>Midland</strong> boasted<br />

an impressive economy that paid in excess of<br />

one billion dollars in wages <strong>to</strong> more than<br />

54,000 laborers. More than 700 petroleum<br />

related businesses called <strong>Midland</strong> home.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County oil production exceeded seven<br />

million barrels annually, which laid <strong>the</strong> groundwork<br />

for more than fifty million dollars worth<br />

of manufacturing.<br />

Drilling in <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin became<br />

increasingly expensive after 1981. Many producers<br />

had turned away from secondary and<br />

tertiary recovery projects <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> more lucrative<br />

business of drilling overseas and offshore.<br />

Regional exploration tapered off and drilling<br />

permits declined. Petroleum related employment<br />

in Texas fell by thirty-three percent over<br />

<strong>the</strong> next decade. Unemployment numbers are<br />

even more dramatic than <strong>the</strong>y might appear<br />

given that petroleum made up approximately<br />

twenty-eight percent of <strong>the</strong> state’s economy in<br />

1981. Even though regional natural gas lifted<br />

<strong>the</strong> local economy, declining overseas demand<br />

for American petroleum coupled with <strong>the</strong> 1983<br />

OPEC decision <strong>to</strong> lower <strong>the</strong> price of oil put an<br />

economic strain on <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> that no one<br />

could have predicted two years earlier.<br />


By 1983, <strong>Midland</strong> had brea<strong>the</strong>d a rarified<br />

atmosphere for many years. The ongoing boom<br />

excited <strong>Midland</strong>ers who believed <strong>the</strong> perpetual<br />

boom had finally arrived. Claydesta Center<br />

opened with approximately 440,000 square<br />

feet of new office space in north <strong>Midland</strong> and<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>’s big businesses planned several down<strong>to</strong>wn<br />

skyscrapers. The community even had<br />

grand visions of <strong>the</strong> newly proposed First<br />

National Bank of <strong>Midland</strong> (FNB-<strong>Midland</strong>) twin<br />

500 foot <strong>to</strong>wers. Unfortunately in <strong>Midland</strong> in<br />

1983, as in all rarified atmospheres, prosperity<br />

and survival are often difficult.<br />

The tremendous prosperity ended abruptly.<br />

Over <strong>the</strong> next fourteen years nine of <strong>the</strong> ten<br />

largest banks in Texas failed. (Texas witnessed<br />

599 bank failures with over sixty billion dollars<br />

in failed assets.) The banking crisis reached<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> in 1983 when <strong>the</strong> FNB-<strong>Midland</strong> collapsed,<br />

resulting in a near catastrophic loss of<br />

capital and optimism in <strong>Midland</strong>. At <strong>the</strong> time,<br />

FBN-<strong>Midland</strong> was <strong>the</strong> second largest bank in <strong>the</strong><br />

United States and <strong>the</strong> largest independent bank<br />

in Texas. FNB-<strong>Midland</strong> had assets nearing two<br />

billion dollars. His<strong>to</strong>rically, <strong>the</strong> bank had been<br />

<strong>the</strong> backbone of <strong>the</strong> local economy. The loss of<br />

<strong>the</strong> bank signaled <strong>the</strong> loss of capital for investment<br />

in <strong>the</strong> community. The following year,<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County bankruptcy claims reached an<br />

all time high.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> and <strong>Midland</strong>ers persisted,<br />

however. Although <strong>the</strong> near collapse of<br />

<strong>the</strong> oil industry subsided and oil prices<br />

rose, profit margins remained <strong>to</strong>o low <strong>to</strong><br />

warrant expansive exploration and production<br />

during <strong>the</strong> middle of <strong>the</strong> decade.<br />

The almost continual industrial and<br />

administrative growth that had been <strong>the</strong><br />

hallmark of <strong>Midland</strong> slowed <strong>to</strong> a crawl.<br />

In a twist of his<strong>to</strong>rical irony, agriculture,<br />

<strong>the</strong> original economic enterprise in <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin, managed <strong>to</strong> provide a fair<br />

amount of economic stability. Although<br />

drought had again taken a sizable amount<br />

of land out of production and of 36,000<br />

acres planted in 1984 only 8,000 actually<br />

produced, agriculture continued <strong>to</strong><br />

employ a substantial number of people.<br />

Approximately twenty-four percent of<br />

those working in <strong>Midland</strong> County did so<br />

in farming and ranching endeavors.<br />

With <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> economy in a slump, <strong>the</strong><br />

community prospered in new ways. Two organizations<br />

of note, <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Hispanic Chamber<br />

of Commerce and <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Chamber of<br />

Black Entrepreneurs, assisted minority business<br />

owners by providing leadership training and<br />

broadly promoting <strong>the</strong>ir member businesses.<br />

Additionally, numerous statewide legal battles<br />

challenged <strong>the</strong> fairness of <strong>the</strong> at-large election<br />

system used <strong>to</strong> elect city council members. The<br />

transformation <strong>to</strong> single member voting districts<br />

paved <strong>the</strong> way for <strong>the</strong> election of <strong>the</strong> first minority<br />

member <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> City Council.<br />

Elected in 1985, Oralia “Lillie” Corrales gave<br />

a public voice <strong>to</strong> an ever growing segment of<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> society. Additional minority representatives<br />

served on <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> College Board of<br />

Trustees and <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Independent School<br />

District Board, as well as in leadership roles in<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r organizations.<br />

Although forecasters had predicted additional<br />

declines in oil prices, prices actually went up and<br />

<strong>the</strong> economic outlook in <strong>Midland</strong> improved<br />

somewhat. At more than thirty dollars per barrel<br />

in November 1985, oil seemed poised <strong>to</strong> provide<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> with yet ano<strong>the</strong>r boom. By <strong>the</strong> middle<br />

of 1986, however, <strong>the</strong> price had fallen <strong>to</strong> seven<br />

dollars per barrel. Drilling halted and <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin petroleum industry witnessed <strong>the</strong><br />

largest decline in production since World War II.<br />

Claydesta looking south <strong>to</strong> down<strong>to</strong>wn.<br />



Baby Jessica Rescue, a painting by<br />

Jan Johnson Sheets. The painting<br />

hangs inside <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Center.<br />

Amidst troubling economic times for<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>ers, an unlikely s<strong>to</strong>ry spanning three<br />

days in Oc<strong>to</strong>ber 1987 lifted <strong>the</strong> spirits of <strong>the</strong><br />

community and captivated audiences across <strong>the</strong><br />

United States and throughout <strong>the</strong> world. While<br />

playing outside <strong>the</strong> home of her aunt, eighteen<br />

month old Jessica McClure fell down an<br />

abandoned water well that had previously been<br />

covered by a flower pot. Rescuers immediately<br />

set out <strong>to</strong> free “Baby Jessica,” who had become<br />

lodged twenty-two feet below. The initial plan<br />

called for a parallel hole <strong>to</strong> be drilled so that <strong>the</strong><br />

well could be tapped from below. Unfortunately,<br />

dense rock chewed up drill bits at a frightening<br />

rate. As <strong>the</strong> one day rescue dragged on, <strong>the</strong><br />

media descended upon <strong>the</strong> scene. The Federal<br />

government sent a mining expert and <strong>the</strong><br />

fledgling CNN began broadcasting live around<br />

<strong>the</strong> clock. Baby Jessica immediately became <strong>the</strong><br />

darling of many Americans as <strong>the</strong>y heard s<strong>to</strong>ries<br />

of her reciting <strong>the</strong> alphabet and singing nursery<br />

rhymes while lodged in <strong>the</strong> well. Drillers<br />

ultimately utilized a hydraulic drill capable of<br />

cutting through <strong>the</strong> rock.<br />

Jessica finally emerged<br />

from <strong>the</strong> well fifty-eight<br />

hours after her ordeal<br />

had begun. Twenty years<br />

later USA Today named<br />

Jessica one of twentyfive<br />

people whose lives<br />

made a profound impact<br />

on Americans.<br />

The good feeling created<br />

by Baby Jessica<br />

s<strong>to</strong>ry did not last long.<br />

Three days after her dramatic<br />

rescue <strong>the</strong> S<strong>to</strong>ck<br />

Market crashed, declining<br />

in value by twentytwo<br />

percent. The fiscal<br />

crisis resulted in large<br />

corporations fleeing<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>. Small producers<br />

stubbornly held on,<br />

but eventually left <strong>the</strong><br />

community as well.<br />

Businesses of all kinds<br />

began <strong>to</strong> fail. Down<strong>to</strong>wn<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>, which had<br />

been built as a symbol of<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>’s position at <strong>the</strong> center of regional<br />

economy and culture, turned in <strong>to</strong> a virtual<br />

ghost <strong>to</strong>wn. Panic swept throughout <strong>the</strong> community<br />

and almost overnight housing prices<br />

dipped <strong>to</strong> a new low, resulting in a wave of foreclosures.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>ers, as always, persevered.<br />

It might be said that <strong>the</strong> only certainty in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> during <strong>the</strong> late 1980s and early 1990s<br />

was that <strong>the</strong> community and its inhabitants<br />

faced an uncertain future. Independent opera<strong>to</strong>rs<br />

continued <strong>to</strong> <strong>to</strong>il where big and small corporations<br />

alike had long since given up. As had<br />

always been <strong>the</strong> case, oilmen continued <strong>to</strong> speculate.<br />

Few met any success. Only a small number<br />

of regional wells remained operational and<br />

oil prices continued <strong>to</strong> decline. As a result, even<br />

<strong>the</strong> hardiest of oilmen began selling regional<br />

holdings and investing in o<strong>the</strong>r parts of Texas.<br />

Residents across <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin felt <strong>the</strong><br />

crunch and although <strong>Midland</strong> and Odessa had<br />

been traditional rivals, work began in both communities<br />

<strong>to</strong> break down long standing political<br />

and economic divisions. As a result, both communities<br />

benefited by working <strong>to</strong>ge<strong>the</strong>r <strong>to</strong> open<br />

new transit routes through <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin.<br />

Fur<strong>the</strong>r, compiling population data for both<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> and Ec<strong>to</strong>r Counties as a single metropolitan<br />

region opened <strong>the</strong> eyes of new businesses,<br />

which chose <strong>to</strong> locate in an area with<br />

250,000 inhabitants when <strong>the</strong>re was little<br />

chance of building in a less populous region.<br />

Cooperation encouraged <strong>the</strong> completion of<br />

Highway 191 and Loop 250 in <strong>the</strong> early 1990s<br />

and opened new areas of <strong>Midland</strong> <strong>to</strong> economic<br />

development. The commercial building boom<br />

moved away from <strong>the</strong> down<strong>to</strong>wn area and<br />

Highway 80 <strong>to</strong> north <strong>Midland</strong> where construction<br />

has continued for twenty years.<br />

By <strong>the</strong> late 1990s many outside analysts<br />

believed that <strong>Midland</strong>, in fact <strong>the</strong> entire Permian<br />

Basin region, had been drilled <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> point of<br />

complete exhaustion of <strong>the</strong> region’s most important<br />

natural resource—oil. Lucrative new wells<br />

had not been drilled in many years. In 1995,<br />

however, <strong>the</strong> Atlantic Richfield Company<br />

(ARCO) once again started drilling. Petroleum<br />

engineers, such as Dennis Phelps, began <strong>the</strong> difficult<br />

task of drilling in a seemingly exhausted<br />

area. And like <strong>the</strong> wildcatters of old, a new<br />

breed of oil man gambled that <strong>Midland</strong> and <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin contained additional riches.<br />


Oil leases found new life. Engineers promoted<br />

<strong>the</strong> prospect for recovering oil and ARCO<br />

drilled. Oil men experimented with new<br />

techniques for fracturing wells. Dennis Phelps<br />

experimented with a slick-water technique<br />

and began expensive testing. Much in <strong>the</strong> same<br />

way as <strong>the</strong> wildcatters of previous generations,<br />

Phelps gambled a great deal of money as well<br />

as his reputation. With oil prices hovering at<br />

about twelve dollars per barrel, Phelps had<br />

little margin for error. The technique worked.<br />

Oil flowed, even if only briefly, once again. The<br />

triumph proved <strong>to</strong> be a boon for ARCO, who<br />

sold <strong>to</strong> British Petroleum in 1999. Additionally,<br />

<strong>the</strong> success created yet ano<strong>the</strong>r era of boom<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> continues <strong>to</strong> provide opportunity<br />

<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> entire region. For <strong>Midland</strong> <strong>the</strong> result has<br />

been a corresponding growth in permanent<br />

residents. As a result, one of <strong>the</strong> recent<br />

demographic trends in <strong>West</strong> Texas, <strong>the</strong><br />

declining population in rural communities, has<br />

been exacerbated. Since 1990, <strong>the</strong> number of<br />

inhabitants in <strong>Midland</strong> County has risen from<br />

106,611 <strong>to</strong> 136,872 in 2010, an increase of<br />

eighteen percent. The city itself has witnessed a<br />

similar population growth. <strong>Midland</strong> boasted<br />

89,443 residents in 1990, 94,966 in 2000, and<br />

will likely reach 100,000 in 2010 (city census<br />

data not yet released at date of publication). The<br />

significance of steadily growing populations<br />

cannot be overestimated. New residents serve <strong>to</strong><br />

offset (<strong>to</strong> an extent) declining tax revenues, slow<br />

housing starts, and lower tax revenues resulting<br />

from economic fluctuations. Growing numbers,<br />

however, have a down side. Large populations<br />

continue <strong>to</strong> strain already limited available<br />

natural resources. Water remains <strong>the</strong> focus of<br />

city planners who have negotiated water rights<br />

that extend well in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> future. The City of<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> continues <strong>to</strong> excel at providing services<br />

<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> expanding population.<br />

The population growth at <strong>the</strong> dawn of <strong>the</strong><br />

new century prompted numerous expansion<br />

projects between 2000 and 2010. <strong>Midland</strong> is<br />

home <strong>to</strong> state of <strong>the</strong> art health care facilities.<br />

The award winning <strong>Midland</strong> Memorial Hospital<br />

employs more than 200 physicians with over<br />

forty-five specialties. Coupled with medical<br />

imaging services such as nuclear medicine and<br />

Pumping unit at sunset.<br />




Clockwise, starting from <strong>the</strong> <strong>to</strong>p:<br />

Down<strong>to</strong>wn <strong>Midland</strong> from <strong>the</strong><br />

A Street duck pond.<br />

Permian Basin Petroleum Museum.<br />



Arial view of down<strong>to</strong>wn<br />

looking north.<br />


PET-CT (<strong>the</strong> latest in cancer detection), <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Memorial is recognized as one of <strong>the</strong> most technologically<br />

advanced facilities in <strong>the</strong> state. To<br />

meet <strong>the</strong> needs of <strong>the</strong> community, <strong>the</strong> hospital<br />

has undergone expansions in <strong>the</strong> last decade.<br />

The expansion of <strong>Midland</strong> Memorial Hospital,<br />

new construction at <strong>the</strong> Petroleum Museum,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> completion of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> County<br />

Multipurpose Facility (The Horseshoe) resulted<br />

in <strong>the</strong> widening and expansion of Garfield<br />

Street. Expansion of Loop 250 east <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Interstate fur<strong>the</strong>r developed <strong>the</strong> community’s<br />

infrastructure. Numerous o<strong>the</strong>r entities under<strong>to</strong>ok<br />

expansion projects.<br />


Above: Construction at <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Memorial Hospital, 2011.<br />


Left: The Marie Hall<br />

Academic Building.<br />



A <strong>Midland</strong> wind farm.<br />



Like <strong>the</strong> community itself, <strong>Midland</strong> College<br />

had witnessed unprecedented growth. As a<br />

result, <strong>the</strong> college added <strong>the</strong> Jack E. Brown<br />

Dining Hall, <strong>the</strong> Dorothy and Todd Aaron<br />

Medical Science Building, Nadine & Tom<br />

Craddick Resident Hall, <strong>the</strong> Dollye Neal<br />

Chapel, and Fox Science Building <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

growing list of structures on <strong>the</strong> 224 acre main<br />

campus. In 2005 <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> College received<br />

accreditation <strong>to</strong> become a Level II four-year<br />

institution, offering Bachelor of Applied<br />

Technology degree. The following year,<br />

construction began on a multi-million dollar<br />

expansion of <strong>Midland</strong> College resulting in <strong>the</strong><br />

renovation and construction of numerous vital<br />

campus buildings. The college now has an<br />

enrollment of approximately 7,000 students.<br />

In cooperation with local industry, <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong> College offers job training for a<br />

changing energy industry, which has begun<br />

<strong>to</strong> embrace new technologies. The windmill,<br />

a symbol of <strong>Midland</strong>’s early development<br />

has reappeared. Instead of pumping water,<br />

however, wind farms harness <strong>the</strong> power of <strong>the</strong><br />

region’s most consistent companion—<strong>the</strong> wind.<br />

In addition <strong>to</strong> wind power, local industry is<br />

exploring alternative forms of clean, renewable<br />

sources of energy. Included among <strong>the</strong>m are<br />

clean coal, biomass, and geo<strong>the</strong>rmal energy.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> has made a his<strong>to</strong>ric contribution <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> development of <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin. <strong>Midland</strong><br />

and <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin have remained a constant<br />

social, political, and economic force for more<br />

than 125 years. Moreover, <strong>Midland</strong> has played an<br />

important role beyond <strong>the</strong> Basin. With two<br />

former <strong>Midland</strong>ers in <strong>the</strong> White House and <strong>the</strong><br />

importance of oil and gas, <strong>the</strong> community has<br />

shaped state, national, and even international<br />

economics and politics. Today, in a time of<br />

tremendous political and economic upheaval,<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> has retained its independent spirit. The<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Development Corporation has invested<br />

a tremendous amount of time and energy <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> redevelopment of <strong>the</strong> community’s most<br />

enduring image—<strong>the</strong> down<strong>to</strong>wn central business<br />

district. Once almost empty, <strong>the</strong> buildings are<br />

almost filled <strong>to</strong> capacity with ninety percent of<br />

almost five million square feet of office space<br />

presently occupied. <strong>Midland</strong> remains <strong>the</strong><br />

corporate center of <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin.<br />


Above: The George W. Bush<br />

Childhood Home Museum.<br />



Left: George H. W. and Barbara Bush.<br />




<strong>Midland</strong> has <strong>the</strong> unique distinction of being one of <strong>the</strong> few communities in <strong>the</strong> country <strong>to</strong> have<br />

once been home <strong>to</strong> two Presidents of <strong>the</strong> United States. Both arrived in <strong>the</strong> community during<br />

<strong>the</strong> prosperous decade of <strong>the</strong> 1950s.<br />

Born June 12, 1924, in Mil<strong>to</strong>n, Massachusetts, George H. W. Bush grew up in a wealthy and<br />

influential Nor<strong>the</strong>astern family. Shortly after his graduation for <strong>the</strong> prestigious Philips Academy<br />

in Andover, Massachusetts, Bush joined <strong>the</strong> navy and earned his wings. As <strong>the</strong> youngest combat<br />

avia<strong>to</strong>r in 1943, he flew fifty-eight missions as a <strong>to</strong>rpedo bomber pilot in <strong>the</strong> Pacific <strong>the</strong>ater of<br />

operations during World War II. Shot down by <strong>the</strong> Japanese and later rescued by an American<br />

submarine, Bush received <strong>the</strong> Distinguished Flying Cross in 1944. Following his wartime service,<br />

Bush attended Yale. He graduated in 1948 with a degree in economics and he passed up an<br />

opportunity <strong>to</strong> become an investment banker in order <strong>to</strong> move his family <strong>to</strong> Texas.<br />

George H. W. Bush moved his family <strong>to</strong> a booming <strong>West</strong> Texas in <strong>the</strong> summer of 1948. He had<br />

left <strong>the</strong> family money at home and set out <strong>to</strong> build his own legacy. Bush first settled in Odessa<br />

and after a brief relocation <strong>to</strong> California, moved his family <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> in 1950. His connections<br />

enabled him <strong>to</strong> prosper. He formed Zapata Petroleum in 1953, and later Zapata Off-Shore.<br />

A highly successful businessman, Bush turned his attention <strong>to</strong> politics.<br />

Although his first bid for a Senate seat from Texas was unsuccessful, Bush was elected <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

United States House of Representatives in 1966. In 1970, he again ran unsuccessfully for <strong>the</strong><br />

Senate. For Bush, however, <strong>the</strong> loss opened a door. Richard Nixon appointed him as United States<br />

Ambassador <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> United Nations in 1971. Bush became head of <strong>the</strong> Republican National<br />

Committee in 1973 and Gerald Ford made him Direc<strong>to</strong>r of <strong>the</strong> Central Intelligence Agency in<br />

1976. In 1978, Bush began campaigning for <strong>the</strong> Presidency. He lost <strong>the</strong> nomination <strong>to</strong> Ronald<br />

Reagan, who picked Bush <strong>to</strong> be his running mate. Bush served two terms as vice president and<br />

in 1988 he successfully campaigned for <strong>the</strong> presidency, becoming <strong>the</strong> forty-first President of <strong>the</strong><br />

United States. Bush served one term in office, but it would not be <strong>the</strong> last time a Bush occupied<br />

<strong>the</strong> White House.<br />

Born July 6, 1946, <strong>the</strong><br />

eldest son of George H. W.<br />

Bush, George W. Bush<br />

spent his formidable years<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong>. As a youth, he<br />

proved rambunctious. His<br />

fa<strong>the</strong>r lamented in 1955<br />

that, “Georgie aggravates<br />

<strong>the</strong> hell out of me at times.” Although not <strong>the</strong> best student or athlete, <strong>the</strong> younger Bush worked<br />

hard and demonstrated exceptional leadership as a young man. He chose <strong>to</strong> follow in his fa<strong>the</strong>r’s<br />

footsteps, first <strong>to</strong> Andover, <strong>the</strong>n Yale, flying in <strong>the</strong> Texas Air National Guard, and finally <strong>the</strong> oil<br />

industry in Texas. In July 1977, Bush announced that he would run for a seat in <strong>the</strong> United States<br />

House of Representatives. He also married a <strong>Midland</strong> girl, Laura Welch. He lost <strong>the</strong> election in<br />

1978, but had shown <strong>to</strong> be a formidable politician. He ran for governor of Texas in 1994 and<br />

defeated <strong>the</strong> popular Ann Richards.<br />

George W. Bush served as governor until he was elected forty-third President of <strong>the</strong> United<br />

States in 2000. He served two terms in office and oversaw <strong>the</strong> country during perilous times.<br />

Less than one year after his inauguration on September 11, 2001, terrorists attacked <strong>the</strong> United<br />

States. As a result, his presidency was defined by an international effort <strong>to</strong> defeat terrorism.<br />

When he left office, he immediately returned <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>, proclaiming <strong>the</strong> community <strong>to</strong><br />

be “home.”<br />

Opposite, clockwise, starting from <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>to</strong>p left:<br />

George W. Bush in his<br />

baseball uniform.<br />



<strong>Midland</strong> oil well and George W. Bush.<br />



Fa<strong>the</strong>r and son in front of <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> home.<br />



Cub Scout and future President of <strong>the</strong><br />

United States, George W. Bush.<br />



Two presidents on <strong>the</strong>ir porch<br />

at home.<br />



Above: Bumper sticker for George W.<br />

Bush’s campaign for governor.<br />







His<strong>to</strong>ric profiles of businesses,<br />

organizations, and families that have<br />

contributed <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> development and<br />

Basic Energy Services<br />

economic base of <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

Commemorative Air Force & CAF Airpower Museum ............................64<br />

The Petroleum Museum ....................................................................67<br />

Ortloff Engineers, Ltd. ....................................................................68<br />

Occidental Petroleum Corporation .....................................................70<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Community Healthcare Services ............................................72<br />

M. F. Machen .................................................................................74<br />

Davis, Gerald & Cremer, P.C. ...........................................................76<br />

Weiner Oil & Gas<br />

Texas Crude Opera<strong>to</strong>r ................................................................78<br />

Advance Consultants Corp.<br />

A Tribute <strong>to</strong> Vic<strong>to</strong>r S. Frigon ........................................................80<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> College .............................................................................81<br />

J. Mark Cox, DDS...........................................................................82<br />

Petro Communications, Inc. ..............................................................83<br />

Family Wellness Center ...................................................................84<br />

Lone Star Abstract & Title Co., Inc. ..................................................85<br />

Fite Fire & Safety...........................................................................86<br />

First United Methodist Church ..........................................................87<br />

Coastal Pipe Company .....................................................................88<br />

The Village at Manor Park ...............................................................89<br />

South-Tex Treaters, Inc....................................................................90<br />

Odessa Jackalopes Hockey Club.........................................................91<br />

Carrasco Homes, LLC ......................................................................92<br />

B&W Chemical Toilets, Inc...............................................................93<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Independent School District..................................................94<br />

Morris Holmquest Tidwell & Company ...............................................95<br />

Plaza Inn ......................................................................................96<br />

Abbott Building Company .................................................................97<br />

Cowboys Resources Corp.<br />

Don Crawford & Associates<br />

Fasken Oil & Ranch<br />

George W. Bush<br />

Childhood Home Museum<br />


The CAF World War II era P-51<br />

Mustangs Tuskegee Airmen and<br />

Gunfighter take flight at <strong>the</strong> CAF<br />

AIRSHO in <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />




The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) and<br />

<strong>the</strong> CAF Airpower Museum, headquartered in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>, are dedicated <strong>to</strong> acquiring, res<strong>to</strong>ring<br />

and preserving—in flying condition—a complete<br />

collection of combat aircraft flown by all<br />

<strong>the</strong> military services of <strong>the</strong> United States.<br />

This ambitious mission was launched in<br />

1957 with only one plane and <strong>the</strong> determination<br />

of a small group of friends led by CAF<br />

founder Lloyd P. Nolen.<br />

Nolen, a World War II Army Air Forces flight<br />

instruc<strong>to</strong>r, and his supporters pooled <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

money <strong>to</strong> purchase a P-51 Mustang, and <strong>the</strong>y<br />

shared <strong>the</strong> pleasure and expense of maintaining<br />

<strong>the</strong> aircraft.<br />

On a Sunday morning in <strong>the</strong> fall of 1957,<br />

several of <strong>the</strong> pilots arrived at <strong>the</strong> airport in<br />

Mercedes, Texas, where <strong>the</strong> P-51 was hangared<br />

<strong>to</strong> take <strong>the</strong> Mustang called Red Nose out for a<br />

spin. When <strong>the</strong>y arrived at <strong>the</strong> hangar, <strong>the</strong><br />

pilots discovered that someone had painted a<br />

sign on <strong>the</strong> side of <strong>the</strong> Mustang’s fuselage,<br />

just under <strong>the</strong> stabilizer. The sign read,<br />

“Confederate Air Force.”<br />

The name that started as a joke on <strong>the</strong> side<br />

of a plane stuck, and <strong>the</strong> group of veteran<br />

pilots began referring <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong>mselves as <strong>the</strong><br />

Confederate Air Force, a light-hearted attempt<br />

<strong>to</strong> poke fun at <strong>the</strong>ir rag-tag beginnings.<br />

By 1960 <strong>the</strong> group, led by Nolen and Marvin<br />

‘Lefty’ Gardner, had begun <strong>to</strong> search seriously<br />

for o<strong>the</strong>r World War II aircraft, but it soon<br />

became apparent that few remained in flying<br />

condition. By <strong>the</strong> end of <strong>the</strong> war, America had<br />

produced nearly 300,000 aircraft. Just fifteen<br />

years later, almost all <strong>the</strong> warbirds were gone.<br />

Decommissioned and stripped of armament<br />

and instruments, most of <strong>the</strong>se proud warriors<br />

were scrapped or abandoned. No one, not even<br />

<strong>the</strong> Air Force or Navy, was preserving <strong>the</strong><br />

his<strong>to</strong>ric aircraft that changed <strong>the</strong> world forever.<br />

The CAF vowed <strong>to</strong> res<strong>to</strong>re and fly <strong>the</strong>se<br />

World War II-era aircraft and what was started<br />

as a hobby became an urgent mission <strong>to</strong><br />

preserve his<strong>to</strong>ry. The group was chartered<br />

as a nonprofit Texas corporation in 1961<br />

and has grown <strong>to</strong> become an international<br />

organization. In 2001 <strong>the</strong> members of CAF<br />

voted <strong>to</strong> change <strong>the</strong> organization’s name <strong>to</strong><br />

one that better reflects its mission—<strong>the</strong><br />

Commemorative Air Force.<br />

After collecting flying warbirds for more<br />

than half-a-century, <strong>the</strong> Commemorative Air<br />

Force is <strong>the</strong> largest flying museum in <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

The CAF is a nonprofit aviation association<br />

dedicated <strong>to</strong> honoring American Military<br />

Aviation through flight, exhibition, and remembrance<br />

by maintaining a flying museum of<br />

classic military aircraft.<br />

Today, <strong>the</strong> CAF has approximately 8,500<br />

members and a fleet of more than 150 airplanes<br />

from military conflicts since World War II. Most<br />

of <strong>the</strong> planes are American, although a few<br />

significant foreign aircraft are included. For<br />

care and operation, <strong>the</strong> aircraft are distributed<br />

throughout <strong>the</strong> country <strong>to</strong> more than seventy<br />

units. These units, composed of CAF members<br />

and volunteers, res<strong>to</strong>re and operate <strong>the</strong> planes,<br />

which are viewed by more than 10 million<br />

specta<strong>to</strong>rs each year.<br />

These his<strong>to</strong>ric aircraft are more than a mere<br />

collection of flyable warbirds. The CAF’s fleet of<br />

warbirds, known as <strong>the</strong> ‘Ghost Squadron’<br />

recreates, reminds and reinforces <strong>the</strong> lessons<br />

learned from <strong>the</strong> defining moments in American<br />


military aviation his<strong>to</strong>ry. The demands of aerial<br />

combat drove <strong>the</strong> great technological advances<br />

in aviation that occurred during and after<br />

World War II. Many different types of aircraft<br />

were developed, often designed for very<br />

specific missions.<br />

The CAF’s mission is <strong>to</strong> keep <strong>the</strong>se his<strong>to</strong>ric<br />

planes in flying condition by repairing,<br />

rebuilding and piloting <strong>the</strong>se unique assets.<br />

Future generations will benefit from <strong>the</strong> CAF’s<br />

preservation efforts, educational programs,<br />

museum exhibits and air shows.<br />

The Commemorative Air Force International<br />

Headquarters is located in <strong>Midland</strong>, along<br />

with <strong>the</strong> nationally-accredited CAF Airpower<br />

Museum. Since relocating <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> in<br />

1991, <strong>the</strong> CAF has hosted AIRSHO ® at <strong>Midland</strong><br />

International Airport. AIRSHO is one of <strong>the</strong><br />

largest events held in <strong>Midland</strong> and brings<br />

visi<strong>to</strong>rs from around <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

The Airpower Museum is located at <strong>the</strong> CAF<br />

Headquarters in <strong>Midland</strong>. The CAF Airpower<br />

Museum shares a rich his<strong>to</strong>ry with <strong>the</strong> CAF.<br />

Once <strong>the</strong> CAF began res<strong>to</strong>ring and preserving<br />

<strong>the</strong> World War II-era combat airplanes, a small<br />

museum began <strong>to</strong> grow as artifacts were<br />

donated <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> CAF. In 1965 <strong>the</strong> first museum<br />

building was completed at old Rebel Field in<br />

Mercedes, Texas. When <strong>the</strong> CAF and museum<br />

moved <strong>to</strong> Harlingen, Texas in 1968, both<br />

continued <strong>to</strong> grow. The first museum-trained<br />

employee was hired in 1986 and <strong>the</strong> CAF<br />

Airpower Museum was born as a separate<br />

nonprofit organization in 1989. In 1991 <strong>the</strong><br />

museum, along with CAF, moved <strong>to</strong> its current<br />

location in <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

Today, <strong>the</strong> CAF Airpower Museum, located<br />

adjacent <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> International Airport<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong>, is dedicated <strong>to</strong> preserving<br />

<strong>the</strong> complete his<strong>to</strong>ry of World War II military<br />

aviation and <strong>the</strong> memory of <strong>the</strong> men and<br />

women who built, serviced and flew <strong>the</strong><br />

his<strong>to</strong>ric military aircraft.<br />

Recognized for its collection of au<strong>the</strong>ntic<br />

World War II artifacts and memorabilia—<br />

including uniforms of Allied and Axis countries,<br />

armament, pho<strong>to</strong>graphs, weapons, and equipment—<strong>the</strong><br />

museum houses 100,000 square feet<br />

of ‘hands-on’ permanent exhibits that detail <strong>the</strong><br />

s<strong>to</strong>ry of World War II <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> introduction of <strong>the</strong><br />

A<strong>to</strong>mic Age. The museum provides interactive<br />

exhibits that illustrate aviation concepts and<br />

events from every <strong>the</strong>atre of <strong>the</strong> war.<br />

The CAF Airpower Museum is accredited<br />

by <strong>the</strong> American Association of Museums.<br />

Accreditation certifies that a museum operates<br />

according <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> standards set forth by <strong>the</strong><br />

museum profession, manages its collections<br />

responsibly and provides quality service <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

public. In 2006 <strong>the</strong> museum became an official<br />

The crew of <strong>the</strong> CAF’s A-26 Lady<br />

Liberty proudly posts <strong>the</strong> American<br />

flag at <strong>the</strong> CAF AIRSHO.<br />



Top: Visit <strong>the</strong> CAF Airpower Museum<br />

<strong>to</strong> view <strong>the</strong> largest collection of<br />

au<strong>the</strong>ntic Nose Art ® collected from<br />

aircraft scrapped after World War II.<br />


Above: The CAF Airpower Museum is<br />

home <strong>to</strong> exhibits that tell <strong>the</strong> s<strong>to</strong>ry of<br />

World War II, from <strong>the</strong> front-line <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> home-front.<br />


affiliate of <strong>the</strong> Smithsonian Institution in<br />

Washing<strong>to</strong>n, D.C. As a Smithsonian affiliate,<br />

it is <strong>the</strong> museum’s goal <strong>to</strong> expand <strong>the</strong> reach of<br />

<strong>the</strong> Smithsonian and broaden <strong>the</strong> availability of<br />

different types of collections and resources.<br />

Believing with writer Robert Heinlein that<br />

“A generation which ignores his<strong>to</strong>ry has no past<br />

and no future,” <strong>the</strong> CAF’s objectives are <strong>to</strong>:<br />

• Acquire, res<strong>to</strong>re and preserve in flying<br />

condition a complete collection of combat<br />

aircraft, which were flown by all military<br />

services of <strong>the</strong> United States and selected<br />

aircraft of o<strong>the</strong>r nations for <strong>the</strong> education<br />

and enjoyment of present and future<br />

generations of Americans.<br />

• Provide museum buildings for <strong>the</strong> permanent<br />

protection and display of <strong>the</strong>se aircraft<br />

as a tribute <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> thousands of men<br />

and women who built, serviced, and<br />

flew <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

• Perpetuate <strong>the</strong> memory in <strong>the</strong> hearts of<br />

all Americans <strong>the</strong> spirit in which <strong>the</strong>se<br />

great planes were flown in <strong>the</strong> defense of<br />

our nation.<br />

• Establish an organization having <strong>the</strong><br />

dedication, enthusiasm, and esprit de corps<br />

necessary <strong>to</strong> operate, maintain and preserve<br />

<strong>the</strong>se aircraft as symbols of our American<br />

military aviation heritage.<br />

If you would like <strong>to</strong> become part of<br />

this great mission, you can become a member<br />

of <strong>the</strong> CAF and “Get Your Hands on<br />

His<strong>to</strong>ry” by helping keep <strong>the</strong> CAF flying.<br />

For more information, please check <strong>the</strong><br />

websites at www.commemorativeairforce.org<br />

or www.airpowermuseum.org. Moving with<br />

<strong>the</strong> future of communications, <strong>the</strong> CAF<br />

also has Facebook and Twitter accounts.<br />

Check Facebook under CAF Airpower Museum<br />

and Commemorative Air Force; or twitter<br />

CAFMuseum and CAF1957.<br />

Become a CAF member and “Keep ‘Em Flying!”<br />


The Petroleum Museum is <strong>the</strong> largest museum<br />

of its kind in <strong>the</strong> nation giving an overall<br />

picture of <strong>the</strong> petroleum industry. It is a<br />

privately funded educational institution that<br />

was built <strong>to</strong> tell <strong>the</strong> intriguing s<strong>to</strong>ry of oil—<br />

<strong>the</strong> area’s largest industry. The Museum also<br />

outlines <strong>the</strong> cultural his<strong>to</strong>ry of <strong>the</strong> Permian<br />

Basin before and after <strong>the</strong> discovery of oil.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> Petroleum Museum, you can explore<br />

500 million years of geologic his<strong>to</strong>ry during<br />

which <strong>the</strong> oil-rich <strong>West</strong> Texas and sou<strong>the</strong>astern<br />

New Mexico developed. Walk along a reef’s<br />

edge, thirty feet below <strong>the</strong> surface of <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Sea, as it was 230 million years ago.<br />

Relive centuries of adventure, hard work and<br />

uncertain risks while learning about hearty men<br />

and women who tamed <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin.<br />

From <strong>the</strong> Indians <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> wildcatters, <strong>the</strong> Spanish<br />

explorers <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> ranchers—<strong>the</strong>ir heritage laid<br />

<strong>the</strong> foundation of our modern world.<br />

The Petroleum Hall of Fame pays tribute <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> individuals “who have made outstanding<br />

contributions <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> development of <strong>the</strong> petroleum<br />

industry or who have served as worthy<br />

examples <strong>to</strong> those in <strong>the</strong> industry.”<br />

The Chaparral Gallery, located in <strong>the</strong><br />

Transportation Wing tells <strong>the</strong> s<strong>to</strong>ry of Jim Hall<br />

and <strong>the</strong> legendary Chaparral race cars.<br />

The Library and Archives Center tells <strong>the</strong><br />

s<strong>to</strong>ry of <strong>the</strong> petroleum industry, <strong>the</strong> his<strong>to</strong>ry<br />

of <strong>the</strong> companies, corporations and related<br />

organizations, as well as <strong>the</strong> s<strong>to</strong>ry of <strong>the</strong> men<br />

and women of <strong>the</strong> industry. An excellent<br />

collection of early pho<strong>to</strong>graphs portray <strong>the</strong><br />

discovery wells, early equipment, men and<br />

animals at work, and early ‘boom <strong>to</strong>wns” of<br />

<strong>the</strong> Basin.<br />

A variety of educational programs<br />

are available <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Permian<br />

Basin community. Outreach <strong>to</strong>pics<br />

include fossils, geology, area his<strong>to</strong>ry,<br />

Indians, and dinosaurs. Scout<br />

camp-ins and school <strong>to</strong>urs are also<br />

offered. Adult lunch and lectures<br />

are offered monthly featuring a<br />

variety of <strong>to</strong>pics. Family Science<br />

Nights, featuring hands-on science stations<br />

and free admission, are presented quarterly.<br />

The Petroleum Museum is open from 10:00<br />

a.m. <strong>to</strong> 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday<br />

and from 2:00 p.m. <strong>to</strong> 5:00 p.m. on Sundays.<br />

We are closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving<br />

Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. An<br />

admission fee is charged and group discounts<br />

are available. For more information, visit our<br />

website at www.petroleummuseum.org.<br />


MUSEUM<br />

Above: The Petroleum Museum<br />

at night.<br />

Below: The Petroleum Museum<br />

in 2007.<br />




LTD.<br />

Below: The Ortloff Corporation<br />

Founders in 1962, Messrs.<br />

Robert. M. Leibrock, W. F. Ortloff,<br />

Roy E. Campbell, George H.<br />

Landreth, and F. H. Callaway.<br />

Bot<strong>to</strong>m: Ortloff Technology Group,<br />

LLC, Board of Direc<strong>to</strong>rs, from <strong>to</strong>p left<br />

<strong>to</strong> right: Messrs. Kevin D. Sparks,<br />

L. Don Tyler, Rickey L. Smith, Craig<br />

A. Campbell, and bot<strong>to</strong>m left <strong>to</strong> right:<br />

Robert C. Leibrock, John D.<br />

Wilkinson, and Hank M. Hudson.<br />

On February 1, 1962, The Ortloff<br />

Corporation began operation in two small<br />

offices in <strong>Midland</strong>, Texas. The beginning<br />

resulted from a group of four individuals<br />

recognizing <strong>the</strong> need for an integrated<br />

engineering construction firm in <strong>the</strong> Permian<br />

Basin. The four individuals were Robert M.<br />

Leibrock, George H. Landreth, Roy E.<br />

Campbell, and F. H. Callaway, who were<br />

operating a successful petroleum engineering<br />

consulting firm.<br />

W. F. Ortloff, who knew some members of<br />

<strong>the</strong> group from earlier work associations, was<br />

contacted by Campbell in <strong>the</strong> early part of<br />

1961 <strong>to</strong> determine his interest in heading up<br />

a proposed new firm. After several discussions<br />

and <strong>the</strong> legal work <strong>to</strong> incorporate a new<br />

company…in <strong>the</strong> passing of a year’s time…<strong>the</strong><br />

two offices were rented and <strong>the</strong> company<br />

began operation.<br />

Ortloff’s first few months were spent<br />

making potential cus<strong>to</strong>mers aware of <strong>the</strong> new<br />

services available and planning for future<br />

operations. In seven short years, Ortloff had<br />

catapulted <strong>to</strong> one of <strong>the</strong> <strong>to</strong>p 400 engineering<br />

construction firms in <strong>the</strong> country, according<br />

<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> national publication, Engineering News-<br />

Record. Throughout <strong>the</strong> 1970s and early 1980s,<br />

Ortloff maintained its market dominance as<br />

a major EPC contrac<strong>to</strong>r in <strong>the</strong> design and<br />

construction of liquids recovery, sour gas<br />

processing, and sulfur recovery facilities.<br />

As a result of <strong>the</strong> oil bust of <strong>the</strong> 1980s, The<br />

Ortloff Corporation operations were shut down<br />

in 1985, and a new company with a new focus<br />

was born—Ortloff Engineers, Ltd.<br />

Ortloff Engineers, Ltd. leveraged <strong>the</strong><br />

reputation of The Ortloff Corporation and<br />

refocused its efforts <strong>to</strong> become a leading process<br />

consulting firm, developing and licensing<br />

NGL/LPG and sulfur recovery technologies.<br />

Ortloff Engineers, Ltd. has achieved its goal<br />

and is recognized as a worldwide leader in<br />

<strong>the</strong> area of cryogenic liquids recovery, sulfur<br />

recovery, and sour gas processing plant<br />

design. The experience, technical skills, and<br />

capabilities of this initial group have been<br />

enhanced by <strong>the</strong> addition of o<strong>the</strong>r highly<br />

qualified engineers and technicians, and by<br />

<strong>the</strong> increased use of computers for engineering<br />

design. Ano<strong>the</strong>r major miles<strong>to</strong>ne occurred in<br />

2002 when Ortloff entered in<strong>to</strong> a cooperative<br />

marketing agreement with UOP LLC, a<br />

large international technology licensor. The<br />

agreement enables UOP <strong>to</strong> market Ortloff<br />

technologies, both sulfur and liquids recovery,<br />

in most markets outside of <strong>the</strong> U.S. The<br />

agreement enables <strong>the</strong> UOP/Ortloff team <strong>to</strong><br />

offer <strong>the</strong>ir clients <strong>the</strong> benefit of having a single<br />

source for all major technologies used in a gas<br />

processing facility.<br />

Arthur R. Laengrich led Ortloff Engineers,<br />

Ltd. as president from its inception in 1986<br />

until July 2003. Laengrich, a thirty-nine<br />

year veteran of Ortloff, announced his<br />

retirement and John D. Wilkinson, a twentynine<br />

year veteran of Ortloff at that time,<br />

succeeded Laengrich as president of Ortloff<br />

Engineers, Ltd.<br />

Ortloff’s parent company since its founding<br />

relocated <strong>to</strong> Dallas in 1988, and in making<br />


a decision in 2005 <strong>to</strong> focus more of its<br />

corporate resources in <strong>the</strong> area of residential<br />

and commercial building products, sold <strong>the</strong><br />

Ortloff assets <strong>to</strong> a group of local inves<strong>to</strong>rs and<br />

<strong>the</strong> Ortloff employees.<br />

The purchase was organized by <strong>the</strong><br />

Campbell Family Properties’ representative,<br />

Craig Campbell, son of Roy E. Campbell. The<br />

$18 million deal resulted in keeping a<br />

$1.5 million payroll in <strong>Midland</strong>, along with<br />

twenty-one engineers and support personnel,<br />

and brought ownership and leadership of<br />

Ortloff back <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>, where it all began.<br />

An article in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Reporter-Telegram<br />

at <strong>the</strong> time of <strong>the</strong> acquisition quoted an official<br />

of <strong>the</strong> <strong>West</strong> Texas Energy Technology Initiative<br />

(WTETI), who said, “The sale will slow<br />

<strong>the</strong> ‘brain drain’ from <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin.<br />

Before substantial economic development<br />

can occur, we have <strong>to</strong> quit losing our great<br />

brain power.”<br />

“What is important,” added ano<strong>the</strong>r official of<br />

WTETI, “is that money that was going out of<br />

<strong>to</strong>wn is now money staying in <strong>West</strong> Texas. It<br />

takes private investment<br />

and private funds <strong>to</strong><br />

foster economic development<br />

and that’s what<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>West</strong> Texas Energy<br />

Technology Initiative is<br />

all about.”<br />

One of <strong>the</strong> exciting<br />

components of <strong>the</strong> new<br />

partnership on which<br />

both inves<strong>to</strong>rs and<br />

employees agreed was<br />

a commitment <strong>to</strong> give<br />

back <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> community in which <strong>the</strong>y live.<br />

Ortloff wrote in<strong>to</strong> its charter that a set percentage<br />

of all pre-tax profits be donated <strong>to</strong> local<br />

charities and named <strong>the</strong> program, ‘Live <strong>to</strong><br />

Give Back.’ As of May 2010, five years from<br />

its inception, Ortloff has donated more than<br />

$1 million <strong>to</strong> Permian Basin charities.<br />

Ortloff has received numerous patents<br />

for many efficiency improvements in natural<br />

gas processing and LNG production/<br />

processing. Ortloff remains at <strong>the</strong> forefront<br />

of innovation through a dedication <strong>to</strong><br />

technology development.<br />

Technologies available <strong>to</strong> clients include<br />

Ortloff’s patented and proprietary LPG and<br />

NGL recovery processes, Ortloff’s proprietary<br />

gas processing plant design know-how, licenses<br />

<strong>to</strong> use Amoco’s sulfur recovery processes and<br />

know-how, Ortloff’s proprietary sulfur recovery<br />

process and design know-how, Ortloff’s proprietary<br />

sulfur vapor valves and sulfur drain seals,<br />

and secrecy and use agreements for essentially<br />

all gas treating processes.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> area of cryogenic liquids recovery,<br />

Ortloff has licensed technology for processing<br />

over 50 BSCFD of natural gas in more than 240<br />

plants ranging in size from 25 MMSCFD <strong>to</strong> 2.1<br />

BSCFD in over twenty countries as indicated on<br />

<strong>the</strong> “Ortloff Technology Around <strong>the</strong> World”<br />

map shown in this article. Ortloff has a patent<br />

portfolio of over 200 patents that address <strong>the</strong><br />

NGL/LPG recovery market as well as innovative<br />

high-efficiency designs for LNG fractionation<br />

and production.<br />

Ortloff Engineers, Ltd. is located at 415 <strong>West</strong><br />

Wall Street, Suite 2000 in <strong>Midland</strong>, Texas<br />

79701. For more information, visit <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

website at www.ortloff.com.<br />

Top, left: Camisea LPG Recovery<br />

Units of Pluspetrol Peru, S.A. near<br />

Malvinas, Peru.<br />

Top: President and CEO John D.<br />

Wilkinson, P.E. of Ortloff Engineers,<br />

Ltd. from July 2003 <strong>to</strong> May 2005;<br />

and president and CEO of Ortloff<br />

Technology Group, LLC, from June<br />

2005 <strong>to</strong> present.<br />

Above: Former President and CEO<br />

Arthur R. Laengrich, P.E. of Ortloff<br />

Engineers, Ltd. from 1986 <strong>to</strong><br />

June 2003.<br />





Above: Oxy Permian employee<br />

moni<strong>to</strong>rs operations at sunrise in <strong>the</strong><br />

Goldsmith Field, near <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

With <strong>the</strong> largest of its worldwide<br />

production operations based in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>, Oxy has grown <strong>to</strong> become<br />

<strong>the</strong> fourth-largest oil and gas<br />

company in <strong>the</strong> United States.<br />

Below: Oxy’s position in <strong>the</strong> Permian<br />

Basin makes <strong>the</strong> company <strong>the</strong> largest<br />

oil producer in Texas. Pump at <strong>the</strong><br />

Dora Roberts Ranch oilfield.<br />

Occidental Petroleum Corporation moved<br />

in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin in <strong>the</strong> early 1980s and<br />

found a home in <strong>Midland</strong>, where <strong>to</strong>day Oxy<br />

Permian manages operations that make <strong>the</strong><br />

company <strong>the</strong> largest oil producer in Texas.<br />

During <strong>the</strong> nearly three decades Oxy has<br />

been in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> area, <strong>the</strong> city’s oil and gas<br />

industry, job growth and business-friendly<br />

climate helped propel it <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>to</strong>p of <strong>the</strong><br />

Milken Institute’s list of Best Performing U.S.<br />

Small Cities.<br />

Oxy has more than 3,500 employees and<br />

contrac<strong>to</strong>rs and operates more wells than any<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r company in <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin, making it<br />

<strong>the</strong> largest oil company in <strong>Midland</strong>. Occidental<br />

Energy Transportation, Centurion Pipeline<br />

system and Occidental Energy Marketing, Inc.,<br />

play a significant role in marketing and<br />

transporting <strong>the</strong> oil, natural gas and natural<br />

gas liquids that Oxy extracts from Permian<br />

Basin reservoirs.<br />

Oxy’s acquisition of Cities Service Company<br />

in 1982 opened <strong>the</strong> door <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin<br />

and <strong>the</strong> oilfields of <strong>Midland</strong>. Oxy<br />

has continued <strong>to</strong> expand in <strong>the</strong><br />

region with <strong>the</strong> purchase of<br />

Altura Energy Ltd. in April 2000<br />

and significant subsequent acquisitions<br />

from BP, ExxonMobil and<br />

PXP, as well as a number of smaller<br />

acquisitions. With <strong>the</strong> largest<br />

of its worldwide production<br />

operations based in <strong>Midland</strong>,<br />

Oxy has grown <strong>to</strong> become <strong>the</strong><br />

fourth- largest oil and gas company<br />

in <strong>the</strong> United States.<br />

The Permian Basin extends<br />

throughout southwest Texas and<br />

sou<strong>the</strong>ast New Mexico and is one<br />

of <strong>the</strong> largest and most active<br />

oil basins in <strong>the</strong> United States,<br />

accounting for approximately<br />

nineteen percent of <strong>the</strong> nation’s<br />

<strong>to</strong>tal crude oil production. Oxy is<br />

<strong>the</strong> largest oil producer in <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin, and <strong>the</strong> leading<br />

opera<strong>to</strong>r among more than 1,500<br />

opera<strong>to</strong>rs in <strong>the</strong> area. Oxy’s oil<br />

production accounts for twenty<br />

percent of <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin’s<br />

<strong>to</strong>tal production. Oxy’s Permian<br />

Basin acreage spans 3.6 million gross acres (2.2<br />

million net acres) and includes a deep inven<strong>to</strong>ry<br />

of more than 2,000 drilling locations. At <strong>the</strong><br />

end of 2009, Oxy’s Permian Basin properties<br />

had 1.1 billion barrels of oil equivalent in<br />

proved reserves.<br />

The Permian Basin, with its long-lived fields,<br />

provides many opportunities for <strong>the</strong> application<br />

of improved oil recovery techniques, including<br />

waterflooding and carbon dioxide flooding. The<br />

carbon dioxide flooding process, which has<br />

been more widely applied in <strong>the</strong> Permian<br />

Basin than anywhere else in <strong>the</strong> world, recovers<br />

oil that would not be o<strong>the</strong>rwise produced,<br />

increasing domestic reserves.<br />

Oxy is a worldwide leader in using water<br />

and carbon dioxide <strong>to</strong> produce oil and extend<br />

<strong>the</strong> life of reservoirs. Highly trained and<br />

experienced, <strong>the</strong> employees of Oxy excel at<br />

reservoir simulation, water and carbon dioxide<br />

flood design, production and injection optimization,<br />

facilities design, and overall flood<br />

management. Sixty percent of Oxy’s Permian<br />


Basin production—including<br />

production at <strong>the</strong><br />

North Cowden field near<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>—involves carbon<br />

dioxide flooding. The<br />

Century Plant, a new gas<br />

processing plant soon <strong>to</strong><br />

open in Pecos County and<br />

<strong>the</strong> associated pipeline<br />

infrastructure, will provide<br />

a major new source of<br />

carbon dioxide <strong>to</strong> enable<br />

Oxy <strong>to</strong> continue <strong>to</strong> expand<br />

Oxy’s enhanced oil recovery<br />

operations in <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin.<br />

Oxy uses traditional and o<strong>the</strong>r enhanced oil<br />

recovery technologies at <strong>the</strong> Goldsmith, South<br />

Cowden, <strong>Midland</strong> Farms and Dora Roberts<br />

Ranch oilfields, all of which are near <strong>Midland</strong><br />

and Odessa.<br />

As in all of its worldwide operations, Oxy<br />

is committed <strong>to</strong> safeguarding <strong>the</strong> environment<br />

and protecting <strong>the</strong> health and safety of its<br />

employees in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> operations and<br />

nearby communities. A key metric of safety is<br />

<strong>the</strong> U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Injury and<br />

Illness Incidence Rate (IIR). Oxy’s 2009<br />

worldwide employee IIR of 0.41 was <strong>the</strong> second<br />

best in company his<strong>to</strong>ry and compares<br />

extremely well <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> average IIR of 3.9 for all<br />

U.S. industries. Contrac<strong>to</strong>r safety performance<br />

also was exemplary in 2009, as evidenced by<br />

Oxy’s worldwide contrac<strong>to</strong>r IIR of 0.67—<strong>the</strong><br />

company’s lowest <strong>to</strong> date.<br />

Oxy also places a high priority on community<br />

engagement. Working with local civic groups<br />

and organizations, Oxy strives <strong>to</strong> support community<br />

interests in <strong>Midland</strong> and Ec<strong>to</strong>r Counties<br />

and takes great pride in its outstanding record<br />

of accomplishment as a responsible and caring<br />

corporate neighbor.<br />

Oxy Permian employees volunteer for<br />

numerous causes and contribute <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> success<br />

of local organizations, including <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Chamber of Commerce. In recent years,<br />

Oxy has supported <strong>the</strong> American Diabetes<br />

Association—<strong>Midland</strong>/Odessa; Christmas in<br />

Action; Harmony Home; Hospice of <strong>Midland</strong>;<br />

Hospice of Odessa; United Way chapters in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>, Odessa and Andrews; and <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin Food Bank. Oxy Permian was a<br />

charter sponsor of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Reporter-<br />

Telegram’s Newspaper in Education program.<br />

Oxy’s <strong>Midland</strong> commitment<br />

runs long and deep—distinguished<br />

by a tradition of success<br />

and creative, highly efficient<br />

operations in <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin.<br />

Oxy’s success comes from <strong>the</strong><br />

dedicated efforts of a talented<br />

and experienced team combined<br />

with <strong>the</strong> application of innovative<br />

technology. The Permian<br />

Basin, with <strong>Midland</strong> at <strong>the</strong> center<br />

of <strong>the</strong> activity, is projected <strong>to</strong><br />

continue as one of <strong>the</strong> major<br />

components of Oxy’s worldwide<br />

petroleum operations far in<strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> twenty-first century.<br />

Above: An Oxy Permian employee<br />

checks gauges at <strong>the</strong> central tank<br />

battery at <strong>the</strong> Dora Roberts<br />

Ranch oilfield.<br />

Below: Drilling rig in <strong>the</strong> Goldsmith<br />

Field. Oxy is committed <strong>to</strong> safeguard<br />

<strong>the</strong> environment and protecting <strong>the</strong><br />

health and safety of its employees and<br />

neighboring communities.<br />






<strong>Midland</strong> Community Healthcare Services was<br />

founded in 2004, after being operated by<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Memorial Hospital for over twelve<br />

years, <strong>to</strong> provide high quality, efficient healthcare<br />

<strong>to</strong> all those in <strong>the</strong> community who need it.<br />

MCHS blends compassionate care and vast<br />

experience with a dedication <strong>to</strong> meet <strong>the</strong> needs<br />

of all its patients.<br />

The clinics operated by MCHS provide a full<br />

complement of primary healthcare services<br />

across all life cycles including behavioral health,<br />

and dental care.<br />

The mission and vision of MCHS is well summarized<br />

in <strong>the</strong> organization’s Values Statement,<br />

which reads:<br />

Above: Dr. Viola M. Coleman.<br />

Below: A view of <strong>the</strong> Viola M.<br />

Coleman Clinic, with its<br />

recent expansion.<br />

We believe that <strong>the</strong> Health Center is a sanctuary,<br />

a place of refuge for those who need healing<br />

and community. We will constantly strive <strong>to</strong><br />

create a <strong>to</strong>lerant and caring environment for all<br />

our patients.<br />

We believe that all who enter our doors<br />

must be heard, valued, and honored for <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

way of being and knowing.<br />

We insist on a continuous progression in<br />

words and deeds <strong>to</strong>ward a better understanding<br />

and service of <strong>the</strong> community’s needs.<br />

Through all our endeavors, we will promote<br />

<strong>the</strong> community’s ownership of <strong>the</strong> health center<br />

which will rely on <strong>the</strong> cultural wealth of <strong>West</strong><br />

Texas <strong>to</strong> sustain and nurture <strong>Midland</strong> Community<br />

Healthcare Services.<br />

MCHS offers a low-cost or in some cases, nocost<br />

services by accessing many State and<br />

Federal Healthcare grants. Staff members help<br />

patients determine which programs <strong>the</strong>y or <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

family may be eligible for, thus reducing out-ofpocket<br />

expenses. For those that qualify for <strong>the</strong><br />

grants, <strong>the</strong> cost of <strong>the</strong>ir services is based on a<br />

sliding fee scale.<br />

One of <strong>the</strong> leaders in <strong>the</strong> establishment of<br />

MCHS was Dr. Viola M. Coleman, who pioneered<br />

desegregation efforts in <strong>West</strong> Texas.<br />

Dr. Coleman, who came <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> in 1951,<br />

served as <strong>the</strong> city’s first African-American<br />

woman physician. She was a community activist<br />

and was instrumental in <strong>the</strong> desegregation of<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Memorial Hospital and <strong>Midland</strong><br />

schools. She served as <strong>the</strong> Medical Direc<strong>to</strong>r at<br />

MCHS for many years. Dr. Coleman died in<br />

2005 at <strong>the</strong> age of eighty-six.<br />

MCHS operates several clinics. Pediatric<br />

services are offered at <strong>the</strong> Pediatric Services<br />

Clinic, 2500 Delano Street in <strong>Midland</strong>. The Pedi<br />


Clinic provides acute, chronic and well-childcare<br />

for patients from birth <strong>to</strong> age seventeen.<br />

Services provided include newborn hospital<br />

exams, general pediatric healthcare, management<br />

of chronic illnesses, vision/hearing screenings,<br />

locating community resources, referral <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> dental and o<strong>the</strong>r specialty services, financial<br />

counselors, and referrals <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> OB clinic for<br />

GYN services.<br />

The Women’s Services Clinic at 4214<br />

Andrews Highway in <strong>Midland</strong> helps women<br />

have healthier babies by offering high-quality,<br />

state-of-<strong>the</strong>-art technology in obstetrics, gynecology,<br />

family planning, prenatal care and<br />

childbirth education. Services provided at <strong>the</strong><br />

Women’s Services Clinic include routine care<br />

from early pregnancy through birth, counseling<br />

about a healthy lifestyle, labor and delivery<br />

preparation and expectations of parenthood,<br />

post-partum care, family planning and Well-<br />

Woman care, social services, financial counseling,<br />

educational videos and childbirth education<br />

through <strong>Midland</strong> Memorial Hospital.<br />

Coleman Family Clinic, named in honor of<br />

Dr. Viola Coleman, is located at 801 East Florida<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong>. The Coleman Clinic offers adult,<br />

dental, behavioral health and pediatric services.<br />

Preventive services include annual physicals, lab<br />

work, and screening procedures and referrals<br />

<strong>to</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r specialty services. O<strong>the</strong>r services<br />

include management of chronic illnesses such<br />

as hypertension, diabetes, COPD, education,<br />

financial counseling, prescription assistance and<br />

referrals <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> OB Clinic for GYN services.<br />

MCHS now provides behavioral health<br />

counseling through <strong>the</strong> Coleman Family<br />

Medicine Clinic. Counseling is provided by an<br />

LPC-1 and is available for such conditions as<br />

depression, anxiety, PYSD, adjustment disorder,<br />

divorce, and grief.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Community Healthcare Services<br />

currently employs approximately 100 full time<br />

employees in its clinics and administrative<br />

offices. In any given year, MCHS sees a <strong>to</strong>tal of<br />

16,500 patients with a <strong>to</strong>tal of 60,000 office<br />

visits. Over one-third of all new births in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County were via MCHS’s clinics.<br />

The MCHS administrative offices are located<br />

at 600 North Marienfeld in <strong>Midland</strong>. For more<br />

information about MCHS and its services, check<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir website at www.midlandchs.org.<br />

Above: The main entrance of <strong>the</strong><br />

Viola M. Coleman Clinic.<br />

Below: The MCHS Pediatric Clinic<br />

located on Delano Street.<br />


M. F. MACHEN<br />

Above: Mac in uniform at Coleman.<br />

Below: In 1970 with <strong>to</strong>ol pusher, Jerry<br />

Gay (left), Mac discusses progress of<br />

his firm’s Rig #36 repairing a leak at<br />

Getty Oil’s Laughlin-Straughan Well<br />

No. 1.<br />

M. F. “Mac” Machen made things happen in<br />

thirty-six years of business. Mac was born <strong>the</strong><br />

youngest of nine in 1917 in Calvin, Louisiana.<br />

By <strong>the</strong> time he turned two <strong>the</strong> family had<br />

moved <strong>to</strong> Winnfield, Louisiana, where his<br />

fa<strong>the</strong>r had several interests and where Mac<br />

learned something about farming, dirt moving<br />

equipment and raising catfish. Machen Street<br />

in Winnfield was so named because of his<br />

family. Mac entered <strong>the</strong> U.S. Army Air Force<br />

during World War II, graduating in class 44F<br />

from <strong>the</strong> 304th Flying Training Detachment<br />

in Coleman, Texas. He was promoted <strong>to</strong><br />

Lieutenant and after serving some time on a<br />

base in San Angelo, he was transferred <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Air Force Base, a bombardier-training<br />

base, as an instruc<strong>to</strong>r. After Mac was discharged<br />

from <strong>the</strong> AAF, he became a pilot for <strong>the</strong> late<br />

Fred Turner, owner of an oil company and<br />

resident of <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

Mac started in business with little o<strong>the</strong>r than<br />

a lot of determination and <strong>the</strong> desire <strong>to</strong><br />

succeed. When asked what got him in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

business, Mac replied, “A hundred and twenty<br />

dollar electric grinder.” His first taste of<br />

construction-related work was grinding maul<br />

point bits for a dollar a bit. Soon after that, a<br />

<strong>to</strong>ol pusher <strong>to</strong>ld Mac if he would buy a trac<strong>to</strong>r<br />

he could dig mud pits on his drilling location.<br />

Not one <strong>to</strong> run from a challenge, Mac<br />

hocked his car for <strong>the</strong> down payment on an old<br />

8U D6 Caterpillar. Since he had never done<br />

much dirt work before, he had ano<strong>the</strong>r guy<br />

show him how <strong>to</strong> dig a set of pits and Machen<br />

Contracting was off and running. Survival<br />

depended on ingenuity and resourcefulness in<br />

<strong>the</strong> early days. Mac worked <strong>the</strong> Sprayberry at<br />

first, hustling one set of pits after ano<strong>the</strong>r. Once<br />

Mac struck a deal <strong>the</strong> “I’ll have <strong>to</strong> go get my<br />

opera<strong>to</strong>r” routine began. Mac would contract<br />

hauling his trac<strong>to</strong>r in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> general area and<br />

walk it in <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> location and dig <strong>the</strong> pits. “Of<br />

course, I hauled <strong>the</strong> diesel and supplies in my<br />

old ‘49 Plymouth. My wife, Aileen, picked up<br />

parts in that old Plymouth <strong>to</strong>o. I got a hundred<br />

and fifty dollars for a set of pits. I’d take that 8U<br />

and dig a set of pits in six hours and be gone.”<br />

As business increased, Mac added equipment<br />

and opera<strong>to</strong>rs. Holding steady through <strong>the</strong><br />

rough times of recession, changes in oil prices<br />

and <strong>the</strong> steel strike of 1957.<br />

The Machen offices moved in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> family<br />

residence of fifteen years on Pecos Street. The<br />

original house, with additions, housed a<br />

computer in one room while in ano<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong><br />

secretary talked on a radio-telephone that<br />

looked vintage 1950s. O<strong>the</strong>r rooms provided<br />

offices for bookkeeper, foremen and his righthand<br />

man, Bobby Ellis. The property was<br />

donated <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> First United Methodist Church<br />

in 2000. The new offices, on Interstate 20, built<br />

in <strong>the</strong> 1980s still serves as <strong>the</strong> main office with<br />

<strong>the</strong> ‘yard’, equipment, crew office and welding<br />

shop, down <strong>the</strong> road on Garden City Highway.<br />

Mac was well known for buying <strong>the</strong> best and<br />

first of new equipment. His work was <strong>to</strong>pic in<br />

several of <strong>the</strong> oil business magazines such as<br />

Treanor News & Views, Detroit Diesel Power<br />

Parade, Drill Bit and <strong>the</strong> Official Journal,<br />

Association of Oilwell Servicing Contrac<strong>to</strong>rs. He<br />

was <strong>the</strong> first <strong>to</strong> purchase a Caterpillar 963 Track<br />

Loader and one of <strong>the</strong> first owners of a 966D<br />

Wheel Loader in <strong>West</strong> Texas. He had forty plus<br />

pieces of Caterpillar equipment, sixteen well<br />

servicing units and a staggering number of<br />

trucks. When he was working, which was most<br />

of <strong>the</strong> time; he looked more like a cowboy than<br />

a tycoon. Never slow <strong>to</strong> get on a dozer and do<br />

<strong>the</strong> work himself whenever needed, he had<br />

over 250 employees during <strong>the</strong> years he was<br />

running <strong>the</strong> business. Mac was also quick <strong>to</strong><br />

help a friend. If a company was having trouble<br />

paying for all <strong>the</strong> dirt work, he would invest in<br />

<strong>the</strong> well with a working interest and cover <strong>the</strong><br />

costs himself.<br />

In 1976, Mac founded Mid-Frio Services, an<br />

oilfield services company in Pearsall, Texas,<br />

where his nephew Glenn Machen ran things.<br />

He acquired Russell & O’Donnel, Inc., in 1980<br />

and it was added <strong>to</strong> his o<strong>the</strong>r work-over rigs.<br />

Mac, Wayland Lacy, Wade Mitchell and Bobby<br />

Ellis stared Macpet Communications, Inc., in<br />

1983 and it is still in operation in 2010.<br />

Mac did have o<strong>the</strong>r interests outside <strong>the</strong> oil<br />

field. He believed in owning land, as he always<br />

said, “There is only so much of it and <strong>the</strong>y<br />

won’t make any more.” Near <strong>Midland</strong> he<br />

bought property at Airpark <strong>to</strong> hanger <strong>the</strong> two<br />

Cessenas and off CR 1213 he had a s<strong>to</strong>cked<br />

catfish pond and a large garden. He still kept<br />

property near his home<strong>to</strong>wn in Louisiana but it<br />

was Machen Ranches in Up<strong>to</strong>n County that was<br />


his love and where he devoted time and energy.<br />

The main ranch being only six sections, he<br />

leased two o<strong>the</strong>r ranches nearby with room<br />

enough for all <strong>the</strong> various lives<strong>to</strong>ck. It served as<br />

a place <strong>to</strong> get away without having <strong>to</strong> go <strong>to</strong>o far.<br />

Always on call for <strong>the</strong> business, <strong>the</strong> ranch was a<br />

good diversion and a place <strong>to</strong> relax. Ninety-five<br />

pecan trees, an acre garden, forty acres planted<br />

in grass and ducks, geese, Guinea hens,<br />

chickens, 2 peacocks, wild turkeys, Spanish<br />

goats, Barbados sheep, Texas Longhorns,<br />

Herefords and dogs and cats. As if you could<br />

relax with all a ranch requires but it was a<br />

favorite place <strong>to</strong> go.<br />

Hard working, dedicated and always “just one<br />

of <strong>the</strong> guys.” S<strong>to</strong>ry goes that he never got mad but<br />

if he did you knew it because he would throw his<br />

hat on <strong>the</strong> ground. Everyone who knew him had<br />

a s<strong>to</strong>ry about him and all <strong>the</strong> s<strong>to</strong>ries were good. If<br />

it was possible <strong>to</strong> show <strong>the</strong> Machen Contracting<br />

logo, you would notice that <strong>the</strong> colors are<br />

Caterpillar yellow and black. He was often asked<br />

why <strong>the</strong>re was a drawing of a man standing on<br />

his head between a dozer and a derrick and his<br />

reply was often, “Well, I’m always standing on<br />

my head for some body.” I think it was more <strong>the</strong><br />

fact that <strong>to</strong> make things happen he was willing <strong>to</strong><br />

stand on his head <strong>to</strong> do it.<br />

Mac died in September 1986 and his wife<br />

Aileen followed in September 1989. Machen<br />

Contracting was taken over by his daughter<br />

Stephanie Machen from 1989 until September<br />

2004 when it was sold, having sold <strong>the</strong> well<br />

servicing division of <strong>the</strong> business earlier. Machen<br />

Contracting was operated by a Machen for fiftyfour<br />

years. Although it is a division of something<br />

else, it is still called Machen Contracting with a<br />

heritage of hard work, dedication and quality.<br />

But nothing is ever like <strong>the</strong> original.<br />

Left: Inspecting <strong>the</strong> operation of one of<br />

his eight Detroit Diesel powered rigs is<br />

easy for “Mac” Machen as he flies in<strong>to</strong><br />

job sites in his own plane.<br />

Mac was a member of <strong>the</strong> First Christian<br />

Church of <strong>Midland</strong>. He was a member of <strong>the</strong><br />

Masonic Blue Lodge at Midkiff. He was a thirtysecond<br />

degree Mason and belonged <strong>to</strong> York Rite<br />

Shrine and was a member of <strong>the</strong> Suez Shrine<br />

Temple. He supported 4H clubs and bought<br />

a blue ribbon winner each year. He was<br />

acknowledged with a plaque dated 1981 <strong>to</strong><br />

1986 from <strong>the</strong> “Lion’s & Lioness Clubs of<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> in recognition and appreciation for his<br />

loyalty and devotion <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> handicapped<br />

children” by flying <strong>the</strong>m in his private plane <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Texas Lion’s Camp for Disabled Children in<br />

Kerrville, Texas.<br />

Right: Mac checking out locations<br />

was routine.<br />



& CREMER,<br />

P.C.<br />

Davis, Gerald & Cremer “DGC” was founded<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong> in 1994, after its founders left Kemp<br />

Smith, <strong>the</strong> second oldest law firm in Texas.<br />

DGC provides high quality, value driven<br />

services <strong>to</strong> members of <strong>the</strong> business and<br />

financial communities in <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin<br />

and beyond.<br />

The firm is active in four major areas of<br />

practice: Trial and Appellate; Oil and Gas Title<br />

and Transactional; Business Organizations,<br />

Transactions, Mergers and Acquisitions; and<br />

Trusts and Estate Planning.<br />

The firm is growing and currently has<br />

fifteen lawyers.<br />

The shareholders of <strong>the</strong> firm are Frank N.<br />

Cremer, Robert P. Crumpler, Jr., John A.<br />

“Jad” Davis, Kristi Franklin Hyatt, and<br />

David H. Smith.<br />

Frank Cremer heads <strong>the</strong> Oil and Gas Title<br />

and Transactional Section of DGC. He is a<br />

San Francisco, California native who received<br />

his B.A. and law degrees from Baylor University.<br />

Rob Crumpler’s practice focuses on trial<br />

and appellate cases. He was born in Richmond,<br />

Virginia, received a B.A. degree from Austin<br />

College and earned a law degree from Texas<br />

Tech University.<br />

Jad Davis heads <strong>the</strong> Trial and Appellate<br />

Section. He is a Columbus, Georgia, native,<br />

received his undergraduate degree from Texas<br />

A&M University and his law degree from<br />

Baylor University.<br />

Kristi Hyatt heads <strong>the</strong> Trusts and Estate<br />

Planning Section. She is a native of Big Spring,<br />

Texas, received a B.S. degree from Howard<br />

Payne University, and earned her law degree<br />

from Baylor University.<br />

David Smith, as head of <strong>the</strong> Business<br />

Organizations, Transactions, Mergers and<br />

Acquisitions Section, is also actively involved in<br />

litigation. He is a native of Ballinger, Texas. He<br />

earned a B.S. from Bos<strong>to</strong>n University, an M.A.<br />

from Harvard University, and his law degree<br />

from <strong>the</strong> University of Hous<strong>to</strong>n.<br />

Since its inception, DGC has served Fortune<br />

500 companies as well as large independent<br />

and privately owned oil and gas clients in<br />

significant litigation and transactions. In many<br />


instances, DGC Law has worked in tandem<br />

with—and against—some of <strong>the</strong> largest firms<br />

and best lawyers in Texas and throughout <strong>the</strong><br />

United States and Europe.<br />

DGC Trial and Appellate lawyers have<br />

defended and prosecuted cases involving<br />

virtually every aspect of <strong>the</strong> exploration,<br />

production, and marketing of oil and gas. DGC<br />

lawyers have tried cases involving everything<br />

from real estate, banking and financial services,<br />

manufacturing, insurance, healthcare and even<br />

trade secret/intellectual property disputes,<br />

insurance coverage disputes, employment<br />

disputes, serious personal injury defense, <strong>to</strong> ad<br />

valorem tax cases.<br />

DGC Oil and Gas Title and Transactional<br />

lawyers negotiate and document key acquisition<br />

of producing properties and handle all aspects<br />

of title examination in addition <strong>to</strong> advising oil<br />

and gas clients on ongoing business matters.<br />

DGC’s Business Organizations, Transactions<br />

and Mergers and Acquisitions lawyers handle<br />

negotiations in many different business areas,<br />

as well as private s<strong>to</strong>ck offerings, asset sales,<br />

s<strong>to</strong>ck sales, and reorganizations and mergers.<br />

DGC’s Trusts and Estate Planning<br />

lawyers work with individuals, families,<br />

and organizations in matters pertaining<br />

<strong>to</strong> wealth transfers and related transfer<br />

tax issues, including gifts, wills, trusts,<br />

probate, and special needs planning and<br />

asset protection.<br />

The DGC lawyers are active in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong><br />

community and in a number of local<br />

organizations. These include service on <strong>the</strong><br />

Boards of <strong>the</strong> United Way, <strong>the</strong> High Sky<br />

Children’s Ranch, and <strong>the</strong> Museum of <strong>the</strong><br />

Southwest. They take service and leadership<br />

positions with <strong>the</strong>ir churches and o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

places of worship, sponsor and volunteer at<br />

everything from <strong>the</strong> American Cancer Society,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Hunt for Heroes, <strong>the</strong> YMCA programs, <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Bynum School.<br />

DGC is proud <strong>to</strong> be a mainstay in <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong> legal community and look forward <strong>to</strong><br />

making fur<strong>the</strong>r contributions <strong>to</strong> our dynamic<br />

city and <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin region.<br />

Davis, Gerald & Cremer is located at 400<br />

<strong>West</strong> Illinois, Suite 1400 in <strong>Midland</strong>, Texas, and<br />

on <strong>the</strong> Internet at www.dgclaw.com.<br />


WEINER<br />

OIL & GAS<br />



Ted and Stanley Weiner were sons of Sam<br />

“Skipper” Weiner, who came <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong><br />

area in 1927.<br />

The family was in <strong>the</strong> supply business,<br />

machine shops, and drilling rigs. The principal<br />

office was in Wink, eighty miles west of<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>. The bro<strong>the</strong>rs banked with <strong>the</strong> First<br />

National Bank in <strong>Midland</strong>, John Butler, cashier.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> end of World War II, Ted and Stanley<br />

Weiner returned <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>, while Skipper<br />

maintained his head office in Fort Worth. Jay<br />

Floyd sold a lease on his fa<strong>the</strong>r’s ranch in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County <strong>to</strong> Ted Weiner in 1948. Parts<br />

of <strong>the</strong> lease were farmed out <strong>to</strong> Tex Harvey,<br />

on which he drilled <strong>the</strong> discovery well of <strong>the</strong><br />

Sprayberry Field.<br />

companies. In 1967 <strong>the</strong> companies were<br />

merged in<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Fluor Corporation, of which<br />

<strong>the</strong> family represented—along with <strong>the</strong> Fluor<br />

family—<strong>the</strong> largest ownership group.<br />

Stanley married Mary Don Mask in 1946<br />

and settled at 1507 <strong>West</strong> S<strong>to</strong>rey. They had five<br />

children, all of whom attended schools in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>. Stanley is buried in <strong>Midland</strong> and is<br />

survived by his wife, four children, and seven<br />

grandchildren. Ted married Lucile Clements<br />

in 1939 and moved <strong>to</strong> Fort Worth in 1942.<br />

The family’s oil company, Texas Crude, has<br />

offices in <strong>the</strong> Wilco Building on <strong>West</strong> Wall.<br />

The long business and personal associations<br />

produced a number of s<strong>to</strong>ries that have become<br />

part of <strong>the</strong> family lore:<br />

Above, left <strong>to</strong> right: Sam “Skipper”,<br />

Stanley and Ted Weiner.<br />

The Weiner’s discovered five more fields in<br />

<strong>the</strong> area between 1948 and 1951. These fields<br />

were later found <strong>to</strong> be part of one giant field<br />

that is currently <strong>the</strong> largest producing oil<br />

field in <strong>the</strong> contiguous forty-eight states. It<br />

now produces more than 100,000 barrels of oil<br />

a day and <strong>the</strong>re are five major oil zones still<br />

under development with more than twenty<br />

drilling rigs currently operating.<br />

Ted became <strong>the</strong> senior partner in <strong>the</strong> family<br />

business. He was also <strong>the</strong> founder of Coral<br />

Drilling Company and five o<strong>the</strong>r drilling<br />

One s<strong>to</strong>ry deals with J. E. “Bob” Hill,<br />

a <strong>Midland</strong> rancher and friend of Skipper’s.<br />

Bob bought a truck load of line pipe <strong>to</strong> move<br />

water around his ranch <strong>to</strong> feed <strong>the</strong> cattle.<br />

Times were <strong>to</strong>ugh and Bob was not able <strong>to</strong> pay<br />

for <strong>the</strong> pipe. One day, Skipper bumped<br />

in<strong>to</strong> Bob, who invited him <strong>to</strong> his home for<br />

some lemonade. He asked Skipper how much<br />

he owed him for <strong>the</strong> pipe he had bought<br />

in 1955. The amount was $350. When <strong>the</strong>y<br />

finished <strong>the</strong> lemonade, he gave Skipper a<br />

check for $350. Skipper thanked him for <strong>the</strong><br />


lemonade and promised <strong>to</strong> get <strong>to</strong>ge<strong>the</strong>r more<br />

often in <strong>the</strong> future. It was a hot day and <strong>the</strong><br />

lemonade tasted real good on Bob’s veranda.<br />

completed <strong>the</strong> discovery well in <strong>the</strong> Tex<br />

Harvey field, Jay Floyd asked Ted if he could<br />

find a big artificial diamond ring. He planned<br />

<strong>to</strong> flash it in front of one of <strong>the</strong><br />

Cowden boys and casually say,<br />

“Have you had any rain in <strong>the</strong><br />

Dollar Hide Ranch lately?” For<br />

years, Jay had <strong>to</strong> listen <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Cowden’s talk about all <strong>the</strong><br />

wonderful wells being drilled<br />

on <strong>the</strong>ir spread while <strong>the</strong><br />

Floyd Ranch did not have any<br />

production. Jay and Ted bought<br />

leases and drilled two new<br />

discoveries <strong>to</strong>ge<strong>the</strong>r in <strong>the</strong><br />

Sprayberry Trend. They called<br />

one of <strong>the</strong> fields <strong>the</strong> Weiner-<br />

Floyd field.<br />

Skipper died in 1958 and was<br />

survived by his wife and four<br />

children. Stanley died in 1969<br />

and Ted passed away in 1979.<br />

Their organizations are still<br />

operating and drilling wells in<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> area. Skipper was<br />

honored by having his pho<strong>to</strong>graph<br />

hung in <strong>the</strong> Pioneer Museum<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

Left: Stanley and Ted Weiner fishing.<br />

Below: Charles Weiner.<br />

George Abell liked for<br />

Skipper <strong>to</strong> tell s<strong>to</strong>ries about<br />

<strong>the</strong> ‘good old days’. Skipper<br />

once <strong>to</strong>ld George that one time<br />

when he was gone, Ted lent his<br />

gas engine <strong>to</strong> Buck Sturn. Buck<br />

used it <strong>to</strong> drill <strong>the</strong> discovery<br />

well that was <strong>the</strong> first well in<br />

Ward County. Ted also lent a<br />

string of eight-inch pipe. When<br />

<strong>the</strong> well was completed as a<br />

discovery, Buck returned <strong>the</strong><br />

engine and <strong>the</strong> pipe <strong>to</strong> Ted<br />

and gave a one-eighth interest in<br />

<strong>the</strong> oil well <strong>to</strong> Ted as payment<br />

for <strong>the</strong> loan. Skipper said he<br />

was upset with Ted until<br />

Buck gave him an interest in<br />

<strong>the</strong> well.<br />

The Scharbauer Hotel coffee<br />

shop was <strong>the</strong> place where old<br />

friends met <strong>to</strong> visit. When Tex<br />




CORP.<br />



Above: Vic<strong>to</strong>r S. Frigon, 1921-2009.<br />

Below: Advance Consultants Corp.’s<br />

headquarters at 2819 <strong>West</strong> Industrial<br />

Avenue in <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

Advance Consultants Corp., a pioneer<br />

in efforts <strong>to</strong> provide America with an<br />

adequate supply of oil and gas, reflects <strong>the</strong><br />

vision, courage and determination of its<br />

founder, Vic<strong>to</strong>r S. Frigon.<br />

“Vic” Frigon was born September 18,<br />

1921, and raised on a western Kansas<br />

farm where he learned <strong>the</strong> importance<br />

of hard work from an early age. The<br />

middle son of nine children, Vic grew up<br />

breaking horses, milking cows and<br />

harvesting wheat.<br />

Vic attended military college for a<br />

year and <strong>the</strong>n, only three months after<br />

<strong>the</strong> Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor,<br />

volunteered for <strong>the</strong> U.S. Army. He trained<br />

as a demolition expert and combat<br />

engineer at City College of New York<br />

before being assigned <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> Corps of<br />

Army Engineers. He was sent <strong>to</strong> Europe<br />

where he helped build bridges and<br />

deactivate anti-tank and personnel mines.<br />

In Germany, he courageously led troops<br />

behind enemy lines at night <strong>to</strong> deactivate mines<br />

so bridges could be built for U.S. troop<br />

crossings of <strong>the</strong> Rhine River. Vic, who fought<br />

in <strong>the</strong> strategically vital Battle of <strong>the</strong> Bulge,<br />

was injured behind enemy lines and spent<br />

eight months recovering from his wounds in an<br />

Army hospital.<br />

Returning <strong>to</strong> Kansas after his discharge,<br />

Vic met Barbara Hodson and <strong>the</strong>y were wed<br />

at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in<br />

Wichita on August 26, 1947. He also returned<br />

<strong>to</strong> school and graduated from Wichita State<br />

University in 1949 with a degree in Petroleum<br />

Geology and a minor in Engineering.<br />

After college, Vic and Barbara moved nine<br />

times in one year while Vic worked <strong>the</strong> oil<br />

patch in a number of <strong>West</strong> Texas <strong>to</strong>wns. They<br />

settled in <strong>Midland</strong> in 1952 and Vic gained<br />

valuable experience working as a geologist<br />

and well sitter for several oil companies.<br />

In 1956, Vic organized his own company,<br />

Advance Consultants Corp., a hydrocarbon<br />

mud logging company operating in <strong>the</strong> Permian<br />

Basin of <strong>West</strong> Texas and New Mexico. Advance<br />

Consultants mission is <strong>to</strong> be <strong>the</strong> best provider<br />

of hydrocarbon mud logging services in every<br />

area it serves. The company has logged more<br />

than 4,000 wells in <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin,<br />

including one of <strong>the</strong> deepest on-shore wells in<br />

Texas at 27,018 feet. Advance Consultants has<br />

also been a leader in horizontal logging.<br />

Vic received <strong>the</strong> Pioneer Award from <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>West</strong> Texas Geological Society in 2007.<br />

He became a member of <strong>the</strong> <strong>West</strong> Texas<br />

Geological Society in 1953 and served in a<br />

number of positions with <strong>the</strong> organization<br />

over <strong>the</strong> years. Vic was also a member of<br />

<strong>the</strong> Wildcatters Club, a Colonel in <strong>the</strong><br />

Commemorative Air Force, a member of<br />

<strong>the</strong> Exchange Club, <strong>the</strong> Petroleum Club,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Chamber of Commerce.<br />

Advance Consultants is now operated by<br />

Vic’s daughter, Cheryl Jones, and continues<br />

<strong>to</strong> lead <strong>the</strong> way in detecting and analyzing<br />

gaseous hydrocarbons <strong>to</strong> help find oil and gas<br />

for America.<br />




<strong>Midland</strong> College was established in 1969<br />

when <strong>the</strong> residents of <strong>Midland</strong>—by a margin of<br />

almost four <strong>to</strong> one—voted <strong>to</strong> become a part of<br />

<strong>the</strong> Permian Junior College System, composed<br />

of <strong>Midland</strong> College and Odessa College.<br />

The school expanded in 1972 with <strong>the</strong><br />

formation of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> College District.<br />

Bonds in <strong>the</strong> amount of $5.1 million were<br />

issued for construction of a 115-acre campus<br />

and groundbreaking for <strong>the</strong> new campus was<br />

held in Oc<strong>to</strong>ber 1973. Al G. Langford was<br />

named first president of <strong>the</strong> new institution.<br />

The main campus of <strong>Midland</strong> College is located<br />

at 3600 North Garfield. In addition, <strong>the</strong> school<br />

operates an Advanced Technology Center, Cogdell<br />

Learning Center, an Aviation Maintenance<br />

Technology Hangar, Professional Pilot Preparation<br />

Hanger, Child Care Center, Petroleum Professional<br />

Development Center, and Building Trades Center<br />

throughout <strong>the</strong> community. <strong>Midland</strong> College<br />

classes are also held at <strong>the</strong> Williams Regional<br />

Technical Training Center in Fort S<strong>to</strong>ck<strong>to</strong>n.<br />

Today, <strong>Midland</strong> College offers more than fifty<br />

associate degree and certificate options, and is a<br />

Level II (four-year) institution, accredited <strong>to</strong> offer<br />

a Bachelor of Applied Technology (BAT) degree.<br />

In addition <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> school’s BAT degree, students<br />

may earn upper-level degrees on <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong><br />

campus from various four-year universities.<br />

More than 163,000 people have taken classes<br />

at <strong>Midland</strong> College since 1972, and current<br />

student enrollment is 6,982. During <strong>the</strong> 2008-<br />

2009 school year, <strong>the</strong> college awarded 493<br />

Associate and Baccalaureate Degrees and eightythree<br />

Certifications.<br />

The college also invests in <strong>the</strong> quality of life<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong>. The Phyllis & Bob Cowan<br />

Performing Arts Series and <strong>the</strong> Davidson<br />

Distinguished Lecture Series recruit renowned<br />

performers and speakers <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> campus for free<br />

community concerts and lectures. The campus<br />

is also home <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> McCormick Art Gallery and<br />

co-produces <strong>the</strong>atre presentations with <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Community Theatre. The college’s newly<br />

renovated Al G. Langford Chaparral Center is<br />

<strong>the</strong> largest public facility in <strong>to</strong>wn and hosts<br />

concerts, trade shows, and sporting events.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> College’s annual operating budget is<br />

nearly $56 million. The full-time instructional<br />

staff <strong>to</strong>tals 151, including ninety-six with<br />

advanced degrees.<br />

The school is supported by one of <strong>the</strong> <strong>to</strong>p ten<br />

community college foundations in <strong>the</strong> nation.<br />

Interest from endowments <strong>to</strong>taling $5.7 million has<br />

been placed in<strong>to</strong> operating budgets for campus<br />

upgrades, technology, instruction, and o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

projects. Since 1992 <strong>the</strong> college has raised in excess<br />

of $95 million from public and private sources.<br />

In 2005, <strong>to</strong> better serve an ever-increasing student<br />

body, <strong>Midland</strong> College passed a $41.8 million<br />

bond that is providing newly expanded learning<br />

facilities and o<strong>the</strong>r campus improvements, which<br />

include state-of-<strong>the</strong>-art classrooms,<br />

lecture halls, and labora<strong>to</strong>ry<br />

facilities and resources.<br />

Looking <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> future, <strong>the</strong><br />

faculty and staff of <strong>Midland</strong><br />

College are committed <strong>to</strong><br />

instruction that sustains a lifelong<br />

quest for knowledge and<br />

provides students with academic,<br />

intellectual, occupational,<br />

and professional proficiency.<br />

Additional information is<br />

available on <strong>the</strong> Internet at<br />

www.midland.edu.<br />


J. MARK COX,<br />

DDS<br />

J. Mark Cox, DDS.<br />

Dr. J. Mark Cox says his original intent was<br />

<strong>to</strong> return <strong>to</strong> his home <strong>to</strong>wn of Monahans after<br />

he finished dental school in Hous<strong>to</strong>n. But, after<br />

several years in Hous<strong>to</strong>n, he knew he did not<br />

want <strong>to</strong> live in such a big city, but he was afraid<br />

Monahans might be <strong>to</strong>o small.<br />

The summer before his senior year,<br />

Dr. Cox visited a friend in Odessa who had<br />

been a few years ahead of him in school<br />

and asked where he would settle if he<br />

were beginning a dental practice. The friend<br />

replied that he would consider <strong>Midland</strong><br />

because no new dentists had moved <strong>to</strong> <strong>to</strong>wn<br />

in several years. With this inside information,<br />

Dr. Cox talked with one of <strong>the</strong> supply salesmen<br />

who introduced him <strong>to</strong> several of <strong>the</strong> dentists<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

Several months before graduation in 1977,<br />

Dr. Cox received a call from Dr. James<br />

Borron. He had injured his hand in a skiing<br />

accident and asked if Dr. Cox would consider<br />

coming in<strong>to</strong> his practice as an independent<br />

practitioner and help him catch up on patient<br />

treatments that had been missed while he<br />

was recuperating.<br />

Dr. Cox explains that Dr. Borron and Bill<br />

Franklin at <strong>Midland</strong> National Bank were<br />

instrumental in his coming <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> and<br />

being able <strong>to</strong> open his own practice in 1977.<br />

“Dr. Ken Kimbrough was <strong>the</strong> first dentist I met<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong> and he was also very encouraging<br />

about coming here,” he adds.<br />

Dr. Cox accepted <strong>the</strong> offer from Dr. Borron<br />

and several months later, when Dr. Borron<br />

decided <strong>to</strong> get out of dentistry, he bought<br />

<strong>the</strong> practice. In 1984, he moved <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> space<br />

adjacent <strong>to</strong> his original office at 2109 <strong>West</strong><br />

Texas and has continued <strong>to</strong> practice <strong>the</strong>re <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

present day.<br />

Not long after he opened his practice,<br />

one of <strong>Midland</strong>’s long-time dentists, Dr. A. P.<br />

Shirey, passed away. The dentist’s hygienist,<br />

Sibyl Helmer, had met Dr. Cox and <strong>to</strong>ld many<br />

of Dr. Shirey’s patients about him. “Several of<br />

those people are still my patients <strong>to</strong>day, more<br />

than thirty years later,” Dr. Cox says.<br />

Over <strong>the</strong> years, Dr. Cox has become one of<br />

<strong>the</strong> most respected dentists in <strong>the</strong> area and<br />

<strong>the</strong> practice now includes an office manager,<br />

receptionist, two dental assistants, and one<br />

full-time and one part-time Dental Hygienist,<br />

in addition <strong>to</strong> Dr. Cox.<br />

In addition <strong>to</strong> his dental practice, Dr. Cox<br />

learned about <strong>the</strong> Leadership <strong>Midland</strong> program<br />

and became a member of <strong>the</strong> third class <strong>to</strong> go<br />

through <strong>the</strong> program in 1980-81. He is also an<br />

avid supporter of <strong>the</strong> Dale Carnegie Course and<br />

is a former instruc<strong>to</strong>r himself, teaching a course<br />

<strong>to</strong> Junior Achievement classes.<br />


The two-way radio equipment so vital <strong>to</strong><br />

companies doing work in <strong>the</strong> oil fields was still<br />

tube type and required constant maintenance<br />

when Walt Lacy and Dave Murphy started <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

own business in 1961.<br />

The two men were working for a communications<br />

company that failed and were able<br />

<strong>to</strong> obtain <strong>the</strong> company for unpaid wages<br />

and a promise <strong>to</strong> pay off <strong>the</strong> company’s<br />

debts. At that time, <strong>the</strong> company was known<br />

as Permian Communications and <strong>the</strong> first<br />

employee was Wade Mitchell, who is still with<br />

<strong>the</strong> company.<br />

The business expanded <strong>to</strong> Big Spring and<br />

Snyder, Texas, in <strong>the</strong> mid 1960s. The company<br />

split in 1972 and <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> offices became<br />

Petro Communications.<br />

Lacy and Murphy were <strong>the</strong> original owners<br />

from 1961 <strong>to</strong> 1972; Lacy ran <strong>the</strong> business alone<br />

from 1972 <strong>to</strong> 1978; and Wade Mitchell and<br />

Wayland Lacy were <strong>the</strong> owners from 1978 <strong>to</strong><br />

2001. Mitchell has been <strong>the</strong> owner of Petro<br />

Communications since 2001.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> early days, much of <strong>the</strong> company<br />

business consisted of installing and servicing<br />

two-way radios and serving as a Mo<strong>to</strong>rola<br />

service center. By 2009 <strong>the</strong> company was<br />

selling, installing and maintaining equipment<br />

for voice and data communications, primarily<br />

Mo<strong>to</strong>rola or Microwave Data Systems. The<br />

company also sells and installs <strong>to</strong>wers and<br />

buildings for communications equipment.<br />

Communications equipment and installation<br />

has changed dramatically during <strong>the</strong> last<br />

fifty years. In <strong>the</strong> 1960s, installation and<br />

maintenance required climbing drilling rigs and<br />

well service units, an often dangerous job. One<br />

person could keep only 300 units operating in<br />

<strong>the</strong> early days; <strong>to</strong>day one person can maintain<br />

several thousand units. Mobile radios have<br />

evolved from large, forty pound units <strong>to</strong> <strong>to</strong>day’s<br />

portables weighing only a few ounces.<br />

As with many companies, <strong>the</strong> fortunes of<br />

Petro Communications have been closely tied<br />

<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> ups-and-downs of <strong>the</strong> oil industry. Oil<br />

prices rose from $3 a barrel in 1962 <strong>to</strong> $140 a<br />

barrel in 2008, <strong>the</strong>n dropped back <strong>to</strong> $70 a<br />

barrel in 2009. Fortunately, au<strong>to</strong>mation and<br />

scada devices opened up a new market for<br />

communications equipment that could send<br />

and receive data.<br />

Petro’s cus<strong>to</strong>mer base has changed over <strong>the</strong><br />

years from public safety entities, major oil<br />

companies and drilling contrac<strong>to</strong>rs, and a few<br />

oil field service providers <strong>to</strong> public safety,<br />

homeland security, ambulances, schools,<br />

county road and bridge departments, major oil<br />

companies, independent oil opera<strong>to</strong>rs, oil field<br />

service companies, in-city service companies,<br />

and oil field au<strong>to</strong>mation companies.<br />

Petro also sells and services vehicle cell<br />

phones for individuals and businesses; installs<br />

lights, sirens, radars, cameras and o<strong>the</strong>r devices<br />

in public safety vehicles; and installs computers<br />

in vehicles <strong>to</strong> provide Internet service and<br />

data communications between field units and<br />

central office.<br />


Top: The repair shop and<br />

fleet vehicles.<br />

Above: Mike Mitchell and<br />

Wade Mitchell.<br />


FAMILY<br />


CENTER<br />

Drs. Anjana and Ashu<strong>to</strong>sh Ras<strong>to</strong>gi.<br />

Too many Americans neglect <strong>the</strong>ir health,<br />

hoping that a cure will be found should <strong>the</strong>y<br />

become ill. The truth is that it is much easier <strong>to</strong><br />

prevent most diseases than it is <strong>to</strong> treat <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

At Family Wellness Center, <strong>the</strong> emphasis is on<br />

Advanced Prevention, a relatively new <strong>to</strong>ol <strong>to</strong><br />

moni<strong>to</strong>r and maintain a healthy lifestyle.<br />

Family Wellness Center was founded by<br />

Anjana Ras<strong>to</strong>gi, M.D., who came <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong><br />

in 2000 <strong>to</strong> practice at <strong>the</strong> Heart Center.<br />

She opened her own practice in 2001. A native<br />

of India, Dr. Ras<strong>to</strong>gi graduated with honors<br />

from M.L.B. Medical College. She was a<br />

research fellow at <strong>the</strong> New England Medical<br />

Center in Bos<strong>to</strong>n and did her internship<br />

and residency in <strong>the</strong> Department of Medicine at<br />

Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC)<br />

in Bos<strong>to</strong>n.<br />

Dr. Ras<strong>to</strong>gi is Board Certified in internal<br />

medicine and a Board Certified densi<strong>to</strong>metrist.<br />

Before relocating <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>, Dr. Ras<strong>to</strong>gi<br />

taught in medical schools in Bos<strong>to</strong>n and<br />

at Texas A&M University, served as chief<br />

medical resident at Bos<strong>to</strong>n Medical Center, was<br />

an attending physician in acute care impatient<br />

wards, and a staff physician at Manchester<br />

VA Medical Center, Lowell VA OPC in Lowell,<br />

Massachusetts, and Temple VA Medical Center<br />

in Temple, Texas.<br />

Dr. Ras<strong>to</strong>gi is married <strong>to</strong> Dr. Ashu<strong>to</strong>sh<br />

Ras<strong>to</strong>gi and <strong>the</strong>y are <strong>the</strong> parents of a twin boy<br />

and girl, now twenty-four years old.<br />

Dr. Ras<strong>to</strong>gi practiced at two different<br />

locations before building <strong>the</strong> Family Wellness<br />

Center at 5813 <strong>West</strong> Wadley Avenue. At this<br />

location, Dr. Ras<strong>to</strong>gi has been able <strong>to</strong> provide a<br />

more comprehensive Internal Medicine Practice<br />

<strong>to</strong> all adults sixteen and above, with <strong>the</strong> main<br />

emphasis on preventive medicine.<br />

The Family Wellness Clinic emphasizes<br />

stroke and heart attack prevention following <strong>the</strong><br />

Bale-Doneen method. Specialized cardiovascular<br />

risk assessment testing includes CIMT, coronary<br />

calcium score, and more advanced lab tests.<br />

Prevention of osteoporosis, diabetes and o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

preventable diseases is also emphasized. The<br />

Clinic also offers genetic testing.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> request of many<br />

patients, Dr. Ras<strong>to</strong>gi has<br />

incorporated several aes<strong>the</strong>tics<br />

procedures in her practice.<br />

She has been well<br />

trained in various derma<strong>to</strong>logical<br />

procedures during her<br />

long medical career and offers<br />

a variety of services<br />

<strong>to</strong> her patients. The Laser<br />

Palomar System is used for<br />

hair removal, acne treatment,<br />

skin tightening through<br />

infrared light, and fractional<br />

non-ablative skin resurfacing.<br />

Mole removal, rosacea treatment,<br />

removal of pigmented<br />

lesions and prominent facial<br />

veins is also provided. A<br />

VelvaShape device is utilized<br />

for circumferential reduction<br />

and treatment of cellulite.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r innovation, Pelleve’ is used for<br />

smoo<strong>the</strong>r, tighter skin and has been authorized<br />

for treatment of facial wrinkles without surgery.<br />

Bo<strong>to</strong>x and several fillers are also offered in <strong>the</strong><br />

Clinic for more aes<strong>the</strong>tic care.<br />

In addition <strong>to</strong> Dr. Ras<strong>to</strong>gi, <strong>the</strong> staff at Family<br />

Wellness Center includes Physician Assistant<br />

Hilda Baesa, Office Manager Liz Madrid,<br />

Medical Assistant Yesenia Suchil, and<br />

Administrative Assistants Krystal Sanchez and<br />

Punan Patel.<br />


Lone Star Abstract & Title Co. was founded<br />

by Tom Ingram, who came <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> as a<br />

young at<strong>to</strong>rney in 1949 and began issuing<br />

title policies. In 1951, Ingram and two partners<br />

invested about $5,000 each and Lone Star<br />

Abstract & Title Co. was born. Within a year,<br />

Ingram bought out both partners.<br />

In a 1999 interview, Ingram noted that<br />

before he came <strong>to</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> <strong>to</strong> open <strong>the</strong> title<br />

company, no one locally was issuing title<br />

insurance policies. Once Lone Star was able<br />

<strong>to</strong> issue title policies, “The format of doing<br />

business in <strong>Midland</strong> changed overnight.”<br />

Ingram graduated from high school in<br />

Louisiana, and <strong>the</strong>n attended <strong>the</strong> University<br />

of Texas where he received his law degree<br />

and passed <strong>the</strong> bar in 1943. He served as an<br />

officer in <strong>the</strong> Army, mostly in <strong>the</strong> Pacific, until<br />

March 1946. After discharge, Ingram learned<br />

real estate law by working for Lawyer’s Title<br />

Company in Dallas.<br />

Offices for LSAT were located originally in<br />

down<strong>to</strong>wn <strong>Midland</strong> at <strong>the</strong> present site of <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Center. In 1961, offices moved <strong>to</strong> 206<br />

North Colorado where <strong>the</strong>y remained until<br />

1978 when Lone Star moved <strong>to</strong> its current<br />

location at 600 North Loraine.<br />

In 1975, Ingram hired Joe Campbell from<br />

Service Title Company and, in <strong>the</strong> process,<br />

ended up purchasing <strong>the</strong> company. Ingram<br />

remained <strong>the</strong> sole owner until 1980 when he<br />

sold <strong>the</strong> business <strong>to</strong> Campbell and a few minor<br />

partners. Joe eventually bought out <strong>the</strong> minor<br />

partners and, in 2000, sold a majority interest<br />

<strong>to</strong> his son, Jack Campbell.<br />

Lone Star has survived through <strong>the</strong> booms<br />

and busts of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> economy since 1950<br />

and has been involved in many important local<br />

real estate transactions over <strong>the</strong> years. Lone Star<br />

worked with <strong>the</strong> group that purchased and<br />

began <strong>the</strong> George W. Bush Childhood Home<br />

organization, <strong>the</strong> transactions involved in <strong>the</strong><br />

Scarbrough Sports Complex, and many of <strong>the</strong><br />

city’s projects over <strong>the</strong> years. Lone Star has been<br />

a part of <strong>the</strong> growth of <strong>Midland</strong> through many<br />

important and defining real estate transactions.<br />

Lone Star has a long record of community<br />

involvement and charitable activities. Ingram<br />

was very involved with <strong>Midland</strong> Memorial<br />

Hospital as a member of <strong>the</strong> Board of Direc<strong>to</strong>rs<br />

and as a member of <strong>the</strong> Board of Governors.<br />


He and his wife, Jackie, have supported <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Community Theatre, COM Aquatics,<br />

<strong>the</strong> YMCA, and many o<strong>the</strong>r charitable organizations.<br />

Jack and Joe Campbell and Senior Vice<br />

President and General Counsel J. Brian Martin<br />

have a long standing relationship with Habitat<br />

for Humanity. Lone Star has also supported<br />

The Rotary Club, Junior League of <strong>Midland</strong>,<br />

COM Aquatics, Centers for Children &<br />

Families, United Way, CASA of <strong>West</strong> Texas,<br />

MARC, Inc., and many activities of <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Independent School District.<br />

Lone Star currently employs twenty-five<br />

people and continues <strong>to</strong> provide a quality<br />

product and superior service <strong>to</strong> those in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> County.<br />

Top: 600 North Loraine, our business<br />

location since 1978.<br />

Above: Joseph W. Campbell, Jr.,<br />

and Jack W. Campbell, <strong>the</strong> current<br />

owners of Lone Star Abstract & Title<br />

Co., Inc.<br />


FITE FIRE &<br />

SAFETY<br />

Safety Instrumentation, Inc., dba Fite Fire<br />

& Safety, was incorporated in 1981 by Lyn Fite,<br />

but was not activated until 1985. Then, in<br />

early 1986, came <strong>the</strong> first of three major<br />

oil busts.<br />

“Having activated our company on very<br />

limited financial resources and <strong>the</strong>n having <strong>the</strong><br />

first big oil bust hit, we found ourselves just<br />

trying <strong>to</strong> keep alive,” recalls Lyn. “I have had<br />

<strong>the</strong> distinction of visiting with every bank<br />

president in <strong>Midland</strong>, pleading my case, only <strong>to</strong><br />

be patted on <strong>the</strong> back, pointed <strong>to</strong>ward <strong>the</strong> office<br />

door and <strong>to</strong>ld <strong>to</strong> ‘come back when you have<br />

some money.’”<br />

Today, Lyn reports, <strong>the</strong> banks come <strong>to</strong> him<br />

asking for his business.<br />

Fite Fire & Safety, a sales and service<br />

organization, serves <strong>the</strong> oil industry with<br />

environmental health and safety products.<br />

The company is a major distribu<strong>to</strong>r for<br />

leading manufacturers in <strong>the</strong> field, including<br />

gas detection, fire protection, respira<strong>to</strong>ry<br />

equipment, fall protection, and confined space<br />

equipment. Fite also provides stand-by rescue<br />

teams, safety equipment, industrial hygiene<br />

equipment, environmental products, training<br />

and an emergency response team.<br />

Fite Fire & Safety has assembled a team of<br />

qualified and experienced personnel, current<br />

in applied technology, and competent in <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

professional trade <strong>to</strong> meet <strong>the</strong> demands of<br />

<strong>to</strong>day’s industry. This team is backed by skilled<br />

inside sales, cus<strong>to</strong>mer service and technical<br />

service personnel <strong>to</strong> process cus<strong>to</strong>mer’s orders<br />

in a timely and quality-controlled manner.<br />

Fite Fire & Safety became an OSHA<br />

Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star<br />

Worksite in May of 2006. This is <strong>the</strong> highest<br />

award for safety given <strong>to</strong> a company by <strong>the</strong><br />

federal government. Fite is <strong>the</strong> first VPP<br />

Star Worksite in <strong>Midland</strong> and <strong>the</strong> first in<br />

our SIC Code nationally. The Owner/<br />

President/CEO, Lyn Fite, and company Vice<br />

President, Tim Nolen, became Special<br />

Government Employees (SGE) with OSHA in<br />

2008 and Fite Fire & Safety is <strong>the</strong> only<br />

company in OSHA’s Region VI (Texas, New<br />

Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana)<br />

where <strong>the</strong> President and Vice President both<br />

are SGEs.<br />

The company survived <strong>the</strong> oil bust and, in<br />

1991, was able <strong>to</strong> purchase its corporate office<br />

at 3012 <strong>West</strong> Kentucky Avenue in <strong>Midland</strong>. In<br />

1994, Lyn bought out his partner and became<br />

<strong>the</strong> sole company owner.<br />

A Fire Services Division was opened in 1999<br />

<strong>to</strong> do industrial fire training, and sell and<br />

service fire extinguishers and respira<strong>to</strong>ry<br />

equipment. This division also provides<br />

emergency rescue services, primarily for<br />

confined space entries.<br />

The name of <strong>the</strong> company was changed <strong>to</strong><br />

Fite Fire & Safety in 2001 <strong>to</strong> better describe<br />

what <strong>the</strong> company does.<br />

In 2008, Fite Fire & Safety acquired a large<br />

building and property on <strong>the</strong> west side of its<br />

corporate offices. This more than doubled <strong>the</strong><br />

company’s physical property and provided<br />

ample room for future growth. The company<br />

also operates a Panhandle business unit office<br />

in Dumas, Texas.<br />

Fite Fire & Safety has<br />

grown from a very small revenue<br />

base in its early years <strong>to</strong><br />

a company producing several<br />

million dollars annually. Fite<br />

employs about a dozen fulltime<br />

employees, although<br />

employment can swell <strong>to</strong><br />

thirty <strong>to</strong> thirty-five during<br />

busy periods. The company<br />

services <strong>the</strong> oil and gas<br />

industry primarily, but is not<br />

limited <strong>to</strong> that industry.<br />

For additional information,<br />

please visit www.FiteFire.com.<br />


First United Methodist Church was <strong>the</strong> first<br />

church organized in <strong>Midland</strong> and, after more<br />

than 125 years, <strong>the</strong> church remains true <strong>to</strong> its<br />

mission <strong>to</strong> make disciples of Jesus Christ for <strong>the</strong><br />

transformation of <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

The earliest settlers of <strong>Midland</strong> included a<br />

large number of Methodists who were determined<br />

that <strong>the</strong> Methodist Movement begun in<br />

England by John Wesley would grow strong<br />

in <strong>the</strong> new community being carved from<br />

<strong>the</strong> Texas prairie. The First Methodist Episcopal<br />

Church–South was organized by Reverend<br />

J. A. Scoggins on August 23, 1885 with six<br />

members, five of <strong>the</strong>m women.<br />

Although <strong>the</strong> Methodists were <strong>the</strong> first <strong>to</strong><br />

organize, <strong>the</strong> Baptists were <strong>the</strong> first <strong>to</strong> build a<br />

structure in <strong>Midland</strong>. The Baptists shared <strong>the</strong><br />

little one-room frame building with o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

denominations until <strong>the</strong>y could erect <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

own churches.<br />

In 1889 <strong>the</strong> Methodists borrowed $500 from<br />

<strong>the</strong> Church Extension Board and built a frame<br />

building on <strong>the</strong> west side of <strong>the</strong> 100 block of<br />

North Main Street. The minister at <strong>the</strong> time was<br />

Reverend J. W. Sims. His salary for <strong>the</strong> entire year<br />

amounted <strong>to</strong> $109, including old clo<strong>the</strong>s and<br />

‘poundings,’ which were contributions of food.<br />

In 1894, as <strong>the</strong> county population passed<br />

<strong>the</strong> 1,000 mark, <strong>the</strong> church was moved <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> corner of Main and Illinois and <strong>the</strong><br />

original lots were sold. A red brick building,<br />

<strong>the</strong> church’s second structure, was<br />

built on <strong>the</strong> site in 1907.<br />

The third sanctuary <strong>to</strong> serve <strong>the</strong> congregation<br />

was completed and dedicated<br />

in 1943. Portions of this Mission-Style<br />

structure remain and are known as <strong>the</strong><br />

Scharbauer Education and Fellowship Hall<br />

wings. In <strong>the</strong> early 1950s, one portion of <strong>the</strong><br />

educational building was erected. The o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

section, housing offices and a library, were<br />

completed in 1960.<br />

As <strong>Midland</strong> and <strong>the</strong> Methodist population<br />

grew in <strong>the</strong> 1960s, an ambitious<br />

building plan was developed under <strong>the</strong><br />

leadership of <strong>the</strong> pas<strong>to</strong>r, Dr. Timothy<br />

Guthrie. The beautiful sanctuary, parlor<br />

and classrooms used by <strong>the</strong> congregation<br />

<strong>to</strong>day were dedicated in 1968. The glass<br />

Memorial Chapel was added in 1976.<br />

Former President George W. Bush and his<br />

wife, Laura, were married in <strong>the</strong> chapel.<br />

Today, <strong>the</strong> First United Methodist<br />

Church of <strong>Midland</strong>, led by Senior Pas<strong>to</strong>r,<br />

Dr. Tim Walker, serves a membership of<br />

2,500. At First Church <strong>the</strong> faith is deep,<br />

<strong>the</strong> people are friendly and <strong>the</strong> messages have<br />

heart and are relevant <strong>to</strong> life. The church offers<br />

traditional and contemporary worship services<br />

as well as a wide variety of Sunday School<br />

classes and a host of opportunities <strong>to</strong> serve.<br />

For more information about First United<br />

Methodist Church, please visit its website,<br />

www.firstmethodistmidland.com.<br />



CHURCH<br />

Top: The Methodist Church built<br />

in 1889.<br />

Middle: The 1907 red brick Methodist<br />

Church on <strong>the</strong> 300 block of North<br />

Main Street.<br />

Bot<strong>to</strong>m: First United Methodist’s<br />

Mission-Style church, <strong>the</strong> third <strong>to</strong> be<br />

built in <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />




Since 1967, Coastal Pipe Company has<br />

provided oil companies, o<strong>the</strong>r pipe dealers, and<br />

individuals with <strong>the</strong> very best reconditioned<br />

used oil field tubular goods at <strong>the</strong> very best price.<br />

The company was founded in Hous<strong>to</strong>n by<br />

Ron Roetschke and his college roommate,<br />

Buddy Yentzen. James A. Rice joined <strong>the</strong><br />

company in 1972, became a partner in 1980,<br />

and sole owner in 2008.<br />

Coastal Pipe Company buys used oil field<br />

tubular goods and equipment from plugged<br />

wells and oil companies’ surplus inven<strong>to</strong>ries<br />

and brings <strong>the</strong>m in<strong>to</strong> its yard for sorting,<br />

reclamation, and resale. Coastal Pipe has all <strong>the</strong><br />

necessary equipment, including cleaners, testers,<br />

straighteners, trucks and fork lifts, <strong>to</strong> be selfsufficient<br />

in performing <strong>the</strong> service. The<br />

reconditioned product is <strong>the</strong>n resold for different<br />

applications, including downhole, line pipe and<br />

structural use. New pipe is also available for sale.<br />

Coastal Pipe sells <strong>to</strong> anyone needing pipe,<br />

from oil field applications <strong>to</strong> structural needs.<br />

Several repeat cus<strong>to</strong>mers have been <strong>the</strong><br />

company’s mainstay for many years. Revenue<br />

has increased steadily in recent years.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> company’s early days, all pipe handling,<br />

such as loading pipe in <strong>the</strong> field and unloading<br />

in <strong>the</strong> pipe yard,<br />

was done by hand.<br />

There were no forklifts<br />

or o<strong>the</strong>r lifting<br />

devices, and no employees, just Rice and his<br />

partner and a 1950s vintage truck with no heat<br />

or air conditioning. The company acquired its<br />

first forklift in 1976.<br />

“On one occasion, my partner and I handloaded<br />

our semi-truck with tubing for delivery<br />

<strong>to</strong> a location,” Rice recalls. “Our old Mack truck<br />

didn’t have enough power <strong>to</strong> pull a hill with <strong>the</strong><br />

load, so we had <strong>to</strong> hand-unload half of <strong>the</strong> load,<br />

go up <strong>the</strong> hill with <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r half, <strong>the</strong>n unload<br />

it. Then it was back down <strong>the</strong> hill and reload <strong>the</strong><br />

o<strong>the</strong>r half, and back up <strong>the</strong> hill and unload. The<br />

job <strong>to</strong>ok all day in 100 degree heat. Many<br />

broken fingers and o<strong>the</strong>r injuries were suffered<br />

during <strong>the</strong> early years.”<br />

The number of Coastal Pipe employees has<br />

fluctuated between ten and twenty, depending<br />

on market conditions. There are now ten<br />

employees with hopes of adding more in 2010.<br />

Coastal Pipe recently completed a major<br />

remodeling of its offices and added a new<br />

building. Older equipment and machinery is<br />

being replaced with more modern ones. Business<br />

has increased through use of <strong>the</strong> Internet and<br />

increases in inven<strong>to</strong>ry. Rice’s two sons, Clay and<br />

Luke, are now involved in <strong>the</strong> company and he<br />

expects <strong>the</strong> business <strong>to</strong> continue for many years<br />

<strong>to</strong> come. “With modern technology in drilling,<br />

completion, and re-entry of wells, we believe <strong>the</strong><br />

oil industry and services will only improve<br />

during <strong>the</strong> coming years,” says Rice.<br />




Mrs. Andrew Fasken dreamed about a<br />

retirement community in <strong>Midland</strong> because<br />

<strong>the</strong>re were no facilities available where seniors<br />

could receive care and services as <strong>the</strong>y aged.<br />

In 1960 she asked Dr. R. Mat<strong>the</strong>w Lynn, pas<strong>to</strong>r<br />

of First Presbyterian Church, along with her<br />

son, Murray Fasken, <strong>to</strong> recruit a steering<br />

committee <strong>to</strong> develop a retirement facility.<br />

In 1963, Manor Park, Inc. (originally <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Presbyterian Homes, Inc.) was incorporated as a<br />

not-for-profit, non-denominational Texas corporation.<br />

A five-acre tract at 2800 <strong>West</strong> Illinois<br />

Avenue was acquired and, by 1970, Trinity<br />

Towers opened its doors <strong>to</strong> serve <strong>the</strong> first senior<br />

residents. Soon, <strong>the</strong> five-s<strong>to</strong>ry <strong>to</strong>wer and forty<br />

surrounding apartments were operating at<br />

capacity, so a second <strong>to</strong>wer was added in<br />

February 1978.<br />

A second Manor Park campus was developed<br />

on forty acres donated by <strong>the</strong> Jessie Wallace<br />

Estate in September 1982. Due <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> generosity<br />

of <strong>the</strong> community, <strong>the</strong> new campus featuring<br />

apartments, <strong>to</strong>wnhomes and a beautiful activity<br />

center opened debt free.<br />

With additional contributions from <strong>the</strong><br />

community, more services were soon added<br />

including <strong>the</strong> Mabee Healthcare Center for<br />

long-term nursing care in 1985, <strong>the</strong> John F.<br />

Younger Special Care Center for residents with<br />

Alzheimer’s disease in 1994, Helen Greathouse<br />

Manor for assisted living and <strong>the</strong> Vogel Center<br />

for residents with early stages of memory<br />

impairment in 2005, and <strong>the</strong> Skilled Nursing<br />

Rehab Center in 2008.<br />

Manor Park and <strong>Midland</strong> College partnered <strong>to</strong><br />

open a Children’s Center on <strong>the</strong> campus that<br />

features intergenerational activities. The Campbell<br />

Wellness Center was created <strong>to</strong> offer residents<br />

an extensive exercise and wellness program,<br />

and in 2008, <strong>the</strong> Margaret Cowden Clubhouse<br />

was opened <strong>to</strong> offer a new venue for dining and<br />

activities. Thirteen acres south of Sinclair Street<br />

were purchased in 2006 <strong>to</strong> accommodate <strong>the</strong><br />

future expansion of Manor Park facilities.<br />

Memorials and gifts <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> endowment fund<br />

have allowed Manor Park <strong>to</strong> care for residents<br />

who outlive <strong>the</strong>ir financial resources and for<br />

Medicaid residents in nursing care.<br />

Unfortunately, Fasken did not live <strong>to</strong> see <strong>the</strong><br />

fruition of her dream, but due <strong>to</strong> her vision,<br />

<strong>the</strong>re have been thousands of senior residents<br />

over <strong>the</strong> past forty years who have benefited<br />

from Manor Park’s quality housing, care and<br />

services. Today Manor Park has a complete<br />

continuum of care and has created an<br />

atmosphere fostering dignity, respect and a<br />

meaningful daily life for <strong>the</strong> residents.<br />

Above: Independent living residences.<br />

Below: Original Trinity<br />

Towers Campus.<br />




SouthTex Treaters, Inc., headquartered in<br />

Odessa, is a midstream opera<strong>to</strong>r and manufacturer<br />

of gas processing plants and equipment.<br />

The company was founded in 1986 for <strong>the</strong><br />

primary purpose of providing contract gas<br />

treating services and equipment. Since <strong>the</strong>n,<br />

<strong>the</strong> company has expanded its engineering and<br />

manufacturing capabilities and sold hundreds<br />

of gas processing plants throughout <strong>the</strong> Barnett,<br />

Haynesville and Eagle Ford shale plays, and<br />

across Texas. SouthTex has distributed gas<br />

processing equipment and process assemblies<br />

elsewhere in <strong>the</strong> U.S. and throughout <strong>the</strong><br />

world, and currently operates five plants across<br />

Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Colorado.<br />

SouthTex designs and constructs both<br />

cus<strong>to</strong>m and s<strong>to</strong>ck plants for amine treatment,<br />

glycol dehydration, oil stabilization, landfill<br />

gas (LFG) removal/recovery, physical solvent<br />

treating, NGL recovery (dewpoint control)<br />

and NGL fractionation. The company sells and<br />

leases plants, and also offers contract treating<br />

services. Additionally, SouthTex maintains a<br />

vast new and used equipment supply inven<strong>to</strong>ry<br />

on its private eighty-four acre office and<br />

construction complex.<br />

Combining practical knowledge with <strong>the</strong><br />

latest technologies, SouthTex carries gas<br />

treatment projects from concept <strong>to</strong> completion.<br />

The company has been a leader in gas<br />

processing for over twenty-five years, and has<br />

operated treating facilities with greater than<br />

ninety-seven percent runtime performance<br />

over a five year period. Top-notch engineering,<br />

quality control and unsurpassed delivery unite<br />

with economies of scale and no-nonsense<br />

integrity <strong>to</strong> create operational efficiencies that<br />

are hard <strong>to</strong> find under one roof.<br />

From chemical, electrical and mechanical<br />

engineering <strong>to</strong> plant and process design, parts<br />

fabrication, equipment supply, construction,<br />

installation, start-up assistance, tech support<br />

and plant operation, SouthTex has <strong>the</strong> entire<br />

value-chain for plant construction covered inhouse.<br />

This vertical integration saves cus<strong>to</strong>mers<br />

time and money, creates a better service experience<br />

and helps SouthTex preserve quality and<br />

integrity in <strong>the</strong> chain of midstream gas treatment<br />

options cus<strong>to</strong>mers have <strong>to</strong> choose from.<br />

Privately owned and financed by David, Paul<br />

and Luke Morrow of <strong>Midland</strong>, SouthTex has<br />

kept <strong>the</strong> company mission and objectives undivided<br />

by outside interests, has kept employees<br />

thriving, and has kept <strong>the</strong> focus on strong<br />

cus<strong>to</strong>mer relationships and service. With <strong>the</strong><br />

vertical integration of services and economies<br />

of scale SouthTex has achieved over time,<br />

<strong>the</strong> company’s recipe for success has produced<br />

a continuously thriving and expanding operation,<br />

even in <strong>the</strong> worst of times.<br />

“The continuity of ownership, leadership<br />

and experience at SouthTex has helped us<br />

create a culture of ethics, teamwork and<br />

personal excellence that shows in everything<br />

we produce,” says SouthTex CEO Paul Morrow.<br />

“We have very little turnover, with employees<br />

and cus<strong>to</strong>mers alike, and our environment of<br />

innovation has led <strong>to</strong> new patent-pending<br />

technologies, like our BTEX removal system.”<br />

With <strong>the</strong> world watching <strong>the</strong> rise of natural<br />

gas and “green” technologies as primary energy<br />

sources, SouthTex Treaters, Inc. is poised for<br />

long-term growth in global midstream gas<br />

processing and waste-<strong>to</strong>-energy development.<br />

For more information about SouthTex, visit<br />

<strong>the</strong> website at www.southtex.com.<br />


As any local sports fan can tell you, a<br />

Jackalope is not a rare creature of <strong>the</strong> Texas hill<br />

country but <strong>the</strong> name of <strong>the</strong> only professional<br />

winter sports team in <strong>the</strong> region.<br />

The increasingly popular Odessa Jackalopes<br />

compete in <strong>the</strong> highly competitive Class AA<br />

Central Hockey League. Affiliates of <strong>the</strong> New<br />

York Islanders, <strong>the</strong> Jackalopes regularly draw<br />

enthusiastic crowds of 3,000 <strong>to</strong> 4,000 <strong>to</strong> Ec<strong>to</strong>r<br />

County Coliseum and have become a fan<br />

favorite for winter time excitement. The 2009-<br />

2010 season is <strong>the</strong> Jackalopes’ thirteenth in <strong>the</strong><br />

Permian Basin.<br />

The Jackalopes are considered one of <strong>the</strong><br />

best-run minor league hockey franchises and<br />

have been featured in Sports Illustrated for <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

imaginative promotional efforts and close ties<br />

<strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> community. The Jackalopes were named<br />

<strong>the</strong> CHL’s “Best at Community Relations” for <strong>the</strong><br />

2008-09 season, as well as <strong>the</strong> league’s “Most<br />

Improved Franchise.” The Jackalopes were also<br />

named <strong>the</strong> league’s “Franchise of <strong>the</strong> Year” for<br />

both 1997-98, and 1998-99.<br />

All Jackalopes games are broadcast<br />

live on KFZX radio and fans<br />

can also take part in a weekly talk<br />

show featuring players and coaches.<br />

The Jackalopes’ ownership<br />

group is comprised of local business<br />

developers Rick Gasser, and<br />

Bill and Tracey Nyborg. The group,<br />

which has owned <strong>the</strong> team since<br />

2005, welcomed Massachusetts<br />

native David LaCouture <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Jackalopes in 2009 as a minority<br />

owner. This foursome, along with<br />

an exceptional front office staff led<br />

by general manager Joe Clark, are<br />

dedicated <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir mot<strong>to</strong> of good,<br />

clean, affordable family entertainment.<br />

With an average ticket price<br />

of fifteen dollars, <strong>the</strong> Jackalopes<br />

provide a very affordable evening<br />

of sports entertainment.<br />

The Jackalopes are not only<br />

strong competi<strong>to</strong>rs on <strong>the</strong> ice at<br />

Ec<strong>to</strong>r County Coliseum, but are<br />

also a very strong part of each community<br />

around <strong>West</strong> Texas. The<br />

Jackalopes players and staff take<br />

part in a number of community<br />

events, including <strong>the</strong> Salvation Army Toy Drive<br />

during Christmas, Blood Drives, <strong>the</strong> “Scoring<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Schools” program, and monthly hospital<br />

visits. A visit by Jackalopes mascot SlapJack is<br />

always considered a high point of any event.<br />

Each year, <strong>the</strong> Jackalopes combine strengths<br />

with <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong> Rock Hounds <strong>to</strong> put on <strong>the</strong><br />

annual <strong>West</strong> Texas Sports Banquet, an event<br />

that has raised more than $300,000 for special<br />

needs groups in <strong>the</strong> area.<br />

To help promote hockey in a region where<br />

<strong>the</strong> game was unknown just a few years ago, <strong>the</strong><br />

Jackalopes sponsor a Youth Hockey League <strong>to</strong><br />

train and nurture young players.<br />

An interactive website, www.jackalopes.org<br />

allows fans <strong>to</strong> listen <strong>to</strong> a live feed of <strong>the</strong> games,<br />

purchase tickets online, even purchase game<br />

gear from <strong>the</strong> Jackalopes’ online s<strong>to</strong>re.<br />

With a highly competitive team and strong<br />

community support, <strong>the</strong> Odessa Jackalopes<br />

look forward <strong>to</strong> a bright future in <strong>the</strong> Central<br />

Hockey League.<br />

ODESSA<br />





HOMES, LLC<br />

Right: Vicente and Rogelio Carrasco.<br />

Vicente Carrasco, whose fa<strong>the</strong>r was a<br />

masonry contrac<strong>to</strong>r, has been around <strong>the</strong><br />

homebuilding business his entire life. Today,<br />

he and his bro<strong>the</strong>rs—Roger and Manuel—are<br />

owners of Carrasco Homes in <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

As a small boy, Vicente learned about<br />

homebuilding from his fa<strong>the</strong>r. He graduated<br />

from high school in 1986 and worked in a<br />

variety of jobs <strong>to</strong> support his wife and four<br />

children. He became dietary department<br />

manager at what is now <strong>Midland</strong> Memorial<br />

Hospital-<strong>West</strong> Campus, but along <strong>the</strong> way he<br />

worked on remodeling jobs. He started by<br />

remodeling his own home, and <strong>the</strong>n moved<br />

on <strong>to</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r projects in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong>-Odessa<br />

area. He also attended college <strong>to</strong> learn more<br />

about cabinet making and <strong>the</strong> building trades.<br />

In 2000, Vicente felt it was time <strong>to</strong> go in<strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> homebuilding business and, with <strong>the</strong> help<br />

of his bro<strong>the</strong>rs, he established Carrasco Homes,<br />

LLC. In addition <strong>to</strong> his bro<strong>the</strong>rs, his daughter,<br />

Jennifer Carrasco, is involved in <strong>the</strong> business as<br />

a bookkeeper.<br />

Carrasco Homes range in price from<br />

$120,000 <strong>to</strong> more than a half-million dollars<br />

and are known for <strong>the</strong>ir excellent quality.<br />

“Unlike most of our competi<strong>to</strong>rs, we go for<br />

quality instead of cost, not sacrificing <strong>the</strong> full<br />

potential of <strong>the</strong> home for <strong>the</strong> least quality<br />

products,” says Carrasco.<br />

Each member of <strong>the</strong> Carrasco Homes team is<br />

selected for <strong>the</strong>ir reliability and work quality<br />

and <strong>the</strong> company uses <strong>the</strong> most effective<br />

methods and techniques in <strong>the</strong>ir work <strong>to</strong><br />

ensure cus<strong>to</strong>mers of <strong>the</strong> best home possible.<br />

“We’re not architects or engineers, we’re<br />

builders,” says Carrasco. “We know what we’re<br />

doing and we do a good job.”<br />

With Carrasco Homes, cus<strong>to</strong>mer satisfaction<br />

is number one. Carrasco tries <strong>to</strong> respond <strong>to</strong><br />

service calls as soon as possible and always does<br />

more than <strong>the</strong> cus<strong>to</strong>mer expects.<br />

Vicente has built homes all around <strong>Midland</strong><br />

and is constantly on <strong>the</strong> move <strong>to</strong> start his next<br />

project. He is currently building in Los<br />

Patios Addition, Greathouse Addition,<br />

Rock Point, and Los Conchos Estates.<br />

Carrasco Homes is a member of<br />

<strong>the</strong> Permian Basin Home Builders<br />

Association, Texas Association of<br />

Builders, National Association of<br />

Home Builders, and <strong>the</strong> <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Chamber of Commerce. The firm is<br />

also an FHA/VA Approved Builder.<br />

Carrasco Homes is located at 1321<br />

East Jax Street in <strong>Midland</strong> and on <strong>the</strong><br />

Internet at www.carrascohomes.com.<br />

“The styles of <strong>to</strong>day are incorporated<br />

in<strong>to</strong> each home we build,” says<br />

Carrasco. “You can be assured that <strong>the</strong><br />

home you have bought will be one of<br />

<strong>the</strong> best available.”<br />


The year was 1963 and Robert “Bob” Howle,<br />

who had worked in <strong>the</strong> oil fields for several<br />

years and was operating a Phillips service<br />

station, realized that businesses and individuals<br />

in <strong>Midland</strong> needed a place <strong>to</strong> rent equipment<br />

and party items. With $8,000 in cash, Bob<br />

organized A <strong>to</strong> Z Rental, which was located<br />

originally at 1903 North Big Spring. The name<br />

was later changed <strong>to</strong> Bob’s Rental Center and<br />

<strong>the</strong> business moved <strong>to</strong> 2909 North Big Spring.<br />

purchase a portable <strong>to</strong>ilet business. Bob and<br />

Wayne established B&W Chemical Toilets<br />

and Bob became sole owner in 1985 when<br />

Wayne retired from <strong>the</strong> City of <strong>Midland</strong> Fire<br />

Department and moved <strong>to</strong> Mason, Texas.<br />

Bob’s Rental Center was sold <strong>to</strong> United<br />

Rentals in 1998. Bob retained ownership of<br />

B&W Chemical Toilets and moved it <strong>to</strong> its<br />

present location at 4500 South State Highway<br />

349. Bob died on January 10, 2008.<br />

B&W<br />



Bob had seen <strong>the</strong> boom and bust periods in<br />

<strong>the</strong> oil fields and resolved <strong>to</strong> never get over<br />

his head in debt. He would take out small<br />

loans <strong>to</strong> purchase larger equipment but was<br />

careful not <strong>to</strong> overextend himself. In this way<br />

he was able <strong>to</strong> ride out even <strong>the</strong> bad times.<br />

Bob also realized early on that he needed<br />

<strong>to</strong> diversify, so he became a dealership for<br />

such products as Jaco trailers, John Deere<br />

trac<strong>to</strong>rs, Honda power equipment, and Stihl<br />

chain saws.<br />

By 1979 <strong>the</strong> business had outgrown its<br />

facilities and, faced with restrictive zoning<br />

codes, Bob bought property at 2700 South<br />

Rankin Highway and built a large facility.<br />

That location now houses TMP Truck<br />

& Trailer.<br />

In 1983, Bob was approached by a friend,<br />

Wayne Martin, who was looking for a partner <strong>to</strong><br />

Many members of Bob’s family have worked<br />

for <strong>the</strong> businesses over <strong>the</strong> years and contributed<br />

<strong>to</strong> its growth and success. Barbara<br />

Ezell, Bob’s step-daughter, was manager at <strong>the</strong><br />

time Bob’s Rental Center was sold, and is<br />

now part owner and general manager of<br />

B&W Chemical Toilets. Bob’s step-grandson,<br />

James “Dusty” Builta, is vice president of<br />

B&W Chemical Toilets, and step-granddaughter<br />

Melissa Bogart is <strong>the</strong> bookkeeper.<br />

B&W Chemical Toilets is active in <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Midland</strong>, <strong>Midland</strong> Hispanic, and Big Spring<br />

Chambers of Commerce, member of <strong>the</strong> Portable<br />

Sanitation Association, a member of <strong>the</strong> Better<br />

Business Bureau, and member of <strong>the</strong> Permian<br />

Basin Home Builders Association. The firm is also<br />

a supporter of Show of Support Hunt for Heroes.<br />

For more information about B&W Chemical<br />

Toilets, check www.bwchemical<strong>to</strong>ilets.com.<br />

Left: Chemical Toilets, Inc., 2010.<br />

Right: Robert “Bob” Howle.<br />




SCHOOL<br />


The s<strong>to</strong>ry of <strong>Midland</strong> Independent School<br />

District began in <strong>the</strong> nineteenth century. In<br />

1885, settlers had begun <strong>to</strong> populate <strong>West</strong><br />

Texas, making a livelihood on farms and<br />

ranches. The <strong>Midland</strong> County Commissioners<br />

recorded 35 boys and 25 girls between <strong>the</strong><br />

ages of 8 and 16 living throughout <strong>the</strong> county.<br />

Public school lands were set aside and, in 1886,<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>’s first public school, a one-room building,<br />

was constructed.<br />

In 1893 a two-s<strong>to</strong>ry, red-brick school building<br />

was constructed at 301 <strong>West</strong> Illinois Avenue.<br />

The building, known as<br />

North Ward, housed all<br />

students. Several years<br />

passed, and in April 1907,<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> ISD was formed<br />

when citizens approved <strong>the</strong><br />

establishment of a common<br />

school district. The first<br />

school board, comprised of<br />

seven men, elected County<br />

Judge E. R. Bryan as its<br />

president, and named W.<br />

W. Lackey as superintendent<br />

of schools. The minutes<br />

of <strong>the</strong> May 17, 1907,<br />

school board meeting reflect <strong>the</strong> appointment of<br />

<strong>the</strong> president and superintendent, as well as <strong>the</strong><br />

hiring of a principal, seven teachers and a jani<strong>to</strong>r.<br />

The superintendent was given a salary of<br />

$133.33 per month, and teachers made an average<br />

of $60 per month.<br />

North Ward soon became crowded, leading <strong>to</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> construction of South Ward in 1909 at<br />

8 Main Street (now <strong>the</strong> location of South<br />

Elementary). Attendance grew and <strong>the</strong> need for<br />

a high school arose. <strong>Midland</strong> High School was<br />

built in 1926 at 500 <strong>West</strong> Texas Avenue.<br />

In 1928 a school for Hispanic students<br />

was built at 1101 East South Street (now <strong>the</strong><br />

location of DeZavala Elementary). Carver<br />

Elementary School for black students was<br />

built in 1932 at <strong>the</strong> 1300 block of East<br />

Wall Street.<br />

The MISD Board of<br />

Trustees unanimously voted<br />

<strong>to</strong> abolish segregated schools<br />

in August 1956. <strong>Midland</strong><br />

schools began desegregating<br />

in September 1956.<br />

Throughout <strong>the</strong> 1950s<br />

and 1960s, <strong>Midland</strong> ISD<br />

constructed twenty schools<br />

<strong>to</strong> provide for a student population<br />

that doubled over <strong>the</strong><br />

course of a decade. There<br />

were 16 elementary schools,<br />

3 junior high schools and<br />

1 senior high school added.<br />

Five schools were added<br />

<strong>to</strong> MISD in <strong>the</strong> 1980s. In <strong>the</strong> early 1990s, two<br />

more schools were built.<br />

Today, <strong>the</strong>re are more than 21,000 students,<br />

ranging from pre-kindergarteners through<br />

high school seniors at thirty-five campuses.<br />

Students have access <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> finest education<br />

through in-depth classes, up-<strong>to</strong>-date programs<br />

and engaging extracurricular activities led<br />

by educa<strong>to</strong>rs who uphold MISD’s mot<strong>to</strong> of<br />

“Educating <strong>the</strong> Future.”<br />


Morris Holmquest Tidwell & Company,<br />

organized nearly twenty-five years ago, prides<br />

itself in providing excellence in local accounting<br />

by offering timely and professional services<br />

equal <strong>to</strong> those provided by a national firm.<br />

The firm was founded as Morris Holmquest<br />

& Company, a partnership between James<br />

Morris and Nan Holmquest in July 1986. Mary<br />

Alice Tidwell joined <strong>the</strong> firm in 1992 and <strong>the</strong><br />

partnership became Morris Holmquest Tidwell<br />

& Company.<br />

Morris and Holmquest began <strong>the</strong>ir careers in<br />

1976 with Elmer Fox Wes<strong>the</strong>imer & Company,<br />

a national accounting firm. EFW became<br />

known as Fox & Company and later merged<br />

with Alexander Grant before it became known<br />

as Grant Thorn<strong>to</strong>n. In July 1986, Morris and<br />

Holmquest resigned from that firm as senior<br />

tax managers and started <strong>the</strong>ir own local<br />

accounting firm.<br />

Tidwell was a partner with Elmer Fox<br />

Wes<strong>the</strong>imer and left in 1979 <strong>to</strong> join a publicly<br />

traded company as direc<strong>to</strong>r of <strong>the</strong> tax<br />

department. She later left that firm and<br />

reentered public accounting as a partner in<br />

ano<strong>the</strong>r local firm, which eventually became<br />

known as Tidwell & Company. In November<br />

1992, Tidwell became a partner with Morris<br />

and Holmquest. The accounting staffs from<br />

both firms were merged and retained.<br />

Tidwell was one of <strong>the</strong> first women admitted<br />

in<strong>to</strong> partnership with Elmer Fox Wes<strong>the</strong>imer &<br />

Company. Being one of two women partners in<br />

a 275-partner firm; she was continually asked,<br />

“Aren’t you intimidated by all those male<br />

partners?” Her answer was, “Not a bit!”<br />

James Morris is a bro<strong>the</strong>r <strong>to</strong> five sisters.<br />

When asked what it is like working with five<br />

women, his response is, “No different from<br />

getting along with five sisters.”<br />

Nan Holmquest suffered from an asthmarelated<br />

illness and resigned from <strong>the</strong> firm in<br />

1998. In her honor, <strong>the</strong> firm has kept her<br />

name associated with <strong>the</strong> firm. She has since<br />

relocated <strong>to</strong> east Texas and continues <strong>to</strong> be<br />

involved in accounting work.<br />

As a local accounting firm, Morris Holmquest<br />

Tidwell & Company strives <strong>to</strong> provide <strong>the</strong><br />

same level of service a client would expect from<br />

a large, national firm. The firm provides<br />

accounting and bookkeeping services, federal<br />

tax compliance in income and payroll reporting,<br />

state tax compliance in sales tax, franchise tax<br />

and income tax reporting for all types of entities<br />

including corporate, partnership, trusts, and<br />

individuals. The firm also assists in estate<br />

probate accounting and related federal reporting.<br />

To a limited extent, it compiles financial<br />

statements when needed, although <strong>the</strong> firm does<br />

not review or audit financial statements.<br />

Located at <strong>the</strong> corner of A Street and Wadley<br />

Avenue, Morris Holmquest Tidwell & Company<br />

has five employees and serves more than<br />

500 clients made up of estates, trusts, individuals,<br />

partnerships, corporations and not-forprofit<br />

organizations.<br />

MORRIS<br />


TIDWELL &<br />


Left: Mary Alice Tidwell and<br />

Jim Morris.<br />

Below: Mary Alice and Maudine<br />

Bankson sitting and Jim Morris,<br />

Sharon Roberson and Shirley<br />

Parker standing.<br />



Beautifully situated in <strong>the</strong> legendary <strong>West</strong><br />

Texas oil country, <strong>the</strong> Plaza Inn <strong>Midland</strong> offers<br />

outstanding service and amenities in a prime<br />

location with easy access <strong>to</strong> Loop 250.<br />

At Plaza Inn, you will enjoy an outdoor<br />

swimming pool and hot tub, free workouts at<br />

<strong>the</strong> YMCA, use of <strong>the</strong> business center, complimentary<br />

high-speed Internet access, flat screen<br />

televisions, free local calls and express check<br />

out. There is also a complimentary breakfast<br />

each morning. Additional features in executive<br />

rooms include a microwave and refrigera<strong>to</strong>r.<br />

The Plaza Inn, built in 1985 and purchased<br />

in 2000 by <strong>Midland</strong> Canam Enterprises LTD,<br />

is now a locally owned and operated<br />

family business. The Plaza Inn has grown<br />

twenty <strong>to</strong> thirty percent under <strong>the</strong> new<br />

management, which includes CFO Shafik<br />

Tejani and manager Vangie Tryon.<br />

Guests at Plaza Inn are greeted by an<br />

array of pleasing features in each of<br />

<strong>the</strong> 114 guest rooms. The well-appointed<br />

accommodations include everything<br />

needed for a good night’s rest and <strong>to</strong><br />

enable you <strong>to</strong> get down <strong>to</strong> business. No<br />

matter which guest room you choose, you will<br />

be provided with every comfort, along with<br />

attentive and caring service.<br />

Plaza Inn meeting facilities are beautifully<br />

equipped for all kinds of business functions for<br />

up <strong>to</strong> thirty-five people. Special rates are offered<br />

<strong>to</strong> businesses and groups wishing <strong>to</strong> book<br />

blocks of ten rooms or more.<br />

Whe<strong>the</strong>r you are looking for a romantic<br />

weekend getaway or a fun family vacation,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Plaza Inn offers <strong>the</strong> ideal location <strong>to</strong><br />

enjoy <strong>Midland</strong>’s many attractions.<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> is <strong>the</strong> proud home of presidents<br />

and world-class museums such as<br />

<strong>the</strong> Museum of <strong>the</strong> Southwest, <strong>the</strong> Haley<br />

Memorial Library and His<strong>to</strong>ry Center, <strong>the</strong><br />

American Airpower Heritage Museum<br />

and <strong>the</strong> Permian Basin Petroleum Museum,<br />

which boasts <strong>the</strong> largest collection of oil rigs and<br />

machinery in <strong>the</strong> world. There is plenty of<br />

action, as well. The RockHounds minor league<br />

baseball team plays at <strong>Midland</strong>’s Citibank<br />

Ballpark and <strong>the</strong> Odessa Jackalopes of <strong>the</strong><br />

Central Hockey League play only twenty miles<br />

away in Odessa.<br />

The George W. Bush Childhood Home in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> is <strong>the</strong> res<strong>to</strong>red home of <strong>the</strong> forty-third<br />

President of <strong>the</strong> United States, George W. Bush.<br />

The President’s childhood home has been<br />

res<strong>to</strong>red <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> way it was when he grew up<br />

<strong>the</strong>re in <strong>the</strong> 1950s.<br />

The Plaza Inn is very involved in local<br />

civic and community activities, including <strong>the</strong><br />

Aga Khan Foundation, <strong>Midland</strong> Chamber of<br />

Commerce, Special Olympics, American Cancer<br />

Society, <strong>Midland</strong> Police Department, <strong>Midland</strong><br />

Chamber, <strong>Midland</strong> Hispanic Chamber, American<br />

Diabetes Association, <strong>Midland</strong> Northside Lions<br />

Club, <strong>Midland</strong> Down<strong>to</strong>wn Club, Jaycees, High<br />

Sky Children’s Ranch, YMCA,<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> College, and Hospice of<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>, and Al Rankin Highway<br />

Visi<strong>to</strong>rs Center.<br />

The Plaza Inn is located at<br />

4108 North Big Spring Street in<br />

<strong>Midland</strong>. For more information,<br />

please check <strong>the</strong>ir website at<br />

www.plazainnmidland.com.<br />


Abbott Building Company (ABCO) is a family<br />

owned general contracting firm, which has<br />

served <strong>the</strong> steel building needs of cus<strong>to</strong>mers in<br />

<strong>the</strong> southwest for more than half-a-century.<br />

The company, first known as H. E. Abbott &<br />

Sons, was founded in 1954 by H. E. Abbott and<br />

his two sons, Gene and Dick, who had moved<br />

<strong>to</strong> <strong>West</strong> Texas from western New York. They<br />

started business in a little yard and office in<br />

sou<strong>the</strong>ast <strong>Midland</strong>.<br />

Although <strong>the</strong>y were strangers <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> area<br />

without any knowledge of <strong>the</strong> oil business, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

soon began <strong>to</strong> fill <strong>the</strong> needs of <strong>the</strong> oil industry<br />

for industrial type facilities. In 1957 <strong>the</strong> office<br />

was moved <strong>to</strong> northwest Odessa <strong>to</strong> better serve<br />

<strong>the</strong> company’s industrial market. Before long,<br />

buildings erected by Abbott began <strong>to</strong> appear all<br />

across <strong>West</strong> Texas and eastern New Mexico.<br />

H. E. Abbott passed away in 1963 but his two<br />

sons continued <strong>the</strong> company traditions. To better<br />

accommodate <strong>the</strong> firm’s growth, <strong>the</strong> company<br />

moved in 1969 <strong>to</strong> its present location on U.S.<br />

Highway 80. At that time, <strong>the</strong> company name<br />

was changed <strong>to</strong> Abbott Building Company.<br />

Like many o<strong>the</strong>r businesses related <strong>to</strong> <strong>the</strong> oil<br />

industry, Abbott Building Company experienced a<br />

severe downturn in <strong>the</strong> early 1980s. Since 1985,<br />

however, <strong>the</strong> company has enjoyed a resurgence<br />

of business in <strong>the</strong> markets where it operates and is<br />

once again enjoying growth and expansion due <strong>to</strong><br />

increased activity in <strong>the</strong> oil patch.<br />

Gene Abbott, who has been with <strong>the</strong> company<br />

56 years, serves as president. His son-in-law,<br />

Tim Hodgens, has been with <strong>the</strong> company 28<br />

years and serves as vice president of operations.<br />

A member of <strong>the</strong> third generation, Mike Abbott,<br />

has been with <strong>the</strong> company 19 years and is vice<br />

president of sales. ABCO’s current employees<br />

<strong>to</strong>tal more than 280 years experience.<br />

ABCO looks forward <strong>to</strong> serving a growing<br />

cus<strong>to</strong>mer base throughout <strong>the</strong> southwestern<br />

United States in <strong>the</strong> years <strong>to</strong> come.<br />

ABBOTT<br />



Autumn prairie, Broom Snakeweed<br />

in bloom.<br />




Abbott Building Company............................................................................................................................................................97<br />

Advance Consultants Corp., A Tribute <strong>to</strong> Vic<strong>to</strong>r S. Frigon ............................................................................................................80<br />

B&W Chemical Toilets, Inc. .........................................................................................................................................................93<br />

Basic Energy Services....................................................................................................................................................................63<br />

Carrasco Homes, LLC...................................................................................................................................................................92<br />

Coastal Pipe Company..................................................................................................................................................................88<br />

Commemorative Air Force & CAF Airpower Museum ..................................................................................................................64<br />

Cowboys Resources Corp. ............................................................................................................................................................63<br />

Don Crawford & Associates..........................................................................................................................................................63<br />

Family Wellness Center ................................................................................................................................................................84<br />

J. Mark Cox, DDS.........................................................................................................................................................................82<br />

Davis, Gerald & Cremer, P.C. .......................................................................................................................................................76<br />

Fasken Oil & Ranch.....................................................................................................................................................................63<br />

First United Methodist Church.....................................................................................................................................................87<br />

Fite Fire & Safety .........................................................................................................................................................................86<br />

George W. Bush Childhood Home Museum..................................................................................................................................63<br />

Lone Star Abstract & Title Co., Inc...............................................................................................................................................85<br />

M. F. Machen................................................................................................................................................................................74<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> College ...........................................................................................................................................................................81<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Community Healthcare Services .....................................................................................................................................72<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> Independent School District ...........................................................................................................................................94<br />

Morris Holmquest Tidwell & Company........................................................................................................................................95<br />

Occidental Petroleum Corporation ...............................................................................................................................................70<br />

Odessa Jackalopes Hockey Club ...................................................................................................................................................91<br />

Ortloff Engineers, Ltd...................................................................................................................................................................68<br />

Petro Communications, Inc. .........................................................................................................................................................83<br />

The Petroleum Museum................................................................................................................................................................67<br />

Plaza Inn ......................................................................................................................................................................................96<br />

South-Tex Treaters, Inc.................................................................................................................................................................90<br />

The Village at Manor Park ............................................................................................................................................................89<br />

Weiner Oil & Gas, Texas Crude Opera<strong>to</strong>r.....................................................................................................................................78<br />


$49.95<br />

About <strong>the</strong> Author<br />

Damon Kennedy is assistant professor of<br />

his<strong>to</strong>ry at <strong>Midland</strong> College. He attended<br />

<strong>Midland</strong> College and earned his Ph.D. degree<br />

in His<strong>to</strong>ry from Texas Tech University. An avid<br />

local his<strong>to</strong>ry researcher, Damon is <strong>the</strong> author<br />

of numerous articles and book reviews. He has<br />

served as research consultant on various grant<br />

proposals, preservation projects, and museum<br />

exhibits. His dissertation, Samuel Burk<br />

Burnett and <strong>the</strong> 6666 Ranch is being readied<br />

for publication.<br />

About <strong>the</strong> front cover<br />

Fast Mail <strong>to</strong> Carlsbad, painting by Tom Lovell.<br />

Pho<strong>to</strong>graph courtesy of <strong>the</strong> Abell-Hanger Foundation and<br />

<strong>the</strong> Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, 2002-038.010.<br />

About <strong>the</strong> back cover<br />

Scarlet Globemallow skies.<br />

Pho<strong>to</strong>graph courtesy of Ilija Lukic.<br />

ISBN: 9781935377511

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