Dad & Doc - The Men Behind the East Texas Oil Field

Dad & Doc - The Men Behind the East Texas Oil Field

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The Complete Story at Last

The East Texas Oil Field. The Black Giant. Most productive field in US history. 

Not only did its discovery lead to technological and legal innovations that changed the industry, it's fair to say that the United States could not have fought Hitler and the Japanese Empire at the same time without East Texas hydrocarbons.

Then there's the famous discovery story.

Old Dad Joiner Believed

He believed East Texas was floating on an ocean of oil even though none of the major oil companies thought so. He believed because his geologist, Doc Lloyd said so.

Because he believed, Dad kept going even after two wells were junked, spending his last dollar to sink a third hole, burning green wood and old tires to power a ramshackle rig manned by farmhands. And on October 5, 1930 his faith was rewarded when the Daisy Bradford No. 3 came in.

But that ain't how it really happened.
Neither Dad nor Doc thought there was any oil to be found on Daisy Bradford's farm.

They were, in a word, scoundrels. And finding oil was the last thing they wanted.

Michelle Haas spent a year on the trail of Dad and Doc, and has recorded their stories from birth to death. She has forever destroyed the myth.

She trailed these rogues across Texas, through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Ohio... and in the case of Doc Lloyd, even made a special trip to the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho to dig up some especially rich dirt on him.

You are probably familiar with the Joiner/Lloyd lore, but who were they really?

Two contradictory old sayings perfectly describe these two men and their relationship.

The first: "Opposites attract."

  • Dad loved poetry
  • Doc sang lewd ditties
  • Dad was a suit and tie dandy
  • Doc dressed in khakis and a campaign hat
  • Dad was stooped, frail and soft spoken
  • Doc was hearty, loud and larger than life

    The second: "Birds of a feather flock together."

    • Both had manufactured their life histories
    • Both had run scams for decades before the East Texas discovery
    • Both spent a lot of time in court
    • Both claimed professions in which they had no training (lawyer and geologist.)
    • Both were bad husbands, though unlike Doc, Dad limited himself to one wife (but not one woman) at a time

      Michelle has turned over all the stones to record the full truth about these two oil field legends for the first time.

      In Dad & Doc she reveals:

      • Dad's plagiarism in an attempt to be known as a man of letters.
      • Doc's scheme to take over northern Mexico.
      • Dad's hope to turn Dallas into "The City of Love."
      • Doc's vigilante killings.
      • Dad's divorce drama (after 52 years and eight kids.)
      • Doc's stint in federal prison after the East Texas discovery.
      • Dad's attempt to junk the discovery well before it was completed.
      • Doc's promotion of Arlington Heights and invention of the home owners association.
      • And the thread on which all the beads are strung: oil scam after oil scam.

        Also included between these covers is Harry Harter's East Texas Oil Parade.

        Written in 1934, it records four years of court battles after the discovery between the Texas Railroad Commission, the majors, the independents and the feds, as well as military intervention, and martial law. It's a real Texas oil rarity. Not because few were printed, but because few have survived. It was one of Joe Naylor's first publications and he printed it on pulpy paper to save money.

        You could buy one of those 1934 originals for around 500.00, but it will probably crumble if you try to read it. Ours did.

        Physical Details

        • Dad & Doc by Michelle M. Haas
        • Standard Edition Hardcover
        • Satin Finish Jacket
        • 320 pages

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