Mud & Speculation - Ranger, 1919
"This is gonna be easy."
Have you ever thought that? That's what veteran oil men were thinking about Ranger field in the fall of 1918. A rail line from Dallas made moving men and supplies easy. A new pipeline was already in place from Ranger to Dallas and another was about to connect Fort Worth.
Competition would lower transport costs, plus the Railroad Commission had just started regulating pipelines as common carriers. No more bullying from the pipeline boys. Yup, this was gonna be easy...
especially after Goose Creek the year before. They had to build those derricks over the darn water!
The swarm descended and the boom was on. This was gonna be easy. That's what they thought. But mother nature has a sense of humor...or maybe she's just plain mean.
Everyone had gotten used to the drought that plagued 1917 and 1918. But 1919 turned into the wettest year Eastland County had ever known. More rain fell in January alone than in all of 1918. And it turned out to be the coldest winter in Texas history. Not only that, the town was not ready to house and feed the multitude under even the best weather conditions.
Millionaires seeking leases slept on the ground wrapped in war surplus blankets. The Spanish Flu pandemic came to town and killed scores of people. But the leasing went on. Proto-landmen shattered many a tin lizzy on rutted tracks that only the pathologically polite would call "roads." Damn the expense, all that mattered was leases.
Hauling equipment and supplies from the Ranger depot out to those leases meant confronting rivers of mud that used to be the streets of this newborn boomtown. Motorized conveyance was useless. What moved men and machinery was mule muscle. The beasts were rented out at over a hundred dollars a day (in today's money.)
That's our scene here. Can you put yourself in it? Feel the cold, the wet, the anxiety, the frustration. Which would you fear more, the flu, or missing out?
Print Number Six in the C. A. Warner Memorial Series of Historic Texas Oil Field Image.
- 24 by 18 inches
- Limited Edition of 254 Copies
- Each one is hand-numbered
These inks are guaranteed color-fast for 80 years, which means you won't need to lay out the extra money for UV glass. You can hang your print in direct sun and it will be just as bright when they are passed on to the next generation as a family heirloom as it is the day it ships.
All you need to do choose any standard 18 by 24 inch frame from your local frame shop.
Like all prints in this series, it is a Limited Edition of only 254 hand-numbered, one for each county in Texas.
It's an instant heirloom.
- Shipping is $5 for this item.
- Allow two weeks for delivery.
- Ships in a sturdy tube.
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