On Oct. 3, 1930, in a Rusk County pasture, 70-year-old Columbus M. “Dad” Joiner brought in the Daisy Bradford 3 and unknowingly tapped into the world’s largest pocket of oil. The resulting oil boom brought thousands of producers and drillers into East Texas, turned the quiet little communities into raucous boom towns and made millions for oil producers.
More than 1,000 wooden oil derricks — perhaps the most visible evidence of the East Texas oil boom — lined the town’s streets. During the Christmas season, lights were hung on many of the derricks.
This spot, known as “The World’s Richest Acre“, produced more than a million barrels of oil alone. After the underground oil pools begun to play out, the oil derricks began to disappear and Kilgore soon looked like any other East Texas community.
Today, steel replicas of the old derricks are back, thanks to the work of the Kilgore Historical Preservation Society.