Tag: spindletop

Coffee Table Book Blog

This Day in Texas History: “Bet-a-Million” Gates Dies

This Day in Texas History: “Bet-a-Million” Gates Dies August 9, 1911 On this day in 1911, barbed wire promoter and oilman John Warne (Bet-a-Million) Gates died. Gates was born in Illinois in 1855. Gates arrived in Texas as a barbed wire salesman for the Washburn-Moen Company in 1876. He rented San Antonio’s Military Plaza, constructed…
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This day in Texas History: Spindletop Oilfield Discovered

This day in Texas History: (from the Texas State Historical Association archives) Spindletop Oilfield Discovered January 10, 1901 On this day in 1901, the Spindletop Oilfield was discovered on a salt dome south of Beaumont, marking the birth of the modern petroleum industry. Pattillo Higgins, the “prophet of Spindletop,” and others had tried for years to find…
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