United States / Kilgore, TX

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Allis-Chalmers Pumps. These two early pumping units serve as historic reminders of Kilgore's development as an oil boom town. The boom era began on Dec. 28, 1930, when the well known as the Lou Della Crim No. 1 blew in. With it, Kilgore became part of the great east Texas oil field. These reciprocal pumps, manufactured by Allis-Chalmers and first used in west Texas, were brought here in 1931 by the Shell Pipe Line Corp. to move crude oil to Houston area refineries. In service until 1985, it is estimated they pumped a combined total of over one billion barrels of oil. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986 #9931

?, Kilgore, TX, United States

Lou Della Crim Home. This bungalow style residence was constructed in 1920 for Lou Della (Thompson) Crim (b. 1868), on the former site of the Hearne Hotel. The farm she owned at Laird Hill (4 mi. S) was part of an oil exploration project headed by her son Malcolm, later the first Kilgore mayor, and local financier Ed Bateman. Her property gained national attention on Dec. 28, 1930, when the Bateman-Crim Wildcat Well No. 1, the discovery well for this area of the significant East Texas oil field, blew in there. Area Rangers, including the celebrated Capt. M. T. (Lone Wolf) Gonzaullas, were housed here. #9940

201 N. Longview St., Kilgore, TX, United States

Kilgore College Administration Building. In response to the East Texas oil field boom, yet in the midst of the Great Depression, Kilgore residents voted to support the establishment of a junior college in 1935. Classes were held in the high school until this building was completed in 1936 with financial aid from the Public Works Administration. Designed by the San Antonio firm of Phelps & Dewees, the Kilgore College administration building remains a good example of art moderne architecture. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1990 #9968

1101 S. Henderson Blvd. (US 259), Kilgore, TX, United States

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Dean-Keener-Crim House. The one-story east wing of this house, considered the oldest still standing in Kilgore, was built by S. G. Dean about 1876. After buying the structure in 1881, L. J. Keener (1840-88) attached the two-story west wing. Wiley N. Crim (1865-1937) a cotton ginner and grocer, added porches and enclosed the well when he purchased the house in 1902. His family still owns and occupies it. Oil was discovered on this and nearby Crim property during the boom of the 1930s. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1975 #9943

101 E. Lantrip St., Kilgore, TX, United States

First Presbyterian Church. Organized in 1850 as Gum Spring Presbyterian Church in the rural Danville community, this congregation moved to Kilgore in 1874 and later changed its name to First Presbyterian Church. built as a result of the 1930s oil boom, this sanctuary replaced an earlier structure at the corner of South and Rusk streets, where oil wells surrounded church property. Reflecting the Gothic style of architecture, the building features a large stained glass window and a tri-partite Gothic-arched entry. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1989 #9954

815 E. Main, Kilgore, TX, United States

Kilgore. "Oil City of the World" Founded 1872 with coming of the I.G.N. Railroad. Named for site donor, a Confederate colonel, Constantine B. Kilgore, State Senator and U. S. Congressman. Geographical center of huge East Texas oil field. World's greatest concentration of steel derricks. Petroleum production, service, supply, processing hub. Commercial, industrial, farm, education and medical center. Home of Kilgore College and its famous "Rangerettes", women's precision drill team; and of Van Cliburn, international concert pianist. #9967

?, Kilgore, TX, United States

Kilgore National Bank Building. Led in the town's economic development following the 1930s oil boom. Prosperity in the midst of the Great Depression influenced the board of directors to build this structure in 1937. Designed by Henderson architect James L. Downing, who used art moderne and art deco styling to project progress, it housed the bank until the 1970s. It now serves as a reminder of Kilgore's early business history. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1990 #9971

118 S. Kilgore St., Kilgore, TX, United States

Liberty City. Historic rural community in oil-rich Gregg County. Settled before Civil War. Has also been known as Sabine, Mount Moriah, McCrary's Chapel, Goforth and Hog Eye (for an early settler with an "eye" for hogs). Present name adopted in early days of famous East Texas oil boom. Area served by Sabine School district, established 1893; an example of excellent schools in county. Also crossed by great system of improved, all weather county roads-- finest in state. Center of farming, livestock raising. Has fine churches, park and community meeting places. #9975

?, Kilgore, TX, United States

The New Deal Era in Kilgore. After the discovery of oil here in the 1930s, this site was transformed into a makeshift tent city by thousands of people displaced by a deepening national depression. In an effort to control growth, city officials chose this site as the focus of an ambitious public works program in 1934. The park project, which included extensive rock work, was influenced by the planning and foresight of other Federal "New Deal" projects underway in Kilgore at the time (Kilgore Public Library and Kilgore College Administration Building). The park project was finished about 1936. #9983

600 E. North St., Kilgore, TX, United States

John Carroll Dudley House. #14863

2903 Dudley Road, Kilgore, TX, United States

Driller Park. On April 24, 1947, more than 3,100 fans celebrated the postwar return of baseball as the Kilgore Drillers played the Henderson Oilers on Driller Park's opening day. Erected by the Kilgore Baseball Club for $100,000 on land deeded to the city of Kilgore by S. S. Laird, the park straddles the line between Gregg and Rusk counties. An excellent example of small stadium engineering, the ballpark was constructed of oil field pipe, tank steel, and concrete with an infield underground drainage system. Though the Drillers disbanded in 1950, Driller Park continues to be a haven for baseball in the city of Kilgore. (1998) #11915

?, Kilgore, TX, United States

Kilgore College Rangerettes. #15569

?, Kilgore, TX, United States

World's Richest Acre. Part of fabulous East Texas oil field discovered in 1930. This 1.195-acre tract had first production on June 17, 1937, when the Mrs. Bess Johnson-Adams & Hale No. 1 well was brought in. Developed before well-spacing rules, this block is the most densely drilled tract in the world, with 24 wells on 10 lots owned by six different operators. This acre has produced over two and a half million barrels of crude oil; selling at $1.10 to $3.25 a barrel, it has brought more than five and a half million dollars. A forest of steel derricks for many years stood over the more than 1,000 wells in downtown Kilgore, marking the greatest concentration of oil wells in the history of the world. Dozens of these derricks still dot city's internationally famous skyline. Since 1930, the East Texas oil field has produced nearly four billion barrels of oil. It now has more than 17,000 producing wells, and geologists predict a future of at least 45 years for this "granddaddy of oil fields." Its development has attracted to the area many diversified industries and a progressive citizenship with a high degree of civic pride. #10007

?, Kilgore, TX, United States

Forest Home Baptist Church. This congregation was organized in 1889 by the Rev. J. R. Goode and eight charter members: Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Jefferson Mercer; Mr. & Mrs. George Augustus Meadows; Mr. & Mrs. Isaac Johnson, Sr.; and Mr. & Mrs. Isaac Johnson, Jr. The first sanctuary was a one-room log structure with one door and no windows. It was replaced by a larger frame building which also served as a school for children from Rusk and Gregg counties. Additional facilities were built over the years to accommodate the growing congregation, which includes descendants of the charter members. #10997

?, Kilgore, TX, United States

The Kilgore I&GN-Missouri Pacific Railroad Station. The town of Kilgore was platted by the International Railroad Company after it purchased land for a townsite from C. B. "Buck" Kilgore, who had donated a 200-foot railroad right-of-way in 1871. Kilgore, a resident of Danville (4 mi. E), recognizing the economic opportunities afforded by the railroad, soon built a new home near the station. Many other Danville citizens followed Kilgore's lead, and a community was established and named for him. This railroad station was completed in 1872 to provide passenger and freight service and to serve as a communications center for this agricultural and lumbering area. In 1931 oil was discovered in what became known as the East Texas Oil field, and the volume of shipments from the Kilgore station increased dramatically. Later, World War II provided the depot with a steady stream of troop trains. The rail line became known as the Missouri Pacific in 1956. As automobile, bus, and air travel became more popular, rail traffic decreased, and in 1977 the Kilgore station was closed. The depot stands today as a reminder of the significant role rail transportation played in the growth and development of Kilgore and East Texas. #9969

201 N. Commerce, Kilgore, TX, United States

First Baptist Church of Kilgore. On October 11, 1902, the five charter members of this congregation met and formed the Missionary Baptist Church of Kilgore. They were Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Choice, Mr. and Mrs. J. I. Choice, and Miss Lizzie Clinkscales. The Rev. P. J. Vermillion served as first pastor. The church's first sanctuary was constructed in 1906, during the pastorate of the rev. J. A. Lee. It served the small village congregation for nearly 30 years, until the Kilgore oil boom of the 1930s increased tremendously both the population of the town and the membership of the First Baptist Church. The original church building, located at South Martin and Main streets, was sold in 1931. The congregation met for worship services and Sunday School in the homes of its members and in various public buildings until a new brick structure was completed at this site in 1933. throughout its history the First Baptist Church of Kilgore has actively supported home and foreign missions, assisting in the formation of several other local Baptist fellowships. As an integral part of this community, the congregation has grown and developed to provide service and leadership for the changing needs of the people of Kilgore. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986 #9950

501 E. North St., Kilgore, TX, United States

Kilgore High School. Public education in Kilgore traces its history to classes held in private homes and the establishment of private institutions, most notably the Alexander Institute. Operated by Isaac Alexander, the school moved to Kilgore in 1873. It continued to serve the children of the town until 1894, when it was relocated to Jacksonville. It was later renamed Lon Morris College. The building which housed the Alexander Institute was converted into a public school. The Kilgore Independent School district, established in 1906, continued to use the facility until 1913, when a new two-story red brick school building was erected at this site on Longview Street. Following the discovery of oil in Kilgore in 1930 and the resulting oil boom, the 1913 school was soon inadequate to house the student population of the city. The red brick school was razed in 1932, and a new combination high school, junior high, and auditorium was erected on the site in 1933. An elementary school was later added to the property. This facility has continued to serve as an educational institution for the city of Kilgore, and stands as an integral part of the life of the city. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836 - 1986 #9970

711 N. Longview St., Kilgore, TX, United States

Site of Alexander Institute. Before the establishment of public schools, education was provided by small private academies such as the Alexander Institute. a successor to the New Danville Masonic Female Academy, founded in nearby Danville in 1854. The institute was named for pioneer educator Isaac Alexander (1832-1919). A native of Virginia, Dr. Alexander was president of the academy when it moved to Kilgore in 1873, soon after the city was founded. In 1875 operation of the school was transferred to the East Texas Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Offering courses from primary through college level, the institute was highly regarded as a finishing school for girls and a preparatory school for boys. Students from all parts of east Texas received instruction here. The boys boarded in private homes and the girls with Mrs. Alexander, daughter of a well-known Methodist minister, the Rev. James Hall. Dr. Alexander served as president until 1894, when the school moved to Jacksonville in Rusk County and became Lon Morris College, one of the oldest junior colleges in Texas. The Kilgore public schools occupied the old Alexander Institute classroom building at this site until 1913. The structure was then dismantled and the lumber used to build a private residence. #9930

315 E. North St., Kilgore, TX, United States

Gum Spring Presbyterian Church (New Danville). Named for nearby spring with gum log curb; organized Oct. 7, 1850, by the Rev. J. M. Becton. The 1850 roll: Mr. and Mrs. Meshack Barber, S. S. Barnett, Mrs. T. C. Barnett, Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Scott, Mr. and Mrs. Allen Sloan, Nancy Sloan, Mr. and Mrs. T. W. Templeton. Log church of 1849 burned on Dec. 31, 1857; present structure, built in 1858, housed Danville Masonic Lodge No. 101 and (1858-73) Danville Masonic Female Academy, the parent institution of Lon Morris College. Moving in 1874, congregation became the First Presbyterian Church of Kilgore. #9963

?, Kilgore, TX, United States

Kilgore Public Library. Kilgore's first public library opened in 1933 under the direction of two local women's clubs. With funding from the Federal Public Works Administration, support from the city, and labor from the Works Progress Administration, this structure was completed in 1939. Designed in a style reminiscent of cottages in the French province of Normandy, it stands as a visible reminder of Kilgore's depression-era progressivism and continues to serve local citizens. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1990 #9972

301 N. Henderson Blvd., Kilgore, TX, United States

St. Luke's United Methodist Church. The Kilgore Methodist Society was organized in 1873 after many residents of New Danville (4 mi. NE) moved to Kilgore, founded in 1872 after the railroad arrived in 1871. They erected a school building in 1873 at Martin and North streets (1 blk. N) for the Rev. Isaac Alexander (1832-1919), who transferred his New Danville Masonic Female Academy to Kilgore, renaming it Alexander Institute. He also conducted Sunday services there until 1883. In that year the neighboring Methodist congregations of Kilgore, Crossroads, Danville, and Pirtle formed the Kilgore Methodist Circuit, with the Rev. F. J. Browning as first pastor. In 1894 the Institute (later renamed Lon Morris College) moved to Jacksonville. Kilgore Methodists continued to meet in the Institute chapel. In 1904 the chapel was moved one block southwest (across Martin Street from this site). It was replaced there in 1915 with a frame sanctuary which was burned by arson in 1931 during the Kilgore oil boom. This fieldstone sanctuary and the annex were built in 1932, and the 109-member Kilgore congregation became St. Luke's Methodist Episcopal Church, South, with the Rev. Bob L. Pool as the first full-time pastor. The Tudor Gothic buildings were designed by Paris, Texas architects Smith & Praeger. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1985 #9995

401 E. Main, Kilgore, TX, United States

Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. At the close of the Civil War, local African Americans, newly freed from slavery, formed the Mt. Pleasant Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. The Rev. M.F. Jamison served as the first pastor for the group, which was part of the East Texas Annual Conference. Members built a brush arbor and peace camp in this area and were led by the Rev. Frank Rabb, Major Sanders and Parson Choice in the early years. They formally organized as a congregation in 1871. As more settlers moved into the area over the next two decades, the need arose for a community cemetery. In April 1891, trustees for the church purchased two acres at this site, adjacent to the sanctuary, from J.C. and S.S. Barnett. The earliest marked grave in the burial ground is that of a seven-year-old boy who died in July 1890. There are also several unmarked graves, believed to date to the early 1870s. Today, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery continues to be linked to the church, although it has moved. A church committee maintains the burial ground, the final resting place for generations of area pioneers and families, including military veterans, Freemasons and community leaders. Historic Texas Cemetery - 2004 #13856

?, Kilgore, TX, United States

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