Roaring Ranger. Boom of high excitement and strategic importance. When oil demand was high during World War I, Texas Pacific Coal Company general manager W.K. Gordon, a believer in deep drilling, persuaded his company to make the venture that started Ranger’s oil boom at McClesky No. 1 (1 mi. S). This blew in, October 1917, as a 1700-barrels-a-day gusher. Later gushers yielded up to 7,000 and 11,000-barrels-a-day each. Ten daily trains brought in prospectors packed in the aisles or on tops of coaches. Ranger’s dozen or so houses became a city of drillers, suppliers, oil company offices. Living quarters were so scarce that not only were beds of day-tour men occupied by the graveyard-tour men, but overstuffed chairs were also rented for sleeping. Food was hard to get and prices were high. For two rainy years, Ranger was a sea of mud. A sled taxied people across streets, or a man in hip boots carried them piggyback. However, money was plentiful, and forces of vice moved in. After five murders occurred in one day, law officers arrested many criminals and expelled gamblers and vagrants. Ranger’s success overshadowed its troubles. It is said to have yielded in a year twice the wealth of best years in California and Klondike gold fields. Roaring Ranger Historical Marker, erected 1967 at the Roaring Ranger Oil Boom Museum (the former train station), located at Main Street and Loop 254, Ranger.
Ranger History 1922. Ranger has a population of 16,205; 35 miles of light and power lines. 52 miles of gas mains, 32 miles of sewer mains, a $50,000 postoffice building ; twenty-six hotels, four banks, with a combined capital of $500,000, and deposits of over $7.000,000; a chamber of commerce, with 2,250 members, a live daily paper ; ten religious denominations ; a modern theater building, with a seating capacity of 1,250. The assessed valuation of the city is $12,425,618, with a tax rate of $1.50 on the $100 valuation. Building permits for 1920 represent $2,654,000. There are thirty blocks of brick pavement laid on a five-inch concrete base. – History of Texas, 1922, by W. Barrett Travis.
|Entering Ranger, Texas 1940s|
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