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Monday, June 16, 2014

A. J. Sowell's "History of Fort Bend County"

Friends of the Fort Bend County Historical Commission are reprinting A. J. Sowell's History of Fort Bend County.  The reprint will be a replica of the book as it was published in 1904, but with one major addition - an index.

Copies will be available in July.  I'll have further information in future blog posts, but I wanted to give you a sample of the book's content.  Here's a short chapter on Damon Mound.  (Who knew lemonade came out of the ground?)
Many people aren't aware of Damon's early oil history.  It's been a couple of years since I read Bryan Burrough's The Big Rich, which is a fascinating story of 4 giants in the history of Texas oil: H. L. Hunt, Clint Murchison, Sid Richardson, and Hugh Roy Cullen.  

If I recall correctly, Burrough says Cullen's success at Damon gave him his big start.  He'd had success in earlier ventures - I think he was involved with the Pierce Junction field - but many drillers had tried and failed at Damon.  Cullen wouldn't give up and eventually produced a significant amount of oil.  The Texas almanac says by 1924, operators had drilled 291 wells at Damon, and just 85 produced any oil, so you can see it took some effort to find oil there.  (The average depth was 2,416 feet.)  

Here are links to a couple of relevant articles.