Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
It wasn’t just limestone and firebrick to come out of these hills. While Carter County wasn’t blessed with abundant seams of coal like some of their neighbors to the south, there was some speculation about gas and oil pockets in the early days of the 20th century. Oil deposits were being found at Lawton and other areas in 1921 and 1922, enough to convince the editor of the Carter County Herald to predict a boom of future growth for the community, which they predicted would become “a city of wealth.”
They were still predicting big things for the community two months later, when they reported on a new well. While it “may not be a great oil producing field” they noted, they were still confident of the future of oil in the area, predicting now that it would be “a field producing oil in large paying quantities soon.”
While oil never did become a major industry in Carter County or the surrounding areas, you can still see a few oil wells here and there dotting the hills, as you drive around the backroads, a testament to the other fossil fuels of our region, and another reminder of just how old these hills we call home are.
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