Tag Archives: Santa Rita No. 1

Today in Texas History – May 28

From the Annals of Big Oil – In 1923, the Santa Rita No. 1 oil well came in.  The gusher came in the early morning at the solitary rig located in Reagan County.  The University of Texas had leased 670 sections of its west Texas land to Rupert P. Ricker.  Ricker in turn hoped to make enough selling drilling permits from various wildcatters to make the rental payments to UT.  Frank T. Pickrell and Haymon Krupp bought the drilling permits and formed Texon Oil and Land Company.  They then hired geologist Hugh Tucker to select a site for drilling among the almost 200,000 acres.  Carl G. Cromwell drilled the well which was spudded in only minutes before the drilling permit would have expired.  The incredible gusher and the ensuing development of UT’s vast land holdings transformed the school from a small land grant college in a small city to a major institution of higher education.  The University of Texas system has the second highest endowment of any US university ranking only behind Harvard.