Historical Marker


Barbers Hill Oil Field

Entry Address: Barbers Hill Oil Field
City: Mont Belvieu
County: Chambers

Marker Erected 1977
Marker Located: Arthur Davis Park on west side of SH 146 about 2 miles north of I-10 in Mont Belvieu


Marker Text:

While digging a 65-ft. water well near his home in 1889, Elmer W. Barber (1854-1935), whose father Amos Barber first settled this area, encountered inflammable gas near the top of the salt dome known as Barbers Hill. After the Spindletop discovery in 1901, prospectors sought leases here. In 1902 Pattillo Higgins (1863-1955), an early Spindletop promoter, drilled on the northwest slope of the hill. His shallow well, like those of other early operations, yielded little, and the low price of crude oil discouraged large investment. The United Petroleum Co. No. 1 Fisher, drilled in 1918, produced 70 barrels a day, the field's first oil in commercial quantities. Drilling resumed in 1926, when the Mills Bennett Production co. and the Humphreys Corp. brought in the A. E. Barber No. 1, yielding 500 barrels a day. The success later that year of their B-2 Kirby, reaching a depth of 4,174 ft., triggered a leasing campaign and launched a period of rapid expansion which lasted until the late 1930s. Rows of oil derricks and tent dwellings were a common sight during the boom. As the population of the community grew, oil money helped upgrade and enlarge school facilities. By 1977, the local economy had shifted from production to storage of petroleum.

Marker Number: 9081
Subject Codes: OL
Marker Size: 27" x 42"
UTM Zone: 15
UTM Easting: 316858
UTM Northing: 3301934