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Riches Loom for Village Folk in Texas Oil Rush

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

No Sound on Film | 1936

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  •  Talco Lease Royalty Co. 
  •  Lacey Building 
  •  Talco State Bank, chartered in 1912 by Felix A. Jones, who died in 1937. His son, Felix O. Jones, was president of the bank when this film was made. 
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This short film depicts the population explosion in largely rural Talco, TX, after the discovery of oil in February, 1936. People from all over the country came to Talco looking for oil as well as for jobs on the rigs or in the accompanying businesses opening up around town. The realization that the oil located in the area was better used for the production of asphalt slowed the numbers of new residents, but the story of Talco's experience during this time well illustrates the boom and bust world of Texas wildcatting. In the late 1930s, the census indicated that Talco's population had reached more than 2,000 – but by early 1940, only 912 citizens claimed to be residents of the community.