El Dorado: Legacy of an Oil Boom

Front Cover
Arcadia Publishing, 2005 - History - 128 pages
In 1915, workers struck oil at a well in Butler County, Kansas, called Stapleton #1. Over the next several years, civilian and military demand for oil transformed what had once been the farm towns of Augusta, Towanda, and El Dorado (pronounced El Dor-AY-do in local parlance) into petroleum communities. Risk-taking entrepreneurs supported drilling and exploration that brought wealth to some and loss to others. Teams of geologists, using what were still novel and experimental techniques, fanned out across the prairie to find the right places to drill. Workers found employment that was hard and dangerous but offered excitement and opportunity. Families of those workers set up new lives in company towns such as Oil Hill and Midian. Drilling, refining, and related industries supported a wide range of activities. Oil money financed the budding aviation industry in neighboring Wichita, which literally launched the resources from under the ground into the sky. While the petroleum industry changed in the years that followed, the Butler County oil boom has lived on in the companies, the people, and the very landscape of the region.

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Oil Dorado
The Business of Oil
Oil As a Way of Life
The Legacy Continues
Bibliography 128

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Jay M. Price directs the Public History Program at Wichita State University. His publications include Gateways to the Southwest: The Story of Arizona State Parks. He has two books by Arcadia Publishing: Wichita: 1860-1930 and Wichita's Legacy of Flight. His other writings include works on local history, the history of tourism, regional identity, and sacred architecture.

Bibliographic information