'Gusher Age' To 'God Ahmighty',Thel...What Next?

~to read Texas Historical Commission Markers...click on picture~
In the early 20th Century, the Texas oil boom, sometimes called the Gusher Age, was a time of dramatic change and economic growth in Texas.  After the Gushers, by the 1940's production stabilized in East Texas, and West Texas began to be more fully explored and the Permian Basin gradually became the top producing area of the state.  The Permian Basin became the Oil Service Capital of the nation as the influx of foreign oil depressed the price of oil and gas. 
Santa Rita #1
Management of the petrochemical industry and the discovery of natural gas and it's bi-products of styrene, butadiene, polypropylene, benzene and quantities of synthetic rubber and ammonia kept the Oil Industry booming.  New installation Plants were built along the Gulf Coast and the Houston Shipping Channel.  The Odessa-Midland area was a hub of Oil Service Companies with branches throughout smaller communities like Monahans, Kermit, Ozona, Big Lake and others. 

My Dad was a Jack of All Trades and one of them was as a 'Roughneck' on 'Drilling Rigs'....like the one pictured bottom left during the 1950's.  On the 'Rig', he was a Jack of All Rig Jobs from Floor Hand to Derrick Hand...which was the one that caused Mother the most worry.  In the bottom right picture, Dad and his brother MD are standing on a site where a 'Pulling Unit' is in operation.  This piece of machinery was part of the 'Oilfield Service Industry', which flourished during the 1950's through the 1990's, and will again when the current Texas Oil Drilling Boom Rigs move to their next Drilling Sites.

As I look at these pictures of Dad as a 20th Mid-Century Texas Oilman, I wonder what he would think about the  21st Century Oil Bidnezz.  I imagine he would say....
God Ahmighty, Thel, what will they think of next?
~photos by CollectInTexasGal©...1950 Drilling Location© by Thel~


Wanted-Laundress...Must Have Tubs,Scrub Board and Rough Hands

 Living so near to Fort Richardson in Jacksboro, Texas, it's possible some of my Leatherwood ancestors could have answered the call for a Laundress'...for sure they would have had tubs, soap and scrub boards.  As explained in the picture...beginning early in the war nearly every army had a least one laundress per 20 men.  They were generally women trying to support themselves or were traveling with a male family member. 
Qualifications:  Your attire will be work clothes, traditionally a long plain skirt and blouse with sleeves rolled up, no hoops, nothing fancy, hair netted or braided, plain skirt and blouse, very little underpinnings, full coverage apron, large bonnet (slatted or full brimmed) for weather protection.  Wear flat shoes, no long fingernails, and try to roughen up your hands.

It was not surprising to see the collection of Flatirons at Fort Richardson's kitchen and laundry room displays, after all they were certainly made to last...like forever.  Made of cast iron and heated on the top of a cast iron stove, the laundress need two...one to iron with while the other heated on the stove.  Flatirons were also called Sad Irons as they were heavy, weighing about 15 lb., were hard to move and often heated unevenly resulting in hot handles.

Padded handles, heavy rags and wood were used to alleviate some of the heat and burns to users.  In the 1870's a detachable, spring loaded handle was invented by an American woman who no doubt was tired of being burned, exhausted from tandem lifting, re-heating, and stoking the cast iron stove.

My 2x Great Grandmother Mary Josephine certainly had the right attire for a Fort Richardson laundress.  I imagine, however, she was too busy keeping up with her own laundry for nine children, husband and self.  I am sure had she applied she definitely would qualify...no 'trying' to roughen up hands...that was a given!


Fort Richardson and Salt Creek Prairie

On May 18, 1871, on a hill overlooking Salt Creek Prairie, 20 miles west of Fort Richardson, a Kiowa war party waited for suitable victims on the *well-travelled road below.  After permitting a small military troop to pass unaware, the Kiowas attacked a government contractor's wagon train.  Seven teamsters were killed in the foray, but one escaped and alerted the military at Fort Richardson.

At the post, General William Tecumseh Sherman, who that day had crossed Salt Creek Prairie on an inspection tour of the frontier, ordered immediate reprisal.

In 1869 Sherman was appointed Commanding General of the United States Army by President Grant.  General Sherman devoted much of his time as Commanding General to the Western and Plains states safe settlement through the continuation of the Indian Wars.  Thus the reason for his presence at Salt Creek Prairie and Fort Richardson in Jacksboro, Jack County, Texas.

It is unlikely he made mention of Salt Creek Prairie or Fort Richardson in his memoirs published four years later in 1875, however, it was historically significant for Fort Richardson and the people of Jacksboro, Texas, including my 3x Great Grandfather, John Moore Leatherwood.

John Moore Leatherwood was 37 years old, a veteran of the 20th Regiment Texas Volunteer Infantry Confederate Civil War and living within a few miles of Salt Creek Prairie when General Sherman made his crossing and tour of Fort Richardson.

At the time John and Martha Ann Caroline Pearson had seven children including my 2xGreat Grandmother Mary Josephine.  Their eighth child, Minnie Lee, was less than four months old on that fateful Salt Creek Prairie Kiowa attack.

General Sherman's tour and subsequent action in May 1871 is well documented at Fort Richardson's Museum.  He, of course, moved on to complete his tour as Commanding General of the United States Army under President Grant.  On the other hand, my Leatherwood Ancestors remained in Jacksboro, Jack County, Texas, and their descendants are citizens there today. 

John Moore, his wife Martha Caroline and six of their eleven children are buried at Salt Creek Cemetery on the corner of Salt Creek Road and Dark Corner Road.  Yes, the same *well traveled road General William T. Sherman rode to Fort Richardson, and where seven teamsters lost their lives on May 18, 1871.

I love Texas History!  Don't you?


June...Collection of Texas History Photos and Stories

In keeping with the theme established last month...Navigating My Nightmare Photo Files...let's make June all about the Collection of Texas History Photos and Stories.  I am currently reading...yes, READING not sewing so much...Wagons West Texas!  I'm right in the middle, so I won't make this a book review...maybe later...at any rate, it is what gave me the idea to blog about Texas History through the photos in my Texas File.
There is already a quite a large collection of TEXAS POSTS here on CollectInTexas Gal...so this 'Collection of Texas History and Stories' gets it's own label and photo.  You will see it on the SideBar for the month of June...so you can quickly review or catch up.
Let's start with Fort Richardson and it's significance in my Texas Family History.


MayFlowerSeries...Fenced In Flowers

Fencing in flowers has been part of landscaping for well...forever.  Great pains are taken to border flower beds whether it be with fences, pavers, rocks or sticks.  I might consider container pots as flower borders as well.  With that said, it was kind of surprising finding so many fenced flower photos while navigating and organizing my flower photo files.

As a contributor on Find A Grave, I take photos at cemeteries.  Along with filling headstone photo requests, I often take pictures of memorabilia, statues and flowers left on graves.  Funeral flowers are almost always presented in beautiful arrangements.  In the photo above the florists attention to detail and color contrasts the rugged almost desolate background landscape.  This photo has a special connection for me...my Dad built the fence.

Even fields of Texas Wildflowers are Fenced In.

Some flowers just can't be contained and seem to say...'Don't Fence Me In'!


MayFlowerSeries...Prolific Pink Flowers and Weeds

Pink flower is beautiful.  Always so much of anything.
Playfully and never dull.  As it is inside spring.
Tenderly moments to bring on to every summer night
Until its blossom is gone with beautiful pinkish bright. 
Pink flower is like you with all your loving touch.
So much to make and do if you are in love so much.
Nothing is all like this.  On to the blue light dark
With new spring dawn bliss and shades of the petal spark.
Fragrances in the air full of new summer high.
Touching blossom everywhere in the hours going by.
Just like a love to come when love touches heart.
Flowering passion blossom now in these days will start.
Peter S. Quinn
Now wasn't that a nice poem about pink flowers?  While navigating through my flower photo files, I found soooo many pink flowers.  I must be drawn to them for some reason...probably because they are found more often than let's say blue flowers.  Mother Nature is awesome in her color schemes and in the variety of shapes and sizes of flowers.  With that said, she also has a love for colorful WEEDS...as do I. 
If there is a Thistle to be photographed, I'm on it, and yes thistle is a weed.  I often wondered why I was attracted to the sticky, spikey, dull green plant...even to the point of painting them.  I found out while researching my ancestors.


MayFlowerSeries...Daisy Tablescape

Is Tablescaping still a thing in Blogland?  Back in 2012 I participated in several 'Tablescaping Memes' that gave me the opportunity to play with my collection of dishes and all things for setting a table.  Dishin' With Metlox On The Poppy Trail  is a post that featured one of my Floral Table Setting Collections.  About that same time, I did another setup featuring the vintage 'Daisy Tablecloth' with the idea it would be the next Tablescaping post.  Didn't happen then...so, now seems a good time during this month of May Flower Series posts. 
As a collector of 'All Things Table Setting'...it is rare to find a table cloth that is in mint condition.  The Daisy Cloth was such a find.  Made by Simtex probably from the 1950-60 era.  Somewhere in this blog there is a post about the company Simtex and several other tablecloths in my collection.  Maybe it will pop up in the 'Link Within' list since I have mentioned it in this post.  Not finding it is...as I mentioned in the beginning of this 'May Flower Series' post....due to my photo files being a 'Nightmare to Navigate.

Back to the Daisy Tablescape.  Putting together a table full of daisies was, I remember, a challenge...especially without a vase of live daisy flowers.  Nevertheless, the daisy theme continued with a Metlox Daisy Platter, Daisy Tea Glasses and a collection of yellow and dishes, pink napkins with green rings and crocheted trivets.
 I'm feeling a bit nostalgic.  How about you?


MayFlowerSeries...Royal Heiress Lily

The 'Flower of the Month' for May is the Lily, specifically, depending on the source, the 'Lily of The Valley'.  It is a small flower that blooms in clusters and is white.  When I think of lilies, ones like the Royal Heiress come to mind. 
There are hundreds of different true lilies, they are a perennial plants, and have numerous meanings...royalty and regal bearing, motherhood and fertility, purity and the beauty of youth, passion and drive, and renewal and rebirth.  This Royal Heiress blooms every year in a Lily Garden a few miles from where I live.
 The gardener invited me to photograph not only her lily beds, but any and all of her at least half acre yard of flowering plants, trees and shrubs.  Her name is Rose.  How perfect is that!

Yes, Rose, 'Friends are Forever', and so it seems so are Lilies!


MayFlowerSeries...Fresh Flower Arrangements

 Fresh Flower Arrangements have a long history throughout the world dating back to ancient Egypt.  As an art form flower arranging can be traced back to ancient China where it was based on the principle that life is sacred.  Knowing that certainly makes the meaning of giving and receiving flowers for one's birthday very special and meaningful...life is sacred.

 A favorite of mine is the Iris, and according to ancient Egypt flower history Irises were one of the sacred flowers found in depictions throughout ancient ruins.  Iris mythology dates back to Ancient Greece when the goddess Iris, who personified the rainbow (Greek word for iris), acted as the link between heaven and earth.  It is said that purple irises were planted over the graves of women to summon the goddess Iris to guide them in their journey to heaven. (Teleflora)
While I am at it, I may as well continue the history and significance of the flowers photographed at my Mom's 85th birthday celebration in February 2012.  Let's start with the Pink Carnation, a species of Dianthus Caryophyllus.  Dianthus comes from Greek and translates to 'heavenly flower or 'flower of love.' 
 In Christian legend, the first carnations bloomed on Earth when Jesus carried the Cross.  Witnessing Jesus' plight, Mother Mary started to shed tears and pink carnations sprang up where her tears fell.  Thus, the pink carnation became the symbol of a mother's undying love. (Floweraura)
I wish I knew then what I know now about the flowers in Mom's birthday arrangements.  She would have enjoyed knowing their history and how their symbolism made them the perfect flowers to celebrate her birthday. 
Here's one more for the symbolism/significance book....Carnations are my January Birth Month Flower and Purple Irises have been in our flower beds since I was a little girl.  The bulbs have been transplanted year after year, move after move from my Grandmother Minnie's Iowa flower beds and the house pictured above where I was born.


Hello Grasshoppers, Bees, Bugs, Beetles and Flying Flowers

It is that time of year in Texas for the cactus to bloom, and the best places to see them are along the roadsides, in fields, under mesquite trees and around rocks.  With that in mind, you can imagine the caution this photographer takes in order to get close enough to zoom in and capture the blooms and whatever is enjoying their nectar.  Thankfully, in this prickly pear photo shoot, it was a grasshopper and not a sunning on the rocks snake.  It's that time of year for them, too.
At least Bees give one fair warning as they buzz in and out of blooming flowers.  Once they land you have to be quick on the zoom, focus and click...then run.  Part of the thrill in macro shooting flowers is in the digitizing and discovering the visitors in their blooms....like the following photos.
One thing about Ants...they are busy running up and down the flower stems/stalks, so unless you are picking their food source...you are safe.  So glad I was not picking this sunflower...never saw the ants until I enlarged it on my computer. 
Yellow Jackets and other flying/stinging insects keep you on your toes, too. 
It's always exciting to see the results of a very quick zoom, focus, click and run.
Hello Beetle and Flying Flowers!


MayFlowerSeries...Buds-Butterflies-Birds and Pups

Going through the photo files has been like a trip down memory lane.  So many photos taken, digitized, filed and forgotten.  I began with the idea of this series being just about flowers.  Quickly I realized how often flowers played a part in photos of people, places and pups. 

The Bud, Butterfly and Bird photos are an example of a 'Place' visited a few years ago on a day trip to The San Antonio Botanical Gardens with my Sister.  I'm sure I ran out of juice in my camera with all the pictures I took that day.  If I remember correctly, I drained my phone camera as well. 

As I mentioned earlier...Here.. Sister has a Green Thumb.  Her patio not only has live flowers and plants, but flower d├ęcor from rugs to wind chimes.  Besides her love for plants and flowers, she has the kindest most loving heart for dogs. 

She is active in a Rescue and Adoption group and has been instrumental in finding loving, safe homes for many dogs. I adopted two of her rescue puppies...how could I not when she cares for many times more.
Here we are on the dog walk trail at a natural habitat park. 


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