The Texas Oil Boom

The Importance of Oil to Texas' Development

This period had a transformative effect on Texas. At the turn of the century, the state was predominantly rural with no large cities.[2] By the end of World War II, the state was heavily industrialized, and the populations of Texas cities had broken into the top 20 nationally.[3]The city of Houston was among the greatest beneficiaries of the boom, and the Houston area became home to the largest concentration of refineries and petrochemical plants in the world.[4] The city grew from a small commercial center in 1900 to one of the largest cities in the United States during the decades following the era. This period, however, changed all of Texas’ commercial centers (and developed the Beaumont/Port Arthur area, where the boom began).

H. Roy Cullen, H. L. Hunt, Sid W. Richardson, and Clint Murchison were the four most influential businessmen during this era. These men became among the wealthiest and most politically powerful in the state and the nation.