Well, Granddad was wrong and so was T.R. Havins, two of my best sources for days gone by in Texas. Both my grandfather and the once upon a time professor at Howard Payne (College back then) told me that it was a little known fact that the first oil well in Texas was right next door in Brownwood, Texas. As it turns out, the first drilled well was in Nacogdoches County in 1866; however the 1879 well of Martin Meichinger in Brownwood was a pretty early find itself!
It began very innocently with nothing but a need for water on Meichinger’s mind. His property was on what would be Fisk and Baker today, and Meichinger put his men to work digging a well, by hand, of course. It was at about 50 feet that the men struck…but it wasn’t water. No, oil had been discovered in Brownwood!
Never one to ignore a chance, Martin Meichinger quickly bottled his crude, and Meichinger’s Natural Rock Oil was born.
“This oil is far superior to any linament now in use for the cure of all wounds, bruises, and sores. It cures cuts,burns, scalds, and all eruptions on man or beast caused by impurities in the blood. It comes in its natural state from the wells in Brownwood. No family should be without it. -M. Meichinger, Proprietor”
The “cure” sold for fifty cents for a half pint. And I’m betting most of you did not know this interesting bit of Brownwod, Texas.*
*Something About Brown, T.R. Havins