First Producing Oil Well, junction of SH 137 and U.S. 190, 22 miles northwest of Ozona, came in at a depth of 2,647 feet in 1925.
In 1923 World Oil Co., owned by Chester R. Bunker, Ft. Worth publisher and printer, began drilling on the L. P. Powell Ranch. Work progressed slowly, depending on the availability of money, under the direction of superintendent Mickey Green and the tool pusher known only as "Dangerous Dan." The wildcat operation proved successful in the spring of 1925, when the first well (10 mi. northwest) came in at a depth of 2647 feet and began producing 25 barrels of oil a day. The strike opened up the world pool, more commonly known as the Powell Field, which is still yielding oil. Eventually 180 wells were drilled by a number of companies on Powell's 9260-acre ranch. Bunker, a New York-born World War I veteran, sold his rights to Humble and Marland Oil Co. after the strike, but Powell's heirs still own the land. Powell No. 1 has produced continuously since 1925 and now, under the operation of Petro-Lewis, yields 10 barrels a day. Powell No. 1 was the beginning of a vital new industry for Crockett County, before 1925 primarily a ranching area. The next important strike occurred in the Crockett Field in 1938. There are currently over 2000 producing oil and gas wells in the county.