Kilgore History
This page is a part of the Gregg County, TXGenWeb project and all of the information here is
FREE  for you to use. If you are being charged to view/use any of this  information, please contact Elaine & Etta

    History Of Kilgore


    Click on picture to see larger image.

In the 1870's, as the railroad pushed through the piney woods and past Danville (or sometimes called New Danville) for
4 miles, the railroadstopped for a breather. Had the railroad stopped at Danville, there might never have been a Kilgore. Had it pushed on further than it did, there might have been another town in a spot that is rural today.

About the same time, a man by the name of C.B. "Buck" Kilgore built his home at the end of the railroad. A town's site was laid out in 1872 and most of Danville's residents moved to the town that was to become Kilgore, in honor of Buck.

Lumber, livestock, poultry and cotton were the predominate means of a living in Kilgore. In 1873 Professor Isaac Alexander opened a private school for about $10,000, which was a large sum of money in those days. Tuition ranged from $2 to $4 a month and boarding students were attracted from towns far from Kilgore. All "young ladies" were required to board with and be under the personal supervision of Mrs. Alexander and "young gents" boarded in private homes for about $12 a month.

Kilgore grew with sawmills among the pines and cotton growing white bolls in the fields. Not much changed until about 1929 when a stranger began roaming over the countryside. He was a geologist named Grogensky and he had picked the best of sites to search. Before you knew it, a well was brought in at 2,500 feet and became the gusher that was to make Kilgore unrecognizable within a few weeks as people of every description and every motive poured in from everywhere.

Some recall going into a cafe during the boom and knowing from the smell that eating there was probably not the safest thing they could do.
As they left the cafe, they noticed a hospital nearby and decided that it was not a bad location for a hospital!

To little Kilgore, vastly unprepared for its sudden position as capital of the largest oil field yet discoverd, the first years of the boom were hard,
confusing and many times chaotic. Pipelines lined the ground and there were men jumping over them in every direction. The streets were crowded and it became unsafe for women and children to roam through town as they were accustomed.

Citizens soon began to realize that the time had come for the town to become incorporated. They needed more control over police, sanitation, building and everything else that make a city operate in the best interests of the citizens. Enough signatures were put together in 1930 to present a petition to Judge W.R. Huges at the county seat in Longview. They requested that an election be held to make Kilgore an incorporated city. Thus you have the birth of Kilgore.

Kilgore is known as the "Oil City of the World" with the world's greatest concentration of steel derricks. It is home of Kilgore College and its famous "Rangerettes", a women's precision drill team that preform every year in Macy's Day Parade. Kilgore is also the home town of the famous Van Cliburn international concert pianist.




Copyright © 2007 - present by TXGenWeb
(Please read our copyright page for a better understanding of our copyright needs.)

Materials on this site are provided for the free use of persons who are researching their family history. Data may be freely used by non-commercial and/or completely free entities,  as long as this message remains on all copied material. Any commercial use, without the prior consent of the host/author of the materials provided on this site, is prohibited. The electronic pages on this site may not be reproduced in any format for profit.

Notice to Webmasters: You may not copy and paste the information on any of the pages of  this site onto another web page without first obtaining explicit permission to do so and without including the copyright notice.