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Petroleum Park


  1. 1923 Wooden Jail
  2. Historic Blacksmith Site
  3. Historic Oil Derrick
  4. Historic War Cannon
Brief History
This 0.5-acre park was dedicated on the morning of December 10, 1990. Petroleum Park and oil derrick therein mark the “Birthplace of the Texas Oil Industry”. The first oil discovery in Texas leading to commercial oil production was made on this site in 1894 while drilling for water. 

Corsicana Oil History
Soon after, the first commercial oilfield in Texas developed from this discovery well east across residential Corsicana. Eighty-five foot high wooden oil derricks sprouted from every yard and vegetable patch. By 1900, the Corsicana town oilfield was yielding 800,000 barrels of oil annually with over 600 operating wells completed within the city. 

The Corsicana town oilfield was the first commercial oilfield development anywhere in Texas, pre-dating the discovery of the famous Lucas gusher at Spindletop in 1901. In fact, the Lucas gusher was drilled by a Corsicana drilling crew, the Hamill brothers, with Corsicana drilling equipment freighted to the gulf coast site.

Oil Industry Firsts
Other oil industry firsts for Corsicana included the first commercial oil refinery built in the mid-continent west of the Mississippi River. The refinery (1898) was built by a predecessor company of Magnolia Petroleum Company and Mobil Oil, under the direction of Texas oil industry pioneer Joseph S. Cullinan. Exxon Mobil, successor of Magnolia Petroleum and Mobil Oil, maintains one of the four original stills from the historic refinery on the company’s South 15th Street facility in Corsicana.

Numerous founders of the oil industry titans soon to come - including Magnolia Petroleum (Mobil Oil), Humble Oil (Exxon), Texaco, and Gulf Oil - found their start in the Texas oil industry in Corsicana in the 1890s. Be sure to see the short film, Corsicana’s Oil History, free at the Visitor Center.