KILGORE, TEXAS

Kilgore, Texas is located in south central Gregg County. The area was settled prior to the Civil War, but the city was not founded until 1872, when the International-Great Northern Railroad built a line between Longview and Palestine. In 1873, a post office was opened, and the town began to grow. In 1930, the discovery of the East Texas oilfield transformed Kilgore into a boomtown, with thousands of people streaming into the area. Located near the geographic center of the oilfield, Kilgore became an important hub for production, procession, service and supplies. Over 1,100 wells were producing within the city limits, and within one downtown block stood the greatest concentration of oil derricks in the world which came to be known as the “World’s Richest Acre.” The increase in production caused oil prices to plummet, and by 1931, Gov. Ross Sterling implemented martial law to control production and regain control of the area. By World War II the oil boom was mostly over, although some oil production continues int eh area.