Burkburnett Pop.11,101 Alt. 1,040

General -

First settled in the 1860's by pioneers D. P. McCracken and H. C. Ackers on Gilbert Creek in northeastern Wichita County. Cowboys on the giant Samuel Burk Burnett 6,666 acre ranch derisively called the community "Nesterville". in 1907 Joseph a. Kemp and Frank Kell from nearby Wichita Falls bought part of the Burk Burnett ranch for their railroad and laid out the present townsite. It's said town was named for Burk Burnett when President Theodore Roosevelt personally interceded with the Post Office Department. (Roosevelt had been Burnett's guest on a wolf hunt in the area in 1905.) The 1918 Fowler oil discovery turned the struggling farming community into a boom town. Oil derricks were so close together old-timers say it was almost possible to walk across town from derrick to derrick without touching the ground. The 1941 movie "Boomtown," with Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy, was based on those wild oil boom days.

The boom's gone and oil pours less freely today. Farming, ranching, and diversified industries provide stability to the economy. Several parks provide picnic facilities.

Felty Outdoor Oil Museum-

Early oil field equipment from height of oil boom includes spudders used for drilling and cleaning out wells, a steel beam pumping unit, and a band-wheel power source. On Gresham Rd. (F. M. 240).

Trails and Tales of Boomtown U. S. A.-

Guided tour through historic past recalls oil-boom days with visits to oil fields, outdoor oil museum, and replica of Mabel Gilbert's dugout (the area's firsy white settler). Video presentation and tour is 2 hours; Jun.-Oct. on Sat. 10a.m. and 2p.m. In restored MKT depot on W. Third St. Reservations suggested. (Group tours daily by special arrangement.) Depot open Jun.-Oct. Fri.-Sat. 9:30a.m.-3:30p.m. for 30 minute video presentation. Admission. For information, (817)569-3304.



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