[Fort Worth? Standard Blue Print Map and Engineering Company? ca.1930]. Large blueline map, approximately 45.5 x 33.5 inches. Folded. Printed on drafting linen, with some handcoloring and contemporary manuscript annotations. Minor wear at edges and fold points; light dust soiling and toning along fold lines. Contemporary ink ownership stamp at lower left. Very good plus. Item #1998
Large geological and property map of this county along the Rio Grande in southeast Texas, south of Laredo, with much detail on oil prospects and generation, with a scale of one inch to a mile. The map dates from the South Texas oil boom of the 1920s, and charts the oil wells, gas wells, and pipelines, as well as ownership of the land and mineral rights across the county. It also shows ranches and small towns, rainfall reservoirs, roads, and rail lines. A half-dozen parcels of land are colored in red, and there are several pencil notations regarding ownership, one dated 1931. Among the significant gas and oil fields charted are the Charco-Redondo Oil Field, Webb-Zapata Oil Field, and Mirando Oil field. Companies already operating in the county include Benson Oil Co., Border Gas Co., and Allied Gas, but none of the more major players in the Texas oil industry, perhaps suggesting the still nascent nature of development in Zapata County at this time.
No examples of the present work are listed in OCLC. Though lacking an imprint, maps quite similar in appearance and subject were published by the Standard Blue Print, Map & Engineering Company of Fort Worth during the 1920s and 1930s, all quite scarce. The present copy bears the ownership stamp of H.J. McMullen, a prominent Fort Worth oil man of this period, who became known, particularly in South Texas, as a disreputable operator. His principal swindle was to present purchase contracts as leases to immigrant and uneducated land owners, and his deals led to a string of lawsuits for the remainder of the 20th century following his premature death in 1934. A small collection of McMullen's correspondence is located at the Beinecke.