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Lake B. Grow Collection

Collection 14

Grow, Lake B. (1873–1944). Collection, 1904–1915

1 feet; 10 ½ inches

Lake B. Grow was from Lexon, Illinois. In 1902, he married Grace Radaz. They had one daughter named Grace. He died on 18 September 1944 at the age of 71, and is buried in the Oakwood Cemetery, Tyler, Texas.

He arrived in Tyler, Texas to begin work as an oil well driller during the earliest days of Texas oil fields. He drilled the seventh oil well in Texas and the third oil well in Louisiana. He purchased a farm 3 miles northwest of Tyler, Texas where his family resided.

This is a collection of mostly photographs relating to the early 1900's oil development in the Anse la Butte and Evangeline fields, and on the Gulf Coast. There are also correspondence, newspaper clippings and other miscellaneous materials as well.

This collection was donated by Mrs. Grace Grow Wingfield of Tyler, Texas. She is the daughter of Lake B. Grow.


A. Photographs [ca. 1910] 1-01 through 4-30
B. Correspondence 5-01
C. Map 5-02
D. Newspaper 5-03
E. Personal 5-04
F. Publications 5-05


Box 1 Photographs
1-01 derrick and gusher [MISSING]
1-02 drilling crew after a possum hunt
1-03 drilling crew taking a break
1-04 first home of Lake B. Grow [Grow on left]
1-05 view of storage tanks, for either drilling mud or oil
1-06 Anse la Butte field
1-07 A driller’s shanty
1-08 Laying pipe to the storage tanks
1-09 A meeting of dignitaries at the field
1-10 A derrick and a typical roughneck
1-11 A derrick and crew [Note also the steamboiler and drawworks]
1-12 Lake B. Grow [on left] and H. Scott Heywood [right]
1-13 A blow out and wild well fire at (probably) Anse la Butte
1-14 A scene of the field
1-15 Fighting a wild well fire with the water
1-16 Another scene of a wild well fire
1-17 A wild well fire
1-18 Scene of the fire [Note: L.B. Grow, right foreground with cigar]
1-19 Scene of a fire
1-20 Scene of the fire, almost totally extinguished
Box 2 Photographs
2-01 A gusher
2-02 A raging oil well fire
2-03 A scene showing an attempt being made to extinguish an oil well fire with water
2-04 One of the first oil well supply houses
2-05 Scene showing an oil well being blown out
2-06 Scene showing the Anse la butte field: derricks, storage tanks, and access roads
2-07 A nearly extinguished oil well fire
2-08 Railroad engine, circa 1910 [Mrs. Grow (probably) in foreground]
2-09 Boilers to run the drawworks
2-10 Boilers
2-11 A close-up of a boiler
2-12 Oil well blowing out
2-13 Derrick
2-14 One of the crew who, evidently, had had an accident
2-15 W. T. Yonce, in his buggy
2-16 Two unknown individuals in a double horse, flat bed wagon
2-17 A oil well fire out of control
2-18 Drilling crew posing in front of a derrick
2-19 Crew ready to start drilling operations
2-20 Oil well on fire
2-21 Getting ready to go in the hole
2-22 An oil well blowing out
2-23 A roughneck and his horse
2-24 An oil well blowing out
2-25 Important dignitaries in front of a derrick
Box 3 Photographs
3-01 Some of the roughnecks digging a trench [Note pit in foreground]
3-02 A pipe dispensing oil
3-03 A blow out
3-04 Another blowout
3-05 A shack apparently a mess hall
3-06 A lady (possible Mrs. Grow) and a horse
3-07 An oil well blowing out gas and oil
3-08 Another oil well blowing out
3-09 Another view of an oil well blowing out
3-10 A view of the field
3-11 A view of a derrick and a flat-bed wagon & team, probably used to haul supplies
3-12 A picture of the crew on the floor
3-13 Another view of an uncontrolled blow out well
3-14 A drilling crew gathered around the drawworks
3-15 A gusher, on left
3-16 A blow out, caused by a gas explosion
3-17 A jubilant crew standing in front of their rig
3-18 A drilling crew on the floor
3-19 Another view of a blown out well
3-20 Two teams of mules
3-21 Another view of a well blowing out, evidently caused by a gas explosion
3-22 Another view of the drilling crew around the derrick
3-23 An unidentified couple (circa 1910)
3-24 An oil well fire
3-25 A good view of a gusher
Box 4 Photographs
4-01 Three tired roughnecks
4-02 An off-center view of the oil well fire
4-03 A distant view of the field
4-04 The crew grouped around the floor of the rig
4-05 An unidentified lady standing in the background of the rig
4-06 A drilling crew on the floor
4-07 A road leading (probably) to the Anse la Butte field
4-08 Two men, presumably attempting to repair or take down the boiler
4-09 Two unidentified gentlemen, standing on a porch
4-10 An unidentified couple visiting the well
4-11 A view (possibly) of Caddo Lake Field
4-12 Another view of (possibly) Caddo Lake Field
4-13 A view of the rig and crew
4-14 Another view of a well blowing out
4-15 A gas explosion of Spindle Top field, Beaumont, Texas
4-16 Another view of a gas explosion
4-17 A well being blown out
4-18 A view of the rig
4-19 A wild oil well fire
4-20 A gusher in the background
4-21 A view of one of the fields
4-22 A roughneck with a wheelbarrow
4-23 A drilling crew in front of a rig
4-24 A gas explosion
4-25 Repairing some of the equipment
4-26 Dinner in the chow tent
4-27 A rig and its crew
4-28 A gas explosion
4-29 Three young ladies visiting the rig
4-30 A gusher
Box 5  
5-01 Correspondence: 1902-1904
5-02 Map: Gallup’s Map of Louisiana, F. E. Gallup Map Company, n.d.
5-03 Newspaper: Jennings Daily Times-Record, 14 April 1904
5-04 Personal: clippings, 1944, n.d.
5-05 Publications: Report of Dr. C.F.Z. Caracristi on the holdings of the Anse La Butte (Ledanois Oil and Mineral Company Limited, 1901); The Jennings Field, by Fred W. Bates and Robert R. Copeland, reprint from the Louisiana Golden Oil Jubilee Edition of Oil, September 1951