Not sure how many of the mineral holders using this forum have actually spent any time with “boots on the ground” in and around Pecos and the Delaware Basin, but if you haven’t been to the area in a while you should check it out. I head down to the area two or three times a year at least, usually using Alpine as my lodging location - the drive to Toyah is grande going through the Davis Mountains. On our last trip last weekend we happened to have stumbled upon the drilling company tearing down a rig after just completing the 7th hole in the ground on family property. It was fun to watch. Last time we were there, they were in the midst of a fracking operation - that was noisy and interesting. But some of the more interesting scenery was on our departure Sunday. Our long way home took us from Alpine to Coyanosa, Grand Falls, etc. I refer to that area as old oil. In any event the amount of pipeline work going to or coming from the Waha hub near Coyanosa was amazing. We encountered acres of metal pipe stacked every few miles for a pretty good ways and then encountered a lot of cleared country where new pipeline has been placed. Of course all of the activity related to producing gas and oil around Pecos was amazing. I wished I knew more about the different plants in operation along I20 and the other highways, but I don’t. Aesthetically, I have seen Pecos in much better shape - but those were the days of mostly farming and ranch operations interspersed with some test tracks and the Duval sulfur mine. When my father was a doodlebugger in the area sometime after WWII and up to the OPEC oil embargo in the early/mid 70s, oil field people were not looked on nicely in the area (oilfield trash). Dad told me of the days when Pecos had an opportunity to get much of the headquarters type of operations for Gulf, Chevron, etc. that eventually ended up in Odessa and Midland. His view was that differential tax treatment discouraged such relocation I do wish my dad had been around to see - 1. drilling and gas production on the family property and 2. the advent and development of the horizontal drilling technology. Plus I think he would have had a hoot watching all of the activity. Even as a kid, I can remember him telling me the Toyah property, if it ever develops, would more than likely be natural gas and not oil. So far he has been correct.
F100 owner…Too bad you didn’t have a cup of coffee with ol’ Lawrence and swap stories about the area during the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, right on up to today. I’m still around if you get out this way again.
ol’ Lawrence in Verhalen, Reeves county, Tx
Much to my wife’s chagrin, I like the region (not necessarily Pecos) but I like going out there. Would be out there even without Apache paying a few bills. Will stop by Verhalen on my next excursion west. The only house I recall in Verhalen (I don’t go Balmorhea highway very much when I am there) was the one owned by the family who ran the water company. The Cates, I think. They had a daughter, Mollie.
The water company became Madera Valley Water Supply Corporation…a not for profit corporation with about 1000 meters for supplying residential
water and they have some meters supplying businesses around Balmorhea. Their office is in the old Verhalen civic center building…a white cinder block building right on Hwy 17. The two story red brick house still belongs to the Cates, but they are just on the board of Madera Valley Water Supply…they don’t run it anymore.
Clayton Williams built a big Verhalen CWEI yard on the west side of Hwy 17 and south side of County Road 331…now owned and operated as a field office by Noble-Permian. There’s not even a place to stop for a cup of coffee or glass of ice tea within 14 miles of Verhalen. The closest is the Uncles convenience store at the intersection of IH10 and Hwy 17…on Don Weinacht’s land. There is a saloon and steakhouse there as well. But ya have to go 21 miles to Pecos from Verhalen to pick up a package at the Post Office, go to a miserable little 18 hour per day WalMart, Family Dollar, Dollar General, Beall’s department store, or the lone grocery store of Reeves county…La Tienda in Pecos. They have high prices and poor selection of canned food, meats and vegetables…but, that’s all Reeves county has to offer. It’s 55 miles from Verhalen to the WalMart super center in Fort Stockton…and anything else you need like a Home Depot, Lowes, Harbor Freight, etc…requires a 120 mile trip one way to Odessa.
Just so the absentee mineral and surface land owners know what to expect in this area.
ol’ Lawrence in Verhalen, Reeves county, Tx
I live in Houston and would love to visit Reeves County and see my property. (Section 19; Block 7 Reeves County; A39 - Delaware Basin; Phantom field). The wells are Ligon 730-19-4305h and Ligon 730-19-4307h. These are 2 horizontal wells which include Section 30; Block C3)
How hard would it be to find the property and drive close to it?
I think its close to the Pecos River. I found a map of Reeves County online and tried to pinpoint the section and enlarge it.
When I did that I got a good view of Block 7 and C3 but then couldn’t exactly figure out overall where it was on the map but think it’s close to Ward county.
Also, I would like to see an original copy of the deed when it was purchased around 1902 or 1904 by my great grandfather.
I will be retiring in 2 months and would have time to go up there but I don’t think I would be able to drive that far (476 miles) by myself as my driving is not very good anymore.
By the way, I love hearing the oil stories from way back. I’m turning 68 in a few months so I can relate to those times.
F100 Owner, Thanks for Sharing your some of your Fathers Story and your families land. I’m going to share back to you, that my Grand Dad John Cross was one of the founders for Wink Texas, he had done some abstract work for Howard Hendricks, and Howard paid him with two sections of land thats where Wink started 1927, and I have picture of 1929 Wink with everyone downtown with their favorite car and dressed to kill. My Grandmother Minnie Cross was the first stenographer in Kermit Texas. Perhaps you know or don’t know of the book called Legends of Oil Men printed by the Petroleum Club of Ft. Worth, very interesting families of oil from Ft. Worth, $65 but of course nice if your family is inside, like I found out from a aunt who showed me hers, and I was 60, and didn’t know about the story of my Grand Dad In this book. I have since met some of the families that are inside the book.
We used to travel to Wink when I was small, have picture of me age 6 of the Cross 1 Well. Frozen in Time in the Wink Town Park. I know that we passed through there 8 years ago on way to El Paso for Aunts 95 Birthday, we saw a friend, and she immediately asked if we had a hotel for the night the we are coming back and so we made reservation. Good thing, the town was tight then, I don’t know what your dad did to collect his dirt, but my Granddad bought and purchased land several the minerals and resold the land. Grandmother liked building homes, and so she did in Kermit, Odessa and Robert Lee.
Should you ever decide to leave money in Trust for your kids, please don’t use US TRUST or BANK OF AMERICA. They Miss-handle my Grand Fathers Trust so Badly that after 75 years of service, they withdrew as the Trustee, and offered ZERO help on helping me move the Families Properties and Minerals etc. We’re still in the Middle, we have not seen a check since March 2018, that is the new Bank, and I have found over $60,000 Dollars of Royalties Hanging out on Texas Unclaimed funds since 2014. Of course before we left, I had to sign off that they did a great job, how could they not. My mother left them the wheels to the Trust, My sister and I had no say, the will said we were to receive Income. That was it, My description of INCOME and the Banks Description of INCOME. If you go ahead and do it, then put provisions in it to grow. God Bless, Chris
(1) Texas online RRC map should show your section and all drilling activity, do not use Chrome browser, Chrome will not open up well dropdown menus. (2) Reeves County Appraisal District (RCAD) has search feature, should also pop open a map for your section. If you drive to Pecos, you can visit RCAD if you need help. (3) old deeds can be searched and downloaded for $1 page, website is TexasFile Reeves County search, (4) US Highway 285 parallels the Pecos River, not sure if your section is near the highway, if you’ve never seen Carlsbad Caverns it is more interesting that Reeves County desert oilfield, hotel prices in Artesia are reasonable, side trips to Big Bend and Guadalupe National Parks are worthwhile (5) hotels in Pecos often full. (6) the Pecos Valley oil boom started in February 1920 when Ira Bell’s “Bell Well” hit a gusher Section 20 Block 2 H&GN RR, when Bell drilled to deeper level crowds flocked from Pecos along with a film crew hoping to see another gusher.
Thanks for all the great information. That would be a great vacation trip. Im going to tell my sister.
I think my family went to carlsbad cavern when I was a little girl.