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Archives on the Air 261: Salt Creek Oil Field – J. Tom Wall manuscript

The Salt Creek Oil Field is located in central Wyoming, not far from Casper. Oil was first extracted there in 1889, but it wasn’t until a few years later that the promise of oilfield riches drew prospectors and crews of workmen.

Tom Wall was one of the early oil field workers. He was employed by the Midwest Refining Company starting in 1914, when the Salt Creek Oil Field was populated by people living in tent houses, sheep wagons and tar papered shacks.

Oil continued to pour freely from the many wells that were drilled. Salt Creek became one of the largest producing oil fields in the world.

Within ten years, Midwest Oil Company had built a bustling company town. More than 10,000 people lived and worked in the oil field. There were neat, tidy cottages for families, a theatre, a drugstore with a soda fountain and a twenty-bed hospital.

Read the J. Tom Wall manuscript at UW’s American Heritage Center to learn more about the history of the Salt Creek Oil Field.