Healdton to celebrate 110 years since discovery of Healdton oil field


The Southern Oklahoma city of Healdton will celebrate 110 years since the discovery of the Healdton Oilfield.

Healdton Oilfield Days will be held this weekend featuring a Saturday morning parade, rodeo, carnival, car show and cornhole tournament.

It was July 1913 when the Healdton Field was launched with the completion of a discovery well by the Plains Development Company, a partnership of Roy M. Johnson, Edward Galt, A.T. McGhee, Samuel Apple and Wirt Franklin.

The field reached its peak in 1919 and 30 years later was ranked as the 24th largest ever opened in the U.S.

The Healdton Field is located in western Carter County and eastern Jefferson County. Because of the relative shallowness of the large oil pools and the cheapness of drilling a well, the Healdton Field became known as a “poor man’s field.”

It’s why the oil patch discovery and production are celebrated every summer in Healdton. Some of the state’s oil leaders got their start in the field

Development of the field had a major impact on the area and on the oil business. Wirt Franklin and Roy Johnson were later important in the development of the national petroleum industry, as were others who got their start in the Healdton Field, such as Robert A. Hefner, Sr., and Lloyd Noble. Hefner, a lawyer, introduced the concept of subsurface leasing into mineral rights law.

Noble developed an international oil business and established the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, a nonprofit biotechnology research foundation that helps farmers. During the field’s development the towns of Wilson, Ringling, and New Healdton (now called Healdton) came into existence. The combined production of the Healdton, Hewitt, and Sho-Vel-Tum fields made Ardmore, Oklahoma, the center of an important refining region.

The Healdton Oilfield Days Rodeo will be August 25th & 26th. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the gate. Mutton Bustin’ begins at 6:30 p.m. Other events begin at 8:00 p.m. each night and include Junior Barrels, Bull Riding, Ranch Bronc, Tie Down Roping, Breakaway Roping, Barrel Racing and Team Roping.

The Healdton Oilfield Days Car Show will be held on August 26th from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Healdton Oil Museum. Registration begins at 7:00 a.m. The car show will feature classic cars, arts and crafts, food booths, live music, and children’s games. There will be prizes awarded for 1st & 2nd in each class as well as Best in Show, Best Paint, Best Engine, Best Interior, Mayor’s Choice, Sheriff’s Choice and Firefighter Choice.

The Healdton Oilfield Days Parade will begin at 10:00 a.m. on August 26th making the route down Main.