Moonshine Hill

Moonshine Hill was located on a section of the Humble oilfield two miles east of Humble in northeastern Harris County. In 1887 gas seepages were noted in the area by James Slaughter, who, with Houston jeweler S. A. Hart, drilled unsuccessfully several years later. In 1903 Houston retailer Charles F. Barrett took a lease on Moonshine Hill at a site near what is now Farm Road 1960. He began drilling in March 1904 and in May discovered oil. Next to start drilling were the Moonshine Oil Company of Walter Sharp, Ed Prather, and Howard R. Hughes; Staitti and Granberry Oil Company; and Higgins Oil Company, which brought in a gas well in 1904. The community was probably named for the Moonshine Air Jammer Company pumping station, near the first well in the field to produce enough oil for commercial purposes; this well was brought in on December 12, 1904. The first gusher blew in on January 9, 1905, giving rise to a tent community that came to be known as Moonshine Hill. By March 1905 thirty-one wells in the field were producing an estimated total of 87,775 barrels daily, and some 10,000 people resided at the townsite, where stores, hotels, boardinghouses, saloons, and livery stables were in operation. In 1905 the Humble field was the largest in Southeast Texas. By 1909 Moonshine Hill had six or eight saloons, three grocery stores, a dance hall, a meat market, a drugstore, a two-room school building, and a union church. At that time the community was larger than Humble.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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