In just ten short days, the town’s population exploded as more than 10,000 fortune-seekers swarmed Kilgore from all over the world. By 1939, a forest of nearly 1,200 oil derricks crowded together within the city limits – most concentrated within one square block that became known as the World’s Richest Acre. One well was actually drilled through the terrazzo floor of the Kilgore National Bank that once stood in the area. Kilgore quickly became known as the capital of the huge East Texas Oil Field.
In sharp contrast to the thriving boomtown of the 1930s, Kilgore today is a city that blends its rich oil heritage with a technologically advanced business community that provides residents with an incomparable quality of life. The people who live here see Kilgore as a friendly small town that has many characteristics of a larger community. A high tech industrial base, an outstanding public school system and community college, abundant recreational opportunities, and extraordinary cultural events make Kilgore a unique small city, a city that has an eye on the future but still remembers and honors its historical past.