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Chapter 20 – Section 1. The Modern Era Begins. Disaster Strikes Galveston. On Sept. 8, 1900 a hurricane of unbelievable force struck Galveston 120 mph winds and High-cresting tidal waves left more than half of Galveston completely destroyed Nearly 6,000 deaths

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Chapter 20 section 1

Chapter 20 – Section 1

The Modern Era Begins

Disaster strikes galveston
Disaster Strikes Galveston

  • On Sept. 8, 1900 a hurricane of unbelievable force struck Galveston

  • 120 mph winds and

  • High-cresting tidal waves left more than half of Galveston completely destroyed

  • Nearly 6,000 deaths

  • Thousands injured and left homeless

    It was the worst natural disaster in U.S. History!

Galveston before the storm
Galveston Before the Storm

  • In many ways, Galveston was the mostmodern Texas city –

  • first electric lights, telephones in the state

  • a world-class opera house that hosted some of the finest performers in the world

Aftermath of galveston
Aftermath of Galveston

Could anything positive possibly come out of a disaster like the Galveston hurricane?


  • U.S. Army Corp of Engineers built a seawall around the shoreline to prevent damaging waves and water surges from battering homes and businesses

  • Houses buildings jacked up or rebuilt on stilt platforms to raise them

  • Galveston adopts a new city manager form of government to handle the rebuilding (most common form of city government in Texas)

  • Galveston is a good model for seawalls and other protective measures to safeguard other coastal cities from tropical storm damage


“How would an emergency such as a hurricane test a city government?”

Oil texas gold

  • Less than 4 months after the Galveston hurricane in 1900, oil was discovered nearly 100 miles away.

  • Lyne T. Barret drilled the first well in Texas, a few miles from Nacogdoches.

Oil texas gold1
Oil – Texas Gold

  • To process the crude oil, Joseph S. Cullinan built a refinery at Corsicana – the first one west of the Mississippi River

  • He pioneered the method of using natural gas to heat homes, provide lighting; also using oil to power and run railroad trains


Why were Cullinan’s inventions especially important to the oil industry and consumers?

Spindletop the first gusher
Spindletop – the First Gusher

  • On Jan 10, 1901 – at Spindletop, south of Beaumont, a gusher began shooting out 100,000 barrels of oil per day until it was capped 9 days later.

Spindletop cont d
Spindletop – cont’d

  • Overnight, Beaumont became transformed, as oil prospectors and drillers flocked to the small city.

  • Oil companies like Texas Company (later TEXACO) began, and within a few months, Beaumont’s population grew from about 9,000 to over 50,000


1. Draw a T-chart on paper.

2. On the left side of the T-chart, write “Texas Oil Boom”; on the right side write “California Gold Rush”

3. List as many similarities as you can that these events shared or had in common. Share your responses.

Oil creates texas boomtowns
Oil Creates Texas Boomtowns

  • Early Boomtowns were noisy, dirty, crowded, and sometimes dangerous because some of the escaping gas fumes were deadly when inhaled.

  • A new settlement near the refinery joined with Goose Creek and Pelly to become the prosperous Baytown.


What does the term “boomtown” mean?

Houston benefits from oil discoveries
Houston Benefits from Oil Discoveries

  • Houston became the center of the oil business industry.

  • Petroleum companies needed the banking, insurance, transportation, and legal services Houston could provide.

  • On Sept 7, 1914 – the Houston Ship Channel opened which allowed large ships and barges into the port.

Lumber booms in east texas
Lumber Booms in East Texas

  • The oil boom in southeast Texas created a demand for products needed by oil companies – such as lumber to build the oil derricks and buildings.

  • Lumber operations created thousands of acres of deforested land, which some people believed should have been converted into farmland.

Lumber in east texas cont d
Lumber in East Texas – cont’d

  • Conservationists like W. Goodrich Jones urged replanting of pine trees for trees cut.

  • Many Texas leaders urged the development of additional industries

  • Brickmaking was a successful industry, which used local clay deposits to make high quality bricks.


What was the effect of the oil and lumber industries on the environment?

Dallas dominates central texas
Dallas Dominates Central Texas

  • By 1900, Dallas became the major city of central Texas.

  • It became a center for shipping and storing cotton, plus other goods.

  • It also became a financial center for banking, insurance, and legal services.

Dallas dominates central texas1
Dallas Dominates Central Texas

  • Neiman-Marcus department store opened in Dallas in 1907;

  • Sears and Roebuck (later “Sears”), a Chicago mail-order company, opened its southwestern U.S. distribution center in Dallas.


Why would Sears and Roebuck choose to locate in Dallas?