Drawing by E.B. Ribble of a early Office of the Gas Company in Odessa.
The Gas Burner
Mesquite limbs and roots, scrap lumber from the railroad, cow and buffalo chips were used to heat and cook with in the late 19th Century.
The old Franklin cookstoves were common. They had four "eyes" and a lid lifter with a stove pipe chimney through the ceiling. There was a "warmer" above the cooking plate and an oven below. A reservoir for heating bath water was attached to the side. A "whistling" tea kettle was used to heat water for dish washing and tea.
The wood stoves had to be cleaned at least daily of ashes which were deposited outside in an ash hopper or ash pile. Pioneer women used ashes to make lye for homemade soap.
People could tell if their neighbors were up in the mornings from the stove pipe smoke.
Homes were also heated with fireplaces. People would bake on one side and freeze on the other.
Kerosene cook stoves were used from around the turn of the century into the late 1930's-early '40's. They had to be pumped up and had an "oily" odor.
West Texas Gas Company was franchised to do business in Odessa on February 29,1928. The name was changed to Pioneer Natural Gas Company in 1954. The office was located on east Highway 80. There was one Ford service vehicle. The first manager was 0. R. Reed.
Gas was furnished from Texas Field, north of Amarillo until 1930.
Natural gas was available for lighting homes and businesses in 1928, and was used for several years.
Pioneer Natural Gas Company changed their name to Energas Company April 1,1981.
In 1950, there were approximately 12,000 gas customers here; in 1970, 25,400; and in 1980, 30,600.
Courtesy: Author; John Ben Shepperd & Wanda Snodgrass
Tim O'Reilly Illustrator.
Exchange Club Publication, July, 1981.
ODESSA 100; Read this book today!