1920-1996, Mexia Oil Boom
In 1920, Albert E. Humphreys struck oil in Limestone County. As a result, the county population exploded and Mexia became the center of one of the largest oil fields in the world. Humphreys contracted with the Joseph E. Johnston Camp for water and built a pump house on the grounds. Humphreys, known as the Colonel, offered to improve the Confederate Reunion Grounds. He eventually built a clubhouse, bathhouse, several dams along the river, and sponsored the building of a new road to the reunion grounds. Mamie Kennedy, one of the last officers of Camp 94, hosted lavish parties on the grounds for Humphreys. She also landscaped gardens leading to a local spring, called the Colonel's Spring. Other local families built summer cottages near the entrance to the park. Reunions in the form of carnivals continued during this period, featuring concessions, carnival rides, fireworks, and rodeos. In 1927, Humphreys died in his home in Colorado, having sold his Mexia oil field projects to the Pure Oil Company earlier. By then, most of the heavy oil extraction had already been done, and the large companies moved out, leaving small-scale oil wells which continue to operate today. Land and water rights were not resolved until much later in the 1990s, thus the series continues until this time.
Confederate Reunion Grounds SHS
1738 FM 2705
Mexia, Texas 76667
Office phone 254-472-0959
Cell phone 254-716-3730
Visit The Confederate Reunion Grounds (CRG) website for more information on this state historic site.
The CRG is part of the Texas Historical Commission's historic properties.
The images in this collection are research and public education only. To use these digital files in any form, an attribution of "Courtesy of the Confederate Reunion Grounds Historic Site" must accompany the image.