Bartee Haile – Book Signing

Bartee Haile

Spindletop-Gladys City will hold a book signing with author Bartee Haile on Saturday, June 25, at 2 p.m. The book, Texas Boomtowns: A History of Blood and Oil, is his third. It was published in November 2015.

Jan. 10, 1901, Beaumont awoke to the historic roar of the Spindletop gusher. A flood of frantic fortune seekers heard its call and quickly descended on the town. Over the next three decades, Texas’s first oil rush transformed the sparsely populated rural state practically beyond recognition. Bars, brothels and slums overran sleepy towns, and thick, black oil spilled over once-green pastures. While dreams came true for a precious few, most settled for high-risk, dangerous jobs in the oilfields and passed what spare time they had in the vice districts fueled by crude. From the violent shanties of Desdemona and Mexia to Borger and beyond, wildcat speculators, grifters and barons took the land for all it was worth. Haile explores the story of these wild and wooly boomtowns in his latest book.

Haile, a fourth- or fifth-generation Texan (he can’t really say for sure) who lives in Houston with his wife Gerri, began writing “This Week in Texas History” in 1983 for small-town and suburban newspapers across Texas. Born in Dallas, Haile attended 13 schools in 12 years prior to graduating from Richardson High School in 1964. He obtained his college education at Texas Tech Southern Methodist University.

Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown is at US 69 at Jimmy Simmons Boulevard in Beaumont near Lamar University. For more information, call (409) 880-1750.