In Frank Isett and the Myth of the Wealthy Oilman, I trace drilling efforts by an oilman named Frank Isett. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he helped drill for oil and gas in west-central Texas near Abilene. Much of the narrative takes place in and around the towns of Eastland, Cross Plains, and Brownwood. Portions of the book deal with Isett’s relations with the Railroad Commission of Texas, the Sinclair Oil and Gas Company, and Oklahoma’s Stekoll Pipe and Supply Company.
Too often, we think of oilmen as leading lives of wealth, ease, and prominence. This book is an attempt to try to dispel that notion. In the process, I also examine how independent oilmen adjusted to improvements in technology and challenges in competing with wealthier oil producers. The time frame during which the narrative takes places mostly spans from 1948 to 1955, with minor portions occurring in 1929 and in 1941.