World’s Richest Acre Original Derrick
In 1966 The Texas State Historical Society Service Committee designated the tract of land on which the R.E. Smith Griffin #1 well and 23 others were and dedicated it as the “World’s Richest Acre” and an official State Marker was erected at the spot by the Smith well on Commerce and Main Street in downtown Kilgore, Texas.
In July 1968, Kilgore Improvement and Beautification acquired the land where the derrick stands from Caroline Ross, a 25- foot by 35- foot tract of land. The derrick, R. E. Smith Griffin #1 was donated to KIBA from R. E. Smith of Houston.
It was landscaped with trees and plants under the 87- foot steel derrick. Later it was re-designed and dedicated on November 1, 1979.
The improvements were a planter box, brick floor, security lights, a pedestal with a speaker telling the history of the WRA. Also, an iron black fence with two gates was installed to surround the area. Twenty four miniature derricks, that represent the derricks on the WRA, were erected under the derrick. Twenty three stars were added to their tops and one cross. These derricks are lighted at Christmas and during special occasions. There is a large star on the top of the derrick and a down flood light, as well as a flag pole that flies the United States flag and the Texas flag.
The KIBA committee responsible for the new construction was President, Tom Morris, Norma Pearson, Nelda Lewis, Mayor Foster T. Bean, J.M. Taylor and J. F. Curly Taylor.
KIBA is now repairing and changing the looks again after the area was damaged by a car accident. The planter will become a bench and a smaller fence will be installed. KIBA is a part of the World’s Richest Acre Park where many activities are held every year. Many people stop to read and take pictures of this derrick and also the small derricks.
This derrick and the small derricks are projecting the stars on top and shining from November to the end of December as an example of the City of Stars and the World’s Richest Acre.