Texas Plains Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Denver City

State Line Marker, photo by Holle Humphries


Denver City is one of the youngest communities in the state. Established in 1939, a century or more later than many settlements in Texas, Denver City was designed to serve the needs of the Wasson oil field first discovered in 1936. The Wasson field covers over 60,000 acres of the region’s Llano Estacado and its reserves were so sizable that the first well, the L. P. Bennett No. 1 and the second, the Wasson No. 1 (drilled by Amon G. Carter, Sr.’s Continental Oil Company) were believed to belong to two different fields. Once drilling on the Bennett No. 1 reach just over five thousand feet deep the drill hole filled with seven hundred feet of oil. The Bennett’s gas production reached half a million cubic feet per day.

The boom positioned the new Denver City on an economic fast-track and by 1940, barely a year after incorporation, the community hosted over one hundred businesses and approximately three thousand residents. Today, Denver City continues to support the oil and gas industry. The Denver City Historical Museum helps preserve and exhibit the communities past. Located in a refurbished elementary school, the museum exhibits oil field items, farm and ranching equipment, and other Denver City memorabilia.