| The future of Kilgore, Texas, did not seem very promising in 1930 amid the Great Depression. True, there had been some oil activity in the southern part of Rusk County, but not a single major oil company had shown an interest in the Kilgore area.|
That all changed when in October 1930, Dad Joiner brought in the Daisy Bradford No. 3.
What followed was the most frenzied boom in United States history – the California Gold Rush, Klondike and the Oklahoma land rush all in one.
Oil – black gold – drastically changed East Texas and brought prosperity to Kilgore.
The vast oil resources made impossible dreams attainable. Most noteworthy was the community commitment to quality education.
Almost as a natural outgrowth of past events, some city officials and local educators envisioned a new service for the young, one that would have long-range effects on the East Texas area.
They would establish a community college.In the spring of 1935, Superintendent W.L. Dodson presented the junior college idea to the board of trustees of the Kilgore Independent School District.