On January 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. Brothels, bordellos 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. Author Bartee Haile explores the story of these wild and wooly boomtowns.