Multi-generational oil and gas dynasties have long added color, dust, and sweat to Texas history. There are fewer of them now, the ones that date back more than a century. Bygone reminders of a time when families expected their heirs—and their heirs’ heirs—to keep the family business in the family in perpetuity. Then there’s the Killams.

Reese Energy Consulting today is following a news nugget that piqued our attention. Not for the sprawling 6,041-acre ranch near Corpus Christi, Texas, now up for sale. But for the oilman it’s named in tribute. The O | W Ranch is owned by the Killam family, fourth-generation descendants of Oliver Windall Killam. Laredo-based Killam Oil remains a private, family-owned E&P now led by David Killam, still operating in South Texas where O.W. drilled his first well back in 1920.

O.W. was 45 then, an attorney by profession, married with three kids, and a natural born achiever who couldn’t contain his restless spirit. After serving as an Okla., State Senator and successful entrepreneur, Killam sold his business and whisked his family off to Laredo to explore for oil in an area where no one had ever discovered oil. He had no related experience or education in the field, yet when that first well came up dryer than a hundred-year-old bone, Killan simply drilled a second. Then a third. And several more until he struck paydirt—that fairy tale Texas gusher producing 400 BPD, solidifying Killam as the genuine article, a South Texas wildcatter, who never knew the word “quit”.

These are stories to be remembered. Those of the undaunted pioneers who refused to buckle, long before innovation and technology could help a brother out. And those of their descendants, who carry those stories forward. To that, REC salutes the enduring legacy of O.W., ever-present in the remarkable success of Killam Oil.