Denver City is located on the far west side of Texas - halfway between Lubbock and Midland/Odessa and not far from the New Mexico border and Hobbs/Lovington - with approximately 5,000 of the friendliest residents around. Denver City was founded in 1935 with the successful strike of oil, and has been making history ever since.
Beneath the South Plains is stored a large percentage of the nation's oil reserves. Oil is produced from five zones in the Denver City area and the oil industry accounts for about seventy-five percent of Denver City's economy. From a field of forty-four square miles surrounding the city, there is an approximate daily production of 250,000 barrels of crude oil.
Closely associated with the discovery of oil was the emergence of the boom town of Denver City. Each area of West Texas had at least one main boom town, and each represents a different era. Denver City is the last West Texas town created wholly by the discovery of oil. The founding of Denver City was preceded by that of Wasson in the northern limits of Gaines County. Located three miles to the south of the Denver City town site, Wasson was founded in 1935 by Charles Cragin and Ben Eggink, drilling superintendent for Denver Producing and Refining Company. When the discovery wells drilled by Red Davidson and the Denver Producing and Refining Company got producer wells on the present site of Denver City, Ben Eggink decided that a move was in order to establish an oil field town closer to the center of the drilling activities. Because his partner, Cragin, was unwilling to enter the new venture, Eggink joined with C.S. Ameen who was at that time promoting a subdivision at Plains, the county seat of Yoakum County. Together, they went to Midland to purchase land and successfully obtained surface rights to 320 acres from the Walsh brothers. Using persuasion and gifts of land, Eggink and Ameen got the needed support, and on a Sunday morning in November, 1939, they moved buildings and people from Wasson to Denver City. They moved on a Sunday so no injunctions could be filed by those remaining in Wasson; the Sunday move, however did not stop a number of rifle shots over the heads of Eggink and his wife.
Denver City was a typical oil boom town in that all activity centered along Main Street. Rusty Mathers cleared the main street through the mesquite and sagebrush with a bulldozer. Numerous businesses sprang up, the first of which was Bryant L. Dulin's Humble Service Station. Soon the main street boasted sixteen grocery stores, sixteen dry goods, seventeen lumber yards, seventeen supply houses, and canvas tents erected to house the people who worked in the Wasson Field.
Denver City was incorporated on March 26, 1940, and a mayor and city council were elected. It had two newspapers, the Denver City News and the Denver City Post. In May 1940, the city council ordered a fire truck and began to organize the Denver City Volunteer Fire Department. The city made great progress in 1940, and although there was no sewer system, there was a water company and the city formed a gas company to replace the individual butane systems with natural gas.
Yoakum County, the location of most of Denver City, was created in 1876 and organized in 1907 from Bexar Territory. The county was named for Henderson Yoakum, pioneer, soldier, author and jurist who served in the Mexican War.