The Wichita County Historical Marker Commission generally does a number of markers that recognize important people, places and events, and officials with the organization it did just that for a key element of history in one Texoma town on Wednesday.
Oil field workers and other community members who have some ties to the KMA Oil Field showed up in numbers on June 19 to commemorate the industry that has made and is still making lasting contributions to Wichita County.
Kamay Native Ginger Beisch is just one of the many people in the community wanting its history to stay alive.
“I grew up here in Kamay, I felt it was a need to preserve the history if we can,” Beisch said.
It’s all in an effort to preserve the history of Kamay itself but also that of the KMA Oilfield, that came about 100 years ago when four business-men, Joseph Kemp, S.I. Munger, H.M. Munger and Reece S. Allen together started the Kemp-Munger-Allen Oil Company.
After a year of research and planning, Beisch gathered the community together for a historical marker dedication.
“It’s a tremendous symbol of the people that live here, not only does it talk about the economic situation in Wichita County back in the depression in the 1930s, but it also tells about all the people that dedicated their lives to producing this oil,” Historical Marker Commission chairman Robert Palmer said.
KMA’s first oil well began flowing in October 1919 and by August of that year, the oilfield produced over 7,000 barrels of oil per day and has been a huge part of the community since then.
The success of the KMA Oilfield led to the prosperity of what Kamay was initially known as, Kemp City, and it is this history that community members are hoping others will learn.
“[I want them to] realize that it’s still an active oilfield and there’s still a lot of work going on out there and still drilling to this day,” Beisch said.
Beisch and all those involved hope visitors and future generations will read the marker and be challenged to do further research about the importance of the oil field and the city.
The historical marker is at the site of the Kamay Volunteer Fire Department because the site of the original well is now on private property.