University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Delta Drilling Company / James Presley Papers, 1970-1981.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Delta Drilling Company
Title: Delta Drilling Company / James Presley Papers
Dates: 1970-1981
Abstract: Oral history interviews (audio cassettes and transcripts) of officers and employees of the Delta Drilling Company of Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico.
Accession No.: 97-114; 99-018
Extent: 8 ft.
Laguage: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History,The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

The Delta Drilling Company was founded on November 17, 1931 by four immigrants and one native Texan. The company started in East Texas and eventually branched its operations out to other areas of Texas, the Rocky Mountains, Louisiana, and Illinois to become one of the largest private land based drilling companies in the world.

Scope and Contents

Oral history interviews (audio cassettes and transcripts) of officers and employees of the Delta Drilling Company of Louisiana, Texas, and New Mexico; research files, photocopies from books and magazines, notes from telephone interviews, manuscript drafts, galley proofs, and correspondence related to the book Never in Doubt: A History of the Delta Drilling Company, by James Presley; prospectus for 1981 public stock offering by Delta Drilling Company.


Use Restrictions

Restricted access. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.

Index Terms

Presley, James
Delta Drilling Company
Oil fields Texas
Oil fields Illinois
Oil fields Louisiana

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Delta Drilling Company / James Presley Papers, 1970-1981, the Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Detailed Description of the Papers



3J364 Oral history transcripts, 1980 and undated
3J365 June-August
2.325/P111 Cassette tape recordings of interview for Never in Doubt
Andretta, Nick; Tyler, Texas, interviewer unknown (Doris Kivel?) 1976
Ates, Esset; Kilgore, Texas 3/31/1980
Bacle[sic], Nathon[sic]; Tyler, Texas 3/4/1980
Baker, Grace; Tyler, Texas 1/19/1980
Blackwell, Tommy J.; Tyler, Texas 5/21/1980
Bryant, Dallas S.; New Harmony, Indiana (phone interview) 8/13/1980
Butler, Charley; Tyler, Texas (Jackson Oaks) 6/13/1980
Cain, Lonye; Ozona, Texas 7/7/1980
Carlton, T.C.; Tyler, Texas 7/1/1980
Choice, Roger L.; Tyler, Texas 5/15/1980
Clark, Claude N.; Rotan, Texas 7/11/1980
Conaway, B.R. "Jody"; Ozona, Texas 7/7/1980
Craddock, Joe; Winnsboro, Texas (Webster community) 3/21/1980
Darbonne, Doris; Lafayette, Louisiana 6/18/1980
Delton, Charles; Tyler, Texas (1 of 2 cassettes) 3/5/1980
Eakins, Malcolm; Henderson, Kentucky (phone interview) 8/14/1980
Edwards, Lynna Jo; Odessa, Texas 7/8/1980
Everett, T.A.; Tyler, Texas 3/6/1980
Ewbank, Jim; Tyler, Texas 5/20/1980
Faustlin, John E.; Odessa, Texas 7/10/1980
Ferguson, Ted; Odessa, Texas (2 cassettes) 7/9/1980
Fowler, Burke "Pete"; Lafayette, Louisiana 6/19/1980
Gauntt, Bert; Tyler, Texas? (2 cassettes) 2/11/1980
Gordon, Herman (2 cassettes) 5/7/1980
Gunn, John Robert; Tyler, Texas 5/15/1980
Hardin, Turk (1 of 2 cassettes) 6/9/1980
Howard, Willis & Mamie, Delta Film Session; Tyler, Texas 6/20/1980
Johnson, J.C., Jr.; Odessa, Texas (phone interview) 7/8/1980
Lovell, Leonard Weldon; Odessa to Ozona, Texas (phone interview) 7/7/1980
Martin, Charles; Odessa, Texas 7/8/1980
Murray, Herman F.; El Dorado, Arkansas 8/25/1980
Queen, Ed; Greggton, Texas 4/1/1980
Schroeder, Eric; Dallas, Texas 5/28/1980
Smith, James Wylie; near Longview, Texas 4/2/1980
Terry, Homer Lee; Kilgore, Texas (2nd interview); L.D. Hurt 6/27/1980
Terry, Homer Lee; Longview, Texas (1 of 2 cassettes) 4/1/1980
White, Joe; Tyler, Texas 5/16/1980
Wolford, Bernie; Jefferson, Texas (1 of 2 cassettes)
Zeppa, Chris; Tyler, Texas 1/19/1981
Zeppa, Chris; Tyler, Texas (2 cassettes) 2/12/1980
Zeppa, Joe; Tyler, Texas (2 cassettes) 3/25/1975
Zeppa, V. Keating; Tyler, Texas; Flo Bonham, Ken Fowler (phone interview) Joe Baker 4/27/19815/1/1980
2.325/P112 Cassettes not used in writing of book
#25 Ga undated
1975 Christmas party 1975
Baker, Joe; Blowout, Simitran 3/2/1978
Bryant, Auburn and Mary 2/17/1978
Bryant, Dallas, transcript 5/28/1978
Creasey, Bonnie
Fisher, Gerard and Joyce DeHaan, Time Management Techniques, Chicago 11/8/1981-11/11/1981
Fustus, Bill; Northeast?
Gulf Coast Awards dinner (Bud Fletcher speech) 12/3/1976
Hoppers, L.D. undated
International Association of Business Communicators, Employee Motivation: Key to Product, no. 34
Jones, Jim and Jack Kemp, Taking Charge of Political Change, Chicago 11/8/1981
Justice, John 3/8/1977
Kerr, Michael undated
Kilgore slide presentation, Delta Drilling Co.
McClear, Charliee, Carl Haskett, Bob Hampton (Delta interviews)
Mental Health 4/8/1975
Moore, Larry (M.G.P.?)
Moore, Larry 2/23/1978
OSHA in the Oilfield--H2S; Mobile, Alabama 2/17/1977
Pollock, John, Public Issue Research as a Communications Tool undated
Scammon, Richard, America in the 80's: A Changing Social Environment 11/8/1981-11/11/1981
Sexton, Floyd 3/13/1980
Unlabeled cassettes (4)
Unlabeled microcassettes
Unlabeled tape 2/19/1979
White, Guy 10/9/1976
Wilson, Simon
Zeppa, K.V.speech to CETA undated
Zero Downtime undated
2.325/P113 Cassette tapes of interviews used in writing book
Andretta, Nick; Tyler, Texas 2/21/1980
Browning, Lee; Tyler, Texas 5/13/1980
Dorfman, Dr. Myron; Austin, Texas 3/25/1980
Fullilove, Mr. & Mrs. H.H.; Houston, Texas (2 cassettes) 11/12/1980
Gardner, J. Mark; Houston, Texas (2 cassettes) 11/13/1980
Kliewer, Edward, Jr.; Dallas, Texas (2 cassettes) 4/10/1980
Magner, H.J. "Red"; Tyler, Texas (2 cassettes) 5/14/1980
McKenzie, Hugh; Alba, Texas (3 cassettes) 2/2/1980
Murrell, John; Dallas, Texas 5/28/1980
Nixon, G.I. "Red"; Kilgore, Texas (3 cassettes) 6/5/1980
Parten, J.R.; Madisonville, Texas (2 cassettes) 11/14/1980
Peters, Donald G.; Tyler, Texas 3/6/1980
Pew, John G. "
Phillips, Leonard; Shreveport, Louisiana 4/14/1980
Portier, Mrs. L.V. "Shorty"; Tyler, Texas (widow of Frenchy Portier) 3/18/1980
Rogers, Claudine; Tyler, Texas (first female roughneck) 5/21/1980
Shelmire, Suzette Dayson with Joe Massie; Dallas, Texas (2 cassettes) 8/22/1980
Sklar, Albert; Shreveport, Louisiana (2 cassettes) 4/14/1980
Stacy, Robert A., Jr.; Shreveport, Louisiana 4/15/1980
Vickers, C.L.; Independence, Texas (2 cassettes) 5/9/1980
Waddell, Robert W. "Bob"; Tyler, Texas (1 of 2 cassettes) 2/22/1980
Zeppa, Keating V. [at end, Marguerite Marshall, Grace Baker]; Tyler, Texas 5/22/1980
Zeppa, Keating V.; Tyler, Texas (2 cassettes) 5/26/1980
Zeppa, Keating V.; Tyler, Texas (2 cassettes) 5/29/1980
Zeppa, Keating, Gloria Stackpole, James Presley; conference, Tyler, Texas 4/10/1980
Zeppa, Trent H.; Port Townsend, Washington (2 cassettes) 7/24/1980
2.325/P114 Cassettes
Baker, Warren L.; Houston, Texas 5/8/1980
Bevill, Joe (2 cassettes) 2/21/1980
Blalock, Joann; Tyler, Texas 6/2/1980
Blow, Alton; Tyler, Texas 5/12/1980
Bonham, Flo; Lafayette, Louisiana 6/18/1980
Boren, Avis; Tyler, Texas 5/20/1980
Bryant, Auburn; Henderson, Kentucky (phone interview) 8/15/1980
Burchfield, Roy; Tyler, Texas 3/19/1980
Burke, Gordon; Guardian, Louisiana 6/18/1980
Carman, Don; Tyler, Texas 5/15/1980
Carter, Eula; El Dorado, Arkansas 8/25/1980
Clark, Sarah 5/20/1980
Coats, W. Morris; Longview, Texas 4/1/1980
Cole, Hy; Tyler, Texas 5/21/1980
Cooper, Finnis; Lindale, Texas undated
Cox, Garland 6/16/1980
Craig, W.M. "Bill"; Tyler, Texas 6/3/1980
Dailey, Willie "Bill" 2/22/1980
Dorfman, Florsheim, & Fischer undated
Doughty, Ed; Odessa, Texas 7/8/1980
Dukstra, Mr. & Mrs. Frank (2 cassettes) 3/19/1980
Durrett, Eddie undated
Durrett, Eddie; Odessa, Texas 7/8/1980
Early, Smith; Tyler, Texas 3/5/1980
Eckins, Jack 6/10/1980
Elkins, Jack L.; Tyler, Texas 6/10/1980
Fowler, Kenneth; Lafayette, Louisiana 6/17/1980
Gandy, Ed 5/14/1980
Gilleland, J.H.; Odessa, Texas 7/9/1980
Goolsby, Bill M.; Tyler, Texas 6/30/1980
Greenwell, Merrell; Tyler, Texas 5/20/1980
Hall, John D.; Tyler, Texas 2/12/1980
Hardin, J.W. "Turk"; Murchinson, Texas 6/9/1980
Hirsch, Warren A.; Shreveport, Louisiana (2 cassettes) 4/15/1980
Hoppers, L.D.; Tyler, Texas 3/20/1980
Howard, Willis S.; Tenecha, Texas 6/20/1980
Jones, Buddy 3/5/1980
Jones, Marcus D.; Kilgore, Texas 6/13/1980
Jones, N.R. Buddy & Ethel undated
Justice, John H.; Tyler, Texas 5/12/1980
Kennedy, Jack & Mary; Tyler, Texas 3/17/1980
Koonce, Glen; Tyler, Texas 3/4/1980
Lewis, Raymond; Tyler, Texas 5/15/1980
Marshall, Fax C.; Tyler, Texas 5/14/1980
Marshall, Marguerite; Tyler, Texas 5/13/1980
Mayton, Gus; Guardian, Louisiana 6/17/1980
Mayton, L.A. "Gus"; Guardian, Louisiana 6/17/1980
McDonough, Dick; Tyler, Texas 5/13/1980
McElroy, W.L.; Tyler, Texas 5/21/1980
McNeeley, R.L.; Tyler, Texas 5/15/1980
Medlin, W.L. "Buster"; Winnsboro, Texas 3/21/1980
Meyer, W.O. "Shorty"; Kilgore, Texas 3/31/1980
Miears, Horace L.; Ozona, Texas 7/7/1980
Miser, Melburn; Indiana, Pennsylvania 8/12/1980
Morris, W.S. "Buck"; Kilgore, Texas 3/31/1980
Rappeport, Goldie; Austin, Texas 3/25/1980
Robinson, Jack D.; Tyler, Texas 6/3/1980
Rolf, Jack; Dallas, Texas 4/9/1980
Schneider, Stephen W.; Dallas, Texas 5/27/1980
Spence, Ralph; Tyler, Texas 6/2/1980
Spraggins, Z.L. "Nig"; Tyler, Texas 5/20/1980
Stackpole, Gloria 2/17/1980
Strahan, Warren; Lafayette, Louisiana 6/17/1980
Strength, Dewey; Longview, Texas 4/1/1980
Terry, Homer Lee 4/1/1980
Thornton, Tarvin; Houston, Texas 5/8/1980
Waddell, Bob undated
White, Guy B. 2/21/1980
Whitfield, W.H.; Palmetto, Louisiana (2 cassettes) 6/16/1980
Williams, Marvin; Gladewater, Texas 6/11/1980
Winston, J.M. 5/19/1980
Winston, Milton 5/19/1980
Wise, Watson W.; Tyler, Texas 5/22/1980
Wolford, Bernie; Jefferson, Texas 10/6/1980
Young, E.S. "Whitey" 6/27/1980
2.325/P117 Interview transcripts and photocopies of source material
Ates, Esset
Bell, Henry Jr.
Birchfield, Roy W.
Blackwell, Tommy J.
Blalock, Joann
Butler, Charlie Lee
Cain, Lonye
Choice, R.L.
Clark, Claude N.
Clark, Sarah
Cole, Hy
Conaway, B.R. (Jody)
Cox, Garland
Craddock, Joe
Craig, William D.
Dykstra, Frank Mr. and Mrs.
Elkins, Jack L.
Everett, J.A.
Fausttin, John E.
Fowler, Kenneth
Gardner, J.M. (Mark)
Gilleland, J.H.
Goolsby, Bill
Gunn, John R.
Johnson, J.C., Jr.
Jones, Gus E.
Kennedy, William B.
Lewis, Raymond
McDonough, Richard
McKenzie, Hugh
Miears, Horace L.
Miser, Melburn
Murrell, John
Nixon, G.L. (Red)
Parten, J.R.
Pew, John (Jack)
Queen, Edward
Robinson, Jack
Rogers, Claudine
Shelmire, Suzette Dayson
Smith, James Wylie
Spence, Ralph
Strahen, Warren
Strength, Dewey
Terry, Homer Lee
Whitfield, W.H.
Williams, Marvin
Wolford, Bernie
Young, Elmer S. "Whitey"
2.325/P115 Transcripts of interviews
Bishkin, Mrs. Sam (Rose); Houston, Texas 11/11/1980
Burchfield, Roy W.; Tyler, Texas 3/19/1980
Burke, Charles G. (Gordon); Gueydan, Louisiana 6/18/1980
Butler, Charlie Lee; Tyler, Texas 6/13/1980
Clark, Claude; Rotan, Texas 7/11/1980
Cole, Hiram S.; Tyler, Texas 5/21/1980
Connolly, Pearl Dorothy; El Dorado, Arkansas undated
Craig, William B.; Tyler, Texas 6/3/1980
Eakins, Malcolm; Henderson, Kentucky 8/14/1980
Ewbank, Jim 5/20/1980
Fowler, Burke (Pete); Lafayette, Louisiana 6/19/1980
Fullilove, Mrs. H.H.; Houston, Texas 11/12/1980
Gardner, J.M. (Mark); Houston, Texas 11/13/1980
Gauntt, Bert; Athens, Texas 2/11/1980
Gilleland, J.H.; Odessa, Texas 7/9/1980
Hoppers, L.D. 3/20/1980
Howard, Willis S.; Tenaha, Texas 6/20/1980
Jones, Gus E.; Marshall, Texas 3/7/1980
Koonce, Glen; Tyler, Texas 3/4/1980
Lovall, Leonard Weldon (Stutz); Ozona, Texas 3/15/1981
McKenzie, Hugh undated
Medlin, W.L. (Buster); Winnsboro, Texas 3/21/1980
Meyer, William O. (Shorty); Kilgore, Texas 3/31/1980
Miears, Horace L. (Blackie); Ozona, Texas 7/7/1980
Murrell undated
Nixon, G.I. (Red); Kilgore, Texas 6/5/1980
Parten, J.R.; Madisonville, Texas 11/14/1980
Rogers, Claudine; Tyler, Texas 5/21/1980
Schneider, Stephen W.; Dallas, Texas 5/27/1980
Shelmire, Suzette Dayson; Dallas, Texas 8/22/1980
Strength, Dewey; Longview, Texas 4/1/1980
Tarvin, Thornton; Houston, Texas 5/8/1980
Williams, Marvin; Gladewater, Texas 6/11/1980
Williams, Marvin undated
Young, Elmer S. (Whitey); Kilgore, Texas 6/27/1980
Zeppa, Joe; Tyler, Texas 3/25/1975
Zeppa, Keating V.; Tyler, Texas 5/22/1980
Zeppa, Trent H.; Port Townsend, Washington 7/24/1980
2.325/P118 Transcripts of interviews
Bacle, Nathan; Tyler, Texas 3/4/1980
Baker, Warren L.
Bevill, James M. (Joe) undated
Blow, Alton
Boren, Avis
Browning, Homer Lee; Tyler, Texas 5/13/1980
Carman, Don; Tyler, Texas 5/16/1980
Coats, Morris W.; Longview, Texas 4/1/1980
Daily, Willie (Bill); Sand Flat, Texas 2/22/1980
Darbonne, Doris
Dorfman, Dr. Myron 3/25/1980
Ferguson, Ted; Odessa, Texas 7/9/1980
Gandy, Edward M. 5/14/1980
Greenwell, Merrel Jr.
Hall, John D.; Tyler, Texas 2/12/1980
Jones, Marcus O. (Sally); Kilgore, Texas 6/13/1980
Justice, John H.; Tyler, Texas 5/12/1980
Kennedy, William B. (Jack); Tyler, Texas 3/17/1980
Magner, H.J. (Red); Tyler, Texas 5/14/1980
Marshall, Fax; Tyler, Texas 5/4/1980
McElroy, Walter L.
Morris, W.S. (Buck); Kilgore, Texas 3/31/1980
Peters, Donald G.; Tyler, Texas 3/6/1980
Portier, Mrs. L.V.; Tyler, Texas 3/18/1980
Queen, Edward E.; Longview, Texas 4/1/1980
Rappeport, Mrs. Goldie; Austin, Texas 3/25/1980
Schneider, Stephen W.
Sexton, Floyd; Texarkana, Arkansas 3/13/1980
Sklar, Albert; Shreveport, Louisiana 4/14/1980
Smith, Earlie F.; Tyler, Texas 3/5/1980
Stacym, Robert A. Jr.; Shreveport, Louisiana 4/15/1980
Tarvin, Thornton
Vickers, C.L.; Independence, Texas 5/9/1980
White, Joe; Tyler, Texas undated
White, Guy B.; Tyler, Texas 2/21/1980
Winston, Joe Milton; Winona, Texas 5/19/1980
Wise, Watson W.
Joe Zeppa's Outfit: The story of Delta Drilling Company, 1931-1981Final draft
Minutes, income statements 1940, 1972
Assorted correspondence 1963, clipping 1962, Resolution of Appreciation to Joe Zeppa
2.325/P115 Notes typed and handwritten
Collected research articles
The Delta Digger July-August 1981 and November-December 1981, 50th Anniversary edition
Correspondence 1943-1981
Preliminary Prospectus for Delta Drilling 1/14/1981
Draft of book
2.325/P116 Joseph Zeppa, WWI
Chapter drafts from book
Domestic outposts
Changing times
Death of a patriarch
Arkansas connection
East Texas--the beginning
The Stacy interest
Hawkins deal and Delta gulf
On foreign shores
Meanwhile, out on the farm
At the center of an empire
A new generation
Final draft--in progress
Articles copied from Delta Digger 1968-1978