A Guide to the William Kennedy Papers, ca. 1889-1894, 1902
William Kennedy was a self-taught geologist who worked in the early development of the Texas oil industry. Kennedy was born in Scotland. He attended the University of Edinburgh for some period of time but did not receive a degree. While working in Nova Scotia as a banker he began a self-education in geology and published his first academic paper in 1884. A few years later he abandoned finance to pursue geology as his life’s work. He worked with the Arkansas Geological Survey before transferring to the Texas Geological Survey in 1890. Kennedy was reassigned from work with the Southern Pacific Railroad in Houston to watch the development of the Spindletop oil field in 1901 due to his expertise in Gulf Coast salt domes. Thereafter, his work and study was devoted to primarily to problems of petroleum geology. In 1915 he began private consulting work in Fort Worth and Houston. In 1917 accepted the position of chief geologist of the Lone Star Gas Company, which he held until his death on February 23, 1926.
The papers consist of a geological report, notes and map describing the structure of the coastal plains with special attention to that area’s oil-bearing capacity. Geologist William Kennedy prepared the materials as part of the Geological Survey of Texas under E. T. Dumble.
William Kennedy Papers, ca. 1889-1894, 1902, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers