TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Guide to the Edward P. "Ned" Adams Papers, 1937-1938
Edward P. “Ned” Adams was born in Massachusetts in 1907 and graduated from Yale University in 1929. Soon after graduation he took a marketing position for Standard Oil in New York City. In 1937, during the Texas Oil Boom, Adams left behind his fiancée Eleanor Anderson and headed to Houston in hopes of finding work in the oil fields. His goal was to learn the trade, make business connections, and finally to become an independent prospector (or “wildcatter”) who develops new oil wells on unexplored ground.
Despite his enthusiasm for the pursuit, Eleanor remained unconvinced of Adams’s plans and was frightened of the prospect of moving to rough and tumble Texas. Ultimately, her family convinced her that Adams was a poor choice of husband and she returned the engagement ring. It is unclear how Adams ultimately fared in the oil fields, though it is known that he remained in Texas and married in 1941. He also became Commander of the destroyer escort USS Reynolds in 1943.
The Edward P. “Ned” Adams papers consist of 71 hand-written letters from Adams to his fiancée Eleanor Anderson which describe his work in the Texas and Louisiana oil fields. The letters date from 1937-1938 and provide a first-hand account of prospecting and drilling for oil during the Texas oil boom years.
This collection is open for research use.
Edward P. "Ned" Adams Papers, 1937-1938, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Esther Kirchner, October 2015.