The woman whose family changed Denver City

Vera Bennett
Vera Bennett

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Vera Bennett is 90 years old, and she has seen Denver City change a lot since her husband discovered oil there.

She met Gene Bennett at ACU and began dating him shortly after. He was a rancher from Denver City and was facing economic hardship when he and his dad decided to allow an oil well to be drilled on their property.

"The night before Gene and his friend prayed. They said, 'God let us find oil.' The next morning the well began gushing," Vera recalled.

Gene was at the ranch while Vera was still in college and during that time he would send her pictures of gushing oil rather than photos of himself.

"I thought, why is he sending me those? And it was because the field was fixin', they had the discovery well and they were fixin' to drill more wells and they were all so excited about it."

Gene and Vera bought the ranch land from Gene's dad LP and began living what Vera referred to as, "The happiest time in my life."

After Gene discovered what was then the second largest known oil field in the world, companies flocked to Denver City to try and claim a piece of the spoils. The city experienced a boom, but everyone in Denver City looks at Gene's discovery as one of the most important in the town's history.

Although Vera's kids have grown up and all moved away, she still looks at Denver City with love and is thankful for everything it has given her.

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