Development of Mineral Resources
OKLAHOMA'S great mineral wealth has at times attracted the attention of the entire nation and has drawn to the state tens of thousands of people. The output of petroleum, in particular, has multiplied millionaires and raised many persons from poverty to wealth beyond their fondest dreams. Funds derived from petroleum have built towns and cities, paved streets and highways, erected churches, schools, and pretentious homes. Such funds have also been utilized to establish hospitals, parks, and playgrounds; to aid the helpless and unfortunate; and to endow libraries, art galleries, and music centers.
The great mineral wealth, however, has not always proved an unmixed blessing. Not every man who sought wealth in Oklahoma's fabulous oil fields found it. Many squandered the savings accumulated through years of patient toil in a vain effort to acquire sudden riches. There have been at times shameful exploitation and waste of both natural resources and human values. Many men have found in their new wealth an opportunity, which they have generously utilized, to foster humanitarian movements and advance the cultural development of the people of the state. On the other hand, accidental leadership has at times developed when some individual, very poor in every sense of the word, rose almost overnight to affluence and a position of power in his community even though he remained as poor intellectually and culturally as he had been before.
Boom towns sprang up mushroom-like; to these towns flocked