Entrepreneur extraordinaire, William Marsh Rice had his hand in almost every deal made in Texas, from cotton to railroads to the Houston Ship Channel, and he left Rice University as his lasting legacy.
Review by Christopher Dow
Texas was populated by red-blooded men and women who farmed and ranched, but after the Spindletop well blew near Beaumont in 1901, the state’s veins ran black with oil. Oil spurred technological innovation, and within twenty years, manufacturing had replaced agriculture as Texas’s primary economic asset. But the beginning of the “fuel age” brought with it a new law of the jungle.