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History of University Lands

The PUF Lands have a rich history dating back to the early days of the Republic of Texas, when President Mirabeau B. Lamar, the "Father of Texas Education", called upon Congress to take action.

Year Event
1838 President Mirabeau B. Lamar addressed the Third Congress of the Republic of Texas, urging the Congress to establish the foundation of a vast system of education
1839 The Republic of Texas Congress set aside fifty leagues (220,000 acres) of land for the establishment and endowment of a university (Grant #1)
1876 The State of Texas Constitution Congress called for the creation of the University of Texas and appropriated 1 million acres of land for the establishment of a Permanent University Fund (Grant #2)
1883 An additional 1 million acres were added to the PUF Lands (Grant #3)
1923 Oil was discovered from the first completed well, Santa Rita No. 1, in Reagan County
1929 The Board for Lease of University Lands was created by the Texas Legislature, transferring oil and gas management authority to the Board from the Texas General Land Office
1949 The management authority for all minerals other than oil and gas was transferred from the Texas General Land Office to the University of Texas System Board of Regents
Santa Rita #1

The Santa Rita #1

Located on PUF Lands near Big Lake, Texas, the Santa Rita #1 was the first oil discovery in the Permian Basin. The first royalty payment to the Permanent University Fund was made on August 24, 1923 in the amount of $516.53. The Santa Rita #1 was plugged on May 20, 1990 after producing 131,775 barrels of crude oil.
A group in front of the Texon Oil & Land Company

A group in front of the Texon Oil & Land Company

circa 1926, Reagan County, Texas
Permian Basin Petroleum Museum
Betty Orbeck Collection

Today, the PUF Lands comprise 2.1 million acres in nineteen counties in West Texas.

County # Acres County # Acres County # Acres
Andrews 293,029 Crane 65,244 Crockett 368,523
Culberson 46,421 Dawson 163 Ector 6,317
El Paso 11,745 Gaines 2,805 Hudspeth 493,405
Irion 25,353 Loving 25,881 Martin 16,687
Pecos 190,863 Reagan 218,105 Schleicher 61,835
Terrell 61,885 Upton 86,429 Winkler 49,036
Ward 81,047 Total Acres: 2,104,772