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Editorial Comments 2


Editorial Comments (Page 2)

¨ The McCleskey Well Site story did not end there. The donor of the well site, Mr. James Farrar, responded to the letter to the editor in the April 21, 2016 Eastland County Today newspaper on Page C6.  The donors article has been extracted in  in what was believed to be the conclusion to the McCleskey Well Site Controversy. Below is Mr. Farrar’s Response:

Dear Editor, I’m writing this letter, in part, to respond to a letter that appeared in the Ranger Times section of the April 7th edition of Eastland County Today. The purpose of that letter, I suppose, was to justify the removal of a Texas Historical Marker from the site of the McCleskey No. 1, as well as hundreds of commemorative bricks purchased by donors, and significant artifacts and equipment of the oil boom that the historic well heralded. My name was mentioned twice in that letter. I am accompanying with this letter photographs of the wellsite taken immediately prior to the date in 2013 when I invoked the reverter in the deed to the Central Texas Historical & Genealogical Preservation Society, Inc. (now, Ranger Historical Preservation Society), reflecting the condition of the site after 18 years of RHPS stewardship; photographs of the site taken approximately 2 or 3 months later, showing the massive cleanup and restoration of the site by the Ranger College Foundation (RCF); and photographs of the site taken this week, evidencing the removal of everything at the site, save the granite marker that was erected by the State of Texas many years ago. In the belief that a picture is worth a thousand words, I respectfully ask that you publish these photographs in sequence, or post them to the ECN website, so your readers may view them and draw their own conclusions. The author of the April 7th letter states that I notified the RHPS by email of my intent to convey the property to the RCF three days prior to deeding it to that group. That is true, however, I had been in contact with its president by telephone on several occasions prior to

that email, discussing the future of the wellsite and communicating my dissatisfaction with its condition. Again, I am forwarding that email to ECN and I ask that you publish it or post it to your website, so your readers may view it and draw their own conclusions. As to her claim of a conspiracy by at least five people to “take over” the wellsite and “desecrate” it; that is a reckless and false allegation! I ask your readers, assuming the photographs are published or posted, to view them and decide for themselves: Who is responsible for desecrating the McCleskey No. 1 wellsite, if in fact a desecration has occurred? Finally, the author of that letter warns Dr. Campion not to abandon the wellsite, as the RCF is bound by the same reversionary clause that I retained in my deed to the Central Texas/ RHPS group. Let me set the record straight on that: The RCF owns the wellsite in fee simple. The RCF performed faithfully to its charge, and did everything that was asked of it, on its own initiative. Regrettably, its thanks was a lawsuit. Going forward, the RCF owes no duty to me, and I personally believe that, as a consequence of the “scorched earth” actions of whoever is responsible for stripping the site of virtually all evidence of its historic significance, the RCF is absolved from any further obligation to maintain the site. As far as I’m concerned, the RCF may do with the property as it pleases.

 This is a lamentable and profoundly disappointing outcome, coming as it has on the very eve of the centennial of the historic event that put Ranger, and Eastland County, on the map. Yet, I’m confident that when the good people of Ranger examine the photographs and email that I have provided to them via your newspaper, they will know where the truth of this matter lies. (John 8:32)


Jim Farrar





C6 | Thursday, April 21, 2016


Looking back to the old chiche’s “It’s not over until the fat lady sings” or Paul Harvey’s opening statement, “For the rest of the story” should finish the McCleskey Well Site Saga.  It is evident that it would been impossible to post all this information on Facebook and it is our belief the news media would not have printed this information; information which should have been put out as public information long ago.  This  information is what we call “transparency” at its best, for all to read, digest and understand what happened to the McCleskey Wellsite.

RHPS Responds to Donors Letter


There is no Justification required or needed for removing personal property from the McCleskey well site.  Evidently you did not comprehend why I wrote a letter to the editor. I made a formal complaint, to the City of Ranger, against a city employee who made incorrect statements and false allegations against the Ranger Historical Preservation Society in the newspaper. Normally, when a Christian admits to wrong doing one would expect an apology. Adequate time was given, and no apology was given for un-Christian like behavior. I followed through with a letter to the editor calling that person out. No apology to date.

I agree with your statement, “Who is responsible for desecrating the McCleskey No. 1 well site, if in fact a desecration has occurred?”  That was the basis of my letter to the editor on April 14th; that no desecration had occurred and “someone” was being accused of being a desecrator. Everyone knew who that “someone” was.

Facts and truth both represent information. Many believe the two are the same but in my opinion FACTS and TRUTHS are not the same. Facts are information that is documented and verified or as some would say, chiseled in stone. Truths are usually things that one sincerely believes to be true.


             Fact # 1

             You stated, “Let me set the record straight on that: The RCF owns the wellsite in fee simple.”  You              are correct in what you stated in your article. However, you failed to mention that you filed the NEW              DEED on APRIL 13th; 6 days AFTER my letter to the editor was published (April 7th) and 8              DAYS BEFORE your response was published in the newspaper (April 21st).

             So NO, I was not WRONG when I made the statement, “there is an exception to the              conveyance.” There WAS an exception to the conveyance, a reversionary clause, when my letter to t             he editor was published. You failed to mention that you filed another deed, removing your              reversionary interest, deeding the property to Ranger College Foundation in FEE SIMPLE AFTER              THE FACT.

Grantor: James P Farrar

Grantee: Ranger College Foundation

Deed Without Warranty (removing the reversionary clause)

Document # 2016-001022

Filed: April 13 2016 Eastland County Clerk

Fact # 2

You stated, “In the belief that a picture is worth a thousand words, I respectfully ask that you              publish these photographs in sequence, or post them to the ECN website, so your readers may view

them and draw their own conclusions.”

The photos are legitimate and are valid in what they depict.  However, you failed to mention the              many problems you had with the property that prevented RHPS from getting to the wellsite to do              the work we needed to do.

April 2002: Chip Realty (Jim Farrar) sold the property surrounding the McCleskey wellsite (98 acres) to Michael Martin DBA Effluent Recycling, Inc., an industrial hazardous waste generation, storage, and disposal facility located at 1010 Benjamin Street, Fort Worth, Tex. (Plant 1) and this property, 1117 South Commerce, Ranger, Texas became Plant 2.

January 10, 2003: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ)

Complaints: 1) Open pits leaking contaminated water into the water supply in the City of Ranger   2) Old Tanker Truck at the property was leaking diesel fuel.

*4/25/16 Called TCEQ-can no longer access the database for this information.

April 16, 2003: Investigator, Troy Jordan from Abilene, identified 10 alleged violations (used industrial oil and hazardous waste)


May 21, 2003: Effluent Recycling, Inc. issued Notice of Enforcement by TCEQ


Late 2003 or Early 2004: Mr. Martin constructed a small body of water and built a BERM which kept vehicles from reaching the well site.

May 6, 2008: Chip Realty, Inc. (James P Farrar) filed a Substitute Trustee’s Deed for Foreclosure for property at 1117 South Commerce, Ranger, Tex.

July 2, 2008: Dan Potter, Regional THC Archeologist, brought the State Archeological Landmark to Ranger for the purpose of marking the location for the SAL. Potter stated the site was landlocked and could not gain access and left the marker with Jeane Pruett to be installed at a later time.

July 8, 2009: TCEQ Agreed Order issued against Effluent Recycling, Inc. Docket No. 2007-0619-MLM-E, a 70 page document listing violations of both facilities (Ranger #2) from the complaint from January 10, 2003. This document stated that Effluent Recycling, Inc. had ceased operations at the location on or about May 2008 due to foreclosure.


April 20, 2009: RHPS Officer, Stan Harper and Director, Troy Emery walked, as there was no way for a vehicle to drive to the wellsite, to install the Texas State Historical Landmark, the Medallion; they carried the medallion, shovel, cement, and water.  Both men witnessed numerous suspicious barrels on the property in inconspicuous places. This was reported to you by Jeane Pruett. Did you forget that you asked RHPS to stay away and not come on the property while this was going on?

May 4, 2011: Mr. Farrar submitted letter to the Regional Office in Abilene requesting information for cleanup of the site. He had contracted with Midstate Environmental Service, LP (EPA ID#TXR00079357, TCEQ ID #A85952), to remove most of the remaining fluids. He stated that the projected date for the completion of the cleanup was September 1, 2011.

May 5, 2010: TCEQ Complaint #139506; Report # 34081 stated multiple barrels of what looked like and smelled like oil or petroleum related products, open or spilled. Concern about groundwater contamination. Locked gate. Effluent Recycling, Inc.


June 9, 2010: TCEQ onsite Observation (Mr. Dennis & Mr. Taylor): Gate locked but gained access. Site overgrown with grass and weeds. Restricted access to several areas. Evidence of “historic” spills but nothing appeared to be recent. Numerous drums observed throughout the site, many not sealed and contained only fluids. Quarry (water body) approximately 200 feet from the site; nothing to indicate any impact from former activities at the site.


March 17, 2011: TCEQ Mr. Dennis & Pat Harris conduction onsite follow-up investigation. Met with owner, Jim Farrar. Mr. Farrar in process of cleaning up the site.

Between June and October 2011: Mr. Farrar cleaned up and restored the property.

October 13, 2011: Spill Hotline Complaint #161074. Property is full of 55 gallon drums filled with used oil at a rock quarry which had been abandoned.


October 13, 2011: TCEQ Incident #161074 October 26, 2011 TCEQ (Mr. Dennis) Onsite MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) Complaint Investigation. 55 Gallon Drums of oil had been removed from the site. Land has been restored and grass planted.


April 20, 2013 RHPS started construction of road to McCleskey wellsite by way of our 38 acres. Have photos, with dates, of this work being done. Published in Ranger Times

May 22 or 23, 2013: RHPS member, Clinton Eaton spoke with you, by phone, about constructing a road across our easement on your 98 acres (previously deeded) and I will only say that you were not kind to Mr. Eaton.

August 6, 2013: You filed the first deed to the J H McCleskey Wellsite to the Ranger College Foundation with a reversionary clause. At the time the property was Landlocked.

September 12, 2013: Final Testing of the site by TCEQ

September 25, 2013: Conclusions and Recommendations-Based on on-site observations and a review of analytical results, adequate cleanup of the documented issues at the former Effluent site has been completed. The analytical data demonstrated from this sampling event does not accurately represent the entire former Effluent site, and should not be used as an environmental assessment to identify potential or existing environmental contamination.

May 8, 2014: Chip Realty (James P Farrar) sold property to M24, LLC (John Montgomery)

April 13, 2016: James P Farrar filed Deed Without Warranty to Ranger College Foundation, Inc. (removing the reversionary clause) at Eastland County Court, Document # 2016-001022.


In fairness Mr. Farrar, on August 22, Mr. Brian Taylor with TCEQ stated, “Mr. Farrar had worked with TCEQ to clean up the property properly and he had spent a lot of money in the cleanup.” Mr. Taylor also went on to say that “closing tests would be done next month” and explained that “doing the closing tests does not mean the property is clean; that anyone purchasing the property should have a complete PHASE 1 TESTING done by a qualified/certified company. If this is not done and years later, buried drums were discovered, the purchaser would be liable for the cleanup.”

An explanation of the overgrown site can be explained with very few words;

Mr. Martin stopped our work when he constructed a body of water and built a berm (Late 2003 or Early 2004) on the road that he had previously allowed RHPS to use to get to the wellsite. This berm was constructed to obstruct anyone from getting to the wellsite, in a vehicle, and preventing anyone from seeing what he was doing.

Once Mr. Martin’s activities were discovered, by RHPS members and reported to you, by Mrs. Pruett, it was YOU, Mr. Farrar that asked RHPS to stay off of the property (2009) until this was settled. At no time after the clean up, even after repeated calls to you, requesting permission to go back on your property to construct our road, did you allow RHPS to return to the wellsite.

You had previously deeded RHPS an unrestricted easement on your 98 acre tract to build a road from our 38 acre tract at the northwest corner, along your west property line, to the wellsite. This easement also included an area for a parking lot. 

We gave up on getting to the wellsite via the Martin property with all the legal issues; your foreclosure of the property, the TCEQ ORDER and the clean-up. With projects in the near future, RHPS began construction on April 20th and 21st 2013 of our own road, on our 38 acre track directly to the south and adjacent to your 98 acre track, where the wellsite is located.  Photos of the work being done were taken and submitted to and published in Eastland County Today on April 25th or May 2nd.    

You were contacted by Jeane Pruett, out of respect, in May 2013 when we were about to start construction on the road easement on your property. You asked RHPS to wait until you could be there before any work was done on your property. RHPS respected your wishes and stopped at our fence line waiting to hear from you. Your call never came as you were busy working a very important legal project for Eastland County and wanted to finish that project.

Mr. Eaton contacted you later in May of 2013 in an attempt to set a date with you to begin construction across your property and you were NOT kind to Mr. Eaton.


All the while, someone had been working on A VISON; a vision of acquisition with $$ signs in their eyes. Jeff Clark, President of the Ranger Economic Development Corporation at that time, also a Broker with Ranger Realty and an entrepreneur who had grandiose plans for the wellsite, put together a 34-page booklet, including photographs, of just what the wellsite could do for Ranger. These booklets were passed around to those who had an interest in the wellsite, everyone EXCEPT RHPS.

Those plans included REDC purchasing the property from you Mr. Farrar:


“Tracts 1, 2 and 3 can probably be bought for $1,800/acre.”

“Tracts 4 & 5 may or may not be able to be bought.”

“Tract 6 can be bought for $2,259/acre.”

“TRACTS 1, 2 AND 3 total $183,789”

“TRACT 6: $380,250”

*NOTE: SEE PAGE 19 of the Jeff Clark 34-Page Booklet

This would have been a very nice commission, for Jeff Clark and Ranger Realty, on the $564,039 purchase price. Jeff Clark headed up a group of “players” and his plan of getting the McCleskey wellsite, would put Ranger back on the map and headed for revitalization OR so he thought.

The Ranger Economic Development Corporation discussed purchasing 98.368 acres, out of the William Frells Survey, Abstract No. 120, from you Mr. Farrar. A plan/project concocted by Jeff Clark. This was discussed at the August 5, 2013 REDC meeting but was tabled at that time.

In RHPS possession is an email dated August 22, 2013, between an RHPS director and an REDC board member, discussing the purchase of 98 acres by REDC. Our RHPS director informed and warned the REDC board member about the contamination and the legal liability if REDC, or any other person or entity, purchased the property.