Preston C. Coleman, M.D., Colorado City, TX
Dr. Preston Coleman, a native of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, earned his M.D. in Kentucky at the University of Louisville’s school of medicine. In 1883, after several years of practicing medicine, he moved to Colorado City, Texas and started a horse-and-buggy medical practice that, at times, took him all the way to Lubbock and Midland. During those house calls he delivered more than 2,000 babies. Coleman recognized the incredible positive impact oil development could have on his community. He influenced landowners to lease their properties to oil companies for drilling, sometimes serving as an unpaid middleman. He played a huge role in the opening of the Westbrook field in 1920, an event that marked the beginning of commercial oil production in the Permian Basin. Coleman’s life revolved around education, religion, and medicine, and he would eventually come to be known as “the father of Texas Tech University,” because of his work in establishing the college. He served as a trustee for the school from 1906 to 1931.