The man who brought in Texas’ famed Spindletop oil discovery, Anthony Lucas was born Antonio Francisco Luchich in Austria. He came to the United States in 1879, decided to stay and changed his name to Lucas. On Jan. 10, 1901, at a slight rise in the coastal plain of Texas near Beaumont, Lucas, assisted by Al and Curt Hamill, struck the gusher that ushered in a great oil boom in Southeast Texas and radically altered the state’s economy. Lucas later worked as an engineer in Mexico, Russia and Romania. The American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers in 1936 created the Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal to honor improvements in the discovery and refining of petroleum.