The Dallas Association of Petroleum Landmen was officially founded in the fall of 1952. The organization, formally known as The Dallas Landmen's Association, held its inaugural meeting on December 8, 1952 at the Melrose Hotel. Although the first meeting was quite small, with only an estimated 30 landmen in attendance, the association continued to develop throughout the following years.

A few men played instrumental roles in helping to build the DAPL's strong foundation. These men included the first officers of the association that included Edwin P. Davis who served as the first elected President; J.W. Rawley, Buford Sutherland and Frank Carr who presided as the vice presidents; J.L. Toone as treasurer; and Wesley Weed as the sergeant at arms. The founding president, Mr. Davis was also the Land Supervisor for what was then called the British-American Oil Producing Company. He continued to stay active in the association for many years and later returned to his hometown of Hot Springs, Arkansas where he resided until his death in 1988.

For many years, the association held their meetings at the Melrose Hotel on the second Monday of every month. Additionally, every December members and their wives came together to celebrate the Holiday season with a Christmas party at Northwood Club. One might note, the association dues were $50 in 1958, which was not cheap by today's standards considering today that $50 would be equivalent to upwards of $375.