1-20 of 44 results  for:

  • oil or gas industrialist x
  • Manufacture and trade x
Clear all

Article

Addicks, John Edward O’Sullivan (21 November 1841–07 August 1919), promoter and aspiring politician, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of John Edward Addicks, a politician and civil servant, and Margaretta McLeod. Addicks’s father achieved local political prominence and arranged for his son to take a job at age fifteen as a runner for a local dry goods business. Four years later Addicks took a job with a flour company and, upon reaching his twenty-first birthday, became a full partner in the business. Like many Quaker City merchants, Addicks speculated in local real estate in the booming port town, avoided service in the Civil War, and achieved a modicum of prosperity in the postwar period. He became overextended, as he would be most of his career, however, and went broke in the 1873 depression....

Article

Archbold, John Dustin (26 July 1848–05 December 1916), oil industry executive and philanthropist, was born in Leesburg, Ohio, the son of Israel Archbold, a minister, and Frances Dana. His education at local schools ended when his father died. Not yet in his teens, Archbold took a clerking position in 1859 at a country store in Salem, Ohio, to help support his family. In that same year he noted the excitement surrounding the discovery of oil in nearby Titusville, Pennsylvania. After several years of hard work, he journeyed to the oil fields of western Pennsylvania with $100 in savings. Upon arriving in Titusville, Archbold obtained a position in the office of William H. Abbott, one of the leading oilmen in the fast-growing region. He used every moment not spent in the performance of his duties to study and was soon familiar with oil refinement, transportation, brokering, and production. Recognition of his ability came in the form of a partnership in the firm before he reached the age of nineteen. Archbold’s efforts, however, failed to save the badly overextended firm from collapse in 1869. Undaunted, he scraped together additional savings and became a partner in the local refining firm of Porter, Moreland & Company. In 1870 he married Annie Mills of Titusville; the couple had four children. By the early 1870s Archbold also established a sales office in New York City, where he sold oil on behalf of his own firm and outside producers as well....

Article

Bard, Thomas Robert (08 December 1841–05 March 1915), businessman and politician, was born in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, the son of Robert McFarland Bard, a lawyer, and Elizabeth Parker Little. His father died when Thomas was nine, putting the family in somewhat straitened circumstances and placing adult responsibilities on the eldest of two sons. Bard began the study of law after graduating from the Chambersburg Academy in 1859, but a worsening family financial situation compelled him to seek more immediately remunerative employment on a railway survey crew....

Image

Michael L. Benedum Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Article

Benedum, Michael L. (16 July 1869–30 July 1959), oilman, was born Michael Late Benedum in West Virginia, the son of Emanuel Benedum, farmer and merchant, and Caroline Southworth Benedum. As a boy Michael worked on his father's farm and also at a general store his father owned in Bridgeport, West Virginia. He never had much formal schooling, but he did have access to many books at home, including the works of William Shakespeare and John Milton. Emanuel Benedum dreamed of one day sending his son to West Point....

Image

Johnson Newlon Camden. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-101787).

Article

Camden, Johnson Newlon (06 March 1828–25 April 1908), oil company executive, pioneer industrialist, and U.S. senator, was born in Collins Settlement, Lewis County, Virginia (now Jacksonville, W.Va.), the son of John Scrivener Camden, a justice of the peace, and Nancy Newlon. Camden’s father bought a house and tavern in Sutton, Braxton County, and moved the family there in 1837....

Article

Cullen, Hugh Roy (03 July 1881–04 July 1957), oilman and philanthropist, was born in Denton County, Texas, the son of Cicero Cullen, a businessman whose father was a hero of the Texan struggle for independence, and Louise Beck, who came from a plantation-owning family of South Carolinians. When Cullen was in his early childhood his parents separated, and he moved with his mother to San Antonio where he completed his elementary education. At seventeen he was employed by a cotton broker, but after a six-year apprenticeship he set up his own cotton brokerage firm and vowed never to be someone else’s employee. In 1903 he married Lillie Cranz; they had five children....

Article

Cullinan, Joseph Stephen (31 December 1860–11 March 1937), oil industry executive, was born near Sharon, Pennsylvania, the son of John Francis Cullinan, an oil field worker, and Mary Considine. Joseph’s parents, who were both Irish immigrants, moved the family to Oil Creek, Pennsylvania, when he was eight. When he was fourteen, Joseph left school to help support the family. Working in the oil fields of western Pennsylvania, he gained valuable experience in the industry. In 1882 he joined Standard Oil’s major transportation affiliate, the National Transit Company of Oil City, Pennsylvania, and soon became a foreman. He was reassigned to Lima, Ohio, in 1888 and became a superintendent in Standard Oil’s major transportation affiliate in the Ohio-Indiana region, the Buckeye Pipe Line Company. It was in Lima that Cullinan met Lucie Halm, a merchant’s daughter, whom he married in 1891. They had two sons and three daughters....

Article

Doheny, Edward Laurence (10 August 1856–08 September 1935), oil developer, was born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, the son of Patrick Doheny, a laborer, and Ellen (in some sources Eleanor Elizabeth) Quigley, a schoolteacher. Doheny received his education in the Fond du Lac public schools and graduated from high school in 1872 at the age of fifteen. He left home soon after his graduation hoping to join a surveying party leaving from Atchison, Kansas. He arrived too late for that adventure but stayed in Kansas working odd jobs. Sometime around 1876 he headed west as a prospector, which led him to New Mexico in 1880. He settled in the mining camp of Kingston in 1883 and married Carrie Lou Ella Wilkins. They had two children, one of whom lived to adulthood. While in Kingston Doheny worked as a prospector, mine owner, and company superintendent but struggled to make ends meet. He also operated a lead mine in Silver City, New Mexico, for a short time before he moved to California in 1891....

Image

Edwin Laurentine Drake. 1881. Courtesy of AP Images.

Article

Drake, Edwin Laurentine (29 March 1819–08 November 1880), petroleum industry pioneer, was born in Greenville, Green County, New York, the son of Lyman Drake, a farmer, and Linda Lee. When he was around the age of eight he relocated with his parents to Castleton, Vermont, where he completed a common school education and assisted on the family farm. At nineteen he left home for his uncle's farm in Michigan, stopping on the way to work for several months as a night clerk on a steamboat route that ran between Detroit and Buffalo....

Article

Farish, William Stamps (23 February 1881–29 November 1942), oil industry executive, was born in Mayersville, Mississippi, the son of William Stamps Farish, an attorney and planter, and Katherine Maude Power. He attended St. Thomas Hall in Holly Springs, Mississippi, and upon graduation in 1897 entered the University of Mississippi. Intent on a legal career, he studied law at the university and supported himself by teaching school on the side. He graduated with an LL.B. in 1900 and was admitted to the bar the same year. Farish set up an office in nearby Clarksdale, but in 1901 he traveled to Beaumont, Texas, where he supervised the oil drilling operations of an English syndicate, Texas Oil Fields, Limited, in which his uncle had invested....

Article

Flagler, Henry Morrison (02 January 1830–20 May 1913), businessman and railroad promoter, was born in Hopewell, just outside of Canadaigua, New York, the son of the Reverend Isaac Flagler, a Presbyterian minister, and Elizabeth Morrison. As a pioneer missionary preacher, Isaac Flagler earned no more than $300 to $400 a year. Henry attended the local district school until he was fourteen, when he decided to strike out on his own. He walked to the Erie Canal and worked his way west on a canal boat until he reached Buffalo, New York, where he took a lake boat to Sandusky, Ohio. South of Sandusky in the small town of Republic, Flagler joined a half brother, Daniel M. Harkness, who helped him get a clerkship in a country store at five dollars a month plus board. He saved his money both at Republic and at another store in Fostoria, Ohio. Having gained both experience and capital, Flagler in about 1850 moved to Bellevue, south of Sandusky, where he became a grain commission merchant. Some of the other Harknesses, relatives of his mother, lived in Bellevue. In 1853 Flagler married Mary Harkness, niece of Stephen V. Harkness, a leading citizen of Bellevue. The couple had three children. Flagler shipped grain to ...

Article

Gallagher, Ralph W. (27 May 1881–31 July 1952), oil industry executive, was born in Salamanca, New York, the son of Charles Edward Gallagher and Catherine Lanning. He attended local schools until his father’s death forced him to drop out of high school at the age of sixteen. In order to help support his family, he oiled machinery and swept floors at a pumping station in nearby Olean, New York. While working at the station, which was owned by the New York Transit Company, a subsidiary of industry giant Standard Oil, Gallagher completed his education by studying engineering and related subjects at night. Details of the next several years of Gallagher’s life remain murky; he at some point moved to the United Pipe Lines Company and the National Transit Company, where he held a variety of positions, including fireman, relief telegrapher, tank gauger, and construction foreman. He also married Mary (maiden name unknown) and had four children; the date of his marriage is unknown....

Article

Getty, J. Paul (15 December 1892–06 June 1976), petroleum entrepreneur, was born Jean Paul Getty in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the son of George Franklin Getty, an attorney and oil investor, and Sarah Catherine McPherson Risher. Getty’s father invested in oil in Bartlesville, Indian Territory (now Okla.), with the company incorporated as the Minnehoma Oil Company. The business struck oil in 1903, and young Getty accompanied his father to Indian Territory, during which time he developed a fascination for the oil industry. Getty attended Emerson Grammar School in Minneapolis and then, after the family moved, attended Harvard Military Academy in Los Angeles while working in his father’s oil fields during summer vacations. Other oil strikes at Tulsa and Glenn Pool added to the family’s wealth, but Getty’s father moved to California more for the climate and personal reasons than for business. Getty graduated from high school in 1909 and agreed to work for his father, saying he wanted to “start at the bottom.” He entered the University of Southern California to study political science and economics and then transferred to the University of California at Berkeley in 1911, only to resign from his courses without graduating that year. He then studied at Oxford, sat for a noncollegiate diploma in economics and political science in June 1913, and graduated. After graduation he traveled in Europe and then returned to the United States....

Article

Gilcrease, Thomas (08 February 1890–06 May 1962), oilman and art collector, was born William Thomas Gilcrease in Robeline, Louisiana, the son of William Lee Gilcrease and Mary Elizabeth Vowell, farmers. When Tom was an infant, the family moved to Indian Territory where his mother, who was one-quarter Creek, was entitled to live. As the eldest of fourteen children, Gilcrease grew up working on the family farm and attending school only sporadically. In 1896, when the federal government ordered the Five Civilized Tribes to compile membership rolls in preparation for an allotment of land, Gilcrease became an official member of the Creek tribe by virtue of his one-eighth blood heritage. In 1899 he was awarded his 160-acre plot of land. It proved an immensely lucky piece of property. Located twenty miles south of Tulsa, the land was in the middle of the Glenn Pool, one of the most profitable oil fields in Oklahoma....

Image

Joseph F. Guffey Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-115055).

Article

Guffey, Joseph F. (29 December 1870–06 March 1959), U.S. senator and businessman, was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, the son of John Guffey and Barbaretta Hough, wealthy farmers. From an early age he was interested in politics, and he and his sister, Emma Guffey Miller...

Article

Hess, Leon (14 March 1914–07 May 1998), businessman and owner of a football team, was born in Asbury Park, New Jersey, the youngest of four children of Mores Hess, a businessman (his mother's name is not known). Leon attended public schools in Asbury Park. His parents were Jewish immigrant Lithuanians. His father established a coal and fuel oil delivery business. In 1933, unable to afford college, Leon took over his father's fuel delivery business, which was failing. He found success by marketing a substance that other companies considered a waste product: the thick residual oil that remained after lighter products, such as gasoline and kerosene, were distilled. Residual oil quickly hardened in the bottoms of barrels, but it had certain industrial uses and could be burned in some boilers. When the residual oil hardened before he could pump it from his truck on one delivery, Hess used a blowtorch to heat the oil so that it flowed. In this experience Hess recognized a business opportunity. He could buy residual oil at prices cheaper than coal, which was then the dominant fuel, and deliver it to his industrial customers in heated tankers. His customers found residual oil economical because it left almost no ash to be hauled away, thus cutting their costs. As coal customers switched to Hess oil, his business grew. By 1938 the company had grown to twelve trucks and a storage facility....