The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947 Page: 38
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Most of the townspeople considered Higgins obsessed on the
subject; but he interested George W. Carroll, wealthy lumber-
man, and Captain George O'Brien, Confederate veteran and at-
torney, the result being the Gladys City Oil, Gas, and Manufac-
turing Company. The "city," which existed only in Higgins'
imagination, was named for little Gladys Bingham, member of
a Sunday School class which Higgins taught.
A contract was made with M. B. Looney for a 1,500-foot test.
The driller was W. B. Sharp, and the equipment was "a rattle-
trap outfit of the type used in drilling water wells," Higgins
related. Gas was struck, but the quicksand halted the drill at
four hundred feet. Then Savage and Company of West Virginia
drilled, but the second test was foiled by the quicksand.
Undaunted, Higgins advertised in northern newspapers about
the possibilities and wrote letters to men he thought might be
interested. One of these letters was to Captain Anthony F.
Antonio Francisco Luchich, born in 1855 in Spalato, Dal-
matia, Austria, was graduated from the Polytechnic Institute
at Gratz as an engineer, entered the Austrian navy, and became
a lieutenant. In 1879, he came to the United States and, six
years later, became an American citizen, changing his name to
Anthony Francis Lucas. Until 1895, he engaged in lumbering,
then was a consulting mechanical and mining engineer, his
home and offices being in Washington, D. C.
Joseph Jefferson, famed for his portrayal of Rip Van Winkle,
bought an estate in Louisiana at Bobacres, three miles south-
east of Jefferson Island, and decided to drill a mineral water
well. He obtained the services of Captain Lucas. Lucas dis-
covered not mineral water but a highly valuable commodity,
salt, in the vicinity of Jefferson Island. Then he developed salt
and sulphur mines at Belle Isle and became an authority on
salt domes along the Gulf Coast.
When Higgins induced Lucas to visit Beaumont, the Cap-
tain's chief interest, according to Higgins, was not oil but
sulphur. Lucas' first test struck a showing of oil before the
quicksands stopped the drill at around six hundred feet. With a
sample of the oil in a bottle, he interested Guffey and Galey,
prominent oil men of Pennsylvania, who had been active in the
development at Corsicana, Texas. Oil had been discovered there
in 1895, when a well was being put down for artesian water for
the municipal water supply.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 50, July 1946 - April, 1947, periodical, 1947; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101117/m1/54/: accessed March 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.