Heritage, Volume 12, Number 3, Summer 1994 Page: 14
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Horses and wagons were the mode of transportation for the early distribution of Sun Oil Company products.
The Gulf Oil Company was first incorporated
in 1901 and merged with J.M.
Guffey Petroleum Company forming the
Gulf Oil Corporation in 1907. The Mellon
family took over control of the company,
building a refinery in nearby Port Arthur.
John Galey, partner with Guffey, relinquished
his interest in the company in
1901. He continued his explorations in the
oil fields and is considered one of the greatest
In 1901 six men met in the lobby of the
J.N. Pew Sr., founder of Sun Oil Company Inc.
Crosby House in Beaumont. Joseph
Stephen Cullinan, former Texas Governor
James Stephen Hogg, John Wayne (BetA-Million)
Gates, Walter Sharp (subcontractor
for Gladys City Company's first
unsuccessful well of 1893), Arnold Schlaet,
and James Rocke pooled their resources
and ingenuity to lay the groundwork for
the formation of the Texas Company on
May 1, 1902.
The Texas Company took over much of
the Hogg Swayne Syndicate. Hogg was the
head of the syndicate that bought a piece of
land on Spindletop for $105,000 in 1901.
The seller had purchased the land in 1900
for $450. Minute fractions of land were sold
causing derricks to rise up as thick as trees.
It was said that one could walk for miles on
Spindletop Hill without ever touching the
ground just by stepping from derrick to
Late in 1902 Texaco became heavily
involved in the emerging oil fields of nearby
Sour Lake. Texaco proceeded to build a
large refinery in Port Arthur south of
Beaumont consolidating their pipelines,
storage facilities, and shipping.
The Beaumont Enterprise announced on
January 4, 1902, that Colonel George A.
Burt and Company would build the world's
largest refinery just south of Beaumont on
the Neches River on a piece of land costing
$45,000. It was thought by most that
Standard Oil Company was involved,
which later proved to be the case. In 1911
the Magnolia Petroleum Company was
formed merging John Sealy's company
lands. At a much later date the company
became known as Mobil Oil Corporation,
its present-day name. This Beaumont refinery
grew to be Mobil Oil's largest in the
In the heydays the company's Beaumont
refinery was very self-sufficient having
its own pipe shop, paint shop, wax
production, along with its main production
of gasoline and lubricants. It was
during this time that the company also
had its own baseball team, singing group
and marching band, as well as company
yachts and airplanes. For many years
Magnolia owned and operated KDFM radio
Humble Oil & Refining Company was
formed on March 1, 1917. This company
that later became Exxon included Harry
Wiess, Lee Blaffer, Bill Farish, J. Cooke
Wilson, Ross Sterling, the Keith family,
and many others.
The quest for oil was moving in an
ever-increasing circle including such
towns as Sour Lake, Saratoga, Batson, and
J)hl 11H Galev
John H. Galey
14 HERITAGE * SUMMER 1994
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 12, Number 3, Summer 1994, periodical, Summer 1994; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45412/m1/14/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.