Heritage, Volume 12, Number 3, Summer 1994 Page: 4
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THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
By John B. Meadows
The oil and gas industry has had a
significant impact in Texas, unlike any
other before or since. It has employed
hundreds of thousands, inspired vast
numbers, and added immeasurable wealth
to Texas and Texans. It has fulfilled and
broken many dreams. One must appreciate
those wildcatters in the petroleum industry
who followed their intuition and discovered
the hidden resources of our fossil
A great number of us have during the
last century had family and friends who at
one time or another subsisted on revenues
generated by the "black gold". This issue of
the HERITAGE magazine is dedicated to ^
all those courageous folks.
I gained my admiration for the petroleum
industry being raised in Midland. My
father Henry E. Meadows was a Humble
Exxon engineer who worked from Crowley, Louisiana, to McCamey
before settling in Midland in the mid-40s. My uncle, H.M. "Rusty"
Bayer was a geologist who supervised Gulf Oil's early development
in the West Texas area and served as the company's vice president.
He was elected to the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum's Hall of
Fame. A cousin, Fred E. Moore, was president of Mobil Oil and also
served as a former president of the Texas Historical Foundation.
My grandfather, Dr. John B. Thomas, a pioneer physician in
Midland, once lived adjacent to the Midland courthouse on a site
long sought after as a future bank location by John Butler, chairman
of the First National Bank in Midland. It is told that Butler after
years of trying, again asked what it would take for Dr. Thomas to sell
the site to the bank. Dr. Thomas finally confessed that he had
always wanted to be in the oil business and the rest, as they say, is
history. A swap was made; the First National Bank of Midland had
its new location southwest of the courthouse and Dr. Thomas
ended up with some Ector County mineral interests that the bank
had been holding. Dr. Thomas had his oil
well. My interest in the oil industry, you
see, came naturally. It's in my blood.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Note Dr. Thomas'
mention in Betty Orbeck's article that begins
on page 16.)
In this issue of HERITAGE, we explore
some of the history of the industry that is
still today one of the pillars of the Texas
economy. Christine Moor Sanders, a
Foundation board member from
Woodville, writes about Capt. George
Washington O'Brien and the Gladys City
Oil Company. She explores the early days
of the oil industry near Beaumont, including
Spindletop, the Lucas Gusher, and
some of the men and women involved in
those endeavors. There is also a brief article
on the interesting histories of some of
the major oil companies in Texas.
Betty Orbeck, archivist for the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum,
tells of Midland's emergence as the West Texas Oil Capital
and also of the impact of the industry on this West Texas town. We
also have included a historic tour of the Spindletop/Gladys City
Boomtown Museum in Beaumont written by museum director
On another note, the Texas Historical Foundation Board of
Directors has just returned from its summer meeting in Austin
where, in addition to discussion of business matters, we had the
opportunity to view the extensive restoration efforts at the MooreHancock
Homestead, courtesy of owners and Board members Mike
and Karen Collins (see Spring 1994 HERITAGE).
In closing, the Board would like to express its sincere gratitude
to all those who have generously supported the Foundation and our
projects this past year. As we all know, it is a continuing opportunity
and challenge that exists in preserving our Texas heritage.
God Bless Texas.
4 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/m1/4/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.