From Wildcatters to Oil Barons
and the formation of Texas Big Four :
Gulf, Texaco, Humble and Magnolia (coming soon)
The Hunts : Texas' richest oil barons
Haroldson Lafayette Hunt
The Hunt Brothers - a mega failure (coming later)
Jean Paul Getty
The Getty family and legacy (coming later)
Other oil barons (coming later)
From the Encyclopedia of American Wealth
list : Oil Barons (1949)
By the turn of the Twentieth Century, Standard Oil was firmly in control of the oil refining, transportation and marketing sector in the United States and also had a dominant position in the World market. After having ruined or taken over most of its competitors, the Oil Trust controlled some 400 plants, 84% of the domestic market and 90% of US oil exports. Its near-monopoly position on the consumers side was supplemented by a near-monopsomy position towards its suppliers, the crude oil producers mostly of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Despite their efforts to gather in associations, they remained utterly divided and dependent on the Standard’s storage and transportation facilities (tanks, tank cars and pipelines). With its huge financial resources, the Standard Oil Company further sought to extend its monopoly to new oil discoveries in Indiana, California and Kentucky and therefore did not hesitate to use covert subsidiaries, like the Waters-Pierce Oil Company of Missouri.
Then on January 9, 1901 a colorful but little-known oil prospector, ‘Captain’ Anthony F. Lucas (the americanized version of Luchich, his original Dalmatian name), struck what would become the most famous oil gusher ever at Spindletop, near Beaumont, Texas. Spindletop did as much as Teddy Roosevelt’s anti-trust actions, which resulted in the split-up of the trust in 1911, to challenge Standard Oil’s control of the U.S. oil business. One reason was that Lucas and his associates Guffey & Galey of Pittsburgh were bankrolled by the Mellon family, a well funded banking dynasty, already in control of the nascent aluminum industry. Another, the political environment of Texas, where trusts and Standard Oil in particular were banished from direct activity.
Wildcatter Oil Barons > Index
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