A Classification of American Wealth
History and genealogy of the wealthy families of America - Sponsors


 Part 1 : Colonial and Mercantile America  Part 2 : America in the Gilded Age
 Part 2 : America in the Twentieth Century  Encyclopedia of American Wealth

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  Part III-Chapter 15 : Wildcatter Oil Barons  >   Index and Introduction  :    « Previous  12 - 3  Next »

From Wildcatters to Oil Barons 

Spindletop 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)
The Gettys
             Jean Paul Getty  
    
        The Getty family and legacy (coming later)
Other oil barons
(coming later)   

From the Encyclopedia of American Wealth
           
Thematic 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. 
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Wildcatter Oil Barons >   Index and Introduction  :  « Previous  12 - 3   Next »







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