Congressional Oil Corporation

Congressional Oil Corporation

The First National Bank Building in Wichita Falls, Texas, headquarters of the Congressional Oil Corporation. Image from a postcard, circa 1910.

Congressional Oil Corporation formed April 10, 1920, with Bernard H. Taylor as president and offices in the First National Bank Building in Wichita Falls, Texas.

It was a heady time in the North Texas oil patch, especially along the Red River border with Oklahoma.

Oil booms had begun in at Electra with a 1911 discovery well to the south. Then “Roaring Ranger” came in neighboring Eastland County in 1917. When a third drilling boom began at Burkburnett in 1918, even Hollywood noticed. Read more in “Boom Town” Burkburnett.

These oilfield discoveries brought prosperity to North Texas, launched hundreds of petroleum companies, fueled America’s Model T Fords – and victory in World War I in 1918.

Witnessing a crowd of roughnecks waiting for a motel room convinced Conrad Hilton to start a new business. See Oil Boom Brings First Hilton Hotel.

By 1922, the American Oil Directory reported that the company had a total daily production of 250 barrels of oil from six wells;

Although the company’s financial records are hard to come by today, the Encyclopedia of Texas once reported positive developments.

“The Congressional Oil Corporation has been very successful in its operations and has over 7,000 acres of leases distributed in various sections of Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Mississippi,” the publication noted. “It has some valuable holding in the Northwest Extension of the Burkburnett field and production in blocks 88 and 96.”

The Nevada State Library and Archives has more information on the company. Congressional Oil Corporation stock certificates sell on eBay for about $20.

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The stories of other attempts to join petroleum exploration booms (and avoid busts) can be found in an updated series of research at Is my Old Oil Stock worth Anything?
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