AOGHS-LogoChances are people seeking financial information here will not find lost riches – see Not a Millionaire from Old Oil Stock. The American Oil & Gas Historical Society, a small non-profit program that depends on donations, simply does not have resources to provide free research of corporate histories.

However, AOGHS continues to look into forum queries as part of its energy education mission. Some investigations have revealed  little-known stories like Buffalo Bill’s Shoshone Oil Company; many others have found questionable dealings during booms and epidemics of “black gold” fever like Arctic Explorer turns Oil Promoter

Visit the Stock Certificate Q & A Forum and view company updates regularly added to the A-to-Z listing at Is my Old Oil Stock worth Anything? AOGHS will continue to look into forum queries, including these “in progress.”

Hale Petroleum Company

old petroleum stocksThe Hale Petroleum Company from 1917 is not related to today’s Hale Petroleum Company of Columbus, Kansas. It also has no relation to the Standard Oil-affiliated Frank Hale Oil Company in Louisiana. In a 1918 text published by the Kansas City Testing Laboratory, Hale Petroleum is identified as having a refinery in Wichita, Kansas, and pipelines to Wichita from nearby El Dorado – site of Butler Country’s Kansas Oil Museum.

A Hale Petroleum is identified as part of Sterling Oil & Refining Company. Sterling Oil was created by Ross Shaw Sterling, the founder and president of the Humble Oil and Refining Company, which eventually became the Exxon, now ExxonMobil. In the 1920s, he sold his interests in Humble, although he served as president of Sterling Oil & Refining Company until 1946.

Hamilton Oil & Gas Company

Hamilton Oil & Gas Company’s history involves a former Notre Dame football coach and former Governor of Colorado that can be explore with a straightforward Google search. In the search box, enter (with quote marks) “Hamilton Oil & Gas” and “Securities and Exchange Commission” to see SEC results.

Harris-Fisher Oil Company

In 1922 Harris-Fisher Oil Company of Fort Worth brought in two producing wells in Texas’ Eastland County, home to the fabulous Ranger oilfield. The field had reached its peak production of 22 million barrels of oil in 1919. Production had ebbed considerably by the time of Harris-Fisher’s No. 1 and No. 2 Pioneer wells each produced 350 barrels of oil per day (at about $20 a barrel). By 1923 Harris-Fisher Oil was insolvent and a court-appointed receiver took custody of the company’s property pending disbursement to creditors

Hayden-Burk Petroleum Company

In August 1919 the Oil Paint and Drug Reporter noted that Capital Oil & Gas Company’s cumulative Texas production in April, May and June was only 135 barrels. Competing exploration companies like  Block Six Oil had wells producing more than 19,000 barrels of oil. At the time, oil sold for about $2 a barrel.

Hayden-Burk Petroleum was heavily promoted in El Paso’s Herald newspaper after its holdings were absorbed by Texas Control Consolidated Oil Company. The paper reported the company’s formation: “Huge Consolidation Expected to Stabilize Conditions in Burkburnett” with stock offered at $1 per share. “The Hayden-Burk well should be in within the next three days, which warrants much higher prices for the stock.” The new company did not survive. Also see Boom Town Burkburnett.

Hecla-Wyoming Oil Company

old oil stock certficateWyoming’s first oil discoveries in the early 1880s were inspired by reports of oil seeps at Salt Creek outside of Casper. The Wyoming Newspaper Project, sponsored by the Wyoming State Library, includes many accounts of long forgotten small exploration companies. Local newspapers followed the often brief lives of many ventures. These companies also sought  investors with enthusiastic ads as well as reports on specific drilling efforts’ progress. The years around World War I are noteworthy.

From 1917 to 1919, Wyoming’s petroleum history boomed as companies competed to supply America’s wartime needs. Hecla-Wyoming Oil Company did not survive the drilling competition, perhaps because of questionable partnerships. Arctic Explorer Turns Oil Promoter describes Dr. Frederick Cook – “discoverer of the North Pole” – and his misadventures in the petroleum business. Cook was a partner with Hecla-Wyoming Oil Company at the Hidden Dome oilfield near Casper. One famous Wyoming wildcatter more experienced in promotion (but unlucky in drilling) was William F. Cody, founder of the Shoshone Oil Company.

New discoveries in Wyoming and other producing states sometimes led to so many companies eager to print stock certificates for investors that the certificates’ vignettes were identical. One scene of an oilfield crowded with derricks can be found on certificates issued by Hecla-Wyoming Oil, the Double Standard Oil & Gas Company, the Evangeline Oil Company and the Tulsa Producing and Refining Company…among others.

Hesperian Petroleum Company

Hesperian Petroleum Company, circa 1904, appears to have been a short-lived venture in which seaman turned entrepreneur (Captain) Edward J. Rathbone played significant roles – from president to drilling superintendent.

Lewis & Dryden’s Marine History of the Pacific Northwest of 1895 includes a brief biography and photo of Rathbone. It can be read online. To find more about Hesperian Petroleum, check local libraries in Seattle, Washington, for references to E.J. Rathbone’s numerous business ventures.

Hiram Wilson Oil Company

Hiram Wilson Oil Company worked the Bristow, Oklahoma, oilfield boom in the mid-1920s. Bristow’s population doubled from 1,667 in the 1910 Census to 3,460 in 1920. The city had three refineries and four pipeline companies in operation in 1930. Bristow today remains a major economic center for central Creek County. Hiram Wilson Oil successfully found oil in the field in 1922, and in 1923 was building a “plant” in the field. Another record reports that in 1926 a Hiram Wilson Oil well produced 35 barrels a day of oil after a “shooting” with 10 quarts of nitroglycerin.

Holiday Oil & Gas Company

Holiday Oil and Gas Company was formed in Arkansas City, Kansas, on May 25, 1956. After 500,000 shares of the company were offered by Whitehall Securities Corporation at $3 per share (bid at $1.50), Holiday Oil & Gas became White Star Oil Company of Oklahoma City. White Star Oil acquired a controlling interest in Utah Consolidated Oil Company’s 10,500 acres of mineral rights near Sunshine Mining Company’s discovery of Washington State’s first and only commercial oil well, the Medina No. 1, which flowed 223 barrels a day from a depth of 4,135 feet near Ocean City in Gray Harbor County.

The Medina No. 1 well produced about 12,500 barrels before being capped in 1961. Further discoveries were not forthcoming and White Star Oil Company’s charter was revoked April 1, 1960.  “About 600 gas and oil wells have been drilled in Washington, but large-scale commercial production has never occurred,” explains a 2010 report from the Washington Commissioner of Public Lands.

Homa Oil & Gas Company

The Homa Oil & Gas Company descended from the circa 1950s Glasscock-Tidelands Oil Company, which became Diversa in 1959 and spun off Homa Oil & Gas in 1965. On June 30, 1971, the Maynard Oil Company acquired Homa Oil & Gas Company, which had operations in Louisiana and Texas. Maynard Oil Company was in turn acquired by Plantation Petroleum Holdings, L.L.C. in 2002. Plantation Petroleum Holdings operated Maynard Oil Company until selling it to Forest Oil Permian Corp. of Denver on December 31, 2003.

Home Oil Company

Early in 1921 Poor’s Cumulative Daily Digest of Corporation News reported that unbeknownst to Home Oil Company’s Arizona stockholders, its property was being offered for sale “to satisfy a claim of the Co.’s manager for $31,000.”

The company, which operated in Texas and had only 240 acres of land instead of the claimed 1,500, entered into receivership and was soon declared bankrupt.

Horse Shoe Four Leaf Mining & Oil Company

Incorporated Arizona 1906 capitalized at $3 million and promoted from Elkhart, Indiana, for the ostensible purpose of developing and operating properties in Crescent, Nevada, and Robinson, Illinois.  United States Investor reported in 1911 that there was no market for the stock and that the Horse Shoe Four Leaf Mining and Oil Company was likely a stock scam.

Humble Oil Ridge Company

A Texas state department biennial report listed Humble Oil Ridge Company as among those “Domestic Charters Forfeited for Non-payment of Franchise Tax, July 2, 1917, to July 2, 1918.” Such notation was the frequent epitaph of failed companies.

Huntsville Consolidated Gas Company

Huntsville Consolidated Gas Company formed in January 1914, having taken over the properties of two predecessor companies, the Huntsville Gas, Light and Fuel Company and the New York-Alabama Oil Company. The new company issued $215,000 in six percent bonds, due in 1920. When the debt could not be paid, an advertisement in the The Gas Age on October 15, 1917, noted the Hunstville Consolidated Gas Company would be sold at public auction, “free and clear of all encumbrances.” When company properties were liquidated by foreclosure in 1918, T.W. Pratt, E.W. Dillon, and Lawrence Cooper acquired the assets.

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