People seeking obscure financial information probably will not find any petroleum riches here – see Not a Millionaire from Old Oil Stock about a certificate that spawned lengthy litigation with the Coca-Cola Company.

The American Oil & Gas Historical Society, a small non-profit program that depends on donations, does not have resources for extensive research. But as AOGHS looks into forum queries as part of its energy education mission, investigations have revealed interesting stories like Mrs. Dysart’s Uraniu Well and Buffalo Bill’s Shoshone Oil Company; others have found questionable dealings during booms and “black gold” fever epidemics like Arctic Explorer turns Oil Promoter.

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

Garfield Oil & Refining Company

The Oklahoma business records department can provide incorporation information on the Garfield Oil & Refining Company, which had properties near Nowata but does not appear to have prospered.

Gate City-Wyoming Oil & Gas Company

The Gate City-Wyoming Oil and Gas Company incorporated in Idaho July 10, 1917, with Pocatello, Idaho, physician Dr. O.B. Steeley as president. The company acquired leases in Wyoming’s Lost Soldier Dome (640 acres); Rattlesnake Dome (640 acres); Laramie Dome (160 acres); and Rock Springs Dome (640 acres). Curiously, the company’s officers and property were also recorded as the Gate City Oil & Gas Company.  Dr. Steeley died suddenly in June 1920. The Idaho secretary of state may have further information, but the company’s last filing was in September 1923. Its charter was forfeited on December 1, 1924. Read about other Wyoming wildcatters in First Wyoming Oil Wells and Buffalo Bill’s Shone Oil Company.

Gatex Oil Company

Gatex Oil Company incorporated in Delaware March 1, 1920. The company undertook exploratory “wildcat” drilling in northeast Texas’ Hopkins and Bowie counties with plans to drill in Hunt County. But in Hopkins County, its Davis No. 1 well was abandoned after reaching 2,020 feet deep without finding oil. Similarly in Bowie County, its Perkins No. 1 well was shut down at 1,570 feet deep with no success. Wildcat drilling on unproven land has always been risky; early failures have often exhausted under-capitalized ventures. This seems to have been the case with Gatex Oil Company, which was dissolved on June 4, 1936.

General Oil Company

In 1912 General Oil Company was organized by an infamous promoter Seymor E.J. “Alphabet” Cox.  Ten years later, 28 creditors were awarded $175,000 in concluding General Oil Company’s bankruptcy. The Oil Trade Journal of July 1922 noted “stockholders in this $21,000,000 corporation will have little coming when the affairs of the company are settled.”

A successor, the General Petroleum Company, was created from the sold off properties. Conman “Alphabet” Cox was also involved with fraudulently promoting Spear Oil Company and shares if a company of a supposed visitor to the North Pole – see Arctic Explorer turns Oil Promoter.

General Resources Corporation

General Resources Corporation was not a petroleum stock. Known earlier as General Plywood Corporation, the company filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the federal Bankruptcy Act in October 1979. A company attorney said it was unlikely there would be enough assets to pay off shareholders.

Gin Site Oil Company

“Huge Consolidation Expected to Stabilize Conditions in Burkburnett,” reported one North Texas newspaper (learn more in “Boom Town” Burkburnett). One of many companies seeking riches in the region was the Gin Site Oil Company. Details are elusive, but reported the company’s production for the first three months of 1920 was more than 1,900 barrels. Meanwhile, oil prices were about $2 a barrel. The Texas Railroad Commission maintains records that may provide further information.

Globe Natural Gas Company

In 1977 the Securities and Exchange Commission filed multiple civil suits against Globe Natural Gas Company and began litigation that would go on for several years.

Both the FBI and New Scotland Yard were involved in the investigation, which noted the conspiracy included an effort to swindle Elvis Presley and several banks. The SEC suits also accused the company of perpetrating “various lies to investors, including a claim that actor Sammy Davis Jr. had invested heavily in Globe.”

It was alleged that between 1971 and 1974 Globe bilked 172 investors out of $192,000 by making untrue statements and omission of material facts. Investors were told their money would be used for acquisition of oil and natural gas wells when, in fact, the funds were used to purchase speculative bank securities and for the personal use of the company’s officers.

The SEC complaint further stated: “Globe Natural Gas has had during the past six months a steady stream of private investors lodging complaints regarding investments, dividends and no returns, that (the company president) has been in and out of bankruptcy for the past 14 or 15 years, and that (he) was sentenced to two years in the Federal Penitentiary for stock and security fraud.”

Gold Medal Oil Company

Gold Medal Oil Company incorporated in Lusk, Wyoming, in 1919 with capitalization of $250,000. The company formed in response to oil discoveries near Lance Creek that had quickly driven the population of Lusk to more than 10,000. A number of company camps were also set up to support the many drilling operations.

The Wyoming State Historical Society Weston County chapter may have more information, but in 1920 Gold Medal Oil did drill in the Orange oilfield in a remote section of Weston County (Section 17, Township 46 N, Range 63 W), near today’s Niobrara shale formation. Success of Gold Medal’s well is not reported and the company appears to have failed. Similarly, the Clark Producing and Refining Company drilled further south, in Niobrara County (Section 15, Township 36 N, Range 62 W) but seems to have disappeared from records as well.

Golden Gate Oil Company

There were been many Golden Gate Oil companies prior to the 1921 iteration founded by John Flynn, Robert Tarrants and others, capitalized at $250,000.  A 1902 Golden Gate Oil and Refining Company that incorporated in South Dakota soon disappeared, as did a Golden Gate Oil Company incorporated in San Francisco in 1900 capitalized at $500,000.

Probably attracted by the Seminole Oil Boom, yet another Golden Gate Oil operated in Oklahoma’s Healdton oilfield in 1916 and brought in at least one dry hole and three 25-barrels-of-oil-a-day producers.

The 1921 Golden Gate Oil Company founded by Flynn and Tarrants completed three producing wells in the Los Angeles oilfield between 1922 and 1923. The California Department of Conservation Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources offers a map showing where these wells were drilled, provides limited details about the wells, but does not include the fate of the company.

Good Luck Oil Company

The first Louisiana oil well was drilled in 1901. Good Luck Oil Company incorporated on May 5, 1916, with a Louisiana charter and $50,000 capitalization. The company’s board of directors included Mack Wellman; J.T. Tanner; D.P. Batchelor; S.R. Elliot; M.R.  Souter; J.T. Souter; and J.G. Brown. The company, managed by John P.  Hynds, drilled 14 wells that became small oil producers in Allen County, Kentucky, on the Martha Keen Bud Frost farms.

A 1905 discovery at Caddo-Pines near Shreveport had brought wildcatters to northern Louisiana, notes the Louisiana Oil City Museum. Good Luck Oil drilled a well producing five barrels of oil a day in Caddo Parrish, Louisiana.  Since oil prices averaged just $1.10 in 1916, such low production from the expensive-to-drill wells likely spelled the ruin of Good Luck Oil.

Goshen Oil & Gas Company

Researchers can track the creation and history of Goshen Oil & Gas Company by way of contemporary newspaper accounts maintained online by the Wyoming Newspaper Project. Search for “Goshen oil” on that website to find information.

Grand County Oil & Refining Company

Grand County Oil and Refining Company incorporated with $500,000 in capital stock on March 19, 1903, in Sulphur Springs, Colorado – the county seat. The company planned operations in Grand and Routt counties. The Grand County Historical Association may be able to provide more information. According to the Colorado secretary of state, Grand County Oil & Refining had an office in Sulphur Springs and paid its taxes in 1903.

Great Basin Oil Company

Great Basin Oil Company is noted in the book by William S. Greever Arid Domain, The Santa Fe Railway, and Its Western Land Grant (Stanford University Press, 1954):

“A few of the companies were more intent upon making stock sales and then calling for additional support from the shareholders than in undertaking bona fide development. Such a company was the Great Basin Oil Company, which leased 60,016.43 acres around Holbrook from the railroad, 147,783.66 acres from the Aztec Land and Cattle Company, and additional land from others. It sold about $750,000 worth of stock in five years, largely through churches, until its improper methods caused the state of New York to secure a permanent injunction preventing further sales.”

The injunction was reported May 4, 1926, in the New York Times. The company drilled one exploratory well in Navaho County, Arizona, named the Taylor-Fuller No. 1, which reached 4, 675 feet deep but found only helium and was plugged and abandoned in 1927.

Great Oil Basin Securities

In the late 1960s Great Oil Basin Securities borrowed $500,000 from the Union National Bank of Little Rock, Arkansas, securing the loan with title to a shopping mall in Odessa, Texas. As the company’s fortunes waned, it was unable to repay the debt and its shareholders sued Union National in federal court, seeking a declaratory judgment invalidating the promissory note and claiming that Great Basin’s officers had no authority to bind the corporation for such a loan. After years of litigation and appeals, in 1979 a Texas court dismissed the shareholders case, decreeing that the note was a valid obligation and that the shopping mall lien was “enforceable by foreclosure in Texas.”

Great Southern Oil & Refining Association

Great Southern Oil & Refining Association was the 1918 creation of entrepreneurs A.E. Shahan and R.D. Lindley. They became directors and stockholders in the new business, which soon proposed construction of a 1,200-barrel-a-day refinery in Eastland,Texas, and drilling wells in the prolific Eastland oilfield (the 1917 “Roaring Ranger” well had launching a drilling boom).

Exuberant advertisements, published in several Texas newspapers to entice investors, included the Seguin Zeitung, printed in German. Great Southern Oil & Refining paid for half-page ads in The San Antonio Express.

“A Conservative Investment That Will Appeal to Thinking Men,” proclaimed one ad, which included a membership application, offered subscriptions at $10 a share, and sought sales help: “We Need the Services of Fifty High-Grade Stock Salesmen – If You Are One It will Pay You Big to Investigate.”

Within three years however, Texas Court of Appeals documents record that “Shahan and Lindley were the moving spirits in the whole organization; that the association was becoming involved in financial difficulties; that Shahan and Lindley were exerting themselves to secure a former governor of this state [Texas Gov. Oscar B. Colquitt, 1911- 1915] as its president and head, upon the theory that, with his prestige and financial ability, a wreck of the organization in which they were financially interested might be avoided.”

The court further accused the company’s founders: “Evidently their leading object was not to guarantee or secure for the benefit of plaintiff the debt he held against the association, but it was to subserve their own purposes and promote their financial interests or gain.”

Shahan and Lindley soon faced more litigation. Another court concluded they had misused Great Southern Oil & Refining Association letter heads, contracts, notes, etc., “for the purpose of misleading.” After 1923, Shahan, Lindley and their company vanish into history.

Great Southwestern Petroleum Company

Great Southwestern Petroleum Company of Oklahoma City was incorporated in August 1917 by Samuel Gordon, Harry Gorden and Mark Miller with capital of $250,000. James Butler was president. In Carter County, home to the Hewitt oilfield (second largest in Oklahoma at the time), the company drilled in the field’s southeast extension. This 1921 well was named the Great Southwestern Miller-Jones No. 1 and was on the Gooding farm, but results are unknown.

The Hewitt field developed rapidly during the early 1920s and was east of Oklahoma’s giant Healdton field (visit the Oklahoma Oil Museum there). By 1927 the Hewitt oilfield covered 3,050 acres, with more than 800 wells that had produced in excess of 60 million barrels of oil. Nonetheless, Great Southwestern Petroleum does not appear to have succeeded as it disappears from references thereafter.

Great Sweet Grass Oils 

Some of the shady dealings of  Great Sweet Grass Oils and its stock scam misadventures can be found in an online preview of a book from Canada by Chris Armstrong, Moose Pastures and Mergers: The Ontario Securities Commission and the Regulation of Share Markets in Canada, 1940-1980.

Great Western Oil & Gas Company

Great Western Oil and Gas Company was solvent in 1959 with owners listed as James C. Meade (later of Meade Energy), Firth C. Owens, and R.P. Ross. The company held geologically “promising” leases at that time, but heavy expenditures in the unsuccessful development of these leases led to financial difficulties beginning in 1961. By February 1962 Great Western properties were worth only $60,000 and the bankruptcy presumably followed in 1964. A number of similarly named but unrelated oil companies have come and gone over the years, beginning in 1864.

A now defunct namesake was established in 1864 as the Great Western Oil Company. That company’s zenith was a 1902 oil gusher, discovered at a depth of 683 feet, which opened the Sour Lake oilfield 20 miles northwest of Beaumont, Texas. The discovery transformed the resort town of Sour Lake into a boom town until the oil was depleted after 1914. Read more in Sour Lake produces Texaco.

Greater Great Falls Oil Company

Montana’s Greater Great Falls Oil Company had a showing of oil at 1,368 foot depth on its Roos No. 1 wildcat well in Cascade County (north of Great Falls), but the well proved to be a dry hole.

Green River Oil & Uranium Company

The Utah Department of Administrative Services should be helpful for learning more about Green River Oil & Uranium Company. The department’s Research Center maintains microfilmed information on inactive corporations. Green River Oil and Uranium is on reel 13 of Series 16658. Another uranium-related oil patch story can be found in Mrs. Dysart’s Uranium Well.

Gypsy-Burke Oil Company

In 1919 California Commissioner of Corporations E.C. Bellows warned potential investors in the Gypsy-Burke Oil Company stock that “The buyer of such stocks more than likely is purchasing securities not worth the cost of the prettily decorated certificate which he gets in return for his hard-earned dollars.”

The commissioner noted Gypsy-Burke was one of several Texas companies in violation of the Corporate Securities Act. North Texas was booming at the time, see Pump Jack Capital of Texas.

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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?