Sawyer-Adecor International’s roots go back to a 1901 Arizona gold ore discovery in western Mohave County that brought investors scrambling.

In 1906, the Tom Reed Gold Mines Company, Oatman, Arizona, incorporated, purchased the “Argo Gold Mine” and started producing gold two years later.

Tom Reed Gold Mines Company stock certificate.The property yielded about $13 million (gold was then priced at $20 an ounce) between 1908 and 1931.

But as the vein depleted, Tom Reed Gold Mines Company fortunes’ faded. The mine produced its last gold nugget in 1939.

In 1956, the Sawyer Exploration Company of Los Angeles filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission to take over and reactivate the moribund Tom Reed Gold Mines Company, using incorporation date (1906) and renaming itself Sawyer Petroleum Company.


Ernest Walker Sawyer, a former Assistant Secretary of the U. S. Department of Interior, was named president.

Sawyer Petroleum then actively engaged in mineral exploration in Beaverhead County, Montana, and in the 1960s partnered with the Union Pacific Railroad Company in searching in the Lemhi Pass for rare-earth minerals like thorite, a rare nesosilicate of radioactive thorium.

In September 1969, the company changed its name to Sawyer-Adecor International and exercised a one-for-five reverse stock split. Each five shares of Sawyer Petroleum were exchanged for a single share of the new Sawyer-Adecor International.

Such reverse stock splits often resulted in a reduction in the number of a corporation’s shares outstanding that increased the par value of its stock or its earnings per share, according to Investopedia.

“It’s usually a bad sign if a company is forced to a reverse split,” added the investment magazine. “Firms do it to make their stock look more valuable when, in fact, nothing has changed. A company may also do a reverse split to avoid being delisted.”


In March 1997, Sawyer-Adecor International filed again with the Arizona Corporation Commission to rename itself Oil Retrieval Systems, Inc. (ORSI). Its corporate office changed to Fort Worth, Texas.

ORSI executed a one for ten reverse stock split leaving the company with six million shares of common stock and an estimated public float of 300,000 shares. The business was reported to be manufacturing and distribution portable swabbing units to the oil and natural gas industry.

ORSI failed to file required periodic reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission for several years. In 2002, the SEC recorded the company to be administratively dissolved.

Stock certificates from Tom Reed Gold Mines Company, Sawyer Petroleum, Sawyer-Adecor, and Oil Retrieval Systems retain only collectible value.


The stories of exploration and production companies joining petroleum booms (and avoiding busts) can be found updated in Is my Old Oil Stock worth Anything? The American Oil & Gas Historical Society preserves U.S. petroleum history. Please support this AOGHS.ORG energy education website. For membership information, contact © 2018 Bruce A. Wells.


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