The Anglo-American Oil Company of Beaumont was one more than 400 speculative oil companies organized in the wake of the great discovery at Beaumont, Texas, on January 10,1901…on Spindletop Hill.
The well flowed an estimated 100,000 barrels of oil a day and changed America forever.
Thousands of investors rushed to southeastern Texas to capitalize on the petroleum boom – even as the region’s oil production skyrocketed, driving oil prices to new lows.
Confidence men became abundant during the drilling frenzy. More fortunes were lost than made at what some would later call “Swindletop.”
Originally named “The Anglo-American Oil Company of Beaumont Texas,” Anglo-American Oil was capitalized at $5 million when formed on May 1, 1901, just four months after the discovery.
U.S. Rep. Samuel B. Cooper was president. The congressman was a principal in several other companies as well.
The company filed to abbreviate “Texas” from its chartered name in November 1902. At that time, shares were being offered at 1.5 cents each and the company had brought in one producing well on Spindletop Hill with another drilling.
A principal investor in the Anglo-American Oil Company of Beaumont was the Young Ladies’ Oil Company, founded by Agnes Hageman and purported to be entirely owned and operated by women, including shareholders.
Despite its promising beginnings, Anglo-American Oil Company of Beaumont was out of business by May of 1903 and its stock declared worthless.
The company’s stock certificates were “warrants,” a hybrid between a bearer bond and a stock certificate that “is a certificate issued by the treasurer of a company saying that the bearer is the owner of so many shares of stock. It is like a check issued to bearer, and good in the hands of the man who presents it.”
Texas Rep. Cooper, after serving 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, in 1910 was appointed by President William Howard Taft to serve as a member of the Board of General Appraisers, today’s United States Court of International Trade.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2018 Bruce A. Wells.