Old Oil Stocks in progress H
Chances are people seeking financial information here at Old Oil Stocks in progress H will not find lost riches – see Not a Millionaire from Old Oil Stock.
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
The 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
Wyoming’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.
Home Petroleum Company
Until the 1950s, decades of drilling in the state of Washington ended without finding commercial quantities of oil or natural gas. Home Petroleum Company was among many highly speculative ventures formed to strike oil (see Sound Cities Gas & Oil Company and Pelican Petroleum Company). Home Petroleum drilled exploratory two wells near Blaine in Whatcom County by the Canadian border in May and November 1930.
The first Home Petroleum attempt, the Birch Bay No. 1 well, reportedly encountered showings of natural gas twice before reaching just 268 feet deep, but not enough to warrant the further expense of drilling deeper. The company moved to a second location in the adjacent section and began again in November. The Home No. 1 well reached to a depth of 650 feet, but also failed to find petroleum.
Although major oil companies like Continental and Shell Oil also drilled in Washington, the state’s first and only commercial oil well did not arrive until 1957. “About 600 gas and oil wells have been drilled in Washington, but large-scale commercial production has never occurred,” reported the Commissioner of Public Lands in 2010. “The most recent production, which was from the Ocean City Gas and Oil Field west of Hoquiam, ceased in 1962, and no oil or gas have been produced since that time.”
Horse Shoe Four Leaf Mining & Oil Company
Few records remain for the Horse Shoe Four Leaf Mining & Oil Company. The venture was incorporated in Arizona in 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. But the United States Investor reported in 1911 there was no market for the stock; the unlucky Horse Shoe Four Leaf Mining and Oil Company was more likely a stock scam.
Horse Shoe Oil Company
Horse Shoe Oil Company of Galveston, Texas, was one more than 400 speculative petroleum exploration companies organized in the wake of the great oil discovery at Beaumont, Texas, on January 10,1901. The “Lucas Gusher” at Spindletop Hill flowed an estimated 100,000 barrels of oil a day and changed America forever. Entrepreneurs, investors, and speculators rushed to southeastern Texas to capitalize on the boom as the region’s oil production skyrocketed and oversupply drove oil prices to new lows.
Confidence men also joined the drilling frenzy as legitimate companies explored other nearby fields (See Sour Lake produces Texaco). For unwary investors, more fortunes were lost than made at what some would later call “Swindletop.” Before the end of 1901, Horse Shoe Oil Company incorporated and capitalization of $250,000. Its purpose was “prospecting for petroleum.”
By March 1902, Horse Shoe Oil promotions appeared distant newspapers, competing with other companies to lure investors ostensibly to finance drilling operations (also see Beaumont Confederated Oil & Pipe Line Company and Iowa-Beaumont Oil Company). As far away as Michigan, a Horse Shoe Oil advertisement in the Ironwood Times declared, “Guaranteed Gusher, Guaranteed Dividend, Free Transportation!” With company stock offered at just 10 cents per share, the ad enticed investors by offering a free round-trip railroad ticket from Galveston to Beaumont (with refundable $500 deposit).
In Iowa, the Oelwein Register reported that Mr. A. B. Wood, Horse Shoe Oil’s secretary and general manager, had returned from an extended trip in Western Missouri and North Texas. “The people in those sections are looking with much more favor upon the Southeast Texas oil fields than they every did before,” the publication proclaimed, adding that “most of them who have money are now perfectly willing to buy stocks in the oil companies here if they know upon good authority that the men behind the companies offering their stocks are substantial citizens and men of business ability.”
Horse Shoe Oil promotions were repeated in a March 28, 1902, Norman (Oklahoma) Democrat editorial. In August, continuing stock sales efforts were in the pages of the Houston Daily Post. These deceptive practices would prompt states to pass what became known as “blue-sky” laws designed to protect investors. But a massive fire brought the end to the Horseshoe Oil Company.
In September 1902, the New York Times reported losses between $75,000 to $250,000, but no loss of life in the destructive Beaumont oilfield fire. “The fire was started by the carelessness of a workman, whose name has not yet been ascertained. He went with a lighted lantern into a tank which was partially filled with oil, and there was an explosion of gas which ignited the oil. The man escaped, though he is badly burned.”
The Engineering and Mining Journal reported, “Beaumont Oil Field – about 25 derricks and 15 pumping outfits and settling tanks were destroyed. Among other losers are…Horseshoe Oil Company.” Adding to the disaster: “Salt water is steadily increasing in the wells.” The impact of the fire on Horse Shoe Oil was apparent in December, when the Journal reported, “Beaumont Oil Field – The Texas Company has entered suits for large sums against the Saco Oil and Pipeline Company and the Horseshoe (sic) Oil Company for non-delivery of contract oil.” By May 1903, the unlucky oil company had lost its charter to do business in Texas for failure to pay taxes. Investors lost their money and were left with certificates today valued only as collectibles.
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.
The American Oil & Gas Historical Society preserves U.S. petroleum history. Support this AOGHS.ORG energy education website with a contribution today. For membership information, contact email@example.com. © 2018 Bruce A. Wells.