Francis White Johnson.

A history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) online

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his wife and two sons in 1847, locating in Wood county.
He was a prominent farmer and stock raiser in the
early days and built up through honest labor and good
management an estate which was one of the largest in
that section. It is said that he cleared more land
than any other resident of Wood county, having opened
and put in cultivation fifteen hundred acres. Before
the war he operated this plantation with the aid of a
large number of slaves and more cotton, grain and
stock was produced on his farm than by any other in-
dividual in the county. During the Civil war he en-
listed under Captain Dick Hubbard, and spent three
years in the service, being flag-bearer during the last
two years. His death occurred January 1, 1904, at the
age of seventy-six. He was a Democrat in politics and
very active in civic affairs. His church was the Bap-
tist. He married Mary Garrett, who was born in Geor-
gia, and they were married in that state in 1856. In
crossing the country to Texas they drove teams of oxen
and horses, making the trip in true pioneer fashion. The
mother is now living at the good old age of seventy-nine,
hale and hearty, her home being at the old place in
Wood county. Four sons and four daughters blessed
their union and four sons and one daughter are still liv-
ing. Andrew J. was one of twin brothers, the other
being Charles Day.

He received his early education in the schools of Wood
county and supplemented that training with a course
in the National Normal University of Lebanon, Ohio,
and also one year in college in Hunt county, Texas. His
early life, aside from his schooling, was spent on a
farm, and at the age of twenty-one he began teaching,
following that vocation in Wood county for three years.
During one year of this time he was president of the
Board of Examiners. In March, 1890, Mr. Lipscomb
came out to the Panhandle country, at a time when
settlement was very sparse and no development had oc-
curred, except in the ranching and stock raising busi-
ness. He located in Deaf Smith county, where he
acquired a large range for his cattle, and operated as
a stockman on a large scale. He at one time had eight
sections of land in his pastures, and ran about five
hundred head of stock. After some years he sold out
his stock interests and ranch and moved into Hereford,
since which time he has been one of the most active
factors in business and banking. He was one of the
organizers of the First National Bank, of which he was
a stock holder and director. He also established a coal,
grain and lumber business, remaining in the latter
branch of trade for two years. After that he invested
and took considerable part in the management of the
Hereford Mercantile Company, and was with that busi-
ness until 1908. His interests then became allied with
the Western National Bank, and a year later he was
made cashier of this bank, an office which he has held
to the present time, and he is practical manager of the
institution, which is one of the strongest in the Pan-

Although he has never filled an office and sought no

public distinction, Mr. Lipscomb is one of the active
workers in the Democratic ranks in his home district.
He is affiliated with the Masonic Order, including the
Eoyal Arch Chapter and also with the Independent
Order of Odd Fellows, the Woodmen of the World and
the Knifihts nf Pythias. He is an elder and treas-
urer of thr I'li^t I'lvsliyteriau church of Hereford.

Mr. Liii-r,,i]ili \\;i^ liist married in Wood county to
Miss Allic li. (iiwr, who was born in Texas, a daugh-
ter of Walter Greer, who during his youth had been
a companion and close friend of Mr. Lipscomb's father,
and who also served in the Civil war. Walter Greer
took up his residence in Texas and died soon after the
war. Mrs. Lipscomb passed away August 18, 1897, in
Deaf Smith county, while living on a ranch about five
miles northwest of Hereford. The three sons of their
marriage were: Walter David, who died at the age
of two years; James E., born in Wood county; and
WiUiam Andrew, also a native of Wood county. The
second marriage of Mr. Lipscomb occurred July 17,
1907, to Miss Alma Carloek, who was born in Missouri,
a daughter of E. W. Carloek.

Haymon Kbxjpp. A business career of unusual suc-
cess and achievements has been that of Haymon Krupp,
now proprietor of an extensive wholesale merchandise
business in El Paso. When little more than a boy and
with only two years' experience in an American store,
Mr. Krupp came to El Paso in 1890 and six months after
his arrival had established a retail store. He was a
business builder from the start, acquired a first class
trade, and in a short time had two establishments in
prosperous operation. With the expansion of the busi-
ness in 1910 he finally turned his attention to exclusive
wholesale lines, and now handles a complete linrf of
men's goods, clothing, hats, shoes, notions, and has a
trade extending to retail stores throughout west Texas,
New Mexico, Arizona, and old Mexico.

Haymon Krupp was born in Eussia March 14, 1875,
the youngest of fourteen children born to Abraham
and Maloiio Krupp. Of the large family of children,
five are now living in the United States, and three in
Europe. Mr. Krupp attained his early education in
the public schools of Eussia, and at the age of fifteen
crossed the Atlantic to New York City, where he re-
mained for two years, and clerked in a mercantile house
in that city. At the conclusion of that experience he
came to El Paso where he has been a resident ever

In New York City, April 11, 1899, Mr. Krupp mar-
ried Miss Leah Silverman, daughter of S. Silverman of
New York City. Their three children are Birdie, Bern-
hard and Paula. Mr. Krupp is aflSliated with Masonry
from the Blue Lodge to the thirty-second degree of
Scottish Eite, including the Mystic Shrine, is also a
member of the Elks, the Knights of Pythias, the
Knights of Maccabees, and other social and fraternal
organizations. He is independent in politics, takes an
active interest in civic affairs, and it is his belief that
every man owes a duty to his country to the extent
of casting a well reasoned vote. He has several times
refused official honors. Mr. Krupp says that he is well
acquainted by travel and observation with many cities
and states, but to his mind Texas fills more desires
and needs of the average man, and in a more satis-
factory manner than any other state in the Union. He
is an enthusiastic advocate of the splendid resources,
the territorial extent and the high class citizenship to
be found in the Lone Star State. He is a successful
man, and with his success has also combined a disposi-
tion to give liberally to all enterprises for the public

Pattillo Higgins. It will hardly be disputed that no
industry in recent years has wrought so munificently In
the best interests of the great state of Texas along lines



of development as has the oil industry of the different
proven oil fields of the state. Developmente in such
fields as have thus far been exploited successfully have
brought millions of dollars into the state, created a
multitude of new industries and attracted the attention
of the world at large to this hitherto scarce known
portion of the country. When new industries are
brought into being, among those men who gain prom-
inence and fortune in the enterprise one man will usu-
ally be found who, by reason of the nature of his activi-
ties and of his relation to the enterprise, will inevitably
stand forth as the human agency most responsible for
the success of the project. It is here that Pattillo
Higgins enters as the original locator and discoverer of
the great Beaumont oil field, the development of which
soon led to the exploiting of other petroleum fields in
the state, and he stands today as the accredited pioneer
in the industry and as one whose word is indisputable
authority when the merits and demerits of any partic-
ular suspected oil field is up for consideration.

Mr. Higgins might well be termed the Wizard of the
Wells, for he has, according to all accredited reports,
never yet failed in his prognostication concerning the
success or failure of any projected oil enterprise where-
on his opinion has been given, despite the unhappy fact
that his endeavors to open the Beaumont field was for
years retarded by the opinions of geological experts
who brought to bear their scientific knowledge in con-
tradiction to the less accredited but more accurate
knowledge of a student of signs in Nature. For Mr.
Higgins for years devoted his time to the study of
surface conditions of the Beaumont field and when he
attempted to open the field he knew to a certainty
what would be found as a result of his work.

In a most interesting and altogether comprehensive
little brochure published under the title, "History of
Oil in the Gulf Coast Country of Texas and Louisiana, ' '
Mr. Higgins has stated facts that are incontrovertible
in the light of the miraculous developments in oil in
recent years. He may with all propriety be quoted
briefly from this little booklet, and the following
sentences are offered as giving some light upon the
methods and ideas of the man in his capacity as devel-
oper and ex-ploiter. He says in part : ' ' With me the
oil business has been second nature by reason of my
close association with it for many years, or since the
opening of the Great Gusher pool at Beaumont. For
that reason I feel competent to advance any theory I
may have relative to the location of oil pools in unde-
veloped sections. I began at the bottom, picking iip
stray indications of nature here and there, and having
seen them demonstrated time and again, I believe I am
in a position to know, and that is the reason why I have
the hardihood to submit to the public this history of oil
development in the Gulf Coast Country.

' ' I have been one of the closest observers of this
development. In fact, I have always been with the ad-
vance guard of pioneers and I know that no element of
chance need enter into the development of the future
great oil fields.

"This story of the oil discoveries is not intended to
show the statistical side of the production, but is in-
tended to prove that every field brought in or every
condition encountered in past years only went to sub-
stantiate my theory — the theory that has since become
a science — that there are surface indications of all great
pools of oil. This I have contended for years. The
theories I have advanced have not been received with
open arms and I have been forced to prove them at my
own expense, but they have been proved, nevertheless.
I have surmounted every obstacle and made it patent
to men who know something of the oil business that
there is a real, true science in locating oil fields. My
record in the greatest fields in the Gulf Coast Country
is incontrovertible evidence in support of my theories as
to surface indications."

And indeed, Mr. Higgins' record has been one of
which he may well be proud. For the movements he
has set in in the development of the Gulf Coast Oil Coun-
try of Texas and Louisiana have been productive of
enormous wealth and revived all classes of industry in
the entire southwest. Prior to the discovery of oil in the
Gulf Coast Country practically aU manner of business
was at a standstill. The discoveries attendant upon
Mr. Higgins' activities have so advertised this section
that millions of dollars have poured into the state for
investment in all spheres of legitimate business activity,
ilany of these millions have been spent in the excellent
nork of building, equipping and standardizing rail-
roads, as well as in erecting for them suitable and nec-
essary depots, stations, office buildings and shops. New
banks and trust companies have entered the field, well
organized and with splendid backing, and those already
existing have so far increased their capitalization as to
permit them to keep pace with the tremendous financial
progress of the day. Building and construction com-
panies of every order have made rapid strides forward
and the many substantial skyscrapers of both Houston
and Beaumont bear eloquent testimony to the profits
made in oil in the past ten years. All classes of lands
have increased in value as the various oil fields have
been developed and agriculture has received such an
impetus as was never before known in this section.

The coming of oil brought in the day of the million
dollar concern in Texas, where prior to that time the
company that had a capital of a hundred thousand
dollars was indeed a rarity. Millions have been ex-
pended in the oil fields in the building of oil refineries
and pipe lines and the capital of even the smaller oil
companies will aggregate millions. Enormous civic im-
provements, county roads and immense drainage projects
that have been successfully consummated in recent years
may all be attributed directly to the advancement and
activity subsequent to the development of the oil fields
of Texas. And it is the belief and opinion of such
men as Pattillo Higgins that the industry in this state
is vet in its infancv.

in his booklet. "The History of Oil," Mr. Higgins
sets forth his reasons for carrying his investigations
into any specified field in search of oil. He claims that
there are ever existant on the surface of any productive
field four infallible signs that wiU warrant any expend-
iture in the opening up of that field, for the results will
be sure and unfailing. He claims that these signs have
been present in every Texas oil field thus far, and that
he has detected them in many tracts of land as yet un-
suspected, but destined to yield up their wealth when
the time comes. The presence of these infallible signs
induced his untiring efforts to open up the Beaumont
fields, with what results the whole world is today more
or less cognizant.

It was on August 24, 1892, that Mr. Higgins definitely
engaged in the oil business, though he had devoted much
of his time to the study of conditions in the Beaumont
field before he made 'any open move along lines of
development. At that time he organized the Gladys
City Oil, Gas and Manufacturing Company at Beau-
mont, under the laws of the state, with an authorized
capital stock of $200,000. This was the first oil com-
pany incorporated in the state of Texas— a fact worthy
of mention in the light of subsequent developments. It
was the intention of Mr. Higgins to interest a goodly
number of responsible Beaumont men in the enterprise
in order to raise ample funds for the purpose of puchas-
ing desirable lands and making needed improvements.
He met with the usual disappointment of the man who,
without capital of his own, endeavors to enlist the sym-
pathies of men of means in an enterprise that has not
yet been proven, and the result was that only a com-
parative few of those solicited could be induced to come
in with him. It is significant of the lack of doubt that
was in Mr. Higgins' mind as to the ultimate success of



(lie enterprise that lie was iu no wise discourageJ at
the lack of enthusiasm he met, but went ahead with the
work with the means he was able to eomraand. JIueh
of the failure he experienced in gaining the ear of the
investing public resulted from the interference of the
State Geological Department, who on hearing of the
enterprise sent one of its experts to investigate the field.
His report was distinctly adverse and newspaj.iT articles
over his signature did not tend to stimulate faith in
Mr. Higgins and his work. The first well contractor he
secured threw up the work after failure to encounter oil
at three hundred feet, but ;Mr. Higgins finally succeeded
in making a contract with Captain A. F. Lucas to enter
the field, and the work was begun in gehuine earnest in
1900, and on January 10, 1901, the first of the Texas
oil gushers, later known as the Lucas well, was brought

In 1901 Mr. Higgins organized th.- ITi - ins f)il and
Fuel Company, operating at .iii.l iii I'.iU he
organized the' Gulf Coast Oil Conl|l;(ll^ of Il..n-tiin, of
which he is president and general . Tliis ,nni
pany is now developing new fields in 'I'.x;!^ .nhl . on
trols lands that have hitherto been uii-ns|.,', tr,| ..( ImM.-n
wealth of this nature but which will, it' Mi. Ili-yiii>'
prophecy does not fail, produce maiiv mine uiillinns to
the people of Texas. In the light oif past and present
successes, it would seem that there is no great ilanger
that his promises of profitable development of these
lands should not materialize.

Mr. Higgins is an undoubted authority on the subject
of oil. and in his History of Oil a number of pages
are devoted to an inteuselv interesting article entitled
"The Great Basin, and Hnw Oil Was Formed in the
Gulf Coast Country of Texas and Louisiana." In this
article he has combined a knowledge of what he terms
"textbook science" with the observations of a natu-
rally scientific mind after years of close and careful
study of surface and other indications, and the result
is most interesting and convincing. Certain it is that
he has employed his knowledge to excellent purpose and
to the undying good of the state in the last decade, with
promise of much more to follow along similar lines.

Concerning the birth and parentage of :\rr, Higgins,
it may be said that he was born in lUiiiiinoiit, Toxas, in
1863, 'and he is the son of Eichard .1. iml ^mnli i Ray)
Higgins. His father was a mechaim l,\'. who
came to Texas from Georgia in the year l.^-jS and settled
at Sabine Pass. Later he moved to Beaumont, and there
he died in 1891. The mother of Mr. Higgins lived until
190.5, and witnessed the first years of her son's phenom-
enal success.

As a boy Mr. Higgins enjoyed but a meagre season
of schooling and when a mere youth went to work for
a sawmill company. In 1884 he engaged independ-
ently in the timber business, and it was while thus en-
gaged that he began to develop an interest in geology
as applied to conditions in his district. For some years
he devoted his every spare moment to the study of
petroleum, oil and gas and all surface indications there-
of, so that when he entered definitely into the oil enter-
prise he did so well equipped as a "result of his study
of the subject, bringing to bear the wisdom of a scientist
■with the skiU of a mechanic upon his activities in devel-
opment work.

The development work now under way by Mr. Higgins
and his company is highly endorsed by men of unim-
peachable standing in Beaumont and Houston, and he
has in his possession a number of letters bearing testi-
mony to his standing and responsibility as an oil expert
by men who are of most excellent standing in financial
and industrial circles in the south. Among them might
be mentioned .1. S. Eice, president Union National Bank
of Houston ; S. F. Carter, president Lumberman 's Na-
tional Bank of Houston; Sam Park, president American
Lumber Company of Houston; H. P. Attwater, indus-
trial agent, the Sunset Eoute, of Houston ; Daniel E.

Garrett, Congressman at large for Texas, of Houston ;
B. B. Gilmer, president of the Chamber of Commerce
of Houston ; W. G. Van "Sleek, vice president and gen-
eral manager Sunset-Central Lines, of Houston; W. S.
Davidson, president First National Bank of Beaumont;
B. E. Norvell, president Aiiierii-an National Bank of
Beaumont; and E. A. FlifilnM, mnviir of Beaumont.

The press of Texas Inis iiiit \\iihheld its meed of
recognition and apprpciatiini nl the activities of Mr.
Higgins in the oil fiehls and lie is evervwhere accredited

by the press as
present enterprise
Mr. Higgins Iia
ment of press rli]
Texas and Lom


iginator and founder of the

Ic'il au interesting little assort-

< l.ii\o to the oil enterprise in
: lies under which they ap-

I' "lis of Houston, Beaumont

< :Uij= and many of them are
of especial interest in their mention of him and his
work. One of them -appears under the heading of
"Pattillo Higgins Views" in the February 2nd issue
of the Beaumont Daily .lournal, and is here offered in
I ,ir- ,i< a comprehensive and pertinent commentary upon
ilin sianding of the man in oil circles of the state:
'■i'attiUo Higgins, the well known oil man of Houston,
spent yesterday in the city. Mr. Higgins states that
his drilling operations in the Hockley field are progre'ss-
ing satisfactorily, and he is arranging to sink two new
wells in the field. Mr. Higgins has the utmost confi-
dence in his ability to bring in a good field at Hockley
and he proposes to stay with the drilling until he has
accomplished this result.

"Mr. Higgins differs from the opinion of Mr. C. H.
Markham, general manager of the J. M. Guffey Petro-
leum-Company, contained in an interview recently given
out by Mr. Markham at San Antonio, that the oil fields
of Texas were gradually playing out, and that a durable
production was no longer expected. In combating this
opinion Mr. Higgins said : ' Texas is only in its infancy
in the oil business. Many large gushers will be devel-
oped in the coast country of Texas, and some of the
new fields will surpass any that have so far been devel-
oped, and will surprise the world. In my opinion, other
sections of the state will be developed into great paying
oil fields at some future day.

" 'There is no reason for consumers of crude oil to
fear the fuel problem. Nature has put great quantities
of fuel right at our doors and the supply will not be
exhausted. This will insure a perennial supply of oil at
much lower prices than are now being paid. '

•' ' Mr. Higgins, it will be remembered, was the first
to forecast the existence of the great oil pools in the
coast country of Texas, and his predictions were
ridiculed at the time by wise men and oil experts, the
latter making positive statements that oil could not
exist in the deposits and formation of the coast country
of Texas. Mr. Higgins has devoted his life to the quest
of oil fields and in the face of conditions and obstacles
which would have discouraged the average man, he has
continued to test his theories. He says that Texas is
peculiarly favored and that enormous wealth exists in
the bowels of the earth in the form of oil fields, which
time and enterprise will bring to light."

It is worthy of mention, in the light of the foregoing
statements appearing in the press as long ago as the
year 1907, that since the appearance of this article five
enormously rich and productive oil fields have been
brought in, four of them being in Texas and one in
Louisiana, and most of which Mr. Higgins foretold the
existence of and aided in their development. In the
face of such a record, it is small wonder that Mr.
Higgins enjoys so solid a reputation in reputable circles
of his native state, and the state is distinctly to be
congratulated on the possession of a man who had the
foresight and knowledge of nature to bring into being
the present industrial conditions that have resulted from
his activities in his chosen field.



Mr. Higgins, who resides at 2208 Crawford street,
was married in 1906 to Miss Annie Higgins, of Houston,
and to them have been born two children—Gladys Hig-
gins and Pattillo Higgins, Jr. He and his wife are
members of the Baptist church.

David E. Gass. The men who give of their energy,
skill, ambitious vigor and enthusiasm to the building up
of a community are the benefactors of humanity, and
their names cannot be held in too high esteem. In
every undertaking which is to prove successful there
must be a logical beginning, and the man who lays
the foundations of what afterwards may become a
large and flourishing city, must have the courage of his
convictions, and an unlimited faith in the future of
the location which he selects as the scene of his en-
deavors. David E. Gass, on first coming to Xorthwest-
ern Texas, was a man whose keen mind and boundless
enthusiasm allowed him to look far beyond the narrow
horizon of his day and to easily read the signs of a
dawning tomorrow. To him belongs the honor of being
one of the founders of the city of Hereford, for some
years known also as Blue Water, and the results of his
planning, his sacrifices and his work of development live
today and will as long as civilization lasts, for he built
upon the solid foundation of merit, honesty and faith in
humanity. He is still engaged in business here, and oc-
cupies the first store built in the city.

Mr. Gass is a Texan and was born in Collin county,

Online LibraryFrancis White JohnsonA history of Texas and Texans (Volume 4) → online text (page 127 of 177)