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Harnessing the Gushers

(Galveston Daily News, February 2, 1901)

Beaumont, Texas., Feb. 1--The Beaumont Field Furnishes Little That is New, Though There is Activity--Austin Enterprise Newspaper Reporters Are Said to Run Ahead on Beaumont Oil News--Numerous Wells Started--A Few Weeks Should Develop Something Interesting--New Companies Organized.

Captain Lucas returned this morning from an absence of several days from the city, and describes it, or rather declines to give the object of his trip.

To a News reporter this morning, Captain Lucas said that there was little new concerning the oil development. He is pushing the work on his pipe line to El Vista and Port Arthur with all speed possible, and further than that he says he has nothing to give out. Iron is now being placed on the ground for a tank of 50,000 barrels, which will be constructed at Gladys City. It is calculated to furnish from this tank as soon as it is completed oil to meet the smaller demands from nearby places. Inquiries are being received daily for small quantities of oil to be used for experimental purposes, with the promise that if it is successful, it (oil) will be bought in larger quantities. The number of those inquiries indicate that there will be little difficulty in disposing of at least the product of this one well.

One of the most attractive leases which has been filed in the county was placed on record today. It is from J. C. Ward and J. F. Keith to D. R. Beatty, D. B. Henderson, and A. Templeton, and is on a tract of land containing 15 acres, located within 100 feet of the big (Lucas) well. The royalty consideration is one-half the product from the well and other private considerations. Work on the well is to begin within 15 days from the date of the lease, and already the rig is en route here and work has begun on the derrick today. If there is another well in the county which will duplicate the Lucas spouter, this one will be it.

Reports from Austin about the progress of the oil developments in Jefferson County are voluminous, and Texas papers see the least of them. Austin seems to be full of newspaper men who are sending out an unending amount of stuff about the development there which is as unreliable as it is misleading. It would be strange, indeed, if Austin correspondents would be permitted to discover that another big well had been struck in the county. Mr. J. A. Paulhamas, who was reported in from Austin this morning, had struck a well, is in the city and thinks it unneessary to deny the story, and in truth it would be unnecessary if the habit had not become obnoxious. Mr. Paulhamas has two well rigs at work in the county in what is known as the Taylor's Bayou region and has an extra rig which is now being put up.

Next week there will be perhaps as many as a dozen new wells started. Captain Lucas has the second well ready to drill now as soon as pipe arrives. The well on the lease above-noted will begin work in about ten days. Heyward Brothers began work today on a well near the Lucas gusher under a lease from the Higgins Oil Company, while Wynn and Broughton will also sink a well on the land of the Higgins Oil Company under a contract from the firm.

One of the biggest companies yet organized here is in the course of organization, and one of the largest land deals ever made here has about been settled, but is withheld from publication for a day or so. Real estate transfers are heavier today than for some time, though there were no distinctive oil trades made. There are yet some land deals to be made here which will outrank anything yet done in South Texas in point of money consideration (comp. by W. T. Block)

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