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Beaumont Oil Report

(Galveston Daily News, January 30, 1901)

Beaumont, Tex., Jan. 29--A Number of Leases Filed For Record--Inquiries For Oil.

There are an unusually large number of leases placed on record in the County Clerk's office today, and some very valuable land was included in the leases. W. H. Staley secured leases on 765 acres northwest of this city a few miles. He pays one-eighth royalty, and is to begin operations at once. C. J. Eastman records a lease of 1,000 acres on Pine Island Bayou, paying a one-eighth royalty on all oil found, and contracts to begin sinking wells within six months. John B. Slaughter and Robert B. Masterson of Fort Worth leased 30 acres in what is known as the John A. Veatch league near the Lucas well. They pay one-eighth royalty and $400 for the lease and contract to begin operations within one year. L. L. Emery of this city filed today three leases on property aggregating 14,560 acres in this county. These leases were made over a year ago, however, and are some of the large leases which Mr. Emery has been making for several years past.

The situation in general is little changed today, except that it is perhaps more favorable to the transaction of business. Visitors in the city are kept busy investigating lands, talking with owners, and making an occasional lease or purchasing small tracts of land.

There are several gentlemen in the city today to see Messrs. Galey and Lucas with regard to purchasing the crude oil from the big well. These gentlemen want to buy a few cars for experimental purposes and also to close a contract for more if it is found satisfactory. Inquiries are being received here daily from all over Texas, asking for prices on from one to 100 tank cars of the oil. Many are asking for information as to how to burn it and the expense attached in preparing the furnaces (boilers). It is understood that a burner can be applied to the furnace and oil used for fuel with a possible outlay of from $15 to $25, and that, too, without deranging (rearranging) the furnace so that it may at a moment's notice be again changed to coal or a wood burner.

There are many reports in circulation in the Northern papers which are calculated to do this country a great injustice. A clipping from a New York paper was received here today from a prominent man in New York. The clipping was an interview from a Pennsylkvania oil man who had been here (visiting). He said the oil here was of a very inferior grade, and that the attitude of the land owners was so averse (adverse) to outside capitalists investing (in the field) that the field would not be properly developed, and that it was impossible to make leases here. The writer of the letter said that he considered it the highest compliment the oil man could have paid the oil, and the future of the field, because it showed that the man was disappointed in not securing leases and property here at figures that would have profited him alone.

On that line, a New York oil man, who has been in this city for a week or more, said last night to The (Galv.) News correspondent that he considered the people here to be very reasonable. He found the land owners here much more reasonable to deal with than (those) in the Pennsylvania and Ohio oil fields. "I find," said the gentleman, "that conditions are rapidly tending toward development, and after thoroughly investigating here, I do not fear to say that this will be a large and profitable oil field. One can not expect the land owners here to sell out for nothing; neither can they be expected to lease to every individual who comes along. I found little difficulty in securing lands if I wanted to purchase. The only mistake the majority of the people make is that they are inclined to sell rather than lease. I would advise them to lease to parties who they know will develop the land and give a fair test for oil.

Little has been heard of the Standard Oil Company's representatives during the past few days. A gentleman told the News correspondent today that he believed they were making a number of leases through individuals all over the county. But, of course, it is impossible to determine this matter. The Higgins Oil Company told an interesting meeting last night to decide upon plans for sinking wells and had practically closed a contract for a couple of wells, but this deal was not consumated. They will, however, begin work at an early date. (compiled by W.T. Block)

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