Oil Law
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An Oil Law Found

(Galveston Daily News, January 30, 1901)

Austin, Tex., Jan. 29--Land Commissioner Brings Up a Musty Statute, Bestowing State Ownership--Measure For Relief--May Be Necessary If It Is Found The Lucas Gusher Comes Under Classification--May Have Depressing Effect On Development Of The Oil Regions Where The Statute Applies Unless Relief Is Given.

The product of the great Lucas gusher near Beaumont may become the property of the State of Texas. State Land Commissioner Charles Rogan today staed that the free school land act passed by the State Legislalture in 1883 contains a provision that all oils and minerals found on school lands on and after the date and passage of that law shall belong to the State. At the date of the passage of that act, nearly all the lands in that section of East Texas, which is now embrced in the new oil field, belonged to the school fund and has since been sold. It is not yet definitely known whether the Lucas gusher is situated on land that formerly belonged to the school fund, and has been sold since the passage of the Act of 1883.

An investigation with the view of determinging that fact is now in progress, and if it is found that the product of the Lucas well is state property, steps may be taken to give the owners thereof relief. It is unlikely that the state would attempt to assert ownership of the oil from this or any other well. The discovery that a big portion of the prospective oil lands of East Texas formerly belonged to the school fund have been sold since the passage of that Act of 1883 may have a depressing effect on the oil development work in that region unless the provision embraced in that act is repealed without delay. The matter will probably be called to the attention of the Legislature with a view of receiving the repeal of this provision.

The State still owns large tracts of land in the prospective oil region of East Texas, and the State Land Office is being overwhelmed with applications from parties who desire to purchase or lease such lands. The application are being acted upon as rapidly as possible, and under the law, no increase in the price of these lands can be made by the land Commissioner.

The charter of the Beaumont Geyser Oil Company of Beaumont, with a capital stock of $1,000,000, was filed in the Secretary of State's office today. Its purpose is to construct and operate oil and gas pipelines, storage tanks, etc. The incorporators are W. S.Goodell and W. W. Slocum of Des Moines, Iowa; M. M.Richardson of Oklahoma, City, O.T.; F. W. Smith of Houston; and L.W. Campbell of Waco. (Compiled by W.T. Block)

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