Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Houston Oil Company of Texas dating back to the 1930's. This document, which features the printed signatures of the company Vice President and Assistant Secretary, was printed by the Republic Bank Note Company and measures approximately 11 1/4" (w) by 7 1/2" (h).
The vignette features a female figure holding a wreath and torch, with a detailed oil field in the background.
In 1901, and after the discovery of oil at Spindletop, John Henry Kirby partnered with Patrick Calhoun of the Houston Oil Company of Texas. Kirby sought an unusual business relationship between his lumber company - the Kirby Lumber Company - and the oil entity. The Kirby Lumber Company would gain timber rights onto extensive east Texas land whereas the Houston Oil Company would gain land and maintain mineral rights. Several years later, legal issues would cause litigation in the Texas courts. Kirby overestimated the value of the lumber. Also, the partners failed to clearly define ownership of certain land areas. The Kirby Lumber Company still continued to prosper despite court ordered receivership status for both companies.
In 1902, Kirby took over the Higgins Oil and Fuel Company owned by Pattillo Higgins for 3 million dollars. Years later, in 1921, Kirby established the Kirby Petroleum Company, which operated as a Houston-based oil and gas exploration company.