Pattillo Higgins (Pattillo Higgins)

Pattillo Higgins

Texas Oil Pioneer. He was known as, “The prophet of Spindletop.” As a young man, he was often in trouble and wounds from one fight even caused him to lose his left arm. In 1886, he started a company in Beaumont, Texas that made bricks. He learned how some industries were using oil rather than wood as fuel and thought he might be able to use oil to make bricks less expensively. In 1892, he and partners formed the Gladys City Oil, Gas and Manufacturing Company to explore for oil at Spindletop near Beaumont. On January 10, 1901, his crew struck oil and for the next nine days pumped 900,000 barrels resulting in 200 more wells being drilled within a year. After legal and royalty suits were settled in 1902, he sold his shares for $3 million, but shrewdly retained his leasing rights on his original acreage. His next venture was to form the Higgins Standard Oil Company, which became the vehicle for subsequent explorations of Texas Gulf Coast salt-dome fields. Over the next fifty years, he continued to be a maverick in the oil and gas industry. One day he would be a millionaire and the next he would be fighting with investors for more money to continue drilling. In addition to being a self-taught geologist, he was also a draftsman, cartographer, inventor, naturalist, industrial designer, artist, engineer and a very religious man. (bio by: John “J-Cat” Griffith)


  • December, 05, 1863
  • USA


  • June, 06, 1955
  • USA


  • Mission Burial Park South
  • Texas
  • USA

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