Five men, covered in oil, stand on a drilling platform. A moment frozen in time in Ged, Louisiana. Their names, as well as “3-11-Crew Vincent #10,” are written on the back of this photo taken on 5 July 1926. This photo is my entry for today’s Treasure Chest Thursday.
Edgerly Petroleum Company
With the discovery of oil in Beaumont in 1901, the oil boom was in full swing in this section of the country by the time the Edgerly Petroleum Company filed their Charter on 22 March 1915. Organized with $10,000 in capital stock, the original stockholders were Sloan A. Emerson (President), Lastie Vincent (Vice-President), and J.G. Sutton (Secretary-Treasurer), all of Vinton in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.
The company was one of several companies drilling in the Ged fields, located a few miles west of Vinton. Other companies drilling there were Gulf, the Texas Company, Vinton Petroleum Company, the Siess Oil Syndicate, Wilson and Broach, G.B. & F. and Marrs McLean.
On 09 July 1925, the Lake Charles newspaper wrote, “The growth of the Edgerly Oil Company has been phenomenal under the management of Mr. [Sloan] Emerson. It has climbed from a very small concern up to a most influential position in the oil world as an independent operator. It now has wells in both Louisiana and Texas and is believed to have a very successful future before it.”
Sloan A. Emerson
Sloan Emerson was no stranger to the oil business when he and the others started the Edgerly Petroleum Company. In May of 1910, Emerson was responsible for the first gusher in Calcasieu Parish — the Sabine 99, Sam Johnson No. 1, of the Texas Company, known then as the “Producer’s Oil Company.” Emerson and the Edgerly Petroleum Company would continue to bring in gushers in the Ged fields in the 1920s.
The Crew of Vincent #10
Countless hours were spent repairing the brittle and badly damaged photo. As the hours passed, I found myself wanting to know more about the five men frozen in time. Finding that information, however, proved to be a challenge. Following is what little information I did find:
Bob Benoit’s father Murphy Benoit was my maternal grandfather Willie Benoit’s older brother. Even though I have in my treasure chest of photos several photo albums that originally belonged to Bob, I know little about him.
Jeff Alters and Ed Alters
What was their relationship? Were they brothers? I was able to find some information about Ed Alters in the Lake Charles American Press. An article about Ged dated 04 January 1918, states, “The Lyons Gulf Coast Co. is drilling deeper in its Vincent No. 6, with Red Bolton and Ed Alters, drillers.” Other similar articles demonstrate that Ed was an experienced driller by the time he posed for this photo on Vincent No. 10.
In the Lake Charles American Press, I found several mentions of an Elmer Goodrich in the Vinton-Ged area. I will assume it is the same man as in the photo. The first reference was written on 9 October 1917. Elmer Goodrich was one of 13 people “baptized and received into the fellowship of the Ged Baptist Church.” I was then saddened to find that Elmer died a tragic death after being stabbed by two men on 28 February 1937, in a roadhouse on the Old Spanish Trail near Orange, Texas, where he worked as a bartender.
A 53-year-old Hackberry merchant named Tom Fontenot died of a heart attack in March of 1938. Was this the same Tom Fontenot as in the photo?
Treasure Chest Thursday
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