Treasure Chest Thursday – Edgerly Petroleum Company, 1926

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 Oil Company

Bob Benoit, Jeff Alters, Ed Alters, Elmer Goodrich and Tom Fontenot


Back of Edgerly Oil Company Photo

Back of Bob Benoit’s Edgerly Petroleum Company Photo. July 5, 1926. 3-11-Crew Vincent #10.

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

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.

Elmer Goodrich

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.

Tom Fontenot

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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Comments

  1. Wow, I grew up next door to Vinton (in Sulphur) & had never heard of “Ged.” Of course, Google maps has a other few bump-in-the-road communities I also haven’t heard of in SW La. Cool! You have to visit Jennifer’s blog over at http://jennifergenealogy.blogspot.com/ — she’s a Vinton native.

  2. Great story to go along with a wonderful photo. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

    Keep these ancestor stories coming!

    Bill ;-)

    http://drbilltellsancestorstories.blogspot.com/
    Author of “13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories”

  3. Kelly C Smith says:

    I would be very interested in informaiton regarding the following -
    EDGERLY OIL, EDGERLY STATION and how they got their names? I am researching my Edgerly line and we try to follow as many branches as we can besides our direct lines. Thank you Kelly

  4. Kelly C Smith says:

    Sorry forgot to include my email – Kellyjoe7@hotmail.com again thanks.

  5. Jeff Spencer says:

    Great photo. I am the co-chairman for the upcominig Oil History Symposium to be held in Lafayette, LA April 29-May 1st. We are running a fieldtrip as part of the symposium and will be stopping near the old town of Ged. I am putting together a paper to be published in our Oil-Industry History journal about Ged. I would love to be able to include your photograph. Would certainly credit you and provide you a copy.

    Please contact me.

  6. Elmer Goodrich was the brother of my grandfather, Homer Goodrich. I have been researching my relatives and ancestry and I have in my presence the obituary about Elmer being killed in a bar. The name of the bar was LA-Tex Bar on the Old Spanish Trail. His wife was Ida Goodrich; he had a son, E. J. Goodrich and a daughter, Lorena Goodrich I will treasure the picture. Thanks, J Baker

  7. Another note about Elmer Goodrich. The obituary said he was shot and not stabbed. Also, I would like to know the names of the two men who was arrested and charged with murder in his death. Thanks, J Baker

  8. Thanks to you, I now have 3 short articles on the shooting, death and arrests of the 4 men responsible for the killing of my Uncle. Annette thanks for everything. It is truth that gives us peace even when the information is not good. I feel bad for the families of these four men and for my own family. J Baker

  9. Patricia Lyons Gorum says:

    I have been doing genealogy research on my parents families. Elmer’s brother Homer Goodrich was my dad’s great great grandfather. Can you send me the articles you have on his death and arrests of the men responsible for his death? If you need any other information please feel free to ask. Thank you! Patricia

  10. Keith Edgerly says:

    I am very interested in how the Edgerly Oil Company got its name and how the Town of Edgerly got its name. Do you have any information on Lawrence Edgerly? Is there any relationship between Lawrence Edgerly and the Town of Edgerly or the Edgerly Oil Company. My email is KeithEdgerly@cs.com.

  11. Margaret Wilson Reckling says:

    Hi, Thank you for mentioning my dad’s oil company, the Wilson-Broach Co. He just passed away yesterday and I was trying to research his notes from way back in an effort to write a proper obituary. His name was James Cooke Wilson, Jr. and he was born in Beaumont in 1920. His father, James Cooke Wilson was the youngest of the group of men who founded Humble Oil Co. Anyway, your mention of the company is the only one I have found, thus far.

  12. To: Patricia Lyons Gorum

    Send you email to swccus@yahoo.com and we will talk. My Mom was here last year and Elmer was her Uncle (brother to Homer Goodrich). She was kind enough to give me copies of information on the Goodrich family (my blood-line).

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