Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History

William R. Thomas Papers

Manuscript Collection: MC045

Collection Summary

Creator: Thomas, William R.
Title: William R. Thomas papers
Dates: 1912-1934
Abstract: Correspondence, financial documents, and legal documents shed light on the personal and business interests of William R. Thomas, involved in the oil and natural gas business in Texas and Mexico, in the second and third decades of the 20th century.
Identification: MC045
Quantity: .2 linear feet
Language: Materials are in English and Spanish.
Repository: Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, San Jacinto Museum of History, La Porte, Texas

Creator Sketch

Little is known about William R. Thomas who was employed by the Producers Oil Company of Houston, Texas, in 1914 where he worked in the General Support Department. In 1923, Thomas was an employee of The Texas Company where at one point he was stationed in California.

Scope and Content Note

The William R. Thomas Papers are divided into two groups: Business Papers and Personal Papers. The Business Papers of William R. Thomas are comprised of correspondence, financial and legal documents, surveyor’s reports and Photostats. Correspondence is organized by the recipient and date; those recipients with only a single letter are grouped together in general correspondence. These letters are comprised of both the original documents on company letterheads, telegrams and contemporary typed copies of original letters. The Miguel P. Cullinan correspondence is comprised of eight letters dating from 1913 to 1923, pertaining to oil leases for his acreage along the Mexico border. Cullinan’s correspondents represent the following companies: the Producers Oil Company, The Texas Company, and the Border Gas Company. Other correspondence (1914-1923) concerns oil leases in Mexico and the oil industry; correspondents include William D. Bates, A. H. Culver, M. P. Cullinan, T. J. Donoghue, D, Gonzales Jr., L. A. Graham, R. C. Holmes, Burt E. Hull, A. C. Hunter, H. J. Lockhart, D. J. Moran, B. Simxox, William R. Thomas, Joe H. Thompson, and Eldon Young.

Financial documents date from 1912 to 1914 and include expenses, inventories, a list of employees, a log, and receipts. Seven documents state the expenses of F. Vizcaya who was involved with researching the Cullinan leases. Inventories are a 1914 Sour Lake Warehouse list of materials available to transfer and an undated listing of items in first class condition by the Reiter & Lewis and Moutray Oil Company. A 1914 list of employees for the Producer’s Oil Company of Houston, Texas includes William R. Thomas. An undated driller’s log from the J. R. Farmer Lease in Fort Bend County, Texas was made by the Allied Minerals Corporation. Two receipts for Miguel P. Cullinan, written in Spanish, are dated 1912-1913. 22 financial receipts for the Producers Oil Company include items delivered from companies such as: Humble Iron Works, Thomson & Hillyer, Bender & Sons, and Sour Lake Drug Company. Four receipts for purchases made by the Producers Oil Company in August of 1914 to various companies locally: the Vinton District, Markham District and the Wild Cat Districts.

Legal documents are comprised of three items dating from 1927 to 1933. There are two contracts for oil leases; the first is dated in 1933 and is issued to W. R. Thomas, of Harris County, Texas, and the second contract is an undated lease issued to the Texas Company for land located in Brazoria County belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Cad Jordan. Also included are the detailed lists of five separate oil leases which were grouped together in a ledger pertaining to the Moutray Oil Company of Abilene, Texas.

The surveyor’s reports series is comprised of documents pertaining to specific areas of land, including correspondence, field notes, sketches and geological reports. Correspondence is comprised of three letters dating from 1923 to 1925 which detail specific tracts of land. The 1923 letter from E. H. Smith to William R. Thomas refers to the Cad Jordan tract of land. There is a 1925 letter from W. V. Bowles to F. C. Sealey regarding an overview of a survey of an area in the Sol Barnes League, Guadalupe County, Texas. The 1925 letter to William R. Thomas from C. R. Tyrrell concerns a map and geological report on an area near Del Rio, Val Verde County, Texas. Enclosures mentioned in these letters were not found amongst the papers. Included in this series are the field notes conducted by surveyor T. A. Munson of the Lake Jackson Plantation. There are three undated sketches included in these papers. The first sketch is of land owned by the Jeff Connolly Est., J. D. Rains, J. D. Chapman and Ann Miller; the second sketch is drawn on The Clegg Company letterhead, of San Antonio, Texas, and shows four tracts of land with the names John Armstrong and TWC featured. The third sketch provides a detailed colored map of the M. P. Cullinan properties in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Seven geological reports date from 1923 to 1934. The 1923 geological report by Phillip Maverick includes correspondence with Burt E. Hull and Alan Bruyers, of the Texas Company, and is noted as the final report on the M. P. Cullinan lands. Other reports are on the Richard Bibb League, the Brushy Creek Fault Area and the J. Oaken Survey in Gonzales, Texas, an area in south-central Edwards County, Texas, and an area in Anderson County, Texas.

The Photostat series is comprised of a single undated oil lease issued to the Duval County Ranch Company by the State of Texas

The Personal Papers of William R. Thomas is comprised of correspondence, financial and legal documents, dating from 1918 to 1934. An undated 3-page letter with original envelope written to William R. Thomas from an unidentified woman is included in these personal papers. The letter inquires as to where he has been and is signed, “Love and Kisses.”

Financial documents consist of tax information, an insurance policy, and a bank deposit receipt. There is a 1918 individual income tax worksheet and a 1925 Income Tax return for the year 1924 which includes income notes handwritten by Thomas on “Commercial Telegram” letterhead. A 1918 automobile insurance policy and receipt was issued to Mr. William R. Thomas of Houston, Texas by J. A. Allen & Company. Also included is a 1934 bank deposit slip for First National Bank in Houston, Texas, in the amount of $1,957.17.

Legal documents are a 1918 Certification admitting William R. Thomas into the Imperial Council of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America and a 1925 Notice of Election into the Order of the Eastern Star to William R. Thomas.


Arrangement is chronological and alphabetical.


Restrictions on Access


Terms Governing Use

Open for research by appointment.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the San Jacinto Museum of History. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Jacinto Museum of History as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Index Terms

Bates, William D.
Bowles, W. V.
Cullinan, Miguel P.
Culver, A. H.
Donoghue, T. J.
Gonzales, D.
Graham, L. A.
Holmes, R. C.
Hull, Burt E. (Burton Elias), 1884-1958
Hunter, A. C.
Lockhart, H. J.
Maverick, Phillip
Moran, D. J.
Munson, T. A.
Simxox, B.
Smith, E. H.
Thomas, William R.
Thompson, Joe H.
Tyrrell, C. R.
Vizcaya, F.
Young, Eldon
Border Gas Company
Moutray Oil Company
Producers Oil CompanyTexas Company
Texas Company
Petroleum industry and trade--Employees
Petroleum industry and trade--Mexico
Petroleum industry and trade--Texas
Sour Lake (Tex.)

Archivist's Note

This collection is a part of an accession donated by Mrs. Henry V. Schumann shortly after the death of her husband in 1942. In particular, 118 maps dated 1885-1942, the Petroluem Industry Map Collection, may be closely tied to the Wiliam R. Thomas Papers; these maps have been transferred to the Herzstein Library's map collection. Included in the collection were three other finite collections: the Henry V. Schumann Papers, Alex Rezcynski Papers, and the August Forcke Papers.

Administrative Information


[Identification of Item], William R. Thomas Papers, MC045, San Jacinto Museum of History, Houston, Texas.


Mrs. Henry V. Schumann, July 1942.

Processing Information

Processed by Lisa M. Lomas, 2012.


Business Papers

box folder
172 1 Miguel P. Cullinan 1913-1923
2 William R. Thomas circa 1920-1929
3 A. H. Culver 1922
4 T. J Donoghue 1922
5 L. A. Graham 1922, 1923
6 R. C. Holmes 1922-1923
7 D. J. Moran 1922-1923
8 Eldon Young 1922-1923
9 Burt E. Hull 1923
10 General 1914-1923
box folder
172 11 Expenses: F. Vizcaya 1912-1913
12 Inventories: Sour Lake Warehouse, Reiter & Lewis and Moutray Oil Company 1914, undated
13 List of Employees: Producers Oil Company 1914
14 Log: Allied Minerals Corporation undated
15 Receipts: Miguel P. Cullinan 1912, 1913
16 Receipts: Producers Oil Company 1914
box folder
172 17 Contracts 1933, undated
18 Oil Leases: Moutray Oil Company 1927
Surveyor's Reports
box folder
172 19 Correspondence 1923, 1925
20 Field Notes undated
21 Sketches undated
22 Geological Reports 1923-1934
23 Geological Reports undated
box folder
172 24 Legal: Oil Lease: Duval County Ranch Company undated

Personal Papers

box folder
172 25 Correspondence undated
26 Financial 1918-1934
27 Legal 1918, 1925