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We all have a story to tell. Some speak louder than others. Listen closely to hear the stories of our ancestors echoing under our footsteps. They are the authors. We are the keepers.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: MH Warren, Waters-Pierce Oil Co., Mexico (c1909)

Murray Heller Warren, Waters-Pierce Oil Company, Mexico, c1909. Photograph. Privately Held by Herstoryan, Houston, Texas. 2010

Related Post: 

From the Shoebox: Life of a Pioneer Oilman

They say pictures can tell a thousand words. Here are some of the interesting things I noticed in this picture:
  1. The framed aerial photo on the wall is of the Gulf Oil Refining Company in Port Arthur, Texas of which Murray was Superintendent from 1901 (Spindletop) to 1907. 
  2. The pin he is wearing is an elk pin. He was a long time member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks
  3. The calendar on the wall is in Spanish. He left Texas in March 1907 to work for the then Waters-Pierce Oil Company in Mexico. August 3rd fell on a Tuesday (Martes) in 1909 hence the approximate date of the photo. 


  1. What a cool photograph! My mom and I are going through her ton of photographs and getting them all written on! We have also found a lot of really old family photographs, those are mostly written on thank goodness, though even mom doesn't know how they all tie into family, just that they are family, and I've been having fun discovering how they tie in!

  2. Murray is such a distinguished looking gentleman. I also notice the absence of piles of papers - some papers, but not piles - on the three desks! (Unlike the tops of the furniture in the place where I work on my family history where the wood can barely be seen!) Do you know what the object in the foreground on the desk is? It looks like there are two rubber stamps, maybe, in a holder toward the center of the desk. Great photo!

  3. La Refineria Waters-pierce de tampico, Tamps., México., Después de la expropiación Petrólera del 18 de marzo de 1938, se le conoció como Refinería de Arból Grande, cerrando finalmente en 1960, así mismo la Huasteca Petroleum Company de Edward Doheny, conocida como Refinaría de Mata Redonda, Veracruz.
    Solo sigue en pie la Refinería Francisco I. Madero (Refinería "El Águila", que empezo a funcionar en 1914, en el barrio de Doña Cecilia, hoy Cd. Madero, Tamps.


    Ing. Manuel Rocha García
    Ref. Fco. I. Madero

  4. Ing. Manuel Rocha Garcia, Me llamo Priscilla-Chomina-Bottz....Mi abuelo Emmett Trimble Botts trabajó con Pierce Oil Company en Mexico durante los años 1900 hasta 1930. Is there any record of where in Mexico he worked? I would appreciate any information you can send me. My email address is (

  5. Dear Herstoryan,

    I have come across a photo of "Waters Pierce Oil Company" circa 1900 and was wondering if this company had buildings in Galveston?

    1. Hello, thank you for your comment. Unfortunately I don't have any more information on the Waters-Pierce Oil Company. Out of curiosity I accessed the Galveston city directories on and found a listing for Arthur M. Finlay, General Manager of the Waters Pierce Oil Co, listed as boarding at the Tremont Hotel and "Office west side 25th between Strand, avenue A." According to the Rosenberg Library - Galveston and Texas History Center website, Avenue A is present day Harborside Drive. It appears that the company did have buildings in Galveston. I would love to see the photo to which you are referring. Looking at that city block on Google Maps, I don't think the buildings standing today are the same as was there in 1900. Thank you again for commenting and I look forward to future correspondence. Galveston, Texas City Directories, 1888-91 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: Morrison and Fourmy's General Directory of the City of Galveston, 1888-1889. Galveston, TX: Morrison and Fourmy Co., 1889.Morrison and Fourmy's General Directory of the City of Galveston, 1890-1891. Galveston, TX: Morrison and Fourmy Co., 1891.