Lehman Brothers Collection - Contemporary Business Archives

Harvard Business School Baker Library Historical Collections

Lehman Brothers Collection

Twentieth-Century Business Archives

Magnolia Petroleum Company - Lehman Brothers Collection

Magnolia Petroleum Company

List of Deals

Magnolia Petroleum Company was a joint stock company organized on April 24, 1911 in Texas for the purpose of acquiring the properties of Security Oil Company and Navarro Refining Company.

Magnolia was operating 505 distributing stations throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas by 1917 and had contracts with the Standard Oil Companies of New Jersey, New York, and Kentucky as well as Anglo-American Oil Company, Ltd., and Union Petroleum Company of Philadelphia to furnish various grades of refined oil.

In September 1921 Magnolia bought from the Western Oil Fields Corporation its Desenberg lease of forty-eight acres in the Mexia field of Texas, including a 25,000-barrel well, for approximately one million dollars. In 1922 it had sales of $46.6 million, up from $18.8 million in 1917.

The Standard Oil Company of New York purchased approximately 70 percent of Magnolia in 1918. Standard Oil purchased the remaining portion in December 1925.

Magnolia consisted of three refineries in the mid-1920s, located in Beaumont, Fort Worth, and Corsicana, Texas. The company operated pipelines in Texas that extended to the Healdton and Cushing oil fields in Oklahoma. Magnolia also maintained supply stations throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, and New Mexico. Production for the company amounted to approximately 30,000 to 35,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Magnolia Petroleum erected its corporate headquarters in Dallas, Texas, in 1922, a twenty-nine-story building that was the tallest south of Washington, D.C. Atop the building was a fifteen-ton Pegasus, revolving on top of an oil derrick. This flying horse became a symbol for the city and eventually also became the corporate symbol for Magnolia's parent and successor company, Mobil Corporation, under which Magnolia operated as a wholly owned division for several decades.

Harvard Business School Harvard Business School Baker Library Histrorical Collections