Cullinan, J. S. (Joseph Stephen), 1860-1937

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1860
Death 1937
Spanish; Castilian, English

Biographical notes:

Few of the major figures in the history of Houston have had as widespread an influence as Joseph Stephen Cullinan. At times, the word paradoxical comes to mind when the scope of his diverse interests is examined. A leading early exponent for the Texas oil industry, Cullinan was yet an ardent conservationist, who argued for governmental controls over the petroleum business out of concern for preserving natural resources. Although he maintained a fairly consistent record of lifetime support for the Democratic Party, Cullinan advocated the Progressive candidacy of Robert LaFollette in 1924 and in the later years of his life supported the reactionary Liberty League after he became disenchanted with the policies of the New Deal. Despite his flirtations with nativist movements, he strongly opposed the Ku Klux Klan as a result of his own Irish Catholic background, even though he disavowed any affiliation with organized religion. Arriving in Corsicana, Texas from his native Pennsylvania, where he was born on December 31, 1860, Cullinan immediately became involved in the exploration and drilling of the Corsicana oil fields, borrowing on his own experiences as an oil field worker for Standard Oil. After the discoveries at Spindletop in 1901 shifted the geographical emphasis of the Texas oil industry to the Beaumont area, Cullinan moved his own center of operations there, where he became president of the newly-formed Texas Company in 1902. Recognizing the potential of Houston as an oil center, Cullinan moved the headquarters of the Texas Company there in 1908.

From the description of Joseph S. Cullinan papers, 1895-1939. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 707734289

Joseph S. Cullinan was one of the major figures in the history of Houston and the early oil industry. He was born in Pennsylvania in 1860 and after his arrival in Corsicana, Texas, as a young man, he became involved in the exploration and production of the Corsicana oil fields. After 1902, Cullinan moved his prosperous oil firm to Houston where he soon became president of the newly formed Texas Oil Company. By the 1920's, Cullinan had organized the American Republics Corporation, which became one of the major petroleum-producing companies of the Southwest. He also contributed to the development of Houston through his many civic activities until his death in 1937. His son, Craig F. Cullinan, became president of American Republics Corporation in 1936 and he remained in that position untili his death in 1950.

From the guide to the Joseph Stephen Cullinan Family Collection MSS 1297., 1880's-1950, (Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library)

Few of the major figures in the history of Houston have had as widespread an influence as Joseph Stephen Cullinan. At times, the word paradoxical comes to mind when the scope of his diverse interests is examined. A leading early exponent for the Texas oil industry, Cullinan was yet an ardent conservationist, who argued for governmental controls over the petroleum business out of concern for preserving natural resources. Although he maintained a fairly consistent record of lifetime support for the Democratic Party, Cullinan advocated the Progressive candidacy of Robert LaFollette in 1924 and in the later years of his life supported the reactionary Liberty League after he became disenchanted with the policies of the New Deal. Despite his flirtations with nativist movements, he strongly opposed the Ku Klux Klan as a result of his own Irish Catholic background, even though he disavowed any affiliation with organized religion.

Arriving in Corsicana, Texas from his native Pennsylvania, where he was born on December 31, 1860, Cullinan immediately became involved in the exploration and drilling of the Corsicana oil fields, borrowing on his own experiences as an oil field worker for Standard Oil. After the discoveries at Spindletop in 1901 shifted the geographical emphasis of the Texas oil industry to the Beaumont area, Cullinan moved his own center of operations there, where he became president of the newly-formed Texas Company in 1902. Recognizing the potential of Houston as an oil center, Cullinan moved the headquarters of the Texas Company there in 1908.

From the guide to the Joseph Stephen Cullinan Collection MSS 69., ca. 1895-1939, (Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library)

Few of the major figures in the history of Houston have had as widespread an influence as Joseph Stephen Cullinan. At times, the word paradoxical comes to mind when the scope of his diverse interests is examined. A leading early exponent for the Texas oil industry, Cullinan was yet an ardent conservationist, who argued for governmental controls over the petroleum business out of concern for preserving natural resources. Although he maintained a fairly consistent record of lifetime support for the Democratic Party, Cullinan advocated the Progressive candidacy of Robert LaFollette in 1924 and in the later years of his life supported the reactionary Liberty League after he became disenchanted with the policies of the New Deal. Despite his flirtations with nativist movements, he strongly opposed the Ku Klux Klan as a result of his own Irish Catholic background, even though he disavowed any affiliation with organized religion.

Arriving in Corsicana, Texas from his native Pennsylvania, where he was born on December 31, 1860, Cullinan immediately became involved in the exploration and drilling of the Corsicana oil fields, borrowing on his own experiences as an oil field worker for Standard Oil. After the discoveries at Spindletop in 1901 shifted the geographical emphasis of the Texas oil industry to the Beaumont area, Cullinan moved his own center of operations there, where he became president of the newly-formed Texas Company in 1902. Recognizing the potential of Houston as an oil center, Cullinan moved the headquarters of the Texas Company there in 1908.

From the guide to the Joseph Stephen Cullinan Collection, 1895-1939 2006-009., 1895-1939, (Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries)

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Subjects:

  • Business
  • Petroleum industry and trade--Texas
  • Texas Centennial (1936 : Dallas, Tex.)
  • Shipping--Texas--Houston
  • Political participation
  • Hospitals--Texas--Houston
  • Texas Centennial (1936: San Jacinto Battleground, Tex.)
  • Hospitals--history
  • African Americans--Medical care--Texas--Houston
  • Real estate investment--Texas--Houston
  • Petroleum industry and trade
  • African Americans--Segregation
  • Texas Industrial Congress
  • Anti-communist movements--Texas--Houston
  • Women--Suffrage--Texas
  • Prohibition--Texas

Occupations:

  • Collector

Places:

  • Shadyside (Houston, Tex.) (as recorded)
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial (S.D.) (as recorded)
  • Texas (as recorded)
  • Shadyside (Houston, Tex.) (as recorded)
  • Shadyside (Houston, Tex.) (as recorded)
  • Texas--Houston (as recorded)