Outside the insular world of Texas oil, almost no one knew they existed.
Undaunted, Mc Carthy invested his last thousand dollars in a friend’s well. He sold some neighboring leases and managed to raise enough for one last wildcat, but this too came in dry.
All told, Mc Carthy had tried three wells and had precisely nothing to show for it—except a painful education in oil.
He claimed his station sold more gasoline than any other in Houston, and he may have been right.
Sinclair rewarded him with a second station, at Westheimer and Waugh, on Houston’s West Side, and by early 1933, Mc Carthy was clearing $1,500 a month.
The distilled essence of swaggering Texas id, Mc Carthy rubbed elbows with Howard Hughes and Hollywood stars, drank and brawled his way from Buffalo Bayou to Sunset Boulevard, and, at the peak of his fame, made the cover of No other Texas oilman ever rose so high or fell so hard.
Mc Carthy’s legend began, fittingly, near the first great Texas gusher, the Spindletop field, outside Beaumont, where he was born on Christmas Day 1907.
He sold the gas stations, bought up several adjoining parcels, and hired a contractor.
He and Faustine put most of their savings into the discovery well—and lost it all when the well churned up nothing but saltwater. Hustling back to his land on the La Porte highway, he began another well, only to have it ruined when rains caused an adjacent creek to overflow, flooding the site.
In the late 1940s, the press informed an astonished America that some of its wealthiest citizens were a group of oilmen that included H. The inspiration for the James Dean character in In the years after World War II, the first great Texas oilmen—H. Hunt, Hugh Roy Cullen, Sid Richardson, and Clint Murchison—had emerged as a handful of the richest individuals in America, and no one knew it. It wasn’t just that few people understood how wealthy they were.
Another of them, the swaggering, combustible Glenn Mc Carthy, would emerge as the symbol of a new Texas.
From 1948 until well into the 1950s their articles crowded every periodical of the day, from in April 1948, then scrambled for cover.