Apr 07, 2022 - Sale 2600

Sale 2600 - Lot 38

Price Realized: $ 406
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(BUSINESS.) Reports and stock ledgers of the Bull Creek Oil Company. 5 folio volumes, 0.7 linear feet; moderate wear to bindings, minor wear to contents. Various places, 1864-1876

Additional Details

The Bull Creek Oil Company was founded in 1864, not long after an 1859 success in Pennsylvania launched the first American oil boom. The company's offices were in Philadelphia, and their wells were in Pleasants County, WV, near the Ohio border. The founder was prominent early oilman Thomas Wharton Phillips (1835-1912), who later went on to serve in Congress for Pennsylvania.

The main volume in this lot is titled "Account Sales &c" on the front board, and its pages are headed "Superintendent's Report," running from 1864 to 1876. It summarizes expenses and production at the company's wells, starting with three wells on the Hendershot Farm, which produced 636 barrels by 1 August 1864 after an initial outlay of $3238 for machinery, salaries and labor in June and July. A detailed 3-page listing of the initial expenses through 30 September is tipped in. For the early months, the names of some laborers are given, as well as other expenses such as a tin dipper, funnel, copper boiler, and more. Production slowed after that first year. The last barrels sold were reported in 1873, and the final page covers mostly taxes and legal fees through 1876. Near the rear of the volume are 4 pages of expenses for a new well boring project in 1866. The volume includes 33 manuscript pages total, plus 4 receipts and memoranda laid in.

Also included are 2 volumes of the company's stock certificate transfers, one thick volume nearly filled at 503 leaves from July 1864 to April 1866, and a smaller volume with only 13 completed pages from April 1866 to October 1873. Thomas W. Phillips' initial 50,000 shares are recorded on page 2. Each transfer is signed by the seller or his attorney. The company's petty stock ledger is arranged alphabetically by stockholder and extends to 278 pages, perhaps half of them blank. Last is the capital stock register of the semi-related Niagara Oil Company from 1864 to 1873. Isaac Newton Phillips (1820-1883) appears as the principal stockholder; he was the brother of Thomas. T.W. Phillips and "Phillips Brothers" appear in the volume.