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Harry Carothers Wiess[1]

Male 1887 - 1948  (61 years)


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  • Name Harry Carothers Wiess 
    Born Jul 30, 1887  Beaumont, Jefferson county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 

    Gender Male 
    Died Aug 26, 1948  Houston, Harris county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [2

    Buried Aug 28, 1948  Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Harris county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 

    Notes 
    • He saw the historic oil gusher at Spindletop when he was 13, and he wor
      ked in the oil industry after receiving his engineering degree from Pri
      nceton University in 1909.
        He married the same year he graduated from Princeton University (1909
      ).  The next year he became Director and Secretary of Reliance Oil.  In 1
      912, he became President of Reliance Oil and in 1914 became President o
      f Paraffine.  In 1917, he became one of the founding partners of Humble O
      il, along with Walter Fondren, Jesse Jones, and William Farish.  He ser
      ved as the fourth president of Humble Oil Company from 1937 until his d
      eath in 1948.
      =====
      The Galveston Daily News, p. 11, Aug. 16, 1908
      TWO WERE INJURED WHEN CAR TURNED SOMERSAULT
      ===
      HARRY WEISS (sic) AND J.C. PROCTOR INJURED AT BEAUMONT.
      ===
      They Were Making a Sharp Turn at High Speed in the Races When the Accid
      ent Happened.
      ===
      Special to The News.
      Beaumont, Tex., Aug. 15. -- Harry Wiess, youngest son of Capt. William W
      iess, was injured in an accident to his automobile during the automobil
      e races at the driving park this afternoon, and that he escaped without f
      atal injuries is little less than marvelous.  J.C. Proctor, son of F.C. P
      roctor, the well-known attorney, formerly of Victoria, was also injured
      .  Young Proctor was riding in the machine with Mr. Wiess.
      Young Wiess was driving a Thomas roadster and enter a match race with L
      ee Carroll.  The two had made the round of the half-mile track once and W
      iess was making the last turn, when the spectators in the grandstand we
      re horrified to see the machine go into the air, turn over about three t
      imes and fall in a heap a considerable distance from the track.  The yo
      ung men were thrown into the air and some spectators who were along the f
      ence declare that young Proctor was thrown twenty feet into the air.  P
      roctor was riding on the running board and leaning far out to keep the m
      achine on the ground as it made the sharp turn.  It is thought that the t
      ire on the right hind wheel flew off.  Either that happened or the whee
      l burst.  At any rate, this wheel was smashed into splinters and the bu
      rsting of the wheel evidently caused the machine to go over.  Mr. Wiess h
      ad his left arm broken at the wrist and received several bruises about t
      he head and legs.  Mr. Proctor escaped without a broken bone, but was b
      ruised and it was thought that he may have received internal injuries o
      r an injury to the spinal column, the extent of which can not be determ
      ined at present.  Mr. Wiess was hurried to the city in an automobile an
      d Mr. Proctor was brought in an ambulance, and both received medical at
      tention.  The accident occurred about the middle of the afternoon and c
      ast a gloom over the large crowd which destroyed all interest in subseq
      uent races.
      =====
          In September 1909, he married Olga Keith, a long-time acquaintance f
      rom Beaumont.  Living long after he died, she provided funds for the ex
      pansion of Wiess College's central wing, and for the Keith-Wiess Geolog
      y Building.
          During his lifetime, Harry Wiess was a patron or director of many H
      ouston-area organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Museum o
      f Fine Arts and the Symphony Society.  He also became a charter trustee o
      f Princeton University, and a term member of the Corporation of the Mas
      sachusetts Institute of Technology.  (There is a Harry C. Wiess Profess
      orsip at Princeton as well as the Wiess Lounge in the Seeley G. Mudd Li
      brary there.)
          In 1944, he became a life trustee of the Rice Institute, as Rice Un
      iversity was then called, and before his untimely demise in 1948, he wa
      s responsible for initiating the Institute self-study that became the T
      welve-Point Program of 1945, and in 1946 led him to become involved in t
      he construction of Abercrombie Engineering Laboratory, Anderson Hall, a
      nd Fondren Library.
          Also in 1946, Wiess and his wife Olga pledged the income from 30,00
      0 shares of Humble Oil for 17.5 years to the Institute, eventually yiel
      ding over $1,000,000.
          Upon his death in 1948, the Rice University Board of Trustees prepa
      red a tribute to him, available in the Woodson Research Center, and lat
      er the fourth dormitory on campus was named Wiess Hall (now Wiess Colle
      ge).
          Texas Historical marker (# 10703) outside the main entrance to the E
      xxon Refinery at Decker Rd./Rollingbrook Dr. in Baytown, Texas reads:  "
      Humble Oil & Refining Company; Ross S. Sterling entered the oil busines
      s in 1909, when he invested in the Humble oil file north of Houston. Tw
      o years later he formed the Humble Oil Company with five partners: Walt
      er W. Fondren, Charles B. Goddard, William Stamps Farlish, Robert Lee B
      laffer, and Harry Carothers Wiess. Sterling's brother, Frank, became a c
      ompany director in 1914. In 1917 the company obtained a state charter u
      nder the name Humble Oil & Refining Company. In order to finance the bu
      ilding of a refinery, fifty percent of the company stock was sold to St
      andard Oil of New Jersey. The first oil was pumped into a still at the n
      ew refinery on May 11, 1920. As the company expanded and employed more p
      eople, a town grew up around the refinery. The company provided low-int
      erest home loans to its employees. By the 1930s research was being cond
      ucted at the Baytown refinery, resulting in the production of vital pro
      ducts for the U. S. war effort during World War II. The post-war years s
      aw additional expansion at the refinery, and the company was merged wit
      h Standard Oil of New Jersey in 1959. The Humble name was used until 19
      72, when Standard Oil Company (NJ) became known as Exxon Corporation."
        See Chronology of Events in MFAH History
      http://www.mfah.org/archives/pdf/mfah_chronology.pdf

    Person ID I1500  mykindred
    Last Modified Mar 19, 2009 

    Father William A. Wiess, CSA
    ,   b. Oct 23, 1842, Wiess Bluff, Jasper county, Texas, USA
    Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jun 12, 1914, Beaumont, Jefferson county, Texas, USA
    Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Mother Louisa Elizabeth "Lizzie" Carothers,   b. Mar 27, 1856, Georgetown, Texas, USA
    Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Jul 07, 1936, Houston, Harris county, Texas, USA
    Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Married Mar 11, 1880  Williamson county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • From the Williamson county marriage records, Round Rock Library, GEN 9
      76.4289 WIL, p. 79:
      Wiess, William; Carothers, Lizzie E.; 11 MAR 1880; BK 3; lic. 163.
    Family ID F565  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Olga Keith,   b. Dec 08, 1888,   d. Aug 07, 1978, Harris county, Texas, USA
    Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years) 
    Married Sep 29, 1909  Beaumont, Jefferson county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • 1920 census, Texas, Jefferson county, 1-WD Beaumont, series T625, roll 1
      823, pg. 116
      enumerated JAN 13, 1920; lines 3-10
      Wiess, Harry C, head, home owned & free (of debt), M, W, 32, married, r
      ead&write-yes, TX, TX, TX
      "  , Olga K., wife, F,W, 30, M, read&write-yes, TX, TX, LA
      "  , Elizabeth, dau, F, W, 3-11/12, single, TX, TX, TX
      "  , Caroline, dau, F, W, 1, single, TX, TX, TX
      Averill, William, gardener, M, W, 33, TX, Maine, TX
      Dunn, Ida, nurse, F, W, 38, Eng, Eng, Eng
      Robinson, Stella, servant, F, B, 30, LA, LA, LA
      King, Aadie, servant, F, B, 25, LA, LA, LA
      1930 census, Houston, Harris, Texas, series T626, roll 2348, pg. 126
      lines 20-25
      Wiess, Harry C., head, own, $75,000, M, W, 42, married at 22, TX, TX, T
      X, vice president, oil company
      "  , Olga K., wife, F, W, 40, married at 20, TX, TX, TX
      "  , Elizabeth, daughter, F, W, 14, TX, TX, TX
      "  , Caroline, daughter, F, W, 11, TX, TX, TX
      "  , Margaret, daughter, F, W, 7, TX, TX, TX
      Lombard, Henrietta M.L., (???) governess, F, W, 32, France, France, Fra
      nce

    Children 
    +1. Elizabeth Keith Wiess,   b. Feb 09, 1916, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Apr 01, 1996  (Age 80 years)
     2. Caroline Wiess,   b. Dec 24, 1918, Beaumont, Jefferson county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Dec 24, 2003, Houston, Harris county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
    +3. Margaret Wiess,   b. Oct 26, 1922, Houston, Harris county, Texas, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. May 19, 1999  (Age 76 years)
    Family ID F566  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Wiess, Harry Carothers (1887-1948)
    Wiess, Harry Carothers (1887-1948)

    Documents
    Wiess, Harry Carothers
    Wiess, Harry Carothers
    Death Certificate

  • Sources 
    1. [S1988] Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, "Chronology of Events in MFAH History" .

    2. [S561] Death Certificate .

    3. [S788] Marriage record , Williamson county marriage records, Round Rock Library, GEN 976.4289 WIL, p. 79:
      .