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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 worked in the oil industry after receiving his engineering degree from Princeton 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 1912, he became President of Reliance Oil and in 1914 became President of Paraffine.  In 1917, he became one of the founding partners of Humble Oil, along with Walter Fondren, Jesse Jones, and William Farish.  He served as the fourth president of Humble Oil Company from 1937 until his death 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 Accident Happened.
      ===
      Special to The News.
      Beaumont, Tex., Aug. 15. -- Harry Wiess, youngest son of Capt. William Wiess, was injured in an accident to his automobile during the automobile races at the driving park this afternoon, and that he escaped without fatal injuries is little less than marvelous.  J.C. Proctor, son of F.C. Proctor, 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 Lee Carroll.  The two had made the round of the half-mile track once and Wiess was making the last turn, when the spectators in the grandstand were horrified to see the machine go into the air, turn over about three times and fall in a heap a considerable distance from the track.  The young men were thrown into the air and some spectators who were along the fence declare that young Proctor was thrown twenty feet into the air.  Proctor was riding on the running board and leaning far out to keep the machine on the ground as it made the sharp turn.  It is thought that the tire on the right hind wheel flew off.  Either that happened or the wheel burst.  At any rate, this wheel was smashed into splinters and the bursting of the wheel evidently caused the machine to go over.  Mr. Wiess had his left arm broken at the wrist and received several bruises about the head and legs.  Mr. Proctor escaped without a broken bone, but was bruised and it was thought that he may have received internal injuries or an injury to the spinal column, the extent of which can not be determined at present.  Mr. Wiess was hurried to the city in an automobile and Mr. Proctor was brought in an ambulance, and both received medical attention.  The accident occurred about the middle of the afternoon and cast a gloom over the large crowd which destroyed all interest in subsequent races.
      =====
          In September 1909, he married Olga Keith, a long-time acquaintance from Beaumont.  Living long after he died, she provided funds for the expansion of Wiess College's central wing, and for the Keith-Wiess Geology Building.
          During his lifetime, Harry Wiess was a patron or director of many Houston-area organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Symphony Society.  He also became a charter trustee of Princeton University, and a term member of the Corporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  (There is a Harry C. Wiess Professorsip at Princeton as well as the Wiess Lounge in the Seeley G. Mudd Library there.)
          In 1944, he became a life trustee of the Rice Institute, as Rice University was then called, and before his untimely demise in 1948, he was responsible for initiating the Institute self-study that became the Twelve-Point Program of 1945, and in 1946 led him to become involved in the construction of Abercrombie Engineering Laboratory, Anderson Hall, and Fondren Library.
          Also in 1946, Wiess and his wife Olga pledged the income from 30,000 shares of Humble Oil for 17.5 years to the Institute, eventually yielding over $1,000,000.
          Upon his death in 1948, the Rice University Board of Trustees prepared a tribute to him, available in the Woodson Research Center, and later the fourth dormitory on campus was named Wiess Hall (now Wiess College).
          Texas Historical marker (# 10703) outside the main entrance to the Exxon Refinery at Decker Rd./Rollingbrook Dr. in Baytown, Texas reads:  "Humble Oil & Refining Company; Ross S. Sterling entered the oil business in 1909, when he invested in the Humble oil file north of Houston. Two years later he formed the Humble Oil Company with five partners: Walter W. Fondren, Charles B. Goddard, William Stamps Farlish, Robert Lee Blaffer, and Harry Carothers Wiess. Sterling's brother, Frank, became a company director in 1914. In 1917 the company obtained a state charter under the name Humble Oil & Refining Company. In order to finance the building of a refinery, fifty percent of the company stock was sold to Standard Oil of New Jersey. The first oil was pumped into a still at the new refinery on May 11, 1920. As the company expanded and employed more people, a town grew up around the refinery. The company provided low-interest home loans to its employees. By the 1930s research was being conducted at the Baytown refinery, resulting in the production of vital products for the U. S. war effort during World War II. The post-war years saw additional expansion at the refinery, and the company was merged with Standard Oil of New Jersey in 1959. The Humble name was used until 1972, 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 976.4289 WIL, p. 79:
      Wiess, William; Carothers, Lizzie E.; 11 MAR 1880; BK 3; lic. 163.
    Family ID F565  Group Sheet

    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 1823, pg. 116
      enumerated JAN 13, 1920; lines 3-10
      Wiess, Harry C, head, home owned & free (of debt), M, W, 32, married, read&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, TX, 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, France
    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

  • 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:.



  
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