Merchants & Planters Oil Company lease agreement with International and Great Northern Railroad Company, Oct. 1900
International & Great Northern Railroad
Merchants and Planter Oil Company
One page lease agreement between the International and Great Northern Railroad Company and Merchants & Planter Oil Company. Lease shows rental price of $5.oo per annum and states the premises will be used as Seed House. Lease signed at Palestine, Texas on October 5, 1900. Copy signed by Merchants and Planters Oil Company secretary, Benjamin Botts Rice. Accompanying map shows area and relevant buildings, near Buffalo, Texas. Buildings listed on the map are Depot, Cot. Plat., Palestine Cot. Seed W. Ho., South Cotton Seed Ho., C.W. Phillips Seed Ho., and M. &. Oil Co. Seed Ho. Scale of map is 100' = 1". Back of map has Buffalo written on it.
This lease agreement is an example of many such agreements where the Merchants and Planters Oil Company can clearly be seen actively participating not only in the production of cotton goods but also in the wide transportation of its goods by railway by use of many seed house warehouses along the railways. Merchants and Planters Oil Company, manufacturers of cottonseed oil, oil cake, meal and linters, based in Houston, Texas, was founded in 1890. The business was one of a number of cotton-based businesses owned by Rice Institute founder, William Marsh Rice at the time of his death in 1900. On September 8, 1900, a powerful hurricane struck the Gulf Coast, causing severe damage to one of the company's warehouses and inventory. The business manager telegraphed Rice stating that the company needed money for repairs; the sum nearly equaled the total of Rice's most liquid assets. This financial turn of affairs accelerated an already brewing plot to murder Rice for his extensive fortune, and indeed Rice was killed on September 23, 1900 by his valet and a lawyer marginally associated with Rice. (See Rice University Archives and general Rice University histories for further information on the story of William Marsh Rice.) At that time B.B. Rice, the youngest son of William Marsh Rice's brother, F.A. Rice, was the secretary and treasurer for the company. Probably shortly after his uncle's death, B.B. Rice became the Vice President and general manager of the company, a position he held until the company's demise in 1941.
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/63452
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