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Jeanne F. Lively

FULTON, ROYCE HILL (1906–1989). Royce Hill Fulton, pipeline contractor and civic leader, was born on September 22, 1906, in Myra, Texas, the son of Joe and Orva (Piott) Fulton. He had a brother and a sister. Fulton graduated from Gainesville High School and attended Gainesville Junior College (now Cooke County College). He began his pipeline-construction career in 1927 as timekeeper for Williams Brothers. On December 22, 1928, he married Evelyn Kirkpatrick in Gainesville. The couple moved to Lubbock in 1933, and Fulton began work as a cost accountant for another construction firm. He established his own pipeline-contracting firm and was particularly encouraged when he landed a job to lay pipelines in the burgeoning Slaughter oilfield in Hockley County. He started his business in 1940 with a slim capital of $300. By 1955 his firm had strung 1.6 million miles of pipe in the United States and Canada, was among the top ten pipeliners in the country, and grossed $15 million annually. One ambitious project was laying a pipeline from the Four Corners region in the southwestern United States over the Peacock Mountains and under the Colorado River to Los Angeles. Fulton's largest building contribution to West Texas was a major pipeline for the Canadian River aqueduct system, which piped water from Lake Meredith to Lubbock and other area cities. Fulton retired from the pipeline business in 1972.

He was also active in ranching and land development in Amarillo and Lubbock, as well as in oil and gas exploration. In 1956 he and his son, Joe Kirk Fulton, bought part of the Matador Land and Cattle Company in Oldham and Hartley counties and began a large ranching operation. In 1964 Fulton became one of the largest investors in the formation of Mesa Petroleum Company. He purchased the Plains National Bank of Lubbock in 1958 and served as board chairman until 1971 and as director until the sale of the bank in 1988.

Fulton was a charter member and president (1969) of the Pipeline Contractors Association of the United States. He served on numerous boards over the years, including the Missouri Beef Packers board, the board of Cal Farley's Boys Ranch, and the Texas Tech University Foundation Board. He was a thirty-second-degree Mason, a Baptist, and a Republican. Fulton died on June 20, 1989, in Lubbock and was entombed in Resthaven Mausoleum.

Fortune, May 1955. Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, April 29, 1956, February 7, 1969, June 21, 1989.

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Jeanne F. Lively, "FULTON, ROYCE HILL," accessed May 24, 2019,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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