HEYWOOD, ALBA (1859–1921). Alba Heywood, oil producer and land developer, son of Chester Wright and Clarissa Beancia (Bannister) Heywood, was born at Kingsville, Ohio, on April 9, 1859. He attended public schools and worked as a newsboy in Cleveland as a teenager. After a stint as a farm laborer, he became a canvassing agent and impersonator; he and his three brothers, Dewey, O. W., and W. Scott, eventually formed a vaudeville team and traveled throughout the country. The Heywood brothers acted quickly upon the discovery of the Spindletop oilfield to form the Heywood Brothers Oil Company, which acquired profitable oil leases at the field. With secure storage, pipelines, and markets, the Heywoods survived the depressed oil prices in the wake of the booms of the early 1900s. Expanding rapidly, the Heywood Company discovered oil at Jennings, Louisiana, in 1902. Alba was on Louisiana governor N. C. Blanchard's staff with the rank of lieutenant colonel from 1904 to 1908. He returned to Texas and helped develop a massive irrigation project in the Rio Grande valley that developed 55,000 acres and founded the city of San Benito. He served as president of the San Benito Land and Water Company, the Jennings-Heywood Oil Syndicate, and the San Benito Bank and Trust Company. In addition, he was secretary of the Jennings Oil Company and of Cameron County Water Improvement District Number Two. Heywood was married to Genevieve Stoy in 1892 and to Francis Turner on July 19, 1906. He was a Bryan Democrat and a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He ultimately made his home at San Benito. He died on September 15, 1921.
James Anthony Clark and Michel T. Halbouty, Spindletop (New York: Random House, 1952). Who Was Who in America, Vol. 1.
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Robert Wooster, "Heywood, Alba," accessed February 13, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhe38.
Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles