William L. Connelly papers, 1904-1964

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Connelly, William L., 1873-1964
Title
William L. Connelly papers
Dates
1904-1964 (inclusive)
Quantity
3.50 cubic feet (7 boxes)
Collection Number
01722
Summary
Scrapbooks, photographs, writings, and research material of an oil industry executive whose career with Sinclair Oil began in 1906 and who headed Mammoth Oil Company in Wyoming during the Teapot Dome scandal.
Repository
University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center
American Heritage Center
University of Wyoming
1000 E. University Ave.
Dept. 3924
Laramie, WY
82071
Telephone: 3077663756
ahcref@uwyo.edu
Access Restrictions
Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes, and the collection is open to the public.

Languages
English

Historical NoteReturn to Top

W.L. Connelly (1873-1964) was a pioneer of the American oil industry, whose career spanned 73 years. He drilled his first well in 1895 in Wood County, Ohio. He did oil work in Montgomery County, Kansas from 1903-1905. In early 1906 he became associated with Harry F. Sinclair. Connelly moved to Tulsa Oklahoma with Sinclair in 1912. In 1916 he was one of the founders of Sinclair Oil and Refining Company and became president of the subsidiary Sinclair-Cudahy Pipeline Company. He moved to Houston in 1917, where he was vice president of Sinclair Gulf Oil Corporation with responsibility for operations in Mexico. Between 1922 and 1928 he was stationed in Casper, Wyoming, as president of Mammoth Oil Company. This was during the period of the Teapot Dome scandal. He was then promoted to vice president of Sinclair Consolidated Oil Corporation and president of Venezuelan Petroleum Corporation. In this capacity he oversaw operations in Mexico, Venezuela, and Africa from a base in New York City. In 1932 Sinclair Oil merged with Prairie Oil and Gas Company, and Connelly became chairman of the board (1932-1950).

William L. Connelly married Elizabeth Conlisk in Toledo, Ohio, in 1898. The couple had a daughter and a son. In 1933 he received the rank of Knight Commander of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre from Pope Pius XI. Connelly published a book on his experiences in the oil industry, "The Oil Business As I Saw It," in 1955. During his life he traveled to Europe, Russia, Turkey, South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean to pursue business, as well as to pursue his favorite hobby of fishing.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection includes narratives of trips to Mexico, Russia, Europe, Africa, Caribbean Islands, and Venezuela. Also included are scrapbooks, photographs, and photograph albums documenting Connelly's career in the oil industry and his personal life, including his travels and his investiture as a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre. The Teapot Dome scandal is covered in photographs and newspaper clippings. There is also information about Harry F. Sinclair and other prominent men in the oil industry. In addition there are records of oil companies that were absorbed into Sinclair Corporation, including Kathleen Oil Company, Numa Oil Company, Lucas Oil Company, Oil Production Company, and Mammoth Oil Company, among others.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright Information

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Preferred Citation

Preferred Citation

Item Description, Box Number, Folder Number, Collection Name, Collection Number, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Related Materials

Related Materials

There are no known other archival collections created by William L. Connelly at the date of processing.

Acquisition Information

Acquisition Information

The material was received from Harry S. Connelly and from the Sinclair Oil Corporation in 1965 and 1966.

Processing Note

Processing Information

The collection was organized and described by D. Claudia Thompson in September 2019.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I. Personal and Family MaterialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
Biographical Information
1937-1960
1
Genealogical Material and Personal Correspondence
1956-1963
1
Knights of the Holy Sepulchre (correspondence and certificates)
1936-1950
1
Printed Material
1925
Travel Narratives:
Box
1
Europe-Turkey-Russia
1923
1
Caribbean-South America (Venezuelan Petroleum Company)
1929
1
Europe-Africa (Companhia de Petroleo de Angola)
1929
1
Spain
1950
1
Tampico, Mexico (fishing)
1955
1
Caribbean-Venezuela
1955
1
Eighth Pass, Mexico - "The Trial of 'Bear' Gracey" (fishing)
undated

Series II. Oil Industry RecordsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Companies:
Box
1
Aurora Oil & Gas Company
1909-1916
1
Byers Drilling Company
1913-1920
1
Cheyenne Oil Company
1913-1918
1
Galbraith Drilling Company
1909-1920
1
Kathleen Oil Company
1910-1922
1
Kiester Drilling Company
1913-1920
1
Lucas Oil Company
1908-1919
1
Numa Oil Company
1910-1921
1
Oil Production Company
1912-1918
1
Palermo Oil Company; Scioto Oil Company; Richards Drilling Company
1913-1919
1
Sinclair Oil Company
1904-1921
1
Sinclair Oil Company - Printed Material ("Oil-And Independence!: The Story of the Sinclair Oil Corporation," by P.C. Spencer; "The Oil Strike: A Factual Statement of the Issues Involved," by H.F. Sinclair)
1957, undated
Box
3
Diagram - Crosscut Tunnel
1931
2
Index: Corporations (notebook)
undated
2
Index: Dissolved Corporations (notebook)
undated

Series III. Photographs and Photograph AlbumsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
2
Album of W.L. Connelly's Career
circa 1920-1930
2
Album of W.L. Connelly's Career - Teapot Dome (loose photos)
1920s
2
Connelly, W.L.
circa 1920s-1960s
2
Connelly, W.L. - and Others
1950s
2
Connelly, W.L. - at Events
1953-1962
2
Connelly, W.L. - Family
1950-1963
2
Connelly, W.L. - Fishing, Hunting, Camping
circa 1950s-1960s
2
Connelly, W.L. - Knights of the Holy Sepulchre
1941-1950
2
Connelly, W.L. - 90th Birthday
1963
2
Connelly, W.L. - Sinclair 40-year Banquet
1958
2
Connelly, W.L. - Teapot Dome Court Case
1920s
2
Connelly, W.L. - With Groups
1907-1958
2
Gutierrez Lease; Zurita Lease; Panuco Steamer; New Orleans Warehouses (photo album and loose duplicates)
1918-1919
2
Oil Well Fires (Venezuela; Oklahoma)
1928, 1954
2
Sinclair, H.F. (inscribed)
undated

Series IV. ScrapbooksReturn to Top

Scrapbooks contain newspaper and magazine clippings, correspondence, photographs, and other items.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
3
Connelly, W.L. - Life and Career
1910-1958
4
Connelly, W.L. - Life and Career
1922-1963
7
Connelly, W.L. - Life and Career (publication of book)
1954-1961
5
Connelly, W.L. - Life and Career (honors)
1958-1961
5
Connelly, W.L. - Life and Career (honors)
1959
7
Connelly, W.L. - Life and Career
1928, 1959-1964
6
Sinclair Oil
1929-1942
6
Teapot Dome
1922-1930, 1962
6
Teapot Dome - Court Case
1925-1933

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Petroleum industry and trade -- Oklahoma.
  • Teapot Dome Scandal, 1921-1924.

Personal Names

  • Sinclair, Harry Ford, 1876-

Corporate Names

  • Kathleen Oil Company.
  • Lucas Oil Company.
  • Mammoth Oil Company.
  • Numa Oil Company.
  • Oil Production Company.
  • Sinclair Investment Company.
  • Sinclair Oil Corporation.

Family Names

  • Connelly family.

Geographical Names

  • Casper (Wyo.) -- History.
  • Tulsa (Okla.) -- Genealogy.
  • Tulsa (Okla.) -- History.

Form or Genre Terms

  • Business records.
  • Diaries.
  • Genealogies.
  • Photographs.
  • Scrapbooks.

Occupations

  • Businessmen.