Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum Distinguished Speakers Series
Historian and Biographer Paul W. Rood
will be speaking about
“The Founders of the Union Oil Company of California”
at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum
220 Market Street
on January 11, 2020 11:00 AM
At the close of the Civil War, Thomas Scott, President of the Pennsylvania Railroad, acquired vast acreage in California and hired the future founder of Port Hueneme, Thomas R. Bard, to be his resident agent of his Southern California interests. Bard’s mission was to secure the southern route for a transcontinental railroad and exploit petroleum deposits northwest of Los Angeles and the Santa Barbara Channel. Between 1865 and 1870, Bard attempted to dig six oil wells around the base of Sulphur Mountain. When Scott called a halt to these expensive and largely unsuccessful early shots, Bard turned his focus on the development of agriculture and infrastructure in the newly established “Ventura County.”
But by 1890, fortunes changed, and Lyman Stewart, Wallace Hardison and Thomas Bard were able to establish the Union Oil Company, headquartered in Santa Paula. For the next decade, the three oil pioneers both competed and cooperated when it came to the strategy and direction of California’s largest oil company.
Prior to his retirement, Prof. Paul W. Rood taught history and economics at Biola University. He is writing the historical biography of Lyman Stewart, co-founder of the Union Oil Company, Biola University, Occidental College, and many other California institutions.