Lawrence E. Hoover

LawrenceHooverAfter being born in Hoovertown, Texas, on April 7, 1926, my family moved to South Dallas, where I lived for my school years. I attended Forest Avenue High School and graduated in 1942 at the age of sixteen. I was always grateful for the fine profes- sional teaching staff in the Dallas schools. One of my teachers, a Latin teacher, knew I would be graduating early, so in the summer I rode the streetcar across town to her home so she could teach me my fourth year of Latin. This was certainly beyond the call of duty for her, but of great benefit to me. Many of my mentors at this time felt I should be a minister or an English teacher and took me for a visit to TCU. My family were members of the Christian Church, and, of course, Fort Worth was near Dallas. I did not enroll there, but I did enroll at North Texas Agricultural College at Arlington (now the University of Texas at Arlington). I had $25 and one suitcase when I enrolled. I was able to complete two years before I left to join the armed services.

After serving in the Navy in the South Pacific during World War II, I returned home and entered the University of Texas at Austin on the GI Bill. I was taking courses necessary for a Bachelor of Science Degree and did not have a designated major. I was enrolled in an English class studying Wordsworth and English poetry. I loved the Romantic poets and was reading Shelley and Keats, as well as Wordsworth. One day in class my professor asked me to read a passage from Wordsworth. While reading, my professor stopped me and asked, “Mr. Hoover, what is the significance of that?” I had never seen this passage before so I did not know that Wordsworth had used the same words in another poem. I earned a “C” in that class. At this point, I realized I needed to examine my grades and the requirements for a degree. I noted that I had made “A’s” in my science classes. I switched to geology and was employed by Humble Oil and Refining Company before my graduation in 1948. After initially being on a seismic crew, I was transferred to Houston. Shortly thereafter, I joined Texas Gulf Producing Company and later had the opportunity to come to Corpus Christi to join Pontiac Refining Company’s Exploration Department.

In 1956, I became an independent geologist and later founded Guaranty Petroleum Corporation as well as a few other companies. In 1963, I ran for the office of U.S. Representative for the 14th Congressional District as a Republican. It was a formidable challenge, and I ultimately lost. However, I felt I had made my point about the need for a two party system. We needed to have a choice.

After over fifty years as a geologist, I feel I made the right career choice. I can still pick up a book of poetry and enjoy reading the Romantic poets, but I think my destiny was to become an earth scientist. What’s more, I wouldn’t trade anything for my experiences and friendships in the oil patch.

Lawrence E. Hoover