The Gorton Trust

'The Gorton Trust' was established in 1919 by George Gorton II, apparently as an after-effect of his visiting Oklahoma to check his investment. His memoirs indicate that it seemed to be (prior to his active involvement) merely a mechanism to sell stock. The memoirs also imply that the oil business was a voracious cash-consumer. The memoirs, coupled with oral family history, imply to this author that the whole adventure was basically a fiscal nightmare. It did, however, expose GG II's children to 1920's Oklahoma.

"Drill, Baby, Drill!", 1920s style

This is what "drill, baby, drill!" meant in the 1920s. (See wikipedia for current parlance)
This partial panorama (not 360 degree) is presumably from Cement, OK, taken sometime in the 1920s. The basis for this presumption is that it was with various Gorton Trust content.

Letters & correspondence

Here are three letters, two from November 1923 and one from July, 1926 The envelope (and the first letter) are addressed to John Olle. His connection with the trust is unknown.
The Nov 5, 1923 letterhead lists Clint Steinberger, and P.W. Crain, and on the Nov. 29, 1923 letter they are crossed out.
All sorts of interesting disclaimers and instructions are listed on the paper itself.

Mr. Jno.[sp?] Olle Racine, Wis. Nov. 5, 1923
Dear Jack: We wired you just now to the effect that if we knew positively you would succeed on the deal we could hold pressing claims two weeks longer if necessary (or perhaps still longer) ["longer" is a guess, looks more like "longun"] but to do so we must know what to expect so can promise accordingly - I know you and Tom are working and neither of you got where you stand except by work - I know this job makes both of you an extra burden, but it is worth while - If it succeeds I will take care of Tom in a fair way as I told you, but don't want to hamper him by any direct promises. Both of you know me -
Magnolia are now taking all Cement oil & they would not do this if bottom was not reached. Other Okla & Calif friends are dropping very fast as you probably know. All of the operators are effecting []e, "ting" obvious, an overall guess] and working to create a shortage of crude in 1924 so as to make up what 1923 has cost them - Corporation dept. of Okla say they will force Magnolia to finish [???][might be 'pipe'] line to Cement if several land owners will enter complaint and I am told such complaint is in process. Deducting 55c per bbl. hurts the [???][sta??/slat?, possibly 'stake' or 'state'] income as well as others and Okla is not a friend of Magnolia or of any Standard Oil Co. - and never was as you know from the old original Std. oil unit [might be 'suit'] that broke up Std. - Weather is again fine & sunshining - Regards to all of you Toomau [Toomace?]also - Think I can throw line now,
Yours Sincerely
Geo. Gorton
Dear Tom: - Nov. 29 _ 1923 _
I have your wire of yesterday saying you had turned papers over to Cahoon 4 weeks ago. Thanks - I was not doubting for a minute that you had done all you could do Tom - There are some things I don not quite fathom - I am sure Cahoon would also do all he could do, but there is one man in the saddle (and his horse is getting old.) whom I do not and never will understand. You know whom I mean - I am extremely sorry for him, and when a man studies matters over he cannot help feeling sad and very sorry fro that kind of man, even though sometimes it makes us "very mad" -
Yours Sincerely
Geo. Gorton
[starting about two inches from the top] Things seem to be simmering away slowly and not getting us anywhere - They do not seem to realize that we cannot hold out much longer - I have spent all the money myself that I dare spend to save things and they are worth saving and if saved will pay big. Conditions are better now than in months past.
We have a suit that goes to trial Dec. 12 and it cannot be delayed, as have had it set ahead 3 times before - this suit is against a drilling contractor for some $25,000 - casing he took of ours & sold and we cannot fail to win at least $12,000 - our lawyers say $20,000 - It takes in expenses & lawyer fees - $1000 - in advance & I personally cannot see my way to put up the amt. in addition to what I am now advancing each week - If Racine does not hurry the suit is lost as we shall not have sufficient time to get our lawyer properly posted at Amarillo, Tex. If you can put in a word that will hurry Racine up [now writing up the right side]do so. I don't know as you can however here is some more [now upside down at top of page] good news - Magnolia are starting to connect up tank farm to line, to Run Cement's Oil - W.R.Ramsey - Okla. City, a big oil man & on the inside says, Cement oil will be $3.00 by Feby. 1924 Cement crude has been found to contain a substitute for TURPENTINE, being 30% of such and it is the only known crude oil [now writing along left column] in existence having this It is very valuable therefore - GET THIS LAST TWO NEWS ITEMS TO CAHOON PLEASE - ( I am clear around Tom, and can go no further - G.G ) [last in reference to being out of space on the paper]
Dear Tom: - July 15 _ 1926
Replying to yours of 13th find enclosed (if you please) endorsed note. Did not remember I had endorsed first one.
We got a nice little well 45 days ago #4 wagner [wogner?], which has paid back to us a little more than $5000 - Quick it came in -
#5 wogner has been finished over a week but only got it pumping yesterday It has about 8,000,000 Ft. of gas but did now flow [slow?] oil it would produce as the oil gradually drained the gas out - Pressure not enough to raise a column of
oil 1800 ft. high -
I think it will pump about 60 bbls. 50 at least, and will net us about $3500 or $4000 for 30 days as this is a lighter grade of oil than any other in Cement - Started drilling #6 wogner this am. & down 300 Ft. this is in the middle of Wogner north 40 I am expecting it will be same oil & as large as #5. When this is done we will move 1/2 mile due north of office on Marchand 160 which has no well on it and the S.W. corner where we will drill is 1/4 mile from Magnolia well drilled 90 days ago that is still pumping 100bbls.
Hope to get as good in ours -
Things coming along very nicely as we will soon have our production doubled - #6 wogner should do this - Have been a little under the weather last 30 days - Hope you are well Tom - My regards to you and everyone that needs same -
Yours G. Gorton
At some point, litigation was started vs. The Gorton Trust, for reasons still not well understood by this author. This triggered a fairly complex series of events, which resulted in multiple business entities being involved (the extent of which is not fully understood by this author). However, based upon some records discovered in July, 2010, some of the affected corporations included: The Gorton Trust, Betty G Petroleum, Cala-Belle Oil, and Concrete Petroleum Co. At a guess, the latter is named based upon the location in Cement, OK.
Some letters regarding the litigation have survived, and were recorded as George Gorton Machine Co. form # 1931
The litigation was started by Clifton Strom, Joe Jagersberger, and F.Lee Norton.

Published litigation vs. 'The Gorton Trust'

Various letterhead, forms, and some voided checks

Some stock certificates

Scans of some sort of film of the certificates

And a scan of a stock certificate held by a third party (name blocked out at the request of the owner for privacy reasons)

Various family photos from Cement, Oklahoma

A family photo album pertaining to the oil drilling life in Cement, Oklahoma survived until 2023 (when it was falling completely apart). I was able to scan the content.

Copyright, 2004 - 2023 Richard Gorton -
Please contact me if you wish to use images or content herein