John F. O'Donohue
Mississippi native John F. O'Donohue (1885 - 1967) first came to Wichita Falls in 1909 as a scout for the J. M. Guffey
Petroleum Company, which later became the Gulf Oil
Corporation. While staying in the Jolene Hotel, the
wildcatter O'Donohue staked out the company's first lease
in Clay County in what became known as the Petrolia
Oilfield near Henrietta. Without the assistance of a
surveyor, he located the company's first major discovery
well in the area.
After leaving the Guffey Company, O'Donohue opened an
office in the Anderson-Bean building at this site, where
other significant businesses, such as Wichita Truck, Wichita
Falls Traction Co. and Floral Heights Realty had also
operated. In 1916, he was appointed manager of the Wichita
Falls Fuel and Development Company, a firm established by
the city's Chamber of Commerce. He continued his success in
the oil business, organizing the United Petroleum Producers
Company in 1919. The next year, he joined the Cline Oil
Company, and in 1927 he organized the Petroleum Producers
Company, serving for many years as the group's president.
In 1941, Shell Oil bought all of the stock in the company.
O'Donohue married Carrie Kell, daughter of oilman and
miller Frank Kell, with whom O'Donohue was associated.
Active in the local community, O'Donohue served as chair
on the board of MIdwestern University (now Midwestern
State University). He also served as a director of many
industry institutions: Independent Petroleum Associates of
America, North Texas Oil and Gas Association, and Mid-
Continent Oil and Gas Association of Texas, as well as
Wichita Falls' First National Bank. In 1941, the Mid-Continent
Oil and Gas Association honored O'Donohue with a
Distinguished Service Award. He died in 1967 and was buried
in the city's Crestview Memorial Park. Today, he is
remembered for helping establish Wichita Falls in the
petroleum industry. (2004)
The marker is located on 615 Eighth Street, Wichita Falls, 76301. GPS coordinates 33-degrees 54' 49.9", -98-degrees 29' 25".