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Humble ST Camp

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My mother was raised in Humble camps - and remembers living in one called Spanish Trail Camp, or Humble ST Camp in the early 1940's. I remember my Grandad talking about it as well. Does anyone have a reference to the location of the ST Camp? I assume it was somewhere off of Main, the 1935 map shows Hwy 90 called OST to San antonio, while the street currently named OST is called the OST Cutoff, under construction. I don't know if the camp was related to the Pierce Junction field, but that's the only large field near those streets.

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My mother was raised in Humble camps - and remembers living in one called Spanish Trail Camp, or Humble ST Camp in the early 1940's. I remember my Grandad talking about it as well. Does anyone have a reference to the location of the ST Camp? I assume it was somewhere off of Main, the 1935 map shows Hwy 90 called OST to San antonio, while the street currently named OST is called the OST Cutoff, under construction. I don't know if the camp was related to the Pierce Junction field, but that's the only large field near those streets.

Humble camps? I wish I had an answer for you, but I'm now curious to know what an "Humble camp" was, and how someone could be raised in one.

I've lived in Houston most of my nearly 70 years and I've never heard that term before. Can you enlighten me?

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Humble camps? I wish I had an answer for you, but I'm now curious to know what an "Humble camp" was, and how someone could be raised in one.

I've lived in Houston most of my nearly 70 years and I've never heard that term before. Can you enlighten me?

Well, you have just opened onto an opportunity to get to know your home better in many ways. Decades before building the Exxon skyscraper downtown, the Humble Oil Company was based in what's now the multi-Marriott and directed work (and economic development) all over the state. If you drive up 59 to Humble you can see a lot of old buildings, but until the company knew how long many employees would need to live at an exploration site, it had camps to house them. My grandparents lived in Stanton camp (which did not involve tents) in West Texas for a while, and when Houston's urbanization was much more limited, there were some around the area too.

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Humble camps were the housing areas that Humble Oil provided to their employees so they could live close to the fields where they worked. My Mother's Dad worked for Humble from 1933 to 1966, with most of that in a camp. Humble provided basic houses of a standard design, utilities, streets, etc. The streets were generally oyster shell where available. I know my Mom lived in the camps at Tomball, ST, Freer, Heyser (near Bloomington, SE of Victoria) and I think one other. When my Granddad was transferred to Woodsboro, they moved into a regular house, although my Mom had left by then. After Woodsboro, they moved to Refugio, where my Granddad retired.

One of my Uncles lived in the camp near Genoa, transferring there dometime arounf WWII, after working for years in the Baytown refinery. My Dad's parents moved to Baytown in 1917, and lived in a tent for a couple of years, until a blowout forced the companies to make all of the employees move out. My Dad's Dad worked for Humble as well, although there wasn't really a camp in Baytown due to the proximity of the town to the field.

As I understnad it, the houses were pretty basic, but livable. The exteriors were painted on a schedule, as were the interiors. Of course, in those days, there wasn't any air conditioning. When my Mom was born, in 1936, my grandparents lived in Tomball, and made the long trip into town so my Mom could be born in a real hospital - Memorial on Lamar. I used to hear the story that the night my Mom was born, the temperature was so cold that the contents of the icebox froze. Soon after that, Humble started to provide refrigerators, eliminating the need for visits from the iceman. Heat was provided by gas space heaters, using gas from the nearby fields.

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My mom's family lived in an Humble Oil Company camp near Bacliff in the early 50's before buying a home nearby. My grandfather worked on the rigs in Galveston Bay, oftentimes commuting all the way to Anahuac to get on the boat to get to the rig.

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My mother was raised in Humble camps - and remembers living in one called Spanish Trail Camp, or Humble ST Camp in the early 1940's. I remember my Grandad talking about it as well. Does anyone have a reference to the location of the ST Camp? I assume it was somewhere off of Main, the 1935 map shows Hwy 90 called OST to San antonio, while the street currently named OST is called the OST Cutoff, under construction. I don't know if the camp was related to the Pierce Junction field, but that's the only large field near those streets.

I love the Internet. I have just learned something I never knew about Houston and local history. I Thank you.

I never encountered an "Humble Camp", but I did live in a what I would call a "Phillips 66 Camp" in Old Ocean for a brief time in the early 50s. My father worked at Dow Chemical in Freeport for about 8 months in 1950 and 51, and the only place he could find for us to live was a housing project right next to the Phillips Refinery in Old Ocean, about 20 miles from Freeport.

I learned later that Phillips built the project for its employees during WWII, but opened it to the general public after the war. Believe me. That place made the old Allen Parkway Village/San Felipe Courts look like a high rent district.

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There was an Humble Camp south of Dickinson Bayou. There is still an Humble Camp Rd. off of Texas Highway 3.

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There really wasn't a Baytown until the Humble refinery was completed in 1921. The "Humble Camp" there was right up next to the refinery entrance. If you go down to Old Baytown (remember, Baytown was once three different cities, Goose Creek, Pelly and Baytown) the camp was in the now empty and open grassy areas across from the old junior high school. The town was built next to it. Go down to the Baytown History Museum on Defee (a great museum by the way) and you can see photos of the old Humble Camp there.

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My Dad grew up in Pelly. From the stories he and my Uncles told, it had a great sense of neighborhood and poeple liked living there.

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Humble camps? I wish I had an answer for you, but I'm now curious to know what an "Humble camp" was, and how someone could be raised in one.

I've lived in Houston most of my nearly 70 years and I've never heard that term before. Can you enlighten me?

I own 75 acres just out of Hardin Texas that was once a Humble Oil Housing Camp. You would not believe all of the relics I have found. I am in search of pictures of Old Humble Camp homes in the area.

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I am in search of Humble Oil Housing Camp pictures. I own 75 acres just out of Hardin, Tx in Liberty County that was once a Humble Oil Camp. Any ideas? :)

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I am in search of Humble Oil Housing Camp pictures. I own 75 acres just out of Hardin, Tx in Liberty County that was once a Humble Oil Camp. Any ideas? :)

Very interesting topic... hadn't heard of these before...there is a book about Humble Oil (I've listed, might have something about the camps in it),

I would check with the Houston library Texas room, says on-line they have a copy, maybe they would look it up for you. They have always seemed very eager to help, they could probably give good advise about where exactly to look.

http://www.amazon.ca...9731171-1845502

I recently viewed an old Houston map, and was very surprised to see so many oil fields on the south side of town, where I grew up. That explains all those pumps I saw. It was the area around Winkler, Old Galveston Road, and the Gulf Freeway. Stella Link/ Holmes Road had quite a few, as well. Imagine there were camps there, as well. One link says the houses were often moved.

Found a few links: http://www.katymagaz...ike-katy-tx.pdf

camp house: http://news.webshots...099034237IItkpI

here's the Houston map: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/topo/texas/txu-pclmaps-topo-tx-houston_and_vicinity-1955.jpg

Edited by NenaE
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That house in Tomball is exactly like the pictures of houses my Mom lived in while she was growing up, mostly the Heyser camp South of Bloomington, and the Government Wells camp North of Freer.

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Hmmmm. If I recall correctly there was a small oil town settlement off of 1960 in the Humble area that we called moonshine hill. I don't know if that was one of those "Humble camps" you where talking about. Although I can tell you this for sure there isn't much back there or at least there wasn't when I went looking about five years back. There was a big flood that happened on moonshine hill and the insurance company refused to pay for damages because the houses where build on the flood plains. Now if there are any structures left they typically house the homeless or drug users.

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Hmmmm. If I recall correctly there was a small oil town settlement off of 1960 in the Humble area that we called moonshine hill. I don't know if that was one of those "Humble camps" you where talking about. Although I can tell you this for sure there isn't much back there or at least there wasn't when I went looking about five years back. There was a big flood that happened on moonshine hill and the insurance company refused to pay for damages because the houses where build on the flood plains. Now if there are any structures left they typically house the homeless or drug users.

Moonshine Hill, from a name like that, sounds like it had a colorful past...what would be the road names boardering the area?

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Moonshine Hill, from a name like that, sounds like it had a colorful past...what would be the road names boardering the area?

FM 1960 along Moonshine Hill Rd., very appropriately. Looks like there was production to both the north and south of FM 1960.

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I know this is an old topic, but I just discovered it today after doing some research and remembering living in a Humble Oil & Refining Camp just east of Hull, Liberty Co., TX. This particular camp had a tank-farm with very large storage tanks. There was a large building with diesel pumps in it that had pistons as big as 2-gallon water buckets! The whole ground shook for quite a distance from the building. There was a good sized pond that served as a cooling reservoir for the diesel engines. The location was along the southern border of the Missouri-Pacific RR going to Beaumont, TX. The campground was south of the pump building and pond and consisted of seven houses. Humble had a water well, water filtration system and septic system for the homes. Just across the east border barbed wire fence was the Big Thicket forest. There were pines, hardwoods, palmetto palms, lots of spanish moss and plenty of wild animals. The area between the campground and the water well and pond also had a nice set of swings and see-saw for the children to play on. There was a nice row of sycamore trees along the western border of the campground and the entrance road was parallel to that row of trees. Each home had its own single car garage which had a spot in the back to store overflow possessions and a washer and dryer. The houses probably were not any larger than 1000 sq. ft. There were two bedrooms each with a closet, one bath, a kitchen and dining area, living room, screened in front porch and enclosed back porch. For cooling we used an attic fan at night located above the hallway at the bathroom. High humidity was a constant battle for the ladies. Anything left undisturbed in a closet for very long would mildew. Salt shakers had to have rice grains added to keep the salt grains from sticking together. Hair permanents were a frequent necessity for the ladies. We children played a lot and built tree-houses using scrap wood and made walls and mats from woven palmetto palm leaf strands, with the large fan-shaped leaves as roof items. We were able to ride our bikes with no fear of high speed traffic as there was no such thing as through-traffic in the camp. We had frequent community barbeques in the summer time. Life was good!

 

Joe

Hull TX Humble Facility mod.jpg

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As a follow-up, I also lived for a short time in a Humble Campground just NE of Luling, TX in Caldwell Co. of Hwy 86.  I was only a baby at the time so I have no memories of the campground. My sister does and we have a few pictures of life there. I do not know how many homes were part of that campground. The Luling area and Darst Field in Guadalupe, Gonzales and Wilson Counties were served by Humble, Sun-Oil, Mobil and Sinclair employees.

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Here is more on the Hull, TX Humble Camp. The houses were in a row from north to south. The fronts of the houses faced to the west, so the back of the house faced east. The Big Thicket trees were so tall and thick that morning sun did not reach the houses until mid morning. The bathroom was between the two bedrooms and there was an attic fan in the ceiling of the hallway for cooling at night.

Hull TX Humble Camp Layout.jpg

Humble Camp House.jpg

Edited by Joezera
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My husband is looking for information about an Humble Camp that was in the area of Anahuac, Texas.  Does anyone know anything about that Humble Camp.  Trying to help him remember some of the details.

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ExxonMobil donated most of its historical collection to UT Austin. There might be something there.

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On ‎4‎/‎8‎/‎2017 at 3:55 PM, Gene Buck said:

My husband is looking for information about an Humble Camp that was in the area of Anahuac, Texas.  Does anyone know anything about that Humble Camp.  Trying to help him remember some of the details.

 

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Gene,

Do a google search "Monroe City The Town Oil built". A book about The Anahuac Humble camp is available from the Wallisville Heritage Park.  It's a good one. The name Gene Buck appears on page 131. I lived in this camp in 1949-1954. My name is at the top left of page 197.   I also lived in West Columbia camp from 1947-1949 , and the Friendswood camp(across old Galveston hwy from Ellington AFB) from 1943-1947. I have visited folks in the following camps: Navasota, Lovell Lake, Tomball, Hull, Webster, Anahuac(not Monroe City), Sugarland , Snyder ,Dickenson, Hastings, and Hebbronville.              

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On 1/27/2018 at 11:54 PM, duckhunter said:

Gene,

Do a google search "Monroe City The Town Oil built". A book about The Anahuac Humble camp is available from the Wallisville Heritage Park.  It's a good one. The name Gene Buck appears on page 131. I lived in this camp in 1949-1954. My name is at the top left of page 197.   I also lived in West Columbia camp from 1947-1949 , and the Friendswood camp(across old Galveston hwy from Ellington AFB) from 1943-1947. I have visited folks in the following camps: Navasota, Lovell Lake, Tomball, Hull, Webster, Anahuac(not Monroe City), Sugarland , Snyder ,Dickenson, Hastings, and Hebbronville.              

Gene, just seeing this. I lived in Friendswood camp from 1949 until 1955. My dad, Robert L (RL) Williams worked near by and left each day with a crew from the tool yard. We loved playing in the community park and helped my dad and mom work our garden plot in the community garden. My brother and I have wonderful childhood memories of growing up in “the camp” free to roam and play. We went to school by bus in Genoa Elementary. Camp Kid

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Quote

 West Columbia camp from 1947-1949

 

I don't know many details but I have an ancestor who was an oilfield foreman and stayed at a camp in that general area around that time period. Maybe it was West Columbia.

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On 6/19/2016 at 3:27 PM, Joezera said:

Here is more on the Hull, TX Humble Camp. The houses were in a row from north to south. The fronts of the houses faced to the west, so the back of the house faced east. The Big Thicket trees were so tall and thick that morning sun did not reach the houses until mid morning. The bathroom was between the two bedrooms and there was an attic fan in the ceiling of the hallway for cooling at night.

Hull TX Humble Camp Layout.jpg

Humble Camp House.jpg

Joe

 

 

this is great information.  We own a house in league city that we have been told was moved from an oil camp.  The Webster camp is close by but there was another camp was in Dickinson.  The floor plan of the house matches the one you posted above exactly.  We greatly appreciate the information you provided in your post.  Dave and Katie

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