Born: September 1, 1870 in Red River County Texas, United States
Died: April 29, 1939
Occupation: Lawyer, Oil Company Executive
Source Database: Dictionary of American Biography
Table of Contents
Biographical Essay | Further Readings | Source Citation
Beaty, Amos Leonidas (Sept. 1, 1870 - Apr. 29, 1939), lawyer and oil
executive, was born of Scotch-Irish ancestry in Red River County, Texas, the
eldest of seven children (three sons and four daughters) of William
Alexander Beaty, a farmer of moderate means, and Annie Eleanor (Rogers)
Beaty. Educated at a rural school in Coleman Springs, Texas, and at Honey
Grove Academy, Fannin County, he then read law in the office of Chambers &
Doak in Clarksville. At twenty-one he was admitted to the Texas bar and a
year later became the junior member of Wilkins & Beaty in Sherman. The
important "Snow Case" (Higgins Oil & Fuel Co. et al. vs. Snow et al.),
involving life tenancy in mineral rights and growing out of the discovery of
oil in the Spindletop field (1901), marked his rise. By 1906 he had become
president of the Texas Bar Association.
The next year found him as an attorney for the Texas Company (Texaco), a
vigorous young oil concern headed by Joseph S. Cullinan [q.v.]. A large and
impressive figure, with a keen mind and outstanding personality, Beaty soon
became associate general attorney, and in 1913 he moved with the company's
executive headquarters to New York. On Nov. 25 of that year he was elected
general counsel, a director, and member of the executive committee. His
legal ability greatly helped the growing company in adjusting to its rather
restrictive charter. Under his leadership new laws were secured, in 1915 and
1917, broadening the company's scope of operations. He also smoothed the way
for its entry into the Oklahoma oil fields.
Beaty likewise served as general counsel for the Producers Oil Company and
president of the Texas Petroleum Company, two Texaco subsidiaries. On Mar.
23, 1920, he was elected president of the parent company, a position he held
for six years. An able administrator, Beaty concentrated on expansion of
gasoline production and marketing outlets. He successfully defended his
organization in a federal suit for unlawful combination growing out of the
pooling of "oil cracking" patents. As president, Beaty took the position
that the growing menace of overproduction could be solved by the industry in
a "sportsmanlike manner." He became chairman of the board of the Texas
Company on Mar. 16, 1926, and it became his responsibility to guide,
explain, and justify the company's reorganization under a new Delaware
charter. A disagreement over company policy led to his sudden resignation on
Dec. 21, 1927.
Beaty returned to the practice of law but maintained his industrial
connections. He resumed active participation in 1929 as chairman of the
board of Transcontinental Oil Company and as a director of the Freeport
Texas Company. In 1931 he became a member of the executive committee and a
director of Phillips Petroleum Company.
Almost from its origin, he was active in the American Petroleum Institute. A
director in 1924, Beaty in the following year headed a committee to
cooperate with the Oil Conservation Board in eliminating waste. Here he
propounded his belief that the only desirable legislation would be to
regulate drilling and storage practices and permit agreements between
operators to suspend competitive drilling for given periods. In 1926 Beaty
headed the important committee on agreements, which favored producer
compacts to curtail output, and became treasurer of the Institute. After
five years as treasurer, he was honored by being chosen the first full-time,
salaried president of the Institute, a step viewed by many as a move to make
him unofficial czar of the industry. Beaty's preeminent problem was massive
overproduction, which he sought to solve by cutting output to fit demand.
His experiences slowly led him to the conclusion that voluntary action was
insufficient, and he took a stand for limited government control, a
conviction he advocated fearlessly. This move, and the belief of some that
he was overly pessimistic about the situation, probably was the reason he
was not reelected, though he remained prominent in the organization.
Beaty played an active role in formulating the NRA code for the industry,
and on Aug. 30, 1933, he was appointed to the petroleum planning and
coordination committee under this agency. He became vice-chairman and head
of the important adjustment and interpretation subcommittee, which was the
first court of appeal in field disputes growing out of the code. An advocate
of federal control of production, he became chairman of the main committee
in March 1934. Probably his most important contribution to the philosophy of
control was his "Quotas in Commerce" theory, which held that the government
should limit production by denying the admission of petroleum or its
products, in excess of need, into the channels of interstate commerce. On
Dec. 17, 1934, he resigned to devote more time to personal interests and his
position as counsel for Phillips Petroleum Company. He later organized the
Amos L. Beaty Oil Company, serving as president until his death.
Beaty was a Methodist and a Democrat and belonged to numerous social
organizations. On Oct. 25, 1893, he married Swan Donoho, who died in an
automobile accident in 1930. Mrs. Martha Wilhelmina MacNamara became his
second wife on Mar. 5, 1932. He had no children. He died of a heart attack
and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, New York City.
-- John S. Ezell
[Published sources include Marquis James, The Texaco Story (1953); Who's Who
in America, various issues, 1906-39; Who's Who in Finance and Banking,
1920-22; N. Y. Times, various issues, 1919-39; and promotion and obit.
notices in oil trade journals and N. Y. newspapers. Articles by Beaty
include: "Opportunities for State Laws in Aid of Conservation," Nat.
Petroleum News, Feb. 17, 1926; "Crude Output Will Determine Profits," Oil
Weekly, Feb. 26, 1932; "Quotas in Commerce," Nat. Petroleum News, Feb. 28,
1934; "Federal Control of Petroleum Production," Am. Bar Asso. Jour., June
1934; and "The President's Page," Am. Petroleum Inst. Quart., issues of
1932. See also Nat. Petroleum News, Nov. 16, 1932; and Time, Nov. 23, 1931.
Information concerning Beaty's early life and family was furnished by Robert
P. Kelly, his brother-in-law, Miss Era Boswell, a niece, and W. A. Beaty, a
Source Citation: "Amos Leonidas Beaty."Dictionary of American Biography,
Supplements 1-2: To 1940. American Council of Learned Societies, 1944-1958.
Reproduced in History Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group.
Document Number: BT2310018035
Name: Beaty, Amos Leonidas
Birth - Death: 1870-1939
Accession Number: 287872
Biographical Dictionary of American Business Leaders. By John N. Ingham.
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983. Use the Index to locate biographies. (BiDAmBL)
Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and
magazines. Volume 4: September, 1955-August, 1958. New York: H.W. Wilson
Co., 1960. (BioIn 4)
Dictionary of American Biography. Supplement 2. New York: Charles Scribner's
Sons, 1958. (DcAmB S2)
Who Was Who in America. A component volume of Who's Who in American History.
Volume 1, 1897-1942. Chicago: A.N. Marquis Co., 1943. (WhAm 1)
Name of second wife found by Anita Kearney in notes made by Laura Ellen
Bankhead, just scribbled on the margin. The second marriage and name are
also in his bio above.
Listed in 1930 NY City, Manhattan, Dist 566, age 59; married at age 20 TN TN
TX; Trader of Stocks with wife D. Betty 58 TX NM England; Living in Hotel
Plaza on W. 58th Street.
From the Concise Dictionary of American Biography, Fifth Edition, Vol. I;
Amos Leonidas Beaty born, Red River County, Texas 1870; died NY, NY 1939
Lawyer, oil executive, President of Texas Co., 1920-1926 and American
First known as "Camp Beaty", TCC is almost an institution around Houston
(TX). It was built in 1924 and named in honor of Amos Beaty, then President
of the Texas Company. Rob't A. John in his words at the dedication of the
club on August 30th, 1924, highly touted "...the camp's chief promoter...
Dan Moran, whose zeal, energy, and enthusiasm has made this beautiful sylvan
home possible." . Six years later a nine-hole golf course was built. The 1st
hole of which is No. 13 today. The name was changed to Texaco Country Club
in 1937, and the golf course expanded to 18 holes in 1940.
From the Chicago Tribune (found by Anita Kearney)
New York, April 29. - (AP)- Amos L. Beaty, 68 years old, oil company
president and chairman of the petroleum code under the NRA, died tonight. A
former president of the Texas Bar association, Beaty was head of the Texas
Oil company from 1920 to 1926. He formed the Amos L Beaty Oil company after
his service in the NRA. (Petroleum Code under the National Recovery
Copyright 1939, Chicago Tribune. For permission to reprint, contact Chicago
Tribune Record Number: 19390430ob032
Found searching on Google
Time Magazine Archives
Posted August 11, 1930
Died. Mrs. Swan Donoho Beaty of Manhattan, wife of Board Chairman Amos
Leonidas Beaty of Transcontinental Oil Co.; at St. André-de-Cubzac, a
village near Bordeaux on the Paris-Biarritz road, immediately after an auto
accident in which her husband was also injured.