James Lawrence Collins
Historical Marker
Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas


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James L. Collins

Born in Weston, West Virginia, James Lawrence Collins (1883-1953) began his career in the petroleum industry at age fourteen. New oil discoveries in Texas brought him to the Corsicana area about 1923. He soon formed a partnership with two brothers, John and Robert Wheelock, and founded the Wheelock & Collins Oil Company.

Collins' business was instrumental in the development of the Corsicana field, the East Texas field, and other oil fields around the country. His success and expertise were widely recognized throughout the industry and led him into positions of leadership in several national petroleum associations.

Never married, Collins provided upon his death that his $13 million estate be divided among four organizations. These included Dallas' Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children and St. Joseph's Orphanage. Part of the estate went to his local Roman Catholic parish, which used the money to build and operate the school at this site. The remainder of his estate went to create scholarships for graduates of Corsicana High School.

Collins' contributions as a businessman and civic leader played an important role in the development and history of the Corsicana area. (1983)

Location: Corsicana, Navarro County Texas  - West State Highway 22, Collins Catholic School

The text of the historical markers have been posted here with the permission of the Texas Historical Commission

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Edward L. Williams & Barbara Knox