(May 15, 1869 - Jan. 30, 1952)A millionaire by his early thirties, Leonard Frederick Benckenstein made his first fortune in Detroit, where he was involved in the insurance, stock, and bond business. His friendship with prominent East Texas lumberman John Henry Kirby led him to Beaumont, where he was visiting when the Lucas gusher came in in 1904. Benckenstein came out of retirement to begin investing in the great speculation that followed the oil discovery. While initially successful, he eventually suffered enormous losses. He remained active in the oil business, however, and later was given a lease to drill for oil on the Ged Gray Ranch in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. The successful venture resulted in the founding of Vinton Petroleum Company, which came to be owned by Benckenstein and Orange businessmen W. H. Stark and Dr. E. W. Brown. After the death of his first wife, Genevieve (Peterson), in 1914, Benckenstein married Louise Sneed, and they moved to Orange, where he could better manage the affairs of Vinton Petroleum. While living in the city, he helped organize Orange's Red Cross chapter and became a board member of the First National Bank of Orange.
|Placed By||Texas Historical Commission|
|Marker Condition||No reports yet|
|Date Added||Thursday, April 12th, 2018 at 7:01pm PDT -07:00|
|UTM (WGS84 Datum)||31N E 166021 N 0|
|Decimal Degrees||30.09295000, -93.73655000|
|Degrees and Decimal Minutes||N 30° 5.577', W 93° 44.193'|
|Degrees, Minutes and Seconds||30° 5' 34.62" N, 93° 44' 11.58" W|
|Driving Directions||Google Maps|
|Which side of the road?||Marker is on the right when traveling East|
|Closest Postal Address||At or near 701-799 West Green Avenue, Orange TX 77630, US|
|Alternative Maps||Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap|
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