“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Athens in Henderson County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Sid Williams Richardson

Sid Williams Richardson Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, August 16, 2020
1. Sid Williams Richardson Marker

Born in Athens on April 25, 1891, Sid Williams Richardson became known as the "Billionaire Bachelor." When he was 16, Sid traveled to Louisiana, to purchase cattle with money he saved. A natural trader and negotiator, Richardson sold the calves once he returned to Athens and tripled his money, making $3,500. Following high school, Sid briefly attended Baylor University in Waco and Simmons (now Hardin-Simmons) University in Abilene. In 1909, Sid's brother-in-law helped him get a job with an oil well supply company in Wichita Falls where he worked as a salesman, oil scout, lease purchaser and, by 1917, an independent oil producer. In 1919, Richardson partnered with his long time friend Clint Murchison to buy land and lease or sell the lands to oil companies seeking new areas to drill. Sid's finances fluctuated as he lost and gained wealth but he persisted.

In 1929, he discovered the Keystone Field in Winkler County, drilling 80 straight wells without a dry hole in what would become one of the largest oil fields in Texas and making Richardson one of the most successful independent oil men in the country. In 1936, Sid purchased
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San Jose Island, five miles off the Gulf Coast from Rockport, Texas, where he built the only home he ever owned. He hosted Pres. Franklin Roosevelt there in May 1937 during his visit to Texas. Pres. Roosevelt later sought Richardson's council on the nation's petroleum reserves during WW II. Sid was a close friend of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower following the war, entertaining him and Lyndon Johnson at San Jose Island. The island was used as a location to raise Texas longhorn cattle to ensure their preservation. Sid was named to the National Petroleum Council, owned a chain of drug stores, a hotel and a television station, and assisted local charities. Sid died on September 30, 1959, and is buried in Athens.
Marker is property of the State of Texas
Erected 2016 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 18530.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical date for this entry is April 25, 1891.
Location. 32° 11.998′ N, 95° 51.385′ W. Marker is in Athens, Texas, in Henderson County. Marker can be reached from Larue Street east of Dean Street, on the right when traveling east. The marker is at Athens Cemetery. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Athens TX 75751, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dulcinea Ann Holland Thompson Avriett (within
Sid Williams Richardson grave image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, August 16, 2020
2. Sid Williams Richardson grave
shouting distance of this marker); Athens Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker); Clinton Williams Murchison, Sr. (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Joseph Thomas La Rue (about 400 feet away); Stella E. Parsons La Rue (about 400 feet away); John Matthews McDonald (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Athens Review (approx. ¼ mile away); First Baptist Church of Athens (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Athens.
Athens Cemetery Map image. Click for full size.
August 30, 2020
3. Athens Cemetery Map
The gravesite of Sid Williams Richardson is noted on this map by the historical markers (3 to 5) in section D. Cemetery files show his plot as B-181.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 23, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 172 times since then and 56 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 23, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.   3. submitted on August 30, 2020. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A wide view photo of the marker and the surrounding area together in context. • Can you help?

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May. 30, 2023