Welcome back. Traveling the country in search of interesting stories for almost 18 years I have had the opportunity to meet many fascinating people. I was recently in the company of one such person, an eighty-year-old friend of mine who thanked me for being part of his legacy. After looking up the definition of legacy in the dictionary I found two meanings
1.a gift by will especially of money or other personal property
2: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past
Clearly, he was referring to the second meaning and it got me thinking of the people I’ve known in my coming on seventy years on this earth and the legacies they have left.
Early in life I met Paul Endacott and his wife Lucille as they both got their hair cut at Barbara’s Beauty Shop which was located in the Price Tower. As a small boy whose mother did hair for Barbara, at the time I had little knowledge of what this man meant to Bartlesville.
A graduate of the University of Kansas at 21 with a degree in civil engineering, Paul as his friends called him, was also named the outstanding collegiate basketball player of the year in 1923 and became a member of the all-time All-American team the same year. In addition, Paul was the first student at KU to receive the Honor Award for academic excellence.
After hearing L.E. Phillips speak at a banquet during the university’s engineering day, Paul decided to pursue a career with Phillips Petroleum Company which was only six years old at the time. His first four years were spent developing boom towns, building roads, tank farms, gasoline plants and company camps to support Phillips’ oil discoveries. He went on to create a new marketing plan for the company’s fledgling propane gas business which he directed in Michigan.
In 1934 Paul came back to Bartlesville and began his rise to executive leadership as the Director of Employee Relations and Boots Adams’ right-hand man. When Boots Adams became Chairman of Phillips after Frank Phillips’ death in 1951, Paul was named President of the company. This was a period of great growth for Phillips when they acquired one patent after another, particularly in Marlax plastics which brought in millions of dollars but the biggest achievement was yet to come.
In the early 1960s Paul had become Vice-Chairman of Phillips and he led the company to make a major drilling investment in the North Sea where he believed there was a major oilfield. The discovery of this field and the creation of new drilling technology to explore and develop it put Phillips in a class of their own.
Paul retired in 1967 and his retirement was reported in PhilNews, a paper he had started in 1937. It stated:
“Throughout his long career (Endacott) has retained the common touch and personal qualities of consideration for others.”
After retirement Paul and Lucille committed their energy and resources to many philanthropic activies in both Oklahoma and Kansas. I crossed paths with them by chance shortly before Paul’s death in 1997 and I still felt the depth of his concern for other people. Now that my friends is quite a legacy to leave.
So, what will be your legacy or mine/ A question well worth some thought.
Till next time I’ll see ya down the road….