Erle P. Halliburton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Erle P. Halliburton, 1940

Erle Palmer Halliburton (September 22, 1892, near Henning, Tennessee – October 13, 1957, in Los Angeles) was an American businessman specializing in the oil business.

Early life[edit]

Halliburton was born in Henning, Tennessee, on September 22, 1892. When Halliburton was 12 years old, his father died. At 14, Halliburton left home to support the family. As a youth, he learned how to operate heavy machinery such as a train locomotive, a steam crane and a steam shovel. Later, Halliburton was a salesman in New York.

Business career[edit]

Prior to the United States's entry into World War I, Halliburton gained exposure to shipboard engineering as a member of the United States Navy. After his honorable discharge in 1915, he headed for the oilfields of California, where he was able to apply techniques analogous to the technology with which he had worked in the Navy. His drive and his sense of innovation soon brought him into conflict with his boss, Almond Perkins. Halliburton later quipped that getting hired and getting fired by the Perkins Oil Well Cementing Company were the two best opportunities he had ever received.[1]

Halliburton then moved to Duncan, Oklahoma where Halliburton invented, perfected, and patented a new method of oil well cementing. According to one of the inscriptions on the pictured monument, Halliburton's method "isolates the various downhole zones, guards against collapse of the casing and permits control of the well during its producing life." In 1919, based on this new method, Halliburton started Duncan's New Method Oil Well Cementing Company. By 1922, the company was operating as the Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company. On July 5, 1961, it became known as the Halliburton Company.

Halliburton also designed the aluminum suitcases which are now manufactured by Zero Halliburton.

"An Uncommon Man;" Erle P. Halliburton Monument in Memorial Park, Duncan, OK; erected – 1993

Halliburton was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1957.[2]

Private life[edit]

Halliburton was married to Vida C. Taber Halliburton, but had a few children out of wedlock. Edith Edna Cole, an office employee at the Duncan headquarters gave birth to Carl Thurlo in 1933 after an extensive affair with Erle. Carl is one of a few extramarital children, including Edith's grand daughter, Shirley Kaye, born in 1941, to Memory, oldest daughter of Edith. Memory was 14 at the time of the affair. Memory settled a paternity and support lawsuit in Los Angeles in the 1940's. Shirley Kaye received a cash settlement in 1968. Another child, Billie Jean Thurlo, born in 1930, is said to also be a daughter of Edith Edna Cole and Erle P. Halliburton. Edith Edna Cole was married to MM Bloomfield, Perry Eaton and William Graham. There is a record of Edith Edna Cole being married to William "Bill" Thurlo, but there are no birth certificates for Billie Jean and Carl. Edith Edna Cole Bloomfield Thurlo's children; Memory, Inez, Joe Ben, Billie Jean, Carl and Marshal, were born in Duncan, OK. between 1918 and 1941.

In 1941, Halliburton provided cash for an 80 acre plot of land for Edith Edna Cole and her children near Kingston, OK along the shores of Lake Texoma. Halliburton planned a resort with cabin cruiser boat themed cabins as guest units at Lake Texoma, but it was never built. Halliburton visited Edith and the children in Kingston a few times in the 1940's before Memory moved Shirley to Dayton, OH. Edna married Perry Eaton in 1940 and had two sons with him; James Lee Eaton and Earl P. Eaton. Eaton adopted the older children. Eaton farmed the land and took care of the children in Kingston while Edith worked in Oklahoma City in the aircraft industry during WWII. <ref>Interviews with Carl Thurlo and Billie Jean Thurlo Valentine,<ref>

Further reading[edit]

  • Kenny A. Franks, The Oklahoma Petroleum Industry (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980);
  • Kenny A. Franks, Paul F. Lambert, and Carl N. Tyson, Early Oklahoma Oil: A Photographic History, 1859–1936 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1981).
  • J. Evetts Haley, Erle P. Halliburton: Genius with Cement (Duncan, Okla.: Privately printed, 1959).


  1. ^ Oklahoma Historical Society (2010). "Halliburton, Erle Palmer (1892-1957)". Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture. Archived from the original on 2011-03-25. Retrieved 2011-04-08.
  2. ^ "Oklahoma Hall of Fame". Retrieved November 16, 2012.