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Charles A. Straub, a veteran oil worker in Western Pennsylvania, came to Kansas about the opening of the fields in the southern part of this state, and in recent years had become the responsible factor in developing much of the oil and gas interests in and around Moran, where he resided. Mr. Straub is manager, secretary and treasurer of the Eastern Kansas Oil Company, Limited, whose home and headquarters are in Moran.
Mr. Straub was born at Sheldon, Wyoming County, New York, March 29, 1863. His father, A. B. Straub, was born in 1838 and by the accident of birth is a native of Florida. The grandfather, who was born in 1810, in Germany, emigrated to America and landed at one of the ports of Florida, and soon afterwards his oldest child, A. B., was born. The family soon came North and located in the Town of Sheldon, New York, where Grandfather Straub built and for many years was proprietor of the Sheldon Hotel. He died there in 1893. A. B. Straub had no conscious recollections of his native State of Florida, but in recent years had spent his winters at St. Petersburg in that state. He grew up in the Town of Sheldon, New York, was married there, and for a number of years was associated with his father in the management of the Sheldon Hotel. In 1865 he moved to Oil Creek, Pennsylvania. He had some interesting associations with the pioneer oil industry of that state, and most of his sons have at one time or another been oil men. A. B. Straub had a hotel and he also owned three large barges which were used in transporting freight up and down Oil Creek. Just above the creek from the scene of his former operations he bought the McClintock homestead, a residence and three acres of land, and he now spends his summers on that estate, at the Town of Rouseville. Two of his sons and a daughter have also built homes on the three acres of ground. A. B. Straub is a democrat, a member of the Catholic Church and is affiliated with the Catholic Mutual Benefit Association. He married Mary J. Kuster, who was born at Strykersville, Pennsylvania, in 1841. Charles A. Straub is the oldest of their large family of children. Henry Frank is an oil producer living at Titusville, Pennsylvania, and had an oil lease at Pioneer, Pennsylvania. Andrew Thomas had oil productions at Rouseville, Pennsylvania. William J. is an oil producer on the old Rynd farm near Rouseville. George T. is a resident of Rouseville, and had oil properties near Franklin. Clara B. is the wife of D. J. Cavanaugh, manager of the German Refining Company at Rouseville. Lena married Thomas Leroux, a blacksmith of Rouseville, Mr. Leroux being successor to the business once owned by his uncle, Thomas Leroux, who was the pioneer blacksmith at Rouseville.
Charles A. Straub grew up from early infancy in Western Pennsylvania. He attended the Rynd farm school and also the public schools of Rouseville. His environment from boyhood was the oil fields and their attendant activities in Western Pennsylvania. He took to the oil business as naturally as a boy on the seacoast takes to the sea. When he was twenty-four years of age he invested all the capital he had, $50, as a first instalment for a string of drilling tools and started out as an oil well driller. In that work he followed the fields along Oil Creek and around Oil City and had finally acquired an equipment of three strings of tools and was doing an extensive business as a contractor. He also did some oil production on his own account.
Mr. Straub came to Chanute, Kansas, in 1901. Until 1909 he was field manager for the Kansas Crude Oil and Gas Company. In the latter year he bought out the interests of this company, but sold them in 1911 and removed to Moran. At Moran he acquired a three-eighth interest in the Eastern Kansas Oil Company, Limited. This is both a producing and refining company. It had gas productions south of Moran, oil productions east of Moran, and operated its refinery three miles east of the town. The refinery had a capacity of 800 barrels a day. The gas produced by the company is sold to the Prime Western Smelter Company. The offices of the company are in Moran at the corner of Randolph and Spruce streets.
Mr. Straub had been very successful in business, and had property both in Kansas and in the State of Florida. In Florida he owned 2,000 acres of land, 400 acres in Osceola County and 1,600 acres in Polk County. He had a half interest in 400 acres of farm land in Kansas, and owned one of the attractive residences in Moran at the corner of Spruce and Church streets.
In politics Mr. Straub is an independent democrat. While living at Rouseville, Pennsylvania, he served as justice of the peace. He is a member of the Catholic Church and is affiliated with Oil City Camp of the Modern Woodmen of America and with the Knights of the Maccabees at Oil City.
In 1890 at Buffalo, New York, he married Miss Louisa Virginia Wex. Her father, the late Capt. Peter Wex, was for a number of years commander of a steamboat on Lake Erie. Mr. and Mrs. Straub have four children: Evelyn is the wife of Ira P. Edwards, residing at Moran. Mr. Edwards is chief clerk for the Eastern Kansas Oil and Gas Company, Limited. Peter W. is in the second year of high school, Helen is a freshman in high school, and the youngest, Ruth Catherine, is in the grammar school.