Eugene Benjamin Germany, industrialist, independent oil producer, and civic leader, was born in Sweetwater, Texas, on September 18, 1892, the son of John Wesley and Arona (Lea) Germany. He attended public schools at Murchison and Grand Saline, worked in the local salt plant, and was a student at Southwestern University at Georgetown from 1910 to 1912. Germany was a teacher and high school principal in Grand Saline for six years and during the summers attended Southern Methodist University, where he acquired training as a geologist. From 1916 to 1927 he worked in the oil business. He started at Mexia and became a lease broker, independent operator, and consulting geologist associated with enterprises including Gadley Oil and Calto Oil companies. In 1928 in Dallas he formed a partnership with Thomas Cranfill, the Cranfill and Germany Oil Company, which was later named E. B. Germany and Sons and had holdings in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Mexico.
Germany wrote for business and professional publications and published a regular column, "The Way I See It," in East Texas newspapers. He served as mayor of Highland Park from 1934 to 1942 and in 1940 managed the campaign of John Nance Garner for the Democratic nomination for president. He served twice as state Democratic chairman, under governors W. Lee O'Daniel and Coke Stevenson. In 1944 he was a Texas elector at large and campaign coordinator for five congressional districts for the Texas Regulars, an anti-Roosevelt faction of Texas Democrats. Germany was appointed chairman of the Texas Industrial Commission in 1958. In 1947 he became president of the Lone Star Steel Company, originally a government project, which he acquired in January 1948 and expanded into a fully integrated steel mill. During his presidency he used the right-to-work law to break a violent strike. He was later president of the Mustang Oil Company and its subsidiaries.
Germany helped build the Cozby-Germany Hospital, the first hospital in Van Zandt County. He was founder of the Preston State Bank, vice president of Dallas Methodist Hospital, director of Scottish Rite Crippled Children's Hospital, chairman of the board of the Highland Park State Bank, director of the International Travelers Assurance Company, president and board member of the Independent Petroleum Association of Texas, trustee of Southwestern University, president of the Texas State Parks Development Association, president of the East Texas Chamber of Commerce, and president of the Texas Manufacturers Association. During World War II he was an organizer of the first air unit of the Texas Defense Guard (see TEXAS STATE GUARD). In July 1942 he was appointed intelligence officer on the wing staff of the Civil Air Patrol and group commander of the Dallas CAP.
Germany was a Mason and a Shriner. On June 8, 1915, he married Maggie Lee Wilson; they had three children. Germany died in Dallas on July 12, 1971, and was buried at Woodside Cemetery in Grand Saline.
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Frank Carter Adams, ed., Texas Democracy: A Centennial History of Politics and Personalities of the Democratic Party, 1836–1936 (4 vols., Austin: Democratic Historical Association, 1937). East Texas (publication of the East Texas Chamber of Commerce), June 1951. Thomas Clarence Richardson, East Texas: Its History and Its Makers (4 vols., New York: Lewis Historical Publishing, 1940). Van Zandt County History Book Committee, History of Van Zandt County (Dallas, 1984). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Who's Who in America, 1968–69.
Oil and Gas Industry
Oil Entrepreneurs and Wildcatters
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Diana J. Kleiner,
“Germany, Eugene Benjamin,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 23, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
October 26, 2017
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