A piece of history

Published 11:00 pm Monday, July 29, 2013

This property at 403 Montgomery Street was once home to two gas companies.

This property at 403 Montgomery Street was once home to two gas companies.

Empty structure was once gas companies

Written by Trenton Thompkins, intern with The Messenger

What was twice a thriving gasoline industrial company for Troy now sits idle, seemingly frozen in time.

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Located on the overpass of U.S. Highway 29 heading north towards Luverne is the makings of a potentially historic site.

An old, rusty gate that’s bolted and chained now surrounds the building and there are weathered “no smoking” signs plastered on the rickety structure’s doors.

The plot wasn’t always dismal, though.

The Texas Company, better known as the Texaco Oil and Gas Company, began in 1901 in the city of Beaumont. Due to its success selling wholesale gasoline, Texaco spread its wings to other states, eventually landing here in Alabama and inside Troy’s city limits.

The company bought the warehouse in 1940, and for roughly 20 years, the oil giant sold commercial and residential gas to the residents of Troy. Unknown as to why the company sold their business, Troy-based company, Black and Botts Oil Company took over the establishment in 1960.

Owner, Samuel Botts Jr., recalled his time spent selling wholesale gasoline to companies and farmers within the region.

“We were in business a good 45 years.” Botts said. “We used the premises in the same way as the Texaco company that we bought it from.”

Botts said his company went out of business about “three or four years ago” when he decided to work on other business ventures.

“It was vacant when I bought it, and it’s vacant now,” Botts said.

The property at 403 Montgomery Street is absent the signs of a lively business now, but hints at a story of both humble beginnings and flourishing success for the oil industry.