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Yount-Manion Films - Polo Match

Lamar University

Silent | 1930s

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This 1930s home movie from the Yount-Manion family captures scenes of a polo match at an unknown location. The second part of the footage shows a Goodyear blimp floating in the sky. In addition to the Yount family’s work in the oil industry, the family also had a strong interest in horses and breeding horses. The Younts built Spindletop Stables in Beaumont in 1933 where they raised American Saddlebreds. After Mile Frank Yount’s death, his wife Pansy Yount moved the stables to Lexington, Kentucky and re-established them as Spindletop Farm, which is now part of the University of Kentucky. The Yount-Manion Films were given to Lamar University by Greg Riley and Fred McKinley. The pair discovered the films while researching their 2005 book, Black Gold to Bluegrass: From the Oil Fields of Texas to Spindletop Farm of Kentucky, which chronicles the legacy of Frank and Pansy Yount.
Miles Frank Yount, oilman and civic leader, son of J. N. and Hattie Yount, was born at Monticello, Arkansas, on January 31, 1880. Yount left school at age fifteen and moved to Texas, where he worked in the oil and rice fields. He brought one of the first rotary drilling rigs ever seen along the Gulf Coast to the area and designed several special adaptations for the new machine. He formed the Yount Oil Company by 1913, which two years later became the Yount-Lee Oil Company. Certain that more oil lay below the dwindling Spindletop oilfield, Yount secured mineral rights to large tracts in the area. In 1925 his McFaddin No. 3 well struck oil at 2,800 feet, sparking a second Spindletop oil boom. He eventually acquired mineral rights in several of the Gulf Coast's major fields, including the High Island, Barbers Hill, Hull, and Sour Lake oilfields, as well as those at Hackberry and Liberty, Texas, and Crowley and Jennings, Louisiana. Yount built large tank farms, a terminal, and docks near Beaumont to ship his company's oil to destinations around the world. Yount married Pansy Merritt on September 15, 1915. The couple had one child, Mildred Frank Yount (who would go on to marry Edward Daniel Manion and become Mildred Yount Manion). Although his own academic training had been limited, Yount had a keen interest in education and amassed a large personal library. He was a regent for the University of Texas. Other hobbies included collecting violins and horses. While Yount sought to avoid the public limelight, he made several generous gifts to Beaumont charities and at least once donated personal funds to help the city meet its payroll during the early days of the Great Depression. He also served on the city's port commission. He was a Presbyterian. Yount died in Beaumont on November 13, 1933, apparently of a heart attack. He was buried in Beaumont's Magnolia Cemetery. His Yount-Lee Oil Company was subsequently purchased by Stanolind Oil for over $41 million in 1935, then the third largest cash transaction in American business history. (Source: Texas State Historical Asssociaton)