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Muckleston Family History Group

researching all references to the surnames Muckleston, Mucklestone, Muckelston and Mackleston please get in touch via the contact us page with any additional information or to correct any errors.

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A Texas Oil Man

Melville Muckleston was born on 26th October 1886 in Wisconsin one of seven children born to John (a farmer) and Jane Muckleston and he was brother to Milo who became a prominent lawyer and judge. Melville was a sportsman and did well at college including being captain of the football team. The 1910 census has him, aged 23, working as a University Stenographer and living in Seattle, Washington. The 1920 census has him aged 33, as an unmarried boarder, working as a lawyer in Seattle, Washington.


Melville Mucklestone  1911  UW


By 1930 he was married to Ada and their stepson Thomas White is living with them aged 17 and we can assume this is Ada’s son from her first marriage. His age at first marriage, which would have been to Ada, is given as 36 and although we cannot find the marriage as yet, it would put the year of marriage around 1922-23. We have been unable to ascertain Ada’s maiden name but there is a possibility it was Sloan. Age at first marriage for Ada is given as 20 which we assume was to Thomas’ father a Mr White. Melville is still a lawyer in 1930, but in private practice, and Ada is a writer. Now they are living in Chicago, Illinois and Melville is recorded as a WW1 veteran.


According to his WW1 draft registration card which was dated June 5 1917, he was an attorney at law, and his description was given as tall, medium build, brown eyes, black hair. He tries to claim exemption due to the fact that his parents are wholly dependant on him. By this time Milo was dead and his other two brothers had already enlisted. His father was indeed 72 years old but they were living in California, quite a distance from Melville.


His exemption was not justified and as a Wisconsin newspaper stated he joined the flying corps:


6 Dec 1917

Melville Mucklestone To Be In Flying Service

He Has Been Accepted By Uncle Sam and Awaits Call To Berkeley Flying School

            The following article taken from the Seattle Sunday Times, of Nov 25 will be read with much interest by numerous Freeman patrons:

            “Signal! 22-A-Formation-tackles-back-16-0!”

            Zzzp! Eleven airplanes flying in close order with a flashing machine at the apex, charging through the disordered ranks of the Boche planes-another touchdown!

            This is what football fans of the Pacific Northwest may shortly expect to read in dispatches from the front. “Good old Muck” in private life Melville Mucklestone known on a hundred football fields as the greatest battering ram the University of Washington ever turned out , has joined the aviation corps.

            In a few weeks the famous halfback will leave for Berkeley Cal., and later for the San Diego finishing school. Then he will wing his way – “wing” is the correct word, is it not? – across the ocean to the Allied front and Gil Dobies protégé will find himself on a new battlefield.

            With so many athletes in the aviation corps, some notable air struggles may be expected during the 1918 drive, it is predicted. Likewise, some startling new shifts, dazzling end runs, brilliant tackles and daring loop-the-loops are bound to follow.


Examination Easy.

            Mucklestone had no difficulty passing the examination. In fact, the medical testers found that standing on his head, whirling round dizzily and falling with a thud were among some of the best things “Muck” did. His training against O A C and Pullman warriors adapted him at once to the demands of the aviation corps.

            Likewise since leaving the gridiron “Muck” has been a faithful follower of golf and is now in the pink of condition.

            “Muck” first flashed across the football horizon in the fall of 1908, Dobies first year at Washington. He was one of that famous coterie of freshmen to make the team that year, along with “Wee” Coyle, Max Eakins, Warren Grimm, et al.

            Following the season during which Washington did not lose a game for the first time in its history “Muck” was signally honored by the team, receiving the captaincy in his freshman year, the first time such an event had happened with the Purple and Gold.

            In the fall of 1909 the victorious season was repeated and in 1911 Muckleston played his third year, omitting 1910, when he turned out for law. As in football, he won his letter in the legal profession. Likewise he found time to make his letter two years in baseball.

            In addition to being a member of Phi Delta Theta, Phi Delta Phi, and the Fir Tree, “Muck” united with the Republican Party and entered politics. Aside from this his record was blameless and since graduation he has been unusually successful in his law practice, serving the legal department of the Superior Lumber Company.

            When Captain Jones, recruiting officer, arrived in Seattle and set up headquarters in the Arcade building “Muck” decided that aviation would give his training the best outlet, and he signed up. The examination followed, successfully, then the enlistment. He is now waiting for the Berkeley call which will arrive in the next two weeks.


Everything did not run smoothly as an aircraft accident report was to show:



I located a newspaper article about one of Melville’s brothers, Ralph Waldo Muckleston,  from which I have taken the following extract:


His brother Melville, entered Milo Muckleston’s law office in Waukesha for a little while, and then went to Dakota, where he entered the state agricultural college at Fargo and played on the football team. He decided to go further west and to study forestry, he then entered the University of Washington, taking the forestry course, he also took part in the war, joining the flying corps and after a short foray into oil prospecting in Texas he settled down and followed in his brother’s footsteps as an attorney. Melville and his wife, who was president of the American Legion Auxiliary, lived in Chicago for many years and at the time of their deaths in 1968 were living in California. They had no children.


The “short foray into oil prospecting” in Texas sounded interesting and I wondered if he made his fortune and felt further investigation was in order.


Taken from the Wichita Daily Times (of Wichita Falls Texas) on 9th February 1919 – a full page Advertisement. We know from other correspondence that Melville thought the family name originated in Scotland.


Mucklestone – the Lucky Stone of Scotland


We should pay 25% per month dividend within six months.

Capital $150,000.00

Par Value $5.00

For sale at Par.

Offering for public subscription 26,000 shares

At 10.30 am February 12th 1919 at the office of the Securities Investment Company, 810 Main Street, Fort Worth Texas, subscription lists will be open to the public for application of 26,000 shares of stock of the Mucklestone Oil Company at the price of $5.00 per share par value. In the event of over subscription the privilege is reserved to the Securities Investment Company to reject pro-rata or allot any or all applications received.


Cash profits to Securities Investment Company as fiscal agents for disposing of this issue will be less than 5 per cent.


Holdings cost $67,500.00

Now worth $150,000.00

Drilling Fund $40,000.00


M Mucklestone, President

Rufus A Oliphant, Vice President and geologist

Clifford Mooers, Secretary

George M Bryant, Director

Ed F Pittman, Director.


The Holdings of the Mucklestone Oil Company consists of about 195 acres in the following fields of North Central Texas. Seven and one half acres, about one mile west of Burkburnett. There is at the present time two big producing wells on the same section only a short distance from the Mucklestone Oil Companies holdings.


The management of the Mucklestone Oil Company will be in the hands of the following trustees: M Mucklestone, prominent Seattle attorney who has been associated with the Chicago-Milwaukee Railway and large Chicago and Pacific Coast Lumber Companies. Rufus A Oliphant formerly attached to the U.S. Geological Survey. Clifford Mooers former counsel Harriman Bank of New York – Alaska interests. George M Bryant, well known business man and capitalist of Fort Worth Texas; Ed F Pittman, well known business man and capitalist of Dallas, Texas.


20 March 1919

Mucklestone Company is Preparing to drill in Burkburnett Field

The Company’s Wichita Office is in the McClurkan Building. Mr Mucklestone will be in charge, and will supervise operations in the local field. He is also preparing to offer a certain amount of the unsold stock in the Company in Wichita Falls and vicinity.


21 March 1919

A notice giving the branch address


23 March 1919

How to make money in oil.

An advert for remaining stock – local sale.


18 May 1919

Several wells are nearing completion in the Northwest.

Mucklestone Oil Company No. 1 Schultz drilling below 1200 feet.


25 May 1919

Several wells are nearing completion in the Northwest.

Mucklestone Oil Company, No 1 Schultz drilling around 1300 feet.


My source ran out in May 1919 so I was unable to find the final outcome of Melville’s dabble in oil, did we have a J R Ewing in our family I asked myself?


I contacted Keith Muckleston in Oregon to see if he knew anything about Melville’s foray into the oil business, but he knew nothing of it and this is his reply..


“I have a hunch that we didn't hear about the oil adventure because it didn't produce and probably cost Melville M. a good sum of money in the process. Mel was use to success--as an athlete, aviator, and lawyer and probably wasn't anxious to share what he may well have considered "a failure". I believe that he learned to fly in Texas near the end of WWI and that’s how he became infected by oil fever. Texas was and remains "another planet" for most people in other regions of the US. Most of his siblings had migrated to the West Coast and other regions far from Texas. Distance remains a factor because he moved to Chicago and spent the remainder of his working life there while the others in the immediate family were on the West Coast.”


I came across a website in the USA which lists unclaimed money and it was interesting to see Melville’s name listed – could this be where his oil fortune is? I was doomed to disappointment – the 7 amounts listed were $49.71, $96.07, $2, $2, $33.28, $8, $523.32.


Mrs. Melville Mucklestone

Ada Mucklestone National President 1935-1936


By the time of the 1940 census Melville and Ada were living in the same house as in 1930, he was still practicing law and Ada was still writing, she was also very active in the American Legion and for a time was the President of the Women's Auxiliary.


Melville died on 6th August 1968 in Santa Cruz, California and his wife just six weeks later. He was 81 years old and his wife was 83.