Charles Theophilus (CT) Heisig was born March 31, 1863 in London, England to Ferdinand Heisig and Elisa Marie Bock. His parents were of German and French descent. His father brought the family to the United States when CT was only 6 years old. He used to tell a story of the ship “crashing against the rocks.” His father, a German Baptist minister, was authoritarian and only allowed the oldest son, Theodore, a formal education. The other children had to go to work at a young age, and CT began formal work at 13. In 1894 (around age 20), he worked as a stenographer for the “Houston and Texas Central Railway.” He soon moved to Beaumont; his naturalization certificate has him living in Jefferson County as of 1895. In Beaumont CT became a successful real estate investor. On January 1, 1900, he married Vida Jane Young, a teacher in the Beaumont schools. He was 36 and she was 22.
On January 10, 1901, after Patillo Higgins secured investors despite his four prior failed attempts at drilling, the Lucas gusher was discovered at Spindletop. The gusher spewed oil over 150 feet in the air and produced over 100,000 barrels of oil per day, more than the entire U.S. production combined, making Beaumont an instant mecca for investors. In May CT became one of the founders and first secretary of the Higgins Oil and Fuel Company which continued drilling at Spindletop and found the second major gusher. This was the second company formed by Patillo Higgins. Due to overspeculation and perhaps overextension into land buying, Higgins Oil and Fuel Co. was later absorbed by a larger company. (This will be the subject of a future article on this site; check back.) But CT’s investments were fruitful: he built the Heisig Hotel, owned the Heisig Storage Company, the Beaumont Coca-Cola Company, part of the Gray Building, was a founder of Gulf Steel Company (later Lone Star Steel Company) and a director of Citizen’s National Bank. CT spent a great deal of money and time backing agricultural enterprises in southeast Texas and at the time of his death he owned a rice farm and a large fig farm. In 1903, CT was listed in the Houston Post’s publication of “Men of Texas: A collection of portraits of men who deserve to rank as typical representatives of the best citizenship, foremost activities and highest aspirations of the State of Texas.”
Children of Charles and Vida:
Cecil Emerson Heisig (1902-1903)
Carla Theo Heisig Harris (1900-1928)
Helen Ruth Heisig Vance (1904-1987)
Dorothy Grace Heisig Price (1912-1973)
Marjorie Jane Heisig Browne (1917-2005)
Marguerite Joyce Heisig Schlosser (1917-2000)
From the June 14, 1932 Beaumont Enterprise:
HEISIG RITES SET FOR TODAY AT RESIDENCE
Funeral Services To Be Private, and Request Made That No Flowers Be Sent
Private funeral services for Charles T Heisig , 68, prominent civic leader of the city who died at his home, 2048 Hazel ave, about 1:30 o’clock Monday afternoon, will beheld at the late residence Tuesday afternoon. Internment under the direction of Pitkin Grulin Undertaking co will be in Magnolia Cemetery. In accordance with wishes of the deceased, members of the family have requested that no floral offerings be sent. Only members of the family and pallbearers will be in attendance at these services. Shock To Friends News of Mr. Heisig’s death greatly shocked his most intimate friends, some of whom had talked to him on the streets Monday forenoon. He was apparently in good spirits Monday at noon, Members of family said, and as it was customary for him to retire for a rest shortly after finishing his meal, he went to his room after lunch. The lifeless body was discovered about 2 o’clock when members of his family went to his room to call him. The death certificate shows death to have been caused by swallowing poison. Heisig was born in London and was brought to the Unites States in his early infancy. He came to Beaumont from Houston in 1890 and was employed here as a stenographer for the old Beaumont Lumber co under the late John N Gilbert. After two years with this concern we went into business for himself, dealing in insurance and real estate. In 1901 he was one of the founders and first secretary of the Higgins Oil co which was later absorbed by a larger company. Was Developer Mr Heisig has spent a great deal of money and much time in backing agricultural enterprises in southeast Texas. He was known as a pioneer in the dairy and fig industry in this section and at the time of his death owns a large fig farm near Hamshire. Of late he had also been interested in the development of iron deposits in north Texas. Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Vida Heisig four daughter, Mrs. Milton Vance, Mrs. John Price, Misses Jane and Joyce Heisig, all of this city; two Grandchildren, Carla Ruth Harris and A.W. Harris Jr., also of this city and two brothers, Dr. E. S. Heisig of Houston and P. A. of Los Angeles, Cal.