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    Texas | Architecture | Gas Stations

    The Last Humble Station
    San Antonio, Texas

    or It's Hard to be Humble
    When People Keep Changing Your Name


    Text from San Antonio Uncovered by Mark Louis Rybczyk*
    Photos by John Troesser

    National Trust for Historic Preservation's
    2009 'This Place Matters' Winner
    Humble Oils tile sign, San Antonio old gas station
    "The last Humble station still has it's sign. An interesting mosaic on the side of the building marks it permanently as an outpost for Humble Oil."
    San Antonio Humble Gas Station
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, November 2009
    Humble gas station in San Antonio Texas
    "Before there was Exxon, there was Esso. And in Texas there was Humble Oil. Humble Oil was once the most important oil company in Texas with service stations stretched across the state and huge refineries that supplied both Texans and motorists across the country."
    Humble gas station in San Antonio Texas
    "Some of the old Humble stations have been abandoned, others have been remodeled with a new corporate logo affixed above the station. All the Humble stations are gone. All but one."
    Humble gas station bricked up door, San Antonio Texas old gas station
    "The last Humble station no longer pumps gas, and it has no employees. As a matter of fact, it doesn't even have windows. It's been closed for years."
    Humble gas station in San Antonio Texas
    "The building is located just south of downtown. Bypassed by thousands of cars daily, it exists in a void. Too small for redevelopment, but saved from demolition by being far enough away from the highway, the station sits empty as a monument to the past."
    Humble Oils broken signThe broken tile sign above the door. Dark spot at 2 o'clock is a Chimney Swift's nest.
    Humble Oils signA slightly different Humble Oil sign somewhere in Harlingen
    *Text reprinted with permission from
    "San Antonio Uncovered" by Mark Louis Rybczyk,
    Republic of Texas Press, 2000

    February 2003 Photos © John Troesser


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    Humble Gas Station Related Stories:

  • San Antonio Humble Gas Station Wins National 'This Place Matters' Contest

  • Texas Sketchbook by Mike Cox ("Texas Tales" Column)
    Humble, a Texas oil company created in 1911 which in the 1970s became Exxon... published thousands of copies of the “Texas Sketchbook” and distributed them for free to anyone who wanted one, including school kids...

  • Brown's Humble Station, San Antonio Texas, 1938
    Vintage photos courtesy Mel Brown
  • Vintage photos courtesy Mel Brown
  • 35 Years of Humble Service by Mel Brown
    At age five, I went to live with my grandparents in San Antonio. My grandfather, C. K. Brown was nearing the end of a 35 year long career with The Humble Oil & Refining Co. as a truck driver and was then marking time daily by running errands for the regional depot. For most of the previous three decades he had delivered Humble petroleum products throughout South Texas and all over San Antonio first by mule team, below, then motor transport. But for that first year before entering grade school, I became his pint sized partner running around S A with him to the various Humble stations in a '49 Chevy pickup truck.... more - Mel Brown
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