Texas oilfields were booming in the 1920s and they soon attracted the attention of investors across the nation including Johann Nicholas Rungeling, born in Iowa in 1866. He later changed his name to John Ringling, and in 1884 he and four brothers founded a small circus which became the Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1907. In 1915, John Ringling hired Frank F. Perkins to open a real estate office in White Sulpher Springs, Montana, to acquire and sell real estate. At one time, John Ringling owned over 100,000 acres of ranch land in Montana; and he founded the City of Ringling, Montana, situated in a warm, often snow-free valley between Livingston, Montana, and White Sulphur Springs, Montana. Ringling also constructed railroads in Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas. He planned to build a railroad to connect Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park, but only a 23 mile stretch was built between Ringling and White Sulpher Springs, Montana. By the 1920s, John Ringling was one of the wealthiest men in the United States, and he invested in railroads, oil, and real estate, becoming a partial owner of Madison Square Garden in New York. The last two railroad lines, ventures with Ardmore, Oklahoma, oilman and promoter Jake L. Hamon, were built to reach Texas oilfield boom areas. Ringling’s Texas line was the Eastland, Wichita Falls and Gulf, a 26 mile railroad begun in February of 1920. The line ran from Magnum through Eastland to Ringling Junction, where connection was made with Hamon’s Wichita Falls, Ranger & Fort Worth Railroad.
After assisting Ringling with his Montana interests, Frank F. Perkins moved from Montana to Eastland, Texas, at Ringling’s request and to manage Ringling’s Southwestern business including oil, railroad, and real estate matters. As reflected by a December 27, 1920, Texas Railroad Commission filing, Frank Perkins was named as the "Texas Agent" for the Cardinal Oil Company of Chicago, lllinois, which company included John Ringling as an investor. Frank Perkins died while playing polo in Eastland on May 7, 1926; and his daughter, Marion, met and later married Caswell Wynne "Jack" Perryman in Eastland, Texas.
C.W. “Jack” Perryman moved to Ft. Worth, Texas, and became an independent oil and gas landman working primarily for Humble in Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and along the Gulf Coast.
Wynne F. Perryman followed his father's footsteps as an independent landman in Houston, Texas, in 1954. His first job was for Humble working for ten dollars a day. Wynne Perryman worked the next 55 years as an independent landman for many oil companies including, but not limited to, Humble, Gulf Oil, and Amoco until his death in 2009. His wife, Leslie Ann Perryman, also acquired oil and gas interests in Montana, Oklahoma, and Colorado from her father, Ewell J. Robinett. Today, even a cursory review of the oil and gas/real property records along the Gulf Coast, South, and Eastern portions of the State of Texas shows the legacy of oil and gas transactions involving Wynne Perryman. His wife, Leslie Ann Perryman, died in 2017.
James S. Perryman of Houston, Texas, son of Wynne F. Perryman, continued as the fourth generation for over 35 years managing oil and gas properties after being trained by Wynne F. Perryman and later obtaining a degree in Petroleum Land Management from The University of Texas. He has represented individuals, trusts, and companies of all sizes and has routinely negotiated leases and participated in complex oil and gas transactions.
During their oil & gas careers from 1920 to the present, Frank Perkins, C.W. "Jack" Perryman, Wynne F. Perryman, Leslie Ann Perryman, James S. Perryman, and Patricia Ann Perryman accumulated mineral and royalty interests now owned of record by Whitman Interests, LLC; and the company is currently owned by James S. Perryman and wife, Patricia Ann Perryman, and also managed by a daughter, Sarah Ann Perryman.