Summers, Emma A. McCutcheon (1858–1941)

Emma A. McCutcheon Summers, known as the Oil Queen of California, was born in Kentucky before the Civil War. She graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music and became a piano teacher. She moved west to Texas and then to Los Angeles with her husband, Alpha C. Summers. Summers saved the money she earned from piano lessons and began to invest in real estate. This was the turning point for Summers, for she would go on to help change the course of Los Angeles.

The oil boom in Los Angeles began when Edward L. Doheny and Charles A. Canfield struck oil in Crown Hill, at Colton Street and Glendale Boulevard. Summers took $700 from her savings and bought a half interest in a well at ...

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