G.W. Carroll was born in Mansfield, Louisiana on 11 April 1855. The family moved to Beaumont, Texas in 1868. As an adult, Carroll became part owner of several lumber companies.
In 1892, Carroll invested $1000 in the Gladys City Oil Company. By 1903, the investment had made him a millionaire several times over. Oil also made Beaumont into a rough town full of drinking, gambling, and prostitution. Carroll, as a major investor, felt responsible for this state of affairs, and he resolved to correct it.
Carroll served two terms as an Alderman in Beaumont, but he had only limited success in cleaning up the town. He turned to philanthropy. Believing that his wealth should be used for the public good, he supported various Baptist causes, including Baylor University. He also donated generously to the YMCA.
Carroll died on 14 December 1935, in a room at the Beaumont YMCA which his money had helped to build.
-- Gammon, 2007, p.65
Carroll was the only cash investor in the Spindletop petroleum field (the other principals gave land). Spindletop made him one of the richest men in Beaumont.
For all his money, Carroll did not seem to want to keep any of it. He donated heavily to the Buckner Children's Home, the YMCA, and to his Baptist church. It is said that when asked by a friend if he wished he had held on to some of his money, Carroll replied "To the contrary, all I have is what I have given away.
-- Data from the Beaumont Enterprise