Monday, February 23, 2009

They Sought Oil Early

Tonight's blog was taken from the book "The History of Rich Hill" By E.R. McQuitty. I have not researched this information any further than the article I found. I am however searching for information about the " Early Oil in Rich Hill.

In the spring of 1884 ten or twelve strangers came to Rich Hill, bringing with them one of the best drilling rigs of the time. After some kind of an arrangement, not made known, with Mr. Thomas McComb the crew installed the machinery on the hill on the McComb land just west of the cemetery. Today the land is the Henry Stevener farm. Drilling commenced at once and continued day and night throughout the summer and up into late winter. Suddenly the operations stopped, the drilling equipment dismantled and the strangers disappeared as mysteriously as they came. Before leaving, however, a sixty-foot pole was driven into the casing flush with the ground. It was the conjecture for years afterward that the drill had penetrated oil and the promoters, not desirous of developing the field at the time, had "locked up" the well for future development, or until such time as a scarcity of oil might demand that the well be opened. At any rate the drillers might as well have been deaf and dumb. They consistently refrained from all communication with visitors from town who frequently called by for a look around. It was known, however, that several barrels of oil were drawn from the well. Where it came from, no one knew. It could have been a genuine oil find, or the well might have been "salted. " If the latter, the purpose was never determined, as no stock was ever offered for sale nor additional land leased. Had Mr. McComb any further information than is here given the secret accompanied him to the grave several years later. The incident might have long been forgotten, but for the fact that oil deposits are known to exist in dif­ferent sections of this immediate vicinity, even seapages coming to the surface. Some other drillings have been made but no one has been fortunate enough to "hit the right spot."

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