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in paying quantities only on the Conroy farm, near Wolcott's well of 1883 .... The well at Jamison's was shot in September, 1889, and proved a five-barrel producer.
An old oil well on the Dawson farm, Stewart's run, was revived in May, 1867, by a torpedo, and other abandoned wells were also subjected to a shaking up. . . . The Oldtown Petroleum Company's well was drilled 1,000 feet on the May farm, Tionesta creek, by S. S. Hulings, in February, 1867; salt water at the rate of 150 barrels per day was produced. . . . The East Sandy gas well touched gas at 350 feet in January, 1868, blowing the tools thirty feet into the air, and, the gas taking fire, flames shot up 100 feet. . . . Ih June, 1869, a twenty-five barrel well was drilled on Jamison flats.
Col. P. D. Thomas leased several tracts in the borough to Bapti, Frost & Co., Col. Simmons and J. G. Gear, and Stewart & Andrews purchased up Tubbs run at the great pigeon roost, Prof. Shotwell, near Tubbs run, Shafer & Co., and others, in the vicinity.... The Ross run oil field was abandoned in January, 1870, leaving the hearts of many operators sore. The East Hickory oil stampede dates back to the spring of 1870, when the Dr. Winner and the Welton & Stephenson wells were drilled.... The Bird well (Irwin's) and the venture on the Tuttle farm, the McNair well on the Wilkin's farm, Benney's on the Jones farm, the Scott well on the Scott farm, and the proposed wells on the Fagundas farms, by Neyhart. Grandin & Fisher, and at White Oak, kept West Hickory in a sea of excitement throughout the summer of 1870.
On July 1, 1870, McNair No. 1 well on the Wilkins' farm was producing 1,240 barrels, and No. 1 on the H. W. Scott farm, 175 barrels. No. 2 was drilled 4U0 feet close by, while McNair No. 2 was also drilling. One well on each of the following numbered lots was also being drilled: Lots 5, 6, 7, 2 and 3; while on leases 9, 10, 11 and 4 the drillers were kept busy. Wells No. 1 to
5 inclusive, on the Fagundas farm, were down from 350 to 450 feet.... On the Tuttle farm Irwin & Bird were pumping seventy-tive barrels, and the venture was yielding 200 barrels, while a number of wells were drilling, and Dickson & Carson struck a twenty-five barrel well at West Hickory. In February, 1870, the daily production at Fagundas was 1,600 barrels. ... In 1873 Rev. William Richardson, superintendent for Grandin. Kelly & Co., drilled on Hemlock creek, and found oil. Kahle Bros. drilled four wells there later. In January, 1877, W. S. McMullen leased the abandoned oil territory on the West Hickory oil farm, and began the work of pumping the old wells. . . . The Grove & Hart well at Tionesta was drilled in the spring of 1876, and the Hunter well, near the depot, in 1876-77. Nichol's well, on the Lander's farm in Harmony township, was producing about this time. ... In August, 1877, an oil well was drilled on the Copeland farm for Copeland & Gleason; Dr. Towler's well at Marion, the McLaughlin well on the Kepler farm, the Berry well, one and one half miles east of the first well near Balltown, a well on Logan run, the Brookston Tannery well, and other ventures were made. . . . Blue Jay well, No. 1, near Foxburg, was a producer in November. 1880.
In the fall of 1882 the Cooper tract began to show its possibilities. . . .The Charles Shultz well came in in January, 1883, with a production of 500 barrels per day; the Clark & Foster well did not prove of much importance, though in October, 1882, the crude showed 4",° gravity, while the Reno well was keeping up its production. The Grandin, Berry & Kelly No. 2, at Balltown, also drilled in 1882, was reported dry on January 4, but the erection of two large tanks there led many to believe in the inaccuracy of the report.... The Reed
6 Brenneman well was struck, beginning with 2,400 barrels per day and declining to 800. The Patterson & Leedom well, on warrant 2735, was drilled dry by Roth, Beck & Co.; Galey Bros. & Stewart wells were also drilled, and the Reno began flowing 900 barrels per day, exclusive of the 5,000 wasted. Shannon started with 200 barrels; while Fertig & Henne, Sherman Bros., Forest Oil Company and McCalmont Oil Company were all at work. Toward the close of January, 1883, the Union Oil Company's well reported a 3,000-barrel flow; James Walsh's Dntch well, on Porky run, was begun, and in February yielded oil, while round the new town of Forest City wells were being drilled on the Shannon lease, warrant 2735, by Murphy & Co. on 3198, and one by Agnew & Rogers. One-half mile east of this city, at the Reed & Brenneman well, was Gusher City, a village of ten houses. George Coyle, the terror of the two cities, was shot in the foot in February and died under chloroform.... Near Newmanville Searles & Co. located their wells in 1882-83, and in 1883 Wolcott's well, below Nebraska, was drilled. Grandin & Kelly's No. 3, on the Cook lands, produced crude of 45° gravity in August, 1882 .... The Tionesta Oil Company began operations near Brace's mill, on tract 5218, in April, 1883, and in the same month and year the Hoodoo Oil Company was organized by the scouts, and a well drilled in the southwestern corner of warrant 3668. J. C. Tennent, P. C. Boyle and L. A. Beaumont were the interested parties. It required forty feet of drive-pipe to reach the bedrock, and the well was cased 450 feet. Salt-water was found in the Clarion sand at 587 feet, and a white pebbly sand was found at 1,475 feet, which afforded five bailers of oil daily. Sand was encountered from 1,670 to 1,709 feet, and at 1,735 feet a red sand was discovered having a thickness of forty feet, and resembling the stray sand of the Cooper tract. From this level the drilling was hard down to 1,900 feet. The formation from 1,900 to 2,030 feet consisted of shells and black slate. This well, drilled by the scouts, had a showing of oil which made prospecting in its vicinity alluring, and large expenditures were made in the endeavor to open up a new field. S. B. Hughes secured lands, and with John Johnson and M. Murphy drilled one well northwest of the Hoodoo, and a second one 1,600 feet east of it. Both of these wells were failures; but, not to be discouraged, Hughes drilled a third well in this section, on a 45° line northeast of the Hoodoo well, and about sixty rods from the northern boundary line of the warrant, which was also a failure. Windsor & Co., of Titusville, completed two small wells along the eastern boundary line of warrant 3561, almost due south of the Hoodoo well. The Frost dry hole is situated on this warrant and southwest of the Hoodoo well, and Butts & Palmer added a duster to the list on a warrant still further to the west... .In November, 1883, the gauge of the Balltown field showed a production of 3,350 barrels of oil. During that winter the L. Agnew building was erected, and additions made to Corah & Hawk's hotel....In March, 1884, the guage of the Cooper tract showed 5,010 barrels from 182 wells, and of the Balltown tract, 3,370 barrels from seventy-six wells. Within the week ending March 26, fourteen new wells were completed and twenty-three shot in the Cooper tract, and in the Balltown, two new wells were completed and sixteen torpedoed. Barnum & Co. 's well, on warrant 3820, Green township, was drilled to sand in June, 1888, gas answering the drill. In 1883 the Walters well was drilled, by Capt. Grace, on this warrant, two years later Barnum drilled one mile east of the Walters well, and in 1886 the Mealy Brothers drilled on their farm.
Early in the summer of 1885 the old Kennedy & Hancock well, on Whig hill, was drilled deeper, and a fair show of good oil obtained.... The development of territory at Crisman's mills and at the mouth of Fool's creek, in the Gusher City neighborhood, commenced in July, 1885, after the Agnew & Proper well, two miles up the creek, was pronounced a success.... Tionesta Gas Company's No. 2, on warrant 2825, a half mile northwest from their No. 1, struck the deep or Speechly sand in July, 1886, finding gas therein in generous quantity. A small showing of oil was found. The well is located on the south line of the warrant, 1,500 feet north of the southwest corner and about ten rods from the west line, on the Gilmore lands. The sand is thinner here than is the first well by one-half, No. 2 finding only forty feet of rock against eighty feet in No. 1. Allhouse, who drilled both wells, insists there is a better showing of oil in No. 2 than was found in the first well.... Carnahan's well, on the Kepler farm, opened in July, 1887, yielded 600 barrels in two weeks. Stewart & Wood followed this discovery by the purchase of 2,275 acres, and Black Brothers by leasing 250 acres in the vicinity.... The McCray well, on 5208, a mile south of the great gas well in Hickory township.
was drilled in April, 1888 On the C. O. Baird lands, A. B. Kelly leased
in 1887, and in September, 1889, his eighth well was completed... .In 1877 O. W. Proper built a rig at Cherry Grove, the first on tract 745, near the line of Forest county. This proved dry, when he went into the land business, giving a little attention to local wells. In January, 1889, he and J. F. Proper drilled a well on the Matthewson farm in Harmony township, following their well on the Copeland lands. They have five producing wells on the Matthewson farm, and are now drilling on the Hill farm, six miles down the river from Tionesta, near the McGrew Brothers' wells (begun in 1888), one of which is a fair producer.
The Cooper tract adjoins the Balltown tract on the northeast.... J. M. Clapp operates 200 acres of the C. J. Fox lands, near Foxburg in this district, which yields about 300 barrels per month. He bought the property about seven years ago for a comparatively small sum. Capt. Haight, Anchor Oil Company, Reagan & Goff, T. W. Pratt and Bain, Fuller & Co. are operators. John L. Kenny's wells are in' the neighborhood of Henry's mills, near the county line, and Horton, Crary & Co. 's wells are east of Brookston.
In the Balltown field A. B. Kelly & Co. have sixty wells; the Balltown Oil Company, seventy-six; the Porcupine Oil Company, fifty-four; Agnew, Walshe & Proper, twenty-one; Agnew, Haight & Proper, seven, and Clark & Foster, fifty-eight, a total of 276. About 300 wells have been drilled in this field, of which 150 are producers at present. Walshe & Grandin have eight wells on their 200-acre lease (warrant 5266), of which three are producers .... Fogle farm and other tracts owned by J. J. Carter, produce about 4,000 barrels per month. In the Dawson run field the Tionesta Oil Company's product is 300 barrels. On the O. Bayard tract, A B. Kelly produces 3,000 barrels; on the Gorman run tract, Hopkins, Gorman & Setley, 500 barrels; on the Manderson tract, Proper Brothers and H. Collins, 600 barrels; on the Copeland farm (Bovee), 500 barrels; Kepler, Hale & Beaver farm (Carnahan), 600 barrels, while the old Fagundas field yields now about 500 barrels per month.
The history of the Balltown field, as outlined by one of the producers, is interesting and valuable. This field is the largest and most prolific yet found in Forest county. It is situated in Howe and Kingsley townships, its present terminus being on the Green farm, near the mouth of Fork run, from which point the belt is traced in a northeasterly direction about ten miles, through warrants numbered 5266, 5267, 5268, 3133, 4821, 4792, 3194, 3195, 3197 and 3198, to the Cooper district. These warrants contain about 8,000 acres of land, though the oil belt, or pool, in places through them does not exceed eighty rods in width. Warrants 5266 and 5267 are part of a large body of 7,000 acres of land, known as the Cook estate, leased by H. H. May (now deceased), A. B. Kelly and B. W. May, of Tionesta, Penn. Part of warrant 5268 is known as the Schooley lands, leased by J. C. Welsh, and part by the Anchor Oil Company. The Green farm was leased by J. C. Welsh & Co., and that part of the last named warrant owned by the Tionesta Oil Company, leased by Kelly, Grandin, Agnew & Proper; warrant 3133, owned by L. F. Watson, leased by Murphey & Davis; warrants 4821, 4823, 4792, 3195, 3197, owned by the Pittsburgh & Forest County Oil & Lumber Company, and John A. Proper and J. B. Agnew, leased by J. B. Agnew in 1875 in connection with the Balltown Oil Company; warrant No 3194, owned by the Hall Estate & Miller, leased and purchased by Murphey & Davis and the Anchor Oil Company, called the Porcupine Oil Company; warrant No. 3198, owned by J. B. Agnew, 400 acres leased to Haight, Proper & Agnew, and 300 acres leased and sold to M. Murphey, Union Oil Company and others.
The first oil found at Balltown was a light showing of oil in a well drilled by Whisner and other New York parties in 1863-64, but was not sufficient to induce them to continue operations. In 1875 John A. Proper and J. B. Agnew, who were then part owners of the 4,000 acres of the Balltown lands, believing it to be good oil territory, began arranging for its development. On September 1, 1875, J. B. Agnew procured from the other owners a lease of the 4,000 acres of land, by which the Balltown Oil Company, then composed of Peter and David Berry, E. B. and J. L. Grandin, W. T. Scheidie, J. B. Agnew and John A. Proper, was formed. A year later Capt. J. M. Clapp purchased an interest in said company. In the spring of 1876 this company commenced operations by drilling one well at Balltown, the well being known as Balltown Oil Company's No. 1. But as this well made only a light showing of oil, the property being then isolated many miles from pipe-lines, etc., it only gave sufficient encouragement to try for better wells. The company then having procured leases of about 5,000 acres of the lands of Drexel. Duhring & Wright and the Funk Estate, adjoining the Balltown lands, next proceeded to put down a well on the lands of Duhring & Wright on warrant No. 4791, in August, 1877. Not finding oil in it in paying quantities, they next drilled a well on the lands of the Funk heirs without finding any good showing of oil. In 1881 they drilled another well at Balltown, near their No. 1, that started off at about twenty-five barrels per day, but did not hold out well. They then, in 1882, proceeded with their fifth well near the last one drilled, which proved to be dry. They next drilled their sixth well on warrant 4823, which proved to be a paying well, and which resulted in the opening of a large production in that part of the field. Mr. Agnew had, prior to this, made an agreement for a lease of the Cook property, but the company not being ready to proceed with operations within the time allowed, he gave that up, and about 1881 Messrs. May & Kelly, who had purchased the timber on the Cook lands, took a lease of said lands, and commenced operations on warrant 5266, and completed one well, which proved a failure. They commenced a second well, when an arrangement was made whereby the Balltown Oil Company became half owners with them in the lease of the whole 7,000 acres. Their second well not being a paying well, they started the third well, which was located by H. H. May (now deceased) who is said to have stuck his cane in the ground at the place where the conductor hole of the well was afterward started for the No. 3 well, at the distance of a half mile from the last wells drilled. This well was drilled a short distance into the sand in August, 1882, and showed for a large well, but was not fully opened until the December following, when pipe-line connections and telegraph communication were established with the Balltown field. When drilled through the sand, this well started at the rate of 1,000 barrels per day, causing great excitement in that field and throughout the oil region, and having quite an effect upon the oil market . This well, known as No. 3 Cook lease, has been one of the largest and best wells in the field. It is still producing, and is said to have yielded between two and three hundred thousand barrels.
Since that time some sixty wells have been drilled on warrants 5266 and 5267, many of them starting at the rate of over 1,000 barrels per day, and together have produced up to this time about 1,000,000 barrels, and still have an annual production of about 50,000 barrels. Large wells are also found on warrants 5268 to the southwest, and a large amount of oil has been produced therefrom. Immediately after the drilling of the Balltown Oil Company's well on warrant 4823, being their No. 6, the Porcupine Oil Company bought wan-ant 3194 for $25,000, and commenced operations on it. striking a gusher for their first well that caught fire and burned up the rig before they were aware that they had penetrated the rock. This well, when opened, started at nearly 1,000 barrels per day, and was immediately followed by the drilling of other wells by said company, some of which produced as much as 2,500 barrels per day. At the same time this well was being drilled, the Balltown Oil Company was drilling on warrants 4821 and 4792 wells that started at the rate of from 300 to 500 barrels per day, afterward getting two wells that started at the rate of twenty-five barrels per day. This was followed by the drilling of a large number of wells on all of said warrants and warrant 4823, some 100 in number within two years, bringing the production of the Balltown field at one time up to about 8,000 barrels per day.
In June, 1884, J. B. Agnew, John A. Proper and J. C. Welsh drilled a well on ninety acres of warrant 3195, owned by Proper & Agnew, and known as the Proper Reserve, that started at the rate of 1,300 barrels per day, and averaged 800 barrels per day for the first month. This resulted in the opening of warrants 3195, 3197 and 3198; Agnew & Proper's well No. 1, Proper Reserve, having produced alone nearly 200,000 barrels of oil, they drilling, in addition to this, twenty wells on the Proper Reserve, and thirty acres of said warrant known as the Nickel Oil Company, in which L. Agnew and J. F. Proper were interested. Clark & Foster became the lessees of 500 acres of warrants No. 3195 and 3197, on which they got some large wells, and have drilled on it a large number of wells, which have produced over half a million barrels of oil. Taking the Balltown field altogether, with the oil produced from warrant 3198, that field has produced about 5,000,000 barrels of oil since 1883, and is yet producing from 8,000 to 10,000 barrels of oil per month.
John Cook was the owner of the 3,000 or 4,000 acres which later constituted the Cook estate situate on Tionesta and Bob's creeks, near Panther Rock or Buck Mills. Cook was an Englishman, and resided in Philadelphia, where he died. H. H. May and Orris Hall bought the pine timber from the administrators of the estate or trustees of the Philadelphia Blind Asylum at $1 per thousand, stumpage, and in 1879 obtained oil rights on 700 acres. This right formerly formed a part of their lumber lease. After drilling two wells, which were condemned, the syndicate, of which Mr. May was a member, secured 6,300 acres. Daniel Harrington, in his reminiscences speaks of Cook and of hemlock, but never of oil. He writes in 1879 as follows: During the war, while lumber was high, they coined money almost as fast as one of Uncle Sam's mints. No wonder that May is a banker, and can sit down and count his ten per cent. The pine timber is about all used up. Some twentyfive years ago Cook was here to view his possessions. He was an eccentric man, and a fine scholar. On one of his trips to Tionesta village from the