- Home »
We are always writing and re-writing history. It is done years or decades or even centuries after the fact. But it is always interesting to go back to the primary sources, sometimes documents or written records and even newspaper accounts
Henry Irving Beers was born in Ridgefield, CT, June 8, 1830. At age 15 Henry went to New York City where he eventually managed a store owned by his brother - in - law, Peter P. Cornen. Henry Beers successfully operated the store while Cornen decided to seek gold in California, 1848 - 1849.
Figures that don’t lie tell in short notice the story of Franklin’s rock - ribbed ascendancy…. “A choice assortment of industries is mainly responsible for this gratifying condition of affairs. Vast refineries, steel [rolling and casting] works, [machine] tool plants, manifold [forms] works, asbestos mills, paper mills, paint works, boiler works, machine shops, [ferrous and non - ferrous] foundries, soap works, carriage works, flouring mills, brickyards, sucker - rod factory, planing mills, tinware factories, marble works, flagstone quarries, a steam laundry and a brewery whoop it up briskly twelve months a year.” - John J. McLaurin, Franklin (1902)
As with most people, Drake is a more complex individual than would appear at first glance. About part of his life we know a great deal, while other parts of it are more obscure, but it was an interesting life, and his actions changed our modern world forever.
Lyman Stewart grew up in the Oil Creek valley and was familiar with the fabled oil springs which dotted the region.
As oil fever spread across the United States and into other countries it wasn’t unusual for workers from here to be recruited for jobs in faraway places. One of the recruits was Almon Elias Culbertson of Franklin, known as “Chubb.”
It was the wandering, prospecting nature of both James Guffey and John Galey that compelled them to always be on the move, searching and probing possibilities in the early oil and gas fields of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. They then traveled west to the Mid Continent Field in Kansas and Oklahoma and the early Gulf Coast and Corsicana Fields in Texas. Based in Pittsburgh, the partnership took the lead in nearly every region of the country but California. The spectacular Spindletop success near Beaumont, Texas in the second week of January 1901 is a piece of oil history well known by North Americans with only a casual knowledge of oil history. The first well drilled with cable tools at Spindletop was a failure. A second attempt with a rotary drill was successful. This second attempt was made possible by the financial backing of Guffey and Galey.
Samuel Kier was the first to give crude petroleum a sustained market value when in 1848 he packaged pure crude oil from Tarentum area salt wells in half-pint bottles for sale as a medicine. A half-pint bottle of Kier's Petroleum, or Kier's Rock Oil, sold for 50 cents.
A compilation of short humorous stories about real life in the oil patch.
The genesis of the Peoples Natural Gas Co. began with a mighty roar near Murraysville in Westmoreland County; a roar observers of the time claimed could be heard ten miles away. The Haymaker brothers, Michael and Obediah, had been drilling a well for oil with meager resources and equipment in 1878. Disheartened with no encouraging signs, they were about to abandon the well at 500 ft. when H. J. Brunot stepped in with encouragement and financing. The Haymakers continued drilling to a depth of 1,400 ft. when the earth suddenly and without warning on November 3, 1878 shook violently and exploded with an enormous stream of natural gas that blew the rigging over a hundred feet into the air. Releasing 30 to 40 million cubic ft. of gas a day, the great Haymaker Well became a natural wonder people from all over the country came to see.