Opening of the Mid-Continent Oil Field

Opening of the Mid-Continent Oil Field (HM1323)

Location: Neodesha, KS 66757 Wilson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 25.093', W 95° 41.747'

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Kansas has long been oil country. There are legends that Indians held council around the lights of burning springs. Emigrants, it is known, skimmed "rock tar" from such oil seeps to grease the axles of their wagons.

A mile southeast is the site of one of the most famous oil wells in the United States, Norman No. 1, first commercially successful well of the Mid-Continent field. It was drilled in 1892 by W. M. Mills of Pennsylvania. Within 22 days, at 832 feet, the hole began filling with oil. Mills plugged it, reporting a poor well and began to drill another. Then he hurried to Pittsburgh with samples. These so galvanized operators Guffey and Galey that they leased a million acres, while Norman No. 1 and its secret remained plugged for ten months. In the next two years they drilled over 100 wells, then sold out to Standard Oil.

Oil was first drilled in Kansas in 1860, near Paola, but the sinking of Norman No. 1 began the continuous development of the Mid-Continent field, the nation's largest, which spreads over Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.
HM NumberHM1323
Series This marker is part of the Kansas: Kansas Historical Society series
Marker Number57
Placed ByKansas Historical Society and State Highway Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 7:53pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 261436 N 4144679
Decimal Degrees37.41821667, -95.69578333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 25.093', W 95° 41.747'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 25' 5.58" N, 95° 41' 44.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)620
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 330 Water Plant Rd, Neodesha KS 66757, US
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