Crawford County, Pennsylvania

History & Biography

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Petroleum Centre, and one or two others near the confluence of Cherry Run with Oil Creek.

    In the year following the development of the flats along Oil Creek and the Allegheny River was pushed forward rapidly, and about twenty or thirty wells were struck, some of which yielded two or three hundred barrels per day.  Early in the succeeding year, or late in 1861, several large flowing wells were struck, and the flood of oil from them glutted the markets before the end of' the year, and reduced the price to twenty-five cents per barrel.
    The yield continued large notwithstanding the low price, and millions of barrels were wasted and allowed to run into the Creek.  During this time the Phillips, Empire and other wells of equal note were struck.  The daily yield of these wells was enormous.  The well first named is said to have produced in a single day 3,940 barrels, and the Empire well produced 2,500 barrels per day.  In 1863 the product lessened, and so much of that then being produced was wasted that but little found its way to market.  During this year the Sherman, Noble and others less celebrated were struck, and owing to the high price that oil then commanded, their owners realized immense fortunes.  During the latter part of 1864, and early in the next year, the development was very large and the product increased.  In January, 1865, the first well was struck at Pithole, and about the same time the Tidioute district, which had been producing in small quantities since 1860, commenced yielding largely, and continued to do so throughout the year.  The product of that district in 1866, as shown by the shipments from it, was 2,200 barrels per day, and that of Pithole about the same.
    At this late date it is extremely difficult to obtain the product of the earlier years, and we have only ventured on an approximation to it.  In 1859 there were small amounts produced on the flats near Titusville on the W. McClintock and A. and J. Buchanan Farms.  The total product for that year was about 82,000 bbls, and in 1860 it was set down at 90,000 bbls.  The subjoined table shows the production of the Farms and Districts, as nearly as could be ascertained, during the years named :  next page