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Discovering A Gasoline Gas Well

Discovering A Gasoline Gas Well image
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It is not very nften thttt the people of Kansas are. taken in by swindlers, but when thcy ar?they go in all over. The frreat real estáte booms in the easlern part of the state bave had tlieir effect upon the settlers here, and almost every man who owns a pieee of land fuels that t is worth a prent deal more to-day thnn it was six weeks ago. At tirst the report? f rom the east were received with a mild sort of satisfaction, and a contidenoe that wliat was going on in Wiohita would Boon te lepeRted here on the western) ine of the 8tste. Xo one thought it would cntne mmediately, but al] believed tlnit it would come. So there was a general stiffening of pi ices and a patiënt determinatimi to wait and see what the future would bring fertli. The ptopl of Greeleyville were In this frame of mind when several well dressed strangers arrived In town two weeks Bgo and begau to inquire about oertain real estáte. Nothing serious was puspected at tirst, but in ihe course of a few days it u;is secn rtiat tbey meant busine-s. Jim lione's l:irm, soutli of town, uliicli inight have been had a month Hgo for $200, whs sold to the stiangeis for $1.500, and they patd $300 of it down. Pi ces went up light away, and when J in (.ried to buy unoiher place lie found that he conldn't reaeb anything ttithin ten miles of the Jati unlevt he borrowed inniiey. Tlie !av a f ter the snle the slratigers ani.ounced tbat the; had disi'.viTcil ïiatiinil on the Bone's place, and suie enouli the skies n that dlrecli.ui were bril liantly illumiuated. The entire population turned nut Ho see the .sight. Just Imrk of lite shed which Jim had used for a barn was au ion pipe, and from Ihe oozzle of u there isaued a Saring and spluttering fíame. Everybody Itood speechless except Jim, wlio raved and swore, and tried to piek a n'lit with one ut tlie visitois. Other cltlzeni intertered at tliis point, and a distuibalice mi prtvented. "You see," said one of the strangers, "we re natural gas experts trom Pennsylvania. We have been followlng tliis vein all tlie way from Uniontown. Sonie chaps got in altead of us at a point in Ohio where we looked for it, and the same way dow'n near Terre Haute, Ind. When we located it there, we found that we wi re on gome property that belonged to ix minor heir, and we coulU not get possession. Then we set out for the west tor we knew that it would reappear somewhere out here. There were tymptoms in .Missouri nuil better prospecta yet at Larned, but this is mort; like it. The thing don't work just right yet, though, we will have to go down further. Some of these wells are five miles leep. You can itnagiue what Is down below you here when I teil you thnt this vein bas hi en tappcd at only a depth of forty feet. I haven il any doubt that at a fair depth you eau lind as enouglt here to illcuuin ate the continent." The next day the slrangeis cal led a town meeting and annoiiMced tlteir intention of forming a stock eompany for the pnrpow ot developing the vein. They had inany other enterpiises on hand, and as they would be away muco of tlie time they would like to have somo interested pai -lies on the ground. They would want a superintendent at a fjood snlary, and they would have to have an office where they cnulil mature plans to distribute the gas all over western Kansas and eastern Colorado Mr. Kenyon, the banker, was elected superintendent at a salary of $2,000 a year, and a line room in bis building was rented as an office. It was in this place that the stock wassubscribed for. The ternis were made easy enoujrh to suit almost anybody. The Capital stmk wa? to be $100,000, and any man or woman who could put up 10 per cent. was enlitled to what was wanted. Even the preacher eaine in for a thousand dollars, bis paiishiouers putting up the margin for liini on the rround that when the Lord' bounty luid been liberally bestowed on tlie town it would not be right to permit Ilis chief servant to suffer throiigh his poverty. The banker also advanced considerable money, taking mortgages on thelr forma or stock. In this wsy $40,000 woitli of stock was taken in one day. Tlie di.scoverers positively reiused to sell more than lliis, as they said they always made it a point to retain a controlling interest in all property they developed. This appeared reasouable, and uo Oomplaints were made. A few days later the stratigers nnDOttnced that they would stirt for the east last Saturday for purpose of securinr the proper niachinery. Iiefore they lelt tlnv gave several exhibitions of the power of the gas, generalij' at night. They had a stop on the pipe, and when that was open mul a lllatrli applied the fíame hlcw up about two feet and gave the greate-t salisfaotion. A watchman was liired to guard the well, and when the gentlemen eame to leave a committee of ctti.eiis L-M-orted theill to the lailiOüd anil wisll'ed theai a succesgful trip and a speely return. Sunday the entiro town visited tlie well andjmauy attemptó to experiment with it were made. Iluddleson, the watchman, warned the crowd nway repeatedly, and at length was constraincd to strike a man who persisted iu meddling with the stop cock. The fellow wns from the northern part of the county and he had been in the habit of doing about as he wanted to. Wuen Lum hit him, therefore, he hit back, and before anybody could stop it there was a liu'ht in tho course of wlticb Lum was throwu against tbc pipe, and the wholc thing carne up by tht; root. About lour feet under the surface and attached to the upiight pipe, was a gasoline reservoir, uud that was all. The pantc that feil on that town was inikscribable. Every face blanched. ¦Soineonc said In the prueenoe of the preacher, that it was nothing but a d d rook stove and he was not rebuked for the utteraiiee. The Imuker went back to his ofBce and put n eard annouiuing that he liad suspended for ten duys In order to examine hls books. Tlie farmers who ¦nortgaged tlieir farms to hlm held a meeting and agreed that f he took a step toward foreclosure they would kill him. That is the way matter stand DOW. It is said that the sharpers were Denver bunko men.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News