The Duke & Norton Flowing Wells 

by John P. Herrick

    "The success of Taylor's operations led Duke & Norton to locate a wildcat well in the southwest corner of Lot 23, Alma Township, a mile and a half southwest of Triangle No. 3. As the driller was lowering the tools, the tool dresser lost control of the brake and the bullwheels crashed upward, tearing the derrick to pieces. When the rig was rebuilt, spectators were barred.

     The well was finished at 1430 feet with 17 feet of very rich sand. It was shot with 40 quarts, August 17, 1880, and flowed 30 barrels of oil the first day, and it was still doing 14 barrels a day at the end of three months. Greatly encouraged, Duke & Norton located a second test well on Lot 22, a mile southwest of Taylor's Triangle No. 3. This well was torpedoed November 24, 1880, was more promising than No. 1 and was flowing 23 barrels a day at the end of 30 days.

     With the completion of these wells, Duke & Norton became one of the most active producing firms in the district." 


*(Source: "Empire Oil" by John P. Herrick, published by Dodd, Mead & Company, New York, 1949.)

If you enjoyed this story, consider buying the book; available at the

Pioneer Oil Museum of New York - Bolivar