Researched & Submitted by Richard Palmer
Cuba Patriot, July 6, 1885
Greasy Clarksville - Will It Be Another Richburg?
Clarksville is an oil town. Any one who doubts this statement should drive over any day and take a look at the layout. The two hotels which have been heretofore maintained because competition in all lines was absolutely necessary in that town town now find themselves over-run with patrons. About the four corners a scene of much liveliness is apparent and under the shade of porches and of trees the oil man sits with his ready oil map and readier tongue seeking the ear of the listening land-owner that he may lavish wealth and grease upon him for an eighth royalty and a various option.
Most of the operations at present are to the east and southeast of the Center, along the roads to Richburg and Nile. Lands, however, are being leased far outside of the limits already marked, and there is no telling where the best will yet be found.
Ackerly, Barton & Hammond have secured territory principally on a line drawn from the Center to the Nile pool, on a 47 degree line to the Northwest, and are prepared to fight it out on that basis if it takes all winter. Their wells, including one on lot 63 Nile, already drilling will show pretty clear the exact merits of their belief.
The two wells in which interest centered last week were those of W.J. Penny and A. Warner on the Butts farm. They were within a short distance of each other, and near the Center, being farthest West of any underway. Up to Thursday they were about on a level in drilling, and some strife was stirred up as to which should reach the sand first. Some accidents to the Penny well and breaks in the casing put work back there considerable. It is understood that the Warner struck the sand Monday, and the well has been turned into a mystery.
The derrick has been boarded up and entrance is denied. A good many are anxious to know the "true inwardness" of this hole before closing certain deals, but they may have to wait some days before finding out. The general opinion is that the well is as good as its neighbors.
The derrick near the depot has been rigged up and drilling commenced Monday. This is on the west side of the Center, and if it comes in good sets the whole valley afloat. The Coast Oil Co. is represented and has secured some land. Wm. H. Norton of Allentown, has taken several leases as representing the Duke & Norton Oil Co. Harry Breckinridge of Wellsville, formerly the superintendent of the United Lines in the Allegany field, is looking the field over and ready to take a hand.
From the center of the crossroads which marks the site of West Clarksville, as the post office of the village is called, it is just seven miles to Main street in Cuba. To Friendship is 9 7-10, to Richburg 6 3-10, to Bolivar 7 2-10 and to Portville 8 3-10. It is very handily reached and the country now being operated is open and not exceedingly hilly, so that many old operators say it is the easiest field to operate they were ever in.
The Bradford, Eldred & Cuba Railroad is doing a good business, but more switch room is demanded. The deadness of the Richburg field and the easy hauling from there affords a good chance to get tools and oil supplies in by team very handy from that point.
Already the business interests of the Center are growing. Ex-conductor Jack Wallace has leaded Zimmerman's lot on the street to the depot for a saloon. Mr. Mohan of Portville has bought a part of the Wilkinson hotel lot and has a building started for a similar institution. John Cullen and Ed. Wasson have leased a lot next to J.B. Giles store for business purposes and so has M.H. Bailey in his neighborhood.
J.F. Bennett, Esq., of Allentown, has secured rooms over Giles' store and opened a law office, where his skill and experience in drawing conveyances or settling notty points have been availed of.
M. Peckham keeps the Central House and has already been compelled to add two tables to the one which has answered the purpose before. With one table there was
little interval in the eating of the waiting crowds. L.A. Wilkinson is proprietor of the hotel which bears his name and is suffering equally from the rush.
Akerly, Sill & Co. have opened a lumber yard near the depot. Barton, Hammond, Reynolds and O'Neil have secured 40 acres of McDougall's farm at $75 per acre and 1-4 royalty.