'On to Eldred'  Now or Never

There was never a promising or successful oil field yet that did not demand and in good time possess a railroad. Not only a promising and successful oil field has been developed contiguous to our village, but very recent developments have demonstrated the existence of a great oil field. The town or village that first builds a railroad to the new field obtains an advantage multi-fold.

Wellsville has a plump dozen natural advantages - a healthful village growth, large business facilities, banks, machine shops, stores, railroad opportunities, advantages natural and acquired, in fact, which point it out as the proper base of business operations for our new oil field. If Wellsville embraces the opportunity offered it is a short and easy road to its ultimate and significant greatness.

Falling, either from an overwhelming sense of security or suspected selfish folly, it hands over its opportunity to others. Scio, Belmont, Friendship or Olean (look out for Friendship and Olean) will be only too glad and too prompt to step to the front and fill the bill. It is pleasant to announce that our businessmen and capitalists are apparently wide awake to the situation. A meeting of businessmen was held this afternoon, and a preliminary organization effected to build a new road from Wellsville to Eldred, or at least to the state line.

More than half of the amount necessary to begin was subscribed. A committee was appointed to solicit further subscriptions. An adjourned meeting is to be held tomorrow afternoon at one o'clock to report progress and to close up all preliminary points. What we would impress upon our citizens is this: lend a cheerful and generous hand! Remember that it is now or never! Every person who owns real estate or who is interested in business can well afford to do something! It is properly to be regarded as a plain business proposition, incurring little responsibility and no risk as compared to its advantages!

The hour for prompt and effective work is at hand, let it be improved. Our citizens may easily hesitate too long. The prize within our grasp is not long so to remain if no movement is made definitely to secure a railroad. The following from the last issue of the Olean Times is the significant warning which Wellsville capitalists and businessmen would do well to heed:

"One other railroad project is worthy of renewed mention. We refer to the Olean and Bolivar road, or a road by any name which shall connect Olean with the new oil field. Such a road could easily be built by private enterprise, for it would not be a very expensive road to build. We very much wish our citizens would move in this matter. If the road cannot be built with Olean capital, then let an effort be made to bring outside capital into this enterprise.

"The gentlemen who are buying up our railroads and who will build the canal road to Rochester, might not consider it beneath them to build a road from Olean to Bolivar if their attention were called to the matter. The road could not fail to be a paying investment and would prove an undoubted benefit to Olean. It would make Olean the distributing point for freights intended  for the new oil field and bring a large trade to our hardware and oil well supply merchants.

"It would also have a tendency to bring operators to our city as a place of residence, since it lines about mid way between the Wellsville and Bradford fields. Here, then, is a project involving substantial advantages for Olean, and we shall be greatly disappointed if our citizens fail to see it and improve the present opportunity."

Wellsville Daily Reporter, April 25, 1881 (Editorial)

Researched, Transcribed & Submitted by Richard F. Palmer