July 18, 1879
Allegany County Democrat As Reported in the Bradford Era
(Researched & Submitted by Mary Rhodes)
THE WELLSVILLE OIL FIELD
Galloping John Galloway’s Account of Town and County – Who are Taking Leases
Mr. John Galloway, the enthusiastic pedestrian and pioneer explorer of new oil fields, has been enlarging his geographical knowledge in and about Wellsville. It was Sunday afternoon when an Era reporter dropped in to importune the perambulator of many fields. Mr. Galloway was reclining in a comfortable position in his pleasant apartments in the Hotel Florence and practicing the gospel of ease. For once the irrepressible forgot the Standard and its edicts in his honest enthusiasm over the new field.
Mr. Galloway had a pleasing remembrance of the drillers at the test well on the Shoff farm, near the boundary line of the town of Bolivar and about one mile and a half west of Alma. The well ought to be in the sand at this writing if the rock exists in the locality. One of the drillers is the son of a Baptist minister. It seems the young man disregarded the teachings of his pious father and formally played the part of an Irish comedian before the foot lights. He now has a good grip on the temper screw, and in his hours of leisure makes sweet music on the jawbones of a horse. Another driller draws the hair of the equine across the bowels of the feline, and a third thumps the tambourine. Mr. Galloway further observed that the jolly crew anchoring their greenbacks in this wildcat venture, were the most genial and pleasant crowd he ever encountered in a derrick.
Wellsville is beautifully located amid pastoral scenes. Two substantial banks accommodate the business men of the town. Neat and cozy residences are surrounded by well kept yards. The Fassett House, one of the best in the section, runs a free bus to and from the depot making connections with all trains. The roads, “the veins and arteries” through which course the commercial currents are superb. In this section the country is gently undulating and its smooth surface broken only by gently swelling hills. Back from the town and beyond the cleared portions game is abundant. In travelling through the woods one frequently disturbs the pheasant with her brood and catches a glimpse of an occasional deer.
Springs, as yet untainted by crude, bubble from the slowly rising hills, forming streams which wend their way over gravelly beds to the easy going Genesee. The inhabitants ware farmers of the best class. Fields of waving grain and pasture lands with luxuriant growth of green grass bear testimony to the thrift of their lordly owners. Mr. Galloway spoke of the ladies of the region in glowing terms. Their charms catch his eye as readily as a good lease squarely on the belt. He pronounces them the best looking lot he ever saw in any oil field, which is saying a good deal for Wellsville. The philosopher remarked it is a land flowing with mild and abounding in honey. The lacteal element is as free as oil and beer in booming Bradford. Col. Tory, an old operator from Tidioute, has cast his lot in this pleasant place.
Curly McBride and Haymaker, of the Meeks Creek district, are quietly picking up leases.
Mr. Coates (sp), who watched the rise and fall of famous Pithole, is among the dwellers of the town.
Mr. C. S. Clark, whose stentorian tones are heard about the oil exchanges, has been looking over the region.
Mr. S. S. Longabaugh, of Duke Center, who has made many tests in oildom, will try his luck in the new district.
Mr. Galloway saw so much of the beautiful in the region outside of oil, that it is difficult to get him to expatiate on the question of prospective grease.
Mr. O. P. Taylor, the owner of the Triangle Well is spoken of as a very pleasant gentleman and worthy of much praise in his efforts to benefit Wellsville, and lower the price of oil. He has leased a large amount of lands and ought to make a fortune.
The well known Phillips Brothers, of New Castle, Pa., who spent $100,000 opening up the Bullion field before oil was there in August, 1876, are leasing extensively in this quarter. They have moved like giants in the petroleum field and will settle the question of oil about Wellsville if they interested in the oil field.
Mr. Galloway said it would take time, patience and money to outline the field and test the virtue of the territory, and a large amount of work will not be done for some time to come. Land is being leased at a eighth royalty. The owners in many cases want to hold portions of their farms, and operators cannot secure tracts sufficiently large to justify them in making the tests.
The Triangle well is allowed to flow on the ground, and its production cannot easily be ascertained. A tank has been erected at the well, but the owners have no desire to save the oil. It is thought the well is not yet doing her best. Once flowing in the tank, the production of the well could soon be determined. A large amount of glycerine has already been used to shake up the sand rock.