Clipped From The Olean Democrat
*T~Â£Ty **1' THE DEMOCRAT VOL. IV. CLEAN, CATTARAUGTJS CO., N. Y., TUESDAY JULY 17, 1883. NO. 34 THE FIRST OIL MAN. THE MFE AND STRUGGLES OF COJL. E. IÂ« DRAKE. Dying an Obfect of Cnarity* Wnlle Bringing WeaHfe to Thousands. Within a comparatively short time the great petroleum industry of this country has assumed such vast proportions, proportions, and has added so much to its wealth, that a history of the struggles of the first successful oil producer will always be a matter oi absorbing interest. Men are always found in every country ready to appropriate appropriate the honors that justly belong belong to others. Columbus was robbed of his just reward, of discovering America, for a time;and the attempi to rob Shakespeare of his well^earnec honors in the literary world, was not ' too base an act for men in our own time. Now that Colonel E. L. Drake the first successful producer of petroleum, petroleum, is dead, whose portrait we give elsewhere, there are persons so lost to all sense o'f justice as to make the attempt to rob his memory of the justly earned fame. Their efforts will be without success.as their cause is most unworthy. It was by the merest accident that Col. Drake's attention was first directed to the value of petroleum in 1858. Jonathan Watson, in company with Dr. F. D. Brewer, now of Westfield, N. Y., and others, were interested in lumbering They Owned a large tract of land on Oil Creek, on which an oil spring was located. They often noticed the oi flowing and running to waste on the surface of the water. There was a general impression among the lumber men that the oil was of the .same nature as the "Senaka Oil," which had long before been gathered by the Indians and sold as a medicine. Olc Nat Carey, a local character, had made considerable money (years be fore Jonathan Watson had settled in the neighborhood) by selling the oil as a cure for rheumatism and other ills. All this was made known to Mr. Watison, who was much interest Â·ed in the spring, and imagined tha he had a treasure that would some day be a source of income. To ascer tain its true value, Mr. Watson took a bottle of the oil with him when in 1854 he made a visit to Hartford, Oonn^ his old home. Among others to whom he showed the oil was a Â»lebrated chemist, Prof. Bull, who had been Mr. Watson's Sunday schoo Superintendent many years before. The professor made a careful analysis and pronounced the oil as being valuable valuable for medicinal purposes as well as for its illuminating qualities. "It is a compound, however, and not a natural product, as you suppose,' said the Professor. Mr. Watson replied that he had himself taken that oil from the spring,and described the manner in which he did it. II was all to no purpose; the professor would not be convinced, and replied: "Mr. Watson, I know you are honest in your statement, but I think some one, for some purpose, has been playing a practical joke on you; for 1 have too much confidence in my profession and what it has taught me to doubt for one moment the conclusion conclusion I have reached in making this analysis." Seeing it was no use to argue the question further with him, the bottle of crude oil was taken to other places, but Mr. Watson was careful not to mention the rebuff he had received from the learned professor. professor. Messrs. Eveleth Bissell, a firm doing business in Hartford and New York City, had been receiving about a gallon of this oil a day, which mixed with other ingredients, they sold as the celebrated "Mustang Lin- imenL" They had been receiving the oil for four years or more when Mr. Watson made a second visit to Hartford, Conn. Col. Drake at this time a conductor on the New York New Haven R R. His shrewdness bad often attracted attracted the attention of Messrs. Eveleth Biasell, and it was concluded to send him out to Western Pennsylvania Pennsylvania to look after the oil interests of the firm, if suitable arrangements could be made with Col. Drake. After settling the basis of compensation, the Colonel proceeded to Titusville. When he had bad time to carefully look the ground over and make his calculations in his own shrewd Yankee Yankee way, and after transacting other, business, he returned to New York and made a report. His convictions were that the oil was very valuable, that it was under the surface in large quantities, and that the way to reach it was to dnll a well. The firm heard his report and concluded to send him again to tho West, as it was then called, and gave him $1,200 to put the well down with. A suitable derrick had to be studied out, tools bad to be invented, changed and perfected, and the $1,200 was gone before the well was begun. Col. Drake having kept his employers employers informed of the progress made and the exhaustion of his funds; one of the company came out, and having satisfied tirnself that the money was judiciously expended,considering the many embarrassments, promised to send the Colonel some money on his return home. The company kept their word, and $1,200 more was sent This last instalment, after a few months, was exhausted, and yet the well was not down more than thirty or forty feet. The whole idea was considered so supremely ridiculous that it was with the gfeatest difficulty he could get assistance to prosecute the work. In July, 1859, he secured the services of an old salt borer named William A, Smith, and his two sons, without whose aid; probably the well would have been abandoned. Long and vexatious delays f ollowed in prosecuting the work, the hole tilling with water and the earth cav ing in. In this extremity the ingenu ity of fDrake came useful, and he procured an iron tube sufficient to reach the rock, thus shutting off the water and preventiug any further caving in. Had Drake thought of patetning this mode of casing wells he could have made a fortune surpass ing the profits of the Eoberts Torpedo Company. The pipe was driven 36 feet before the rock was reached. They kept on at work notwithstanding notwithstanding the fact that the money was exhausted, exhausted, that is, the $2,400 raised by the Seneca Oil Company, for by such name was the company known, although Messrs. Eveleth Bissel were the principal stockholders. Still they kept at work, aided by Dr. Brewer, Mr.'Watson, Mr. Fleming and others. This aid was not in the shape of charity but a loan, for Col. Drake was a man of pluck and fine sensibilities, and would not accept chanty from any one. The three men quit working August 29th at sundown, the system of working night turns being the creation of a later day. The next morning the elder Smith was first at the well and to his astonishment astonishment and great joy discovered that the well was nearly full of oil. He procured a piece of tin spouting, plugged one end of it, dropped it in the hole, and soon filled a barrel with oil. The pump was put in and the well yielded at the rate of twenty barrels a day. It was by this achievement achievement that the discovery of large bodies of oil was made and the practicability practicability of reaching it by the drill established. This was the first oil well, and through it the name of Col. Drake became imperishable. The news of Col. Drake's sanity and success success ran like wild fire up and down Oil Creek Valley. The great discovery was flashed over the lightning's wings, and then began the memorable excitement which made princes and beggars before before it subsided. Col. Drake drilled a second well, but it yielded little oil The Seneca Oil Company closed out its business and CoL Drake operated individually until 1864. In 1860 he was elected a Justice of the Peace in Titasvflle. At that time men were leasing, buying and exchanging lands in mad haste, and the acknowledgment and drawing drawing up of contracts made the receipts of the office about $3.000. Other Business, such as buying oil for a New York firm, made his yearly income about $5,000. A purchase of 25 acres of land from Jonathan Watson was considered a good investment, as it was afterwards laid out into town ote. Drake street now runs through the center of this tract In 1863 )rake sold the land back to Jonathan Watson for $12,000. The same tract was afterward sold for $90,000. It is to-day worth five times that amount. CoL Drake disposed of all of his property property in 1864, and left the Oil Regions j orever. He took with him in all i about $15,000 and went to New York, COL. EDWIN L. DRAKE, The First Successful Oil Producer. uniting himself with a Wall sMvet broker. It was a bad move for one so inexperienced in the juggler/, of manipulating stocks, and his cash did not last long. The constant re verses of fortune, together with the encroachments of disease, left him in 1865 an invalid, with threatened paralysis of the lower limbs. The family bought a cheap abode in Vermont, Vermont, and lived on a small amount saved by Mrs. Drake, who had the true womanly instincts and was one of the noblest of her sex. By request of Drake's physician that he seek the sea air, the family accepted the generous generous offer of a friend of "the use of a cottage on the Highlands of Neversink, Neversink, near Long Branch. Finding the wolf at the door, Mrs. Drake with a helpless husband and four little children to be cared for, attempted to earn them bread by sewing. It was an unequal struggle for the noble woman, and she must have failed entirely and the family reduced to beggary but for the accidental discovery discovery of their circumstances by a citizen of Titusville, while on a visit to New York. When he returned to Titusville he made known to the good people the improverished condition condition of Col. Drake and his family, and appealed for a subscription in their behalf. True to their well-known characteristics of unexampled generosity generosity the sum of $4,200 was raised. The money was sent to Mrs. Drake, who on the advice of a physician removed her invalid husband and children to Bethlehem, Pa. Oil men had frequently visited CoL Drake at Bethlehem, and left a substantial token of their regard which was never heralded to the world. He was a g%ntleman of refinement and fine qualities of head and heart. Many gentlement now living in this city were well acquainted with him and speak in the highest terms of his personal character. Some years ago an effort was made to have Congress grant him a pension of $40,000, but the project was defeated, mainly by the efforts of a man for whom Col. Drake had done many favors. The benefit of this discovery to the human race is incalculable. More than 20,000 wells are now producing an article which adds to the comfort and happiness of the world. A net work of more than 13,000 miles of pipe transports the oil to the different depots for refining and shipping. The sails of our petroleum-laden vessels decorate and whiten every sea. To the tourist in distant lands our petroleum petroleum packages and barrels are as familiar as they are to us. Beginning illuuiinant we furnish an otherwise darkened world, shall be read in let- U'n* of lisht the name of the founder of UK- bfcoiul greatest industry of the American continent. in 1862 with a shipment of 14,000 barrels barrels to Germany, which was,sold for $2,000 less than the cost of tonnage across the sea, it has steadily risen until it now occupies the second position in our list of exports, cotton alone exceeding it More than 100,000 100,000 people are constantly engaged in producing and handling it in various ways, and this great industry, together together with the wealth and present prosperity of the country,are indebted indebted strictly to Col. Drake for his j courage, sagacity and perseverance j in first producing this great staple j and important article of commerce. Around his memory, therefore, shall ever entwine the richest gems J of admiration and respect that his j successors in the world of petroleum can offer. He has gone to rest, but iis life and deeds are not among that class which sinks to eternal quietude. ead: No; Col. Drake still lives. Wherever waves the banner of the Temperance Camp Meeting at Machias. From August 1st to the 7th the pruhilmiouists will hold a temperance camp urieetiDg at Machias. A circular sent us sayt: ' 'Pitch your tents as families, eourciies, unions and lodges Ex-Gov. St. John, oÂ£ Kansas, the hero i.t t h e hour, will be present one day, \v bus such household names as Mrs. J. Ellen Foster, of Iowa : Mrs. Mary T. Laihrop, of Michigan, Dr. W. H. Boole, of Brooklyn, and other noted defenders of the truth, will make a rich programme in eloquence and zeal. We appeal to all concerned to Â£iv- those men and women a hearty greeting, a candid hearing, and an unprejudiced verdict upon their utterances, methods and work, and may God speed the right! Address Address all letters for information in regard to tents, etc., to J. C. Smith, Treasurer, Machias, N. Y." The programme for the various days, is as follows: Wednesday, Aug. 1st., Mrs. J.Ellen Foster, of Iowa. Thursday, Aug. 2d., Ex-Gov. John P. St. John, of Kansas. Friday, A\iÂ£. 3d, Ex-Gk)v. Nel Dow, of Maine. Saturday, Aug. 4th; Dr. W. H. Boole, of Brooklyn. Sunday, Aug. 5th, Mrs. Mary T. Lathrop, of Michigan. Monday, Aug. 6th, Mass Convention of temperance workers. Tuesday, Aug. 7th, M. J. Fanning, the eloquent Irishman, of Michigan. There will be several other speak- es to be announced on bills. The Session will close on Tuesday evening with a grand benefit concert under the management of Rev. J. L. Davis, of Bradford. BRIEFS. --Morris Cw. have something to say worth reading by purchasers of wearing apparel --Parties who want to buy a Sewing Machine Machine cheap should read N. V. Jackson's new advertisement. --A week ago last Saturday E. E. Bond bought over 9000 pounds of wool and yes* terday his purchases amounted to 11000 pounds. --The glass men have finally accepted the site selected for them at the corner of Thirteenth and Buffalo 8ts~ upon which their glass works will be speedily erected. --The reliable firm of Andrews Dickinson Dickinson sent four silk and plush parlor suits to customers out of town last week. Business Business with this firm keeps good right along through the dull days. --The Choral Union has changed its night of meeting from Monday to Tuesday night. This really excel lent society is now in a rery prosperous condition, and all who are musically inclined, should do themselves themselves the honor of becoming members at once. --We can do job work of every description description better, cheaper and quicker at this office, than any other printing establishment in Western New York. Why? Because we have better workmen, better type, new Myle*, fester and better pressed, and better facilities generally, than any other office. --Monday July 23d, an excursion party w i l l leave Buffalo for New York, over the Deievrar,Lackawaaa A Western road tinder the auspice* of the K nigh to of Pythias lodge of Buffalo. Round trip tickets, good on any of the train* over that road on the date named, and good to return on any train within 10 days, for only $8,-30. T. W. : D. A. PRATT, Have just received a'largo ndcomplete stock of GOODS, Including the delicious fruits put up by the Golden Gate Packing California, such as Lemon Cling Peaches. White Ox Heart Cherries. Green Gage Plums, Apricots. All in heavy syrup, and very desirable for the table. A choice selection of Dried and Evaporated Fruits A Fresh Line of Table Delcaces: French Tongue. Potted Chicken, Boneless Turkey. Potted Ham f Currie Power, Olive Oil, Queens Olives. Purkees Salad Dressing; The Freshest, Finest Lettuce in Olean. A Rockford Waiches, Cased in the genuine solid gold silver (Dueber) case always on band. Also all other American make such as American, Waltham and Elgin Watch Companys Watches. A* to the quality of the Hockerforci Movement, the best testimony is the feet commanding officer of the "United States Naval Observatory at Washington, and of his subordinates employ them for the uses of that establishment. HERMAN SOHUETZ, Olean, N. THE OLD RELIABLE DRUG STORE --OF- DR. T. V. D. COON No. 100 Champion Trass. Manufactured r U.S. Gor'U Union St., OLEAN, N.- Y IS THE PLACE TO PURCHASE DRUGS AND MEDICINES, Books and St tionery, Blank Books, Lai Books, and Fancy Articles OF EVERY DESCRIPTION. LARGE STOCK OF OILS AND PAINTS Always on hand, including a full line of Reynold's Prepared House all colors, and warranted. A FULL ASSORTMENT OF SHOULPER BRACES, Supporters ai\d Trusses, Suitable fo all cases. Carefully fitted and guaranteed to give satisfaction Clark Johnson's Indian Blood Syrap, Cures all diseases of the Stomach. Liver Bowels. Kidneys, Skin and Blood. Millions testify to its efficacy in heating above named diseases, and pronounce it to be the REMEDY KNOWN TO MAN Guaranteed to Cure Dyspepsia. t^~ AGENTS WANTED. ,Â« Laboratory 77 West 3d St., New York City. Druggists sell Dm. CLAKK Jotncsox:-- OneidA, lUdmm, Co X Y The uÂ»e of your reliable Indian Blood Sirup effectually relieved ate of or fknily medicine for OÂ»fl*b*. Could*, Billioos AU*. Etc. ""*"" *" TM TRADE XAKSt Dr. F. C. Comstock O*e* over Baker Hurt'Â«DnÂ«StwrÂ« NEAR ERIE DEPOT, Office hour* from 12 to 2 aÂ»d 6 to 8 p. 10. Examination Free. P. E. Watts, M. D. '8uocÂ«iÂ«or t* Dr. Lincoln i r* remorwj from bere*e foraerlr Â«/-ujiÂ«'I Â»y rr Lincoln, to roov erer KleinÂ·Â« Jrw^rj- ;Â»crt adjoiniag X. s. BaUÂ«fÂ» Slows, Ofeas-X. Y.