Want to order your own copy of this one-of-a-kind history book? The hardcover book costs $45.00, plus $5.00 for packing and mailing.
To order: Mail a check for $50 (made out to the Mercer Co. Historical Soc.), with your name and post office mailing address, to: Joyce Alig, President, Mercer Co. Historical Soc., 3054 Burk-St.Henry Rd., Saint Henry, OH 45883.
From Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig:
Oil & Gas Boom, Mercer County and Midwest Ohio is the new book about the oil and gas wells, not only in Mercer County, but also surrounding Auglaize, Van Wert, & Darke Counties, Ohio, and Jay County, Indiana.
Celina’s first oil well in Mercer County was dated in June 1886, and St. Marys well was announced in July 1886. Following those first wells, the landowners around the lake, also drilled wells, which were successful, e.g. 200 barrels a day. In February 1887, the announcement was made, “The Reservoir is higher than it has been since 1876.” The landowners who owned land around the lake, had drilled wells on the beach behind of their homes. With the flooding of the lake as of February 1887, water covered the platforms of the oil wells and the level of the lake remained high. Thus, the term “Off-Shore Oil Wells,” was applied to those oil wells. The Canal Commission of Ohio owned the Reservoir, as it was a feeder to the Miami and Erie Canal. The State saw an opportunity to charge land owners to lease land for those oil wells on the lake. The State directed the land around and on the lake to be Surveyed. A copy of this 1889 Survey with owners’ names is included in this new book. The State had a lengthy law suit in 1892 against the local landowners of oil wells on the lake, but the local landowners won. Eighteen pages of this book are devoted to the interviews of this lawsuit, and local citizens who are descendants of those landowners can read the replies to the Attorneys. (“Yes, one can fight city hall!”) Local citizens will recognize the name of the landowners on this 1889 map of the entire lake!
In addition to the Off Shore Oil Wells on the lake, this book contains first hand accounts in the old newspapers about the oil and gas wells being drilled, and the names of the sites and villages and farms where the wells were drilled, plus the dates, in Mercer, Auglaize, Van Wert, Darke Counties, Ohio and Jay County, Indiana. A study of the Geology of the Trenton Oil Field, in Ohio and Indiana, and about the Reservoir, is included. Photographs of local oil and gas wells are also included. Interviews with citizens today, who drilled oil and gas wells are fascinating. A detailed Index of first and last names in this book with about 250 pages of this local history gives the reader an opportunity to find real stories of area citizens.