Adams County, Indiana

Indiana Gas Boom
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Indiana gas boom was a period of active drilling and production of natural gas in the Trenton Gas Field, in the US state of Indiana and the adjacent northwest part of Ohio. The boom began in the early 1880s and lasted into the early twentieth century. When the Indiana natural gas belt was discovered, the citizens were unaware of what they had found; nearly a decade passed without action to recover the resource. Once its significance was realized, further exploration showed the Indiana gas belt was the largest deposit of natural gas discovered until then. In addition to the massive quantity of natural gas, in the 1890s developers discovered that the field also contained the first giant oil reserve found in the United States, with an estimated one billion barrels of oil. The resource was rapidly tapped for use. Because the gas was being wasted in use, the Indiana General Assembly attempted to regulate its use. In a series of cases, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law. The poor understanding of oil and gas wells at the time led to the loss of an estimated 90% of the natural gas by venting into the atmosphere or by widespread misuse. By 1902 the yield from the fields began to decline, leading to a switch to alternative forms of energy. With most of the gas removed from the field, there was no longer enough pressure to pump the oil out of the ground. An estimated 900 million barrels (140,000,000 m3) of oil remain in the field. Advancements in artificial lift technology have led to extraction of some of the oil, but at a relatively slow rate and high cost compared to more productive fields.

The following turn-of-the-century oil and gas leases were discovered in the Old Courthouse Records previously stored in the Decatur jail.
Click on the name to see a scan of the original document(s).

Posted 9/3/2016; updated 2/6/2018
Early Oil & Gas Leases
Lessor Lesee Township # of Acres Date
Abnet, John Ohio Oil Company Jefferson 80 6/13/1894
Affolder, Fred Ohio Oil Company Wabash 80 6/16/1894
Allison, R K Ohio Oil Company Wabash & Monroe 260 6/11/1894
Aumiller, Hattie & George Ohio Oil Company Wabash 10 6/15/1894
Barkalow, D & S E Ohio Oil Company Wabash 40 6/14/1894
Beitler, Lawrence Henry Risch Monroe 40 6/28/1894
Campbell, Eli & Jacbo Menical L G Collie Jefferson 6/1/1906 Well #1 - Section 21, Range 15
Duey, Margaret Spear Gamble Co 7/10/1890
Eley, Margaret & William A Ohio Oil Company Monroe 50 6/16/1894
Emenhiser, Stephen Ohio Oil Company Wabash 80 6/14/1894
Ensley, Catherine Ohio Oil Company Hartford 57 12/28/1892
Fogle, Jacob & Barbara Ohio Oil Company Jefferson 32 6/18/1894
Galloway, Ida M & J R Ohio Oil Company Jefferson 15 6/13/1894
Gillion, Peter & Wife Ohio Oil Company Wabash & Monroe 67 6/14/1894
Gottschalk, Andrew & Laura Henry S Risch Monroe 80 6/29/1909 Section 34, Range 14
Harvey, D T Bole Oil Company Monroe 160 3/3/1903 Section 7 & 8 Range 14
Lehman, David C & Elizabeth Henry S Risch Monroe 100 6/28/1909 Section 27 & 28, Range 14
Lehman, Ulrich & Judith Henry S Risch Monroe 80 6/28/1909 Section 34, Range 14
Lenning, Jasper & Eve Eastern Oil Company Wabash 40 5/2 1903 Section 18, Range 15
Liechty, Emanuel J & Anna J Henry S Risch Monroe 80 6/28/1909 Section 27, Range 14
Lindsey, Amos Ohio Oil Company Jefferson 80 3/10/1893
Lindsey, Amos & Wife Ohio Oil Company Jefferson 80 6/7/1894
Maloney, Joseph & John Bebout Jefferson 8/7/1906 Well #1 - Township 25, Range 14
Manley, J C & Minerva W B Westgate Wabash 40 3/3/1909
Neuenschwander, Jacob & Elizabeth Joe J Risch, trustee Monroe 80 5/4/1909 Section 26 & 27, Range 14
Nusbaum, Benjamin & Elizabeth Henry S Risch Monroe 20 6/28/1909 Section 27, Range 14
Peel, John M Ohio Oil Company Wabash 25 6/15/1894
Sehman, Joel & Anna Henry S Risch Monroe 60 6/29/1909
Sprunger, Joshua Henry S Risch Monroe 20 6/29/1909 Range 14
Wheeler, J R T B Westgate Wabash 80 3/2/1909

Adams County Biographies


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Allen County, IN
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Wells County, IN
Mercer County, OH
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