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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Historical Markers > Find a Marker > Griffin Oil Discovery Griffin Oil Discovery

Griffin Oil DiscoveryGriffin Oil Discovery

Location: Main and First Street, Griffin. (Posey County, Indiana)

Installed: 2005 Indiana Historical Bureau, Town of Griffin, Griffin Alumni Association, and Friends

ID# : 65.2006.1

Text

Side one:

On December 14, 1938, at 8:20 p.m. oil was struck north of here at Fitzpatrick and Hayes #1 Cooper well. A gusher, it produced an estimated 1, 000 barrels a day and began an oil boom in Griffin and the surrounding area. By 1941, 120 oil wells in this area were producing oil. Annual oil production in Indiana peaked 1956 at over 12 million barrels.

Side two:

Oil brought economic and social change to Griffin and surrounding area. Oilmen and their families moved in, businesses flourished, and land was leased to oil companies. Oil production has continued in the Griffin Oil Field - roughly 25 square miles in Gibson and Posey counties; through 2003, it had produced a cumulative 84, 412, 739 barrels of oil.

Keywords

Business, Industry, and Labor, Historic District, Neighborhoods, and Towns

Annotated Text

On December 14, 1938, at 8:20 p.m. oil was struck north of here at Fitzpatrick and Hayes #1 Cooper well.(1) A gusher, it produced an estimated 1, 000 barrels a day(2) and began an oil boom in Griffin and the surrounding area. By 1941, 120 oil wells in this area were producing oil.(3) Annual oil production in Indiana peaked 1956 at over 12 million barrels.(4) Oil brought economic and social change to Griffin and surrounding area.(5) Oilmen and their families moved in, (6) businesses flourished, (7) and land was leased to oil companies.(8) Oil production has continued in the Griffin Oil Field - roughly 25 square miles in Gibson and Posey counties; through 2003, it had produced a cumulative 84, 412, 739 barrels of oil.(9)

Notes:

1. New Harmony Times, December 16, 1938; Evansville Courier, December 16, 1938; Tom Straw to Historical Bureau, September 9, 2004 (e-mail) indicates that the exact location of Cooper #1 is SW 1/4, NW 1/4, Sec. 13, T.2, R.14 W. in Wabash Township.

2. New Harmony Times, December 23, 1938.

3. Ibid., December 23, 1938, February 14, 1941. Charles W. Zuppann, Indiana Geological Survey, to Historical Bureau, November 3, 2004 (e-mail). Indiana Geological Survey, PDMS, Main Well Record, 132175, http://igs.indiana.edu/pdms/ (accessed November 10, 2004).

4. John A. Rupp, "A Brief Overview of the History of the Petroleum Industry in Indiana." n d, Indiana Geological Survey (Indiana University) Web Site (accessed October 1, 2004), p. 1. A graph at this site demonstrates that by about 1930 the Trenton Field in East Central Indiana ceased production, and all Indiana oil was produced in southwestern Indiana.

5.New Harmony Times, March 17, 1939, p.1, September 1, 1939.

6. Ibid., December 23, 1938, February 17, 24, June 2, 1939.

7. Ibid., March 17, September 1, October 6, 1939.

8. New Harmony Times, December 23, 1938, January 20, February 3, March 17, 1939.

9. Zuppann to Historical Bureau, November 3, 2004 (e-mail).