“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Falls City in Richardson County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

First Oil Well

First Oil Well Marker image. Click for full size.
By Daniel Shurtliff, December 18, 2014
1. First Oil Well Marker
Inscription. The first publicized report of oil in Nebraska was an 1883 newspaper account of a "vein of petroleum" discovered in Richardson County. Over the next 57 years, the search for oil consumed thousands of dollars, and hundreds of wells were drilled throughout Nebraska. Traces of oil were reported at various locations across the state, but Nebraska did not have a producing well until 1940.

In 1939 and 1940 the Pawnee Royalty Company had two encouraging but unsuccessful drillings near Falls City. A third well, known as Bucholz No. 1, was begun near here on April 22, 1940. On May 29, 1940, the well began producing and averaged 169-1/2 barrels daily for the first 60 days.

Bucholz Well No. 1 thus easily qualified for a $15,000 bonus offered by the Nebraska Legislature for the first oil well in the state to produce at least 50 barrels daily for 60 consecutive days. Interestingly, Bucholz No. 1 was located about five miles east of the "vein of petroleum" reported in 1883.

Although today Nebraska's oil production is largely centered in the southwestern panhandle, the pioneer efforts in this area have resulted in a major contribution to the economy of the state.

Nebraska Petroleum Council
Historical Land Mark Council
Erected by Nebraska Petroleum Council, Historical Land Mark Council. (Marker Number 79.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society marker series.
Location. 40° 3.933′ N, 95° 40.305′ W. Marker is in Falls City, Nebraska, in Richardson County. Marker is at the intersection of Nebraska Route 8 and Local Route 648, on the left when traveling west on State Route 8. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3 miles west of Falls City, Falls City NE 68355, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Lane Trail (approx. 11.6 miles away in Kansas); Sabetha, Kansas (approx. 13.2 miles away in Kansas).
Categories. Industry & Commerce
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Joan Shurtliff of Seward, Nebraska. This page has been viewed 238 times since then and 94 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on , by Joan Shurtliff of Seward, Nebraska. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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