Whitley City in McCreary County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
First Kentucky Oil Well / Martin Beaty (Beatty)
First Kentucky Oil Well
In 1818, Marcus Huling and Andrew Zimmerman were drilling salt wells along South Fort of Cumberland River. On land leased from Martin Beaty they struck oil. Attempts to market it downriver were not successful, so oil was barreled and carted away for medicinal use. This was the first commercial oil well; its production reached one hundred barrels daily.
Martin Beaty (Beatty)
First came to this area in 1817 and bought land on the South Fork. Besides operating salt works, Beaty served as state senator, 1824-28, 1832; representative, 1848; and was elected to Congress in 1833. He was twice a Presidential elector; served locally on first Board of Common School Commissioners. Died in 1856. Beattyville, Lee County, was named for his family.
Erected 1979 by Kentucky Historical Society/Kentucky Department of Transportation. (Marker Number 702.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & Politics • Industry & Commerce Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Kentucky Historical Society series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1818.
Location. 36° 43.539′ N, 84° 28.189′ W. Marker is in Whitley City, Kentucky, in McCreary County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street (Kentucky Route 1651) and Gary Street, on the right when traveling south on Main Street. Marker is located on the grounds of the McCreary County courthouse, in the southeast corner. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Whitley City KY 42653, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 10 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. McCreary County, 1912 (within shouting distance of this marker); Historic Stearns Kentucky (approx. 1.9 miles away); Sandstone Tree Stump (approx. 1.9 miles away); Stearns Coal & Lumber Company (approx. 1.9 miles away); Princess Cornblossom (approx. 1.9 miles away); Edward "Eddie" Ward (approx. 4.7 miles away); Tennessee / Kentucky (approx. 9.2 miles away in Tennessee); 4-H Craft Center (approx. 10 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on November 4, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 15, 2014, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. This page has been viewed 899 times since then and 192 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 15, 2014, by Lee Hattabaugh of Capshaw, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.