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Oil Industry, Sligo area

[1901] BITTENBENDER FARM — Another big gas well was struck on the Maj. Bittenbender farm, near Curllsville, Tuesday of last week.  The men thought they would just plug the casing and shut it in, but it blew the casing clear out.   The Apollo Gas Co. is doing the operating.   This is their No. 2 on the Bittenbender farm, and they began their No. 3 last Monday.  They have a rich gas belt, and in fact all territory about there seems to be good for gas, and off towards Sligo there is no doubt about there being oil. The New Bethlehem Vindicator   5-30-1901 via Heidi LaDow


[1918] — CRAIG DIES WHILE INSPECTING LOCAL GAS WELL — Mr. George W. Craig, one of the prominent merchants of Sligo, and one of the best known and most highly esteemed citizens of that section, died suddenly Wednesday, Sept. 25, 1918, while visiting and inspecting a gas well a short distance from Sligo in company with Mr. Ira Hodil and others. He seemed to be in ordinary health when he started out, but the probability that his heart was overtaxed. He was about 56 years of age and leaves his wife and two children, Mr. Leslie Craig and Mrs. Edna McKee, of Sligo. The family and friends have the sympathy of all. The funeral took place Sept. 28th, the Rev. Dr. J.M. McCurdy of Curllsville having charge of the service. Clarion Democrat 10/10/1918 - transcription courtesy of Pamela Myers-Grewell.


[1929] NEW GAS WELL IS SHOT — A message sent out from Clarion says that a new gas well has been drilled in that field which is producing at the rate of 3,000,000 feet daily. The well is owned by the Natural Gas Company which supplies Titusville and other cities in this section of the state. The well was brought in on Saturday on the C.A. Meyers farm in Piney township, near Curllsville, about nine miles south of here the dispatch said. Gas was found in the 100-foot sand at a depth of 1030 feet. In the first 24 hours the well made 3,175,919 cubic feet and was continuing at that clip today it is understood. The well is located in territory that is noted as being good for sustained production. There are a number of wells in the area.  Bradford, June 25. Source: McKean County Miner, Thursday, Jan. 31, 1929. Transcribed by Pamela Myers-Grewell.


[1930] census, Sligo Borough: John H. Meier, Penn St. Sligo, Supt for Oil & Gas Co


[1956] Claude Rhea, founder and developer of Sligo oil industry dies.

     SLIGO-Claude Wesley Rhea, 56, of Sligo, prominent businessman and industrialist, died suddenly at 3:30 a. m. Thursday in his home of a heart condition.   Mr. Rhea, founder and developer if the area west of Clarion known as Rhea's Corners, was found dead in bed about 4 a. m. Thursday. Known as a "one man chamber of commerce", for Clarion, Mr. Rhea purchased an area of the old Vowinckel farm at Brenneman's Corners and transformed it into a business and industrial site, building up the development from the Corner Restaurant and service station. Prior to this purchase, Mr. Rhea vas Pennzoil distributor for Clarion County, with bulk plants and operations located at Sligo. This business was sold to George Wolf, Jr., of Clarion by Mr. Rhea. After buying the Vowinckel farm area in 1953, Mr. Rhea constructed a 12-unit motel. He built a   second motel with 15 units in 1954 and a third motel building with 21 units, a ten-house project along a section of Route 68. Also included in the development are 12 airplane hangars, an administration building, a repair and maintenance shop and an air strip 2,400 feet long and 300 feet wide, located along the south side of Route 322 at Brenneman's Corners.   The airport here is known as Rhea's Field. This entire construction project involved expenditures of about $65,000. Mr. Rhea was responsible for bringing the ABC Coach Company to this area, constructing a factory building on the south side of Route 322 to house its manufacturing plant, costing a quarter of a million dollars. The ABC Company manufacturers house trailers. Mr. Rhea was born in Callensburg, Clarion County, November 13, 1899, a son of Laura Sedgwick and M. T. Rhea, and attended schools in that area. In 1923 he was married to Lucille Weeter. Mr. Rhea was a member of the Sligo Methodist Church; Blue Lodge of Masons, St. Petersburg;Eden Royal Arch Chapter of Masons, Clarion; Shrine of Pittsburgh; Coudersport Consistory; Sligo Lions Club; Sligo Business Men's club; and the Clarion Chamber of Commerce.   He was steward and trustee of the Sligo Methodist Church for a number of years. Surviving are his widow; one daughter, Mrs. Fred (Charlene) Crosley of Sligo; his mother, Mrs. Laura Rhea of Sligo; one sister Mrs. Margaret Elliott of Sligo; one brother. Merle Rhea of Sligo; and one grandson. The body was removed to the Hawk Funeral Home, Sligo, and Thursday afternoon was taken to the family residence where friends may call. The body will be taken to the Sligo Methodist Church for funeral services at 2:30 p. m. Sunday. Rev. Paul B. Dunlap, pastor of the Sligo .Methodist Church, will officiate. Burial will be in Grandview Cemetery, Sligo. Derrick (Oil City, Pa),   Friday, May 18, 1956.   Pp 1, 2


George W. Wolfe, Jr., Pennzoil distributor bulk loading plant. 1/4 mile from Sligo, 2001

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