Butler citizen. (Butler, Pa.) 1877-1922, March 11, 1892, Oildom., Image 6

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THE Indians were the first to dis
cover oil, as the French Explorer
Charlevoix, wrote in his journal,
May, 1721, that "a fountain at the
head of the Ohio, (now Allegheny
river), the water of which is like oil,
has a taste of iron and seems to ap
pease all manner of pain."
Along Oil creek, particularly be
tween Titusville and Oil City and in
other localities in Western Pennsyl
vania, circular and square walled pits,
cribbed with timber have been found,
which are supposed to have been the
work of Indians and excavated for the
purpose of obtaining oil.
The early white settlers gathered
oil from the surface of streams by
spreading blankets so as to absorb it,
then wringing them over a kettle, tub
or reoeptical. Occasionally it was
found in salt wells. In one of these,
fnnlr in 1811, near the present house
of James Kearns, a mile northeast of
Butler, was discovered the first petro
leum in Butler county, of which we
have any record. The oil was present
in sufficient quantities to render the
■alt made from the brine unfit to pre
serve meat in. It was gathered by
Mrs. Kearns, the wife of one of the
pioneers, and people came long dis
tances to procure small vials of th?
liquid for medicinal purposes. It was
considered valuable in cases of rheu
matism, bruises, fieshwounds and
similar ailments, and was kept in store
by druggists throughout the country,
bringing a high price under the name
of Seneca, rock or British oil, ornaph
As the most prolific and most widely
known of the natural oil springs were
on Oil creek, Venango county, Pa., it
was natural that the first step toward
systematic and extensive production
should be first taken there. In 1858,
Messrs. J. E. Eveleth and Geo. H. Bis
sell, of New York City, having leased
from Messrs. Brewer, Watson & Co.
of Titnsville, 100 acres of land in
Venango county, just Bouth of the vill
age on which was an oil spring, which
had been a source of considerable pro
fit for years. It was concluded to sink
a well for the purpose of tapping the
stream or reservoir which they con
jectured flowed beneath the surface.
They engaged for this undertaking,
Mr. E. L. Drake, of New Haven,
Oonn. who began with a set of tools
which he could almost carry on his
shoulder, to sink the first oil well in
the world.
On the afternoon of Saturday, Aug
ust 28, 1869, the drill of ihe well drop
ped into the first crevice, at a depth
of only seventy-one feet. Thus was
born a new industry, and one of the
greatest of the world. It was stated
that the petroleum production of 1859,
the first year, was 2000 barrels.
When the pump was adjusted to the
Drake well it produced about 25 bar
rels a day. A second sand rock was
found at a depth of 200 feet which
gave a greater yield. A man named
Evans, sunk another well within the
limits of Franklin Borough, which
was a noteworthy affair, as he had
sunk a well seventeen feet to obtain
fresh water. A thick scum of oil
covered the water, making it unfit to
drink. When he heard of the Drake
well, he got iron on credit and con
structed tools.
He erected a derrick and by means
of a spring pole, with the assistance
of his two sons, bored the well to the
depth of seventy-two feet when be
struck a heavy vein of oil which flow
ed over the top of the conductor.
The tubing was put down and the
well pumped by hand with a common
pomp, producing about 70 barrels a
day, which sold at an average of |3O
a barrel. At the close of the year
1860, over two hundred wells were in
snooesafull operation and the produc
tion that year reached 600,000 barrels.
The first flowing well was struck by
Mr. Funk, in February 1861, upoj the
McElhany farm on oil creek in the
third sand rock at a depth of 400 feet
and the well began flowing 400 barrels
a day. It would be impossible to de
scribe the excitement at this period,
and wells were drilled as hasty as eag
er speculator's could put them down.
The Phillips well on the Tarr
Cum, Oil creek flowed 3000 barrels per
day and the Empire, near Mr. Funk's
first well, about the same. The con
sumption of oil as an illuminator was
not equal to the enormous production
which was by this time obtained, and
consequently the oil was selling at ten
cents a barrel, and often allowed to
run upon the ground.
Production was paralyzed and small
wells abandoned' In 1864, a vigorous
recuperation occurred, consumption
steadily increased while the produc
tion had declined to less than 4000 bar
rels a day and the price rose to the
highest figure ever known |l4. per
barrel; the average price being $9.00.
Under the stimulus of high prices,
the Pit Hole and new territories were
developed, search was made with un
tiring diligence for new oil fields, and
the energy and capital of thousands
of men were brought to bear on the
great industry, which was still in its
infancy. It was discovered that the
oil sand rock, was not confined to
courses of the streams alone, but ex
tended horizontally under hills and
could be reached by deeper drilling.
Various theories were promulgated
respecting the nature of the oil sand
deposit, its extent and direction,
among them was that of the oil belt
deduced from the observations of C.
D. Angell, of Franklin, Pa., that a
number of oil producing spots would
be intersected by a straight line,
whose bearing was north, about 16 de
grees east The first paying well in
the Butler-Clarion belt was obtained
on the Allegheny river, at Parkers
Landing, In the fall of 1868, and
operations spread ont from that point
■lowly, daring the remainder of that
and the next year. In the Aatumn of
' 1865, Capt. Jacob Ziegler, Dr. Stephen
Bredin, Judge James Bredin, Jno. W.
Thompson Esq, Alexander Lowry,
Lewis Z. Mitchell Esq, H. J. Klingler,
Wm. Campbell, John Berg and others,
all of Butler Borough, organized the
Butler Oil Company, and leased a
large body of land extending from the
vicinity of Martinsburg cn Bear creeV,
nearly as far south as Millerstown.
The leases of the company covered
what in after years proved to be the
very best oil terrritory in the whole
lower region.
The company owned the privileges
of the Gibson and Fletcher farms, the
Campbell, Sheak'.ey, McClymonds,
Wilson & McDonald farms, in fact,
almost all of the best territory in
what came to be known as the great
Butler Belt. On the basis of these
leases $29,000 was secured through
Mr. Hughes of Pottnville, which with
considerable more was disbursed by
the company. Unfortunately it was
expended under an executive commit
tee, which knew practically nothing
about the business in which they were
engaged and the result was what might
have been expected. Locations were
made for five wells, and drilling
commenced. They were all "wild
cats," of most pronounced type, sunk
with hope of finding something, some
where inßutler county,the extension of
the Clarion Belt. Martinsburg, Buffalo
creek. Buhls Mills, and Butler were
the locations chosen. Not one of these
wells were drilled to the second sand,
the dip of the strata, towards the south
west which made it necessary to drill
deeper in Butler than in the upper
The money of the Butler Company
was exhausted without obtaining
demonstration of the pressuro of oil
in the county, and the organization
practically disbanded. A new com
pany was organized in 1968 by Jacob
Ziegler and named after him the
Jacobs Oil Company. They took up a
portion of the leases held by the old
company, and began to drill the Mar
tinsburg well in the autumn of 1868,
and in February 1869, had signs
of oil. The well was then sunk one
hundred feet deeper and pumping
commenced, but the production was
small. Mr. J. Q. A. Kennedy then
examined the well and found it too
deep. The pump was readjusted and
after being shot with a torpedo, pro
duced 60 barrels a day.
This was the first successful well in
Butler county and was pumped for 11
years, but was never a large producer.
The well and the leases of the farm
were sold for $4,000 in 1872. The
striking of the Jacobs well brought
larger speculators to Parker township,
and all the available territory was
leased. In the fall of 1870, als barrel
well was struck on the stonehouse
farm, northeast of Martinsburg, by
E. Bennet. This stimulated operations
in all directions. The "Pine tree' well
struck in the spring of 1870, produced
80 barrels a day which gave a fresh
impetus to the business. Among the
first to take practical action in accor
dance with the theory of a southerly
extension of the oil sand rock, was A.
L. Campbell. He leased 35 acres, May
1871, of the Robert Campbell farm, a
wild cat well was sunk, 4ie rig caught
fire, burned to the ground, but was re
built in twenty-four hours, and the
well produced eighty barrels per day.
This caueed a great rush to the front.
A large amount of territory was leased
south of the new well, including the
site of Petrolia and several farms sur
rounding it. The "Fanny Jane" well
was struck about April Ist 1872, end
started off with a flow of 200 barrels
per day, causing great excitement
among oil men and farmers in the re
gion who began to see visions of
wealth accruing from the hitherto
poor lands.
The Hatch, Dresser, "Lightfoot,"
"Ivanhoe," and other wells were Boon
producing, the latter flowing about
300 barrels a day. The village of
Argyle was laid out which became
quite a flourishing town and the
Campbell farm increased from SSO to
SI,OOO per acre in value. The striking
of the Kama well in December, 1871,
proved that the line extended half a |
mile farther west than had been
generally supposed. Petrolia, destin
ed to be the most notable oil center of
the lower regions now sprung into
existence. The astonished farmer saw
a village grow up around him, with
mushroom like growth. Like all oil
towns springing quickly into exist
ence through the pressure of suddenly
developed need, Petrolia consisted
entirely of light and flimzily con
structed wooden buildings. They
were put up hastily to meet the de
mands of the strange heterogeneous
population which poured into the
countv. Hotel followed hotel, and
all were crowded to their utmost
capacity as soon as completed. Tho
population quickly increased to 3,000
and ultimately to 5,000. The lucky
strikes of the 22 degree belt, and the
rapid developement of the territory,
brought all classes of people. The
heavy capitalist, tho experienced
operator, the shrewd speculator, the
penniless adventurer, the "man who
had seen better days," the green no
vice, the curious tourist, the honest
citizen, the common laborer, the
tramp, beggar, gambler, sharper, thief,
the courtezan, all were there, and
jostled each other on the narrow
crowded Bide walks. The sodden aim
less broken down wretches who form
the flotaam and jetsam of the ocean of
life, depraved characters, of every
degree of degradation, came upon the
heels of the pushing men of business,
as a horde of camp followers straggling
on after an army. Petrolia afforded a
marked illustration of condensed and
intense life.
Business, pleasure and dissipation
ware carried on daring the height of
the great oil excitement with a iush,
which is never equalled outside' of a
great oil center of production and
speculation. The first oil exchange
in Butler county,Jwas organized here
in October, 1575, with S. H. Smith as
president. Speculation ran high and
at one time Petrolia made the market
price of oil for the world. The
borough passed through ups and
downs usually the lot of oil towns.
It had its great fires, its records cf
quickly made fortunes and heavy
failures of individuals, and finally its
own prosperity began to wane as the
oil production fell off. Karns City,
j Millerstown, Greece City, Modoc,
Buena Vista, Martinsburg and other
small towns sprung into life as if by
magic, but none ever rivaled Petrolia.
I Greece City was probably the hardest
town in the oil regions during the hey
day of excitement. It has almost
The oil producer, leaser, speculator
and property owner, all sought to fol
low the belt in its course, as it was
now fully established that its direction ;
lay in a southerly course. Test wells
were put down in all directions and
oil derricks became moro plentiful
than trees. The operator had entered
Donegal township, and oil was s ruck
on the Stewart farm by Andy .Stewart,
and started off with 150 barrels. An
other was soon struck on the Barnhart,
owned by the Lambing Brothers. It 1
produced 175 barrels, and gave confi
dence in the belt. The B. B. Campbell
well on the Forquer farm followed
with 250 barrels per day, which ex
tended the limits of the territory
Early in 1573 a big surprise party
dawned upon the community when
McKinney Bros, and Gailey & Co.
brought up a spouter* on the Jacob
Hemphill farm, which produced
about 1,600 barrels the first day, and
maintained a flow of 600 to 1,000 bar
rels. Another guaher on the Divener
farm, struck March 1, 1874, drilled by
Plummer & Lee, produced over 200,000
barrels before it quit. This was sold
to H. L. Taylor & Co. for §IOO,OOO.
The first mystery well, put down for j
speculative purposes, was put down on
the 'Squire McGinley farm, two miles
south of Millerstown.
By 1875 the country from Parker to
a point several miles south of Millers
town fairly bristled with derricks, and
a torrent of wealth flowed into the
hands of the producers and landown
ers. Oilmen at this time readily gave
§IOO, §2OO and §250 per acre, with an
eighth of royalty of all productions,for
land, which, prior to the excitement,
was not worth more than §3O or S4O an
Millers town had its full share of ben
efit from the oil development. An oil
exchange was organized there for
the speculators, who, as is always the
case in a great field of production,
were numerous. Some idea of the
business transacted during the palmy
days of the exchange may be con
ceived from the statement that the re
ceipts of the telegraph office during
that time were from ?1,000 to $5,000
per month, the office ranking third
largest in the State.
The Bradford strike in McKean
county, had caused a wholesale depar
ture of oil operators and the followers
of the field about this time, and Butler
county was almost deserted, and drill
ing for new wells had almost ceased.
There seemed to be a break in the
twenty-second degree belt, and dili
gent search had failed to locate the
direction in which it ran.
But the riches under Butler county's
soil could not be hidden forever, and
prospectors were soon leasing in vari
ous directions to locate the pool, which
oil men wero satisfied existed some
where near Thorn creek. They were
not mistaken, as a well drilled on the
Wallace farm, cast of the Bald
Ridge field, bv Sam Armstrong, pro
duced from one to four hundred bar
rels a day. This stimulated the lag
ging interest in this field and operators
flocked to Thorn Creek. In 1885, the
Armstrong, No. 2, gushed forth 10,000
barrels a day, having been put down
by Armstrong, Boyd and Semple.
Tiie excitement following this strike
cannot bo described. Farmers de
miinded exhor itant prices for leases,
and operators willingly pai l for the
privileges. Many good wel'.a were
struck in thia pool, but none ever came
up to the Armstrong, No. 2. Phillips
City and Mcßride City, sprung into
life as the work of drilling advanced
and wild-catting was carried on more
fearlessly toward the south, which re
sulted in the strike of the Thorn Creek
extension, which opened up at Golden
City,Bollard,Greenlee and Smith, made
the lucky strike in the Saxonburg field
of the "Grandmother" well, which
gushed 4,000 the first day.
Glade Run, on the same belt, was
well operated before the Saxonburg,
and produced many large wells, which
are flowing yet. The belt as it came
through the county in a south-west
erly direction, often led off in
loops, which wero only found
through the persistency of the
"wild cat" driller Hence the
famous "Hundred Foot" field was
opened in 1889, which runs from I'eters
ville to Brush Creek, by way of Har
mony. This field is entirely off the 22
degree belt, and the oil 3and lies 300
feet higher than the above belt.
The field is the most active to-day,
I and Harmony is enjoying quite a
I boom through this medium. Owing
! to tho low price of oil, operations are
; not BO active as they should be, but the
1 opening of spring and an expected
i rise in tho price of oil, will
; cause thousands, who have deserted
the fields for other parts, to retarn,
and hundreds of derricks will be built
and work become more active than
The Butler county oil fields are con
sidered the best in the country to-day,
and more ground is leased here than
iin any other county. A pool is sup
posed to exist only a short distance
from the borough of Butler, which will
be opened up in the future. Toe oil
industry is by far the greatest in the
county and thousands of men follow
the oil fields for a living, who make
good wages while at work.
Many large and valuable gas wells
are now producing fuel and light,
both for home consumption, and are
piped to other counties. This is a
source of revenue offtimes to the
driller, which pays nearly as good as a
i large oil well.
I Butler county's prosperity is certain
ly dependant, to a great extent, on its
oil and gas production, which, as near
as can be estimated, will not be aban
doned for many years to come.
The explosion of a torpedo in a well
| to cause a greater flow of oil did not
take place until 1566 or 1867, when
I Colonel E. A. L. Roberts had newly
invented nitro-glycerine.
The shot was put off in the "Fox"
well, on the banks of Oil Creek, which
well WHS drilled in 1563 by Brewer &
Watson, Kier, Mitchell & Co, to a
depth of 500 feet, and flowed 150 bar
rels a day for a year and a half. It was
i pumped for six months, slowly declin
ing in yield until no longer profitable.
As an experiment a glycerine torpedo
was exploded in the well, which caused
1 it to again become a paying producer,
[ continuing to hold out, from renewals
of torpedo explosions, until 1869 or
1870, when it ceased to exist. This
well was always considered famous
from the fact of its large yield of oil,
and, I believe, having been the first
operated upon by a torpedo at Petro
leum Center. The completion of this
Fox i well was the last of the opera
tions upon the farm of Kier, Mitchell
& Co.
The great majority of men now
engaged in the oil business can recol
lect when the tallow candle was the
illuminant of the masses. They can
also remember when people, who
could afford to burn lard oil, a dirty,
disagreeable compound, were consider
ed pretty well to do. Crude lamps
that would not now be tolerated in a
cabin were in use in the homes of the
then elite, and in the larger cities a
poor quality of manufactured gas
could be had at a price which placed it
among the luxuries of the earth.
Not over 30 years have elapsed, but
in that time the petroleum producer
has given to mankind a cheap, clean
light, as superior to what his forefath
ers ever dreamt of as electricity is to
refined oil. It can be carried and
transported where electricity cannot
be generated and will therefore al
ways be valuable.
There are few who know when
crude oil was first refined. In 1859
several barrels of petroleum, or Seneca
oil as it was then called, were shipped
to Pittsburg on a raft from Colonel
Drake's well near Titusville. S. M.
Kier, of Pittsburg, who was then
engaged in refining an iiluminant
from shale oil, received the petroleum
sent by Colonel Drake. In a few
weeks he had reduced it to a refined
state, and re-shipped it up the Alle
gheny river by boat to Titusville.
It was then placed in the hands of
R. D. Fletcher, now a resident of
Titusville, who sold the first gallon of
oil refined from petroleum, on Decem
ber 30, 1859, to Jonathan Watson, for
Not many months elaaped beiore It
came into general URe among the resi
dents of Titusville, but on account of
the imperfect lamps then in vogue it
took years to introduce it to the coun
try at large. The lamps were made
of tin and burned a round wick, simi
lar to those used in burning the raw
crude. Glass lamps were finally in
vented, and sold at |1 and |1.25 each.
Glass chimneys were 25 cents and
wicks 4 cents each.
Since then refined oil has been ship
ped to almost every port in the world
and is used by all nations, under all
climes and by all classes of people.
The tallow candle has been placed in
j the same category as the snuff box,
the spinning wheel, the old oaken
bucket, and the horse car. In a large
flection of the United States natural
gas is now in general use. Pennsyl
vanians were not the first to use natur
al gas as might be erroneously believ
ed, for centuries ago the wily Chinee
noticed it escaping from crevices in
the earth and soon made use of it.
They stored it in silken tanks, and
piped itllong distances through bambo
poles, using it both as illuminant and
for heating purposes.
! Hlntory of a Man Who Laid Down a Limb
in tlie Service of Hits Country.
Postmaster Frank M. Eastman, of
Butler, has the honor of having his
: commission signed by ex-Presidents
U. S. Grant and Grover Cleveland.
Our hero was born in New Brighton,
Beaver county, April 17, 1843, and was
brought to Butler county by his par
ents when qnite young. At the age of
! 18 his young spirit was aroused at the
insults offered our flag, and he took
I arms in its defense, in Company H,
1 One Hundred and Second Pennsylva
nia Volunteers, which took an active
part in the conllict, with the army of
the Potomac. At the battle of Cedar
Creek, October 19, 1864, he lost an
, arm; in January it had healed so that
~ he re-enlisted and remained with the
boys until mustered out June 28, 1865.
After the war, he taught school, was
' elected Clerk of Courts in 1866, and
1 served as postmaster of the borough in
' '7l, '72, '73 and '74. From 1875 to 1885
3 he acted as court stenographer and
3 reporter.
1 Four years ago he was again selected
1 as postmaster, which position ho now
j (ills with credit to the town.
He married Margaret, daughter of
' Alex. Martin, of this town, and their
t union has been blest with nine sons
n and one daughter.
Mr. Eastman is a member of the U.
V. L., Encampment No. 45, and
" Knights of Pythias and Knights of
» Honor.
The Oil Well Supply Co.
FOREMOST in their line in the
world stands the Oil Well Supply
Co. Its agente are to be found in
every field, and everything ap
pertaining to gas or oil well drilling is
J manufactured or sold by this concern.
To fully detail every implement used
in drilling, and to fully describe the
! various uses to which they are put
would extend unreasonably the proper
I limits of this paper.
The Oil Well Supply Company are
now at work issuing a catalogue
which will be a mine of information
and will illustrate every device used In
drilling wells. It has taken two years
constant labor to •ompile this wonder
ful work; which can be had on applica
tion when completed. In the oil
regions of Pennsylvania, Ohio and
New York, over one hundred thous
and wells have been drilled since 1969.
In no other part of the world has this
industry been so greatly developed.
Thirty-two years of experience has im
proved and perfected everv article
used, and a thousand patents have
been taken out for valuable inventions
relating to the business.
I The Oil Well Supply Company have
■ the largest and best equipped and most
numerous manufactories, and their
facilities for making well supplies are
not equalled by any other establish
ment in the world. They are the only
firm that can make everything needed.
All other dealers purchase more or
less from them, while they do not need
to purchase from any other establish
ment. They either own, control, or
have licenses under all the leading and
most valuable patents. They sell
everything required to drill, equip,
complete and operate an oil, salt, gas,
water or test well, and can send ex
perienced and reliable workmen, with
tne apparatus to any part of the world.
Besides furnishing a large part of the
supplies used in the oil and gas regions,
they are now furnishing men, machin
ery and outfits for many of the States
and Territories, and for Russia, Austria,
Hungary, Roumania, Cuba, Australia,
Central America, Mexico, Italy, Ger
many, and other countries. Every
thing they make or sell is of the best
material, most perfect finish, thorough
ly tested and carefully inspected.
The stockholders of Eaton, Cole &
Burnham Company, of 82 and 84
Fulton street, New York, are the prin
cipal stockholders in the Oil Well Sap
ply Company. The two companies
have the same president and are inti
mately connected in all business mat
ters. Their factories and shops are
located at various places in the
country. The brass and iron foun
dries of the Eaton, Cole & Burnham
Co., at Bridgewater, Conn.; their black
smith tool and machine shop, on North
Mechanic street, Bradford, Pa., Pitts
burg and Harmony, where drilling and
"fishing" tools are made.
Their sand reel shop on Davis street,
Bradford, Pa., where bull and band
wheels, sand reels and wooden rigs
are constructed. Their machine shop at
Oil City, I'a., where wrought iron and
steel work of all kinds is done, and
lumber and sucker rod mill at Van
Wert, Ohio, together with the tube
and pipe mills of the Elba Iron Works
and Continental Iron Works at Pitts
burg are all monuments of the un
tiring energy which the master's hand
has guided in this great transition of
mechanical and mercantile pursuit.
The principal stores of the company
are Bradford, Oil City and Pittsburg,
besides the branch stores at Bolivar,
N. Y., Clarendon, Warren, Derrick
City, Eldred, Washington, Butler,
Harmony, McDonald and Noblestown,
Pa.; Findlay, Lima, Marietta, Ohio,
and New Cumberland, W. Va. The
company also furnishes other stores
and dealers with supplies so that they
practically cover every branch of the
The new company was organized as
a corporation and a charter granted in
the fall of 1891, with charter office at
Oil City. The main office for the
northern district is in Bradford; south
ern district at 91 and 92, Water street,
Pittsburg. The capital stock is
$1,500,000 and the officers are John
Eaton, president; E. H. Cole, vice
president; K. Chickering, secretary; E.
T. Howes, treasurer, K. Saulnier, first
assistant treasurer and Louis Brown,
second assistant treasurer.
This vast concern with Its numerous
branches employs between 1,800 and
2,000 men and covers the oil and gas
territory of the world. Its offices and
stores are all under the care of men
who understand the business
thoroughly and are punctilious In ac
comodating patrons and strangers.
The Affable Manager of the Oil WeU Supply
Company and a Short Sketch of Hli
S. D. Miller, Jr., is the resident
manager of the Oil Well Supply Com
pany at the Butler stores, and is the
second oldest man in the employ of
this largo concern, having been with
the company for the past 13 years. He
was born in Sewickley, Allegheny
county, l'a., January 19, 1850. He be
gan life in a hardware store in the oil
»country, and was soon employed by
j Eaton, Cole & Burnham, who were on
tno lookout for good, reliable men to
take < haigc of tht-ir interests. He has
made the rounds and hustled through
the < xcitements following on the dis
coveries of oil in Venango, Clarion,
MeKean, Allegheny county, New York,
and Butler county, Pa., and what he
does not know about the industry is
hardly worth knowing. Four years ago
he came to Butler, and has made it
his home since. He is married
and has two children. He is ex
ceedingly popular and a valuable man
j in his line.
The Only Man In Butler Who Follows Thli
Much of the architectural beauty
discornable in Butler emanated from
the master mind of Peter Schenck,
who is the only man engaged in this
■ pursuit in the town.
He was born in Butler, in 1854. His
ancestors came from Oermany and
located here over sixty years ago.
Their children received a common
school education, but by industrious
habits, they are all In good circumstan
ces tod»y. l'eter Schenck the archi
tect learned the carpenter and stair
builders trade, also attending night
school and studiod drawing. He
worked five years in Allegheny and
seven in Butler and was a contractor
from 1885 until 1891. He launched
into a profession which has been
highly congenial to his taste and has
given to Butler such places as the
Armory Building and many other
handsome structures. He is married
and has two children. His office is
located near hU home at SOl W. Jeffer
son street.
; ifl
t • '
One of the handsomest and most substantial buildings in the town of
Butler is the Armory building, on the south si do of the Diamond, in the center
of the borough, and only a f-tones throw from the beautiful Court House,
which adorns the town. The building supplies a long felt want in this city, and 1
the stockholders are realizing handsomely on their investment and the public
is receiving the benefits derived from a capacious, comfortable and artistic j
house of amusement, as well as a spacious hall and numerous offices.
The directors of this enterprise are, president, J. W. Brown, the prothon
otary; Capt. Ira McJunkin, Esq., solicitor; Pet°r Schenck, the architect, treas
urer; Col. W. T. Mechling, secretary and S. 11. Huselton, Esq.
The charter was granted March 11, 1891. and the capital stock placed at
$15,000. One hundred and fifty shares were sold, at SIOO a share, which were
made assessable and their real value to-day is §3OO u share. The building was
designed and the work superintended by Peter Schenck, the architect, and the
contract awarded to George Schenck. Work began in March, 1891, and the
finishing touches are now being made by the painters brush. The frontage is
48$ feet, and depth 180 feet. Height, 76 feet.
The first floor is occupied as an opera house, which has a depth of 110 j
feet and a stage 48x50 feet, with a manager's office and store room, used as a
music store, in the front. The main entrance is ten feet wide. The second
story has eleven suites of offices of twenty-two rooms, and the gallery of the
opera house, the total seating capacity of which is 904, although 1000 people
were seated at an Elks' benefit. The opera house is under the management o f
F. M. Keene. The third floor is a spacious hall, 118x48 feet, with two rooms in
the rear. The hall is let for public entertainments, dances, etc., and to Com
pany E, Fifteenth Regiment, N. G. P., who use it as an armory and drilling
The cost of the structure is $46,000. The front is built of pressed brick
with stone facing. The building is heated by steam and lighted with 500 incan
descent electric lights, ranging trom 10 to 16 candle power. The house is
beautifully furnished, the theatorium artistically decorated and the offices all
well lighted. The directors and stockholders have conferred a lasting benefit
on the community by their enterprise and public spirit.
Persons contemplating building
should have complete plans and
specifications made by
No. 301 West Jefferson St.,
Estimates Made on Build
ings of All Kinds.
418 West Jefferson Street, Butler, Pa.
-A. aad. for
Schlitz Brewing Company's
R. RUNK, Manager.
No. 122 East Wayne Street,
Contractors and Builders and
Oil Well Supplies,
National Casing, Tubing,
Pipe and Hardware
Orders Promptly Filled at
Zelienople. Pa. Harmony, Pa.
Always on hand and made to order.
Fishing Tools for Hire.
South of Lumber Yard.
Thompson & Brown, Proprietors.
! Comei IL/Es-In. siri-cl J" St.,
Butler, Penn.
bulter, penn a.
Sample Room. Good Stabling