While flipping through the pages of one of my Grandma’s Scrapbooks this evening I ran across an interesting picture.
65 Years Ago. . . Coin had an oil well. It was located southeast of the former Burlington depot where the Charlie Ulmer house is now. The above photo was taken April 26, 1904, showing the well in operation with most of the residents of Coin crowded around.
I had to do a little bit of research as I knew that Iowa was not known for producing oil. The caption for the picture seems to indicate that the well was in operation and producing oil.
However, I found that the only wells that have yielded oil were in the Washington county area.
I found this map from the Des Moines Register that shows where wells have been drilled in Iowa. Coin is in the far southwest corner of the state. The text above says that 134 wells have been drilled, but only a few have turned up any oil.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources website shows that in 1963 the first oil well in Iowa produced 370 barrels. The well was in Washington county.
The website also says that the first show of oil from a well was in 1925 in Fremont county. Coin, Iowa is in Page county which is just to the east of Fremont county.
As I looked closely at the map that showed all the wells in Iowa, I found that there is no dot showing the well in Coin. I am wondering if it shows up on the lists of exploratory wells in Iowa.
The oil well in Coin would have only been about 20 miles from the oil field near Tarkio, Missouri that does have producing oil wells.
Now I need to do more research. Did the Coin oil well actually produce oil? If not, why is it called an oil well? I am sure that my Grandma could have given me the answer. Maybe the answer is hidden in one of her many letters.
You may also enjoy these earlier posts about Coin, Iowa: