History of Gas
Gas got it's name from the natural gas fields here. " Founded upon Natural Resources that will erect and maintain a City as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar"; E.K. Taylor, Gas Founder. December 24, 1893 - the drillers who were hunting for natural gas had only enough coal on hand to run another twelve hours when they struck gas. It turned out to be a good strike. At open flow, production reached up to 4,000,000 cubic feet per day. November 1, 1898 - Allen County is to have a new town. It is located on the Missouri Pacific Railroad midway between Iola and La Harpe and will be known as Gas City. E.K. Taylor platted 100 acres into 50' X 140' residential lots with 15 foot alleys and 25' X 140' business lots with 15 foot alleys. The streets are nearly all graded and everything is ready for the erection of buildings. December 10, 1898 - The first day on which the lots started selling. The lots will continue to sale for one week, after which none will be sold again for thirty days. Terms of sale: One-half cash, and the balance at 8 per cent. July 31, 1899 - Application for a post office returned with the request from the Department that the "city" part of the name be dropped. E.K. Taylor reluctantly agreed, thus becoming just "Gas". The following June, the Palmer Oil and Gas Company of Fostoria, Ohio leased several thousand acres, sank a number of wells and produced up to 14 million cubic feet per day. This field developed rapidly, finally measuring roughly eight miles long by four miles wide. In 1904, a new field was discovered to the north and in 1906 a third was discovered to the west of the north field, the biggest of all. In 1907, the boom was at it's height, and a total of nine smelters had been induced to move here. One of them was the biggest in the United States, producing 60% of the nation's Zinc, and 40% of the world's Zinc. It processed the only Zinc rolling mill and Sulfuric Acid plant west of the Mississippi River. The Zinc industry centered in Allen County and employed 2,300 men with an annual payroll of $1,500,000. Today we still have waste land scarred by the Sulfuric Acid plant. Some vegetation is just beginning to be seen on this land. An inexhaustible supply: The gas supply was thought to be inexhaustible. Rates were: Cook Stove in Private Home - $1.00 per month
Heating Stoves (winter only) - $1.00 per month.
First 2 gas lights in a home, the rate was $.05 cents per month, and $.05 cents for each additional light in the same house.
Production of natural gas finally worked up to an incredible amount of a billion feet per day. Late in 1907, the pressure began to fall. By the end of 1910, six of the nine smelters had shut down, two of the three brick plants had also closed as well as one of the cement plants. The inexhaustible natural gas supply was exhausted.
Today Gas is a third class city of 532 people. All of these people derive their income from sources other than natural gas.
Information Supplied By The Iola Register.
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