Saturday, November 18, 2006

Orlando Man Drills Large Well

First published in 1941, from an unidentifed clipping, probaby from the Braxton Democrat.

By Harriet Jane Kidd
Oras Stutler, who is spending a short vacation at his home near Orlando, drilled in one of the largest gas wells in Kentucky’s history week before last in Pike County. Gas was struck unexpectedly at a depth of about 3000 feet on reaching sand through which it has been customary to drill about 700 feet.

The well was reported to have made 30,000,000 feet, for four days and nights. It came in with such force that gravels shot through the metal roof, leaving holes the size of a hen’s egg. The roar precluded any conversation between the men. The tool dresser rushed to the motor and Stutler to the dynamo.

The Clay County gas well disaster in which his fellow townsman Bee Heater was seriously burned was too fresh in Stutler’s mind, he said to overlook any rules of safety. The bursting of an electric light bulb would cause an explosion fatal to every living thing nearby. How a singled bulb was not burst as the gravel peppered through the metal roof was a mystery to the driller. Since the well came under control it is reported to be making 5,000,000 feet.

Stutler will return to Kentucky next week. A veteran driller, Stutler is also a World War veteran. His daughter Mary will graduate from Burnsville High School next May. Juanita, a younger daughter, is a freshman.

The top left photo is Oras Stutler in 1918.
The top right photo is Oras Stutler sitting on the back porch of his home in the 1960s.
Bottom right photo is of Bee Heater, Oras' brother-in-law, who was seriously burned in the Clay County gas well disaster.

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