Findlay’s Gas Supply Was Enough To ‘Last For Centuries’

EDITOR’S NOTE–This is another article on Findlay-area history adapted from a series written from 1959 to 1974 by the late R.L. Heminger, publisher and editor of The Courier. The following article in fifth in a series on H.R. Page’s “Illustrated Findlay.”






In its final pages, the H.R. Page “Findlay Illustrated” volume, from which we have been quoting for the last few weeks, discusses the newspaper situation and then discusses the future prospects for the city of Findlay, in connection with the great oil and gas boom of the late 1880s.

“The newspapers of the city are Daily and Weekly Jeffersonian, (the daily and weekly Republican), the Daily and Weekly Courier,” says the Page account, as well as “the Weekly Star and two Weekly German papers. There are also several other papers or magazines intended to fill a ‘long felt want.’ These are the Weekly News, issued as a Sunday paper, and the Golden Eagle, issued monthly as an organ of that rapidly growing organization.

“The Daily Jeffersonian is the pioneer country Daily of Ohio and perhaps the whole country. (It was one of the first, but not the original daily in the U.S.) It was established in November 1880 (as a daily) by the present, A.H. Balsley, and after several years of struggling for a foothold, obtained it, and has since continued prosperous. It has recently been enlarged to an eight-column, four-page daily, and is the largest of the trio.



“THE DAILY REPUBLICAN was started in opposition in 1886, in consequence of the position taken by the Jeffersonian against the city going into the natural gas business. It is published by a corporation and has obtained quite a circulation and a fair amount of prosperity, but the Jeffersonian remains the favorite and but recently demonstrated its influence with the people by defeating the projects to give the city into the charge of a Board of Public Affairs — a project largely in the majority when first presented to the people and before its real purposes were exposed by the attacks of the Jeffersonian.

“The Daily Courier was the last candidate for public favor, and was called into existence during the boom of 1887. Its proprietors long published the Weekly Courier, the Democratic paper of the county and has gathered to itself most of the Democratic supporters of the daily press and having a fair run on prosperity.” (Both the Jeffersonian and the Republican are affiliated with the Republican party.)

The city’s future is discussed as follows by Mr. Page:

“The future prospects of Findlay are indeed bright. The president of the Board of City Gas Trustees, which is entirely new, and composed of the best representatives of the city, have taken steps in the right direction and have secured by lease or purchase a vast amount of gas territory — enough in fact to insure it against any failure in the gas supply for several centuries. Last winter, under the former management, the supply of gas was sometimes short.



“AT PRESENT, UNDER THE management of the present Board, the gas supply is fully 40,000,000 cubic feet beyond the demand. In other words, the wells drilled in but not yet connected with the city lines, but closed in after careful measurement and ready to be admitted to the city mains as soon as the high pressure line now being put down is ready to receive it, amount to that large sum in excess of the supply on which the city could depend at the beginning of 1889.

“The gas supply will be still further augmented by wells now drilling, and the board expects to have at its command before the drilling ceases for the year, at least 75,000,000 cubic feet in excess of the actual demands for domestic and manufacturing uses. This with the vast territory at the disposal of the city will create a supply of fuel that will insure the works already here against any possible failure, but also will be a guarantee to manufacturers that they can safely locate in the city which was the first to furnish cheap gas for manufacturing uses. This immense supply of cheap fuel, its growing railroad facilities, its good home demand for all articles of consumption, point it out as the desideratum of manufacturers and their employees, and its people look with confidence to a population many thousands in excess of that which now resides within its borders.”

The volume is published with a quality of paper that is unusually heavy and the nine printed pages are interspersed among the many illustrations.



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