From our archives: Natural gas well drilled at newspaper’s behest
What we thought: 125 years ago
Note to readers – Sauk Valley Media reprints editorials from the past as a regular Monday feature. The following editorial appeared in the Sterling Gazette on Feb. 4, 1888.
The machinery of Mr. Hanes’ is here, and he and seven men are engaged in putting it in place; so that it may be said that work upon the natural gas well has begun.
It would be foolish for us to attempt to disguise our extreme gratification at the successful issue of this agitation.
Well do we remember the smiles of derision with which the first suggestion that such an experiment be tried was received by some of our friends, who honestly thought such an adventure so hopeless as to be waste of time to urge it.
Our friend Jerry McCarty, however, had faith like unto the Gazette, and he pushed right ahead and worked like a beaver until the subscriptions were all taken and the company formed. We shall always remember him gratefully for his labors in this matter.
The Gazette is glad, too, to record the liberal spirit of our people to taking stock in the matter. And now we shall watch the work closely and with deepest interest and shall hope and hope for success for this enterprise.
Of course, it is easy to say, “Natural gas will not be found,” and it is human weakness to talk that way; but nobody knows any such thing. The only way to determine whether it may or may not be found is to search for it, and if gas be not found, perhaps something else equally valuable may be.
And if nothing be found, at any rate the well will be a perpetual reminder that our people are ready to take hold of anything that promises good for our community.
If it is found, as it is our prayer it may be, then Sterling and Rock Falls will flourish as the green bay tree by the river side.
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We see by the programme sent in to us that some very good, practical speeches are promised from practical farmers at the Farmers’ Congress to be held at Dixon, beginning February 9th, next.
At the same time, we observe what we were pretty certain we should find, that politicians are down, also, for speeches. Of course, their subjects are plausible enough, and seemingly appropriate, but they are not farmers, and would not be around if it were not an election year.
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There has been some decided kicking against the sleigh bell ordinance among farmers in some portions of the country contiguous to Sterling.
We would suggest that there is some misapprehension in regard to the matter, and would tell our farmer friends to come right along in as heretofore. They can have no cause in the world to find fault, as they will discover by consulting any of our people here who are posted in the matter.
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Where is the woman that can beat this record for a winter’s work? Since last Thanksgiving day, Miss Nettie Yeoward has milked three cows, taken care of fifteen head of cattle, sixty-two head of hogs and three head of horses without a stroke of help from anybody.
She has also had a large water tank to keep clear of ice, which was the worst job of all. In addition to this, she has done sewing enough to last the family a year, as well as some for the neighbors.
To do the above we think must need pluck, which few young ladies possess at the present day.