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"McKean: The Governor's County"
Rufus Barrett Stone
Salubrity and Scenery
Submitted by PHGS Member
"McKean: The Governor's County", Rufus Barrett Stone. Lewis Publishing Company, Inc. New York, 1926. Pages 51--75
SALUBRITY AND SCENERY
McKean is an important part of the Pennsylvania Highlands. It is a section of the scenic region of the famous Allegany State Park of which it is outside only by virtue of artificial boundaries. Bradford is the Park City. Its own woodland area which forms its water-shed and protects its springs, borders upon the Park. Its Interstate Parkway, constructed under the auspices of its Board of com- leads to die summits of the Park. It is the Gateway City. The borough of Kane, also, at its elevation of nearly 2,300 feet, is graced with a park of rare native beauty within its borders. Pure water, ozone from the forest-clad hills, a salubrious climate and landscapes of unsurpassed quiet beauty characterize the entire county.
For years after the beginning of the settlement in the valley of the Tunungwant and its branches, the number of inhabitants, chiefly recruits at the mills, had been slowly increasing before the arrival of Daniel Kingsbury and his group of associates from Massachusetts and New Hampshire. As the proprietary of a plantation of 50,000 acres, of which the present city of Bradford was the approximate center, he became a commanding figure. He was of a forceful and dominant character and soon proved a prime factor in the development of the community and growth of the county. It is not within the purpose of this sketch to dwell upon the history of Bradford apart from that of the county. As the principal metropolis and as the manufacturing, commercial, official and residential center of the petroleum industry, it has contributed beyond calculation to the prosperity of the county. Its fortunes have fluctuated and in every advance the county has shared as also in every retreat. Serious inroads upon its population have been made by the successive discoveries of oil in new fields. From the derricks and firesides of McKean its sons have been called to the drill in twelve or more states of the American Union and to the far-flung fields of foreign lands. But they have kept their faith in old McKean, and see what they have wrought! The remnant here, ever raising the arches of welcome to their returning kinsmen and comrades, are of the same stock, an adventurous, eager, resolute, progressive people.
Having thus traced the county from its origin to a position in which it has subdivided into numerous forms of civic organization it seems fitting that they should be allowed to take up the story. In other words it is conceived that the further history of the county should be mainly told from the inside rather than from the outside, so that we can see just how, in its various moods it has been wont to express itself. Thus a churchman contributes some account of his denomination, the historical society, Pompelon Club, the Humane Society, are brought to life by their own respective participants, in many instances, perchance, by the author himself; "historic places in and around Bradford" hang out their memorials; the Quaker romance of Ceres and Tunesassa as told in veritable history is pleasingly told again in the sketch of a local artist: "incidents of the petroleum discovery" are narrated in prose and verse; how Bradford was named is forever settled; handwriting of pioneers speaks in letters and petitions; the Civial War appears in uniform and is placarded call to arms; just where the first wells were in the Bradford district and the order of their drilling is shown by a surveyor's map of 1876; and the address of Doctor Newell, a native son of McKean, grandnephew of Daniel Kingsbury, founder of the chief county metropolis, throws upon the subject the light of scientific knowledge and professional experience in which there is happily to be seen a bow of promise.
" I catch an echo from the past -- I hear the future years forecast. "
|County erected||Act March 26, 1804|
|Made subject to officers of Centre County||
Act March 14 1805
|Place for holding Courts fixed||
Act March 4,1807
|Made separate election district||
Act March 30, 1812
|Provisionally organized with Potter County||
Act March 26,1814
|McKean and Potter separated||
Act March 27,1824
|Completely organized, court-house erected and Courts opened||
Bureau; Lecturer, Author, Geologist, Engineer
Hon. Frederick Haynes Newell ( Note 1 )
At Bradford, August 11 1925, in Celebration Old Home Week and Centennial Anniversary White Settlement of Tuna Valley
Why a history? Why should we spend time and money considering the dry facts of the past? In what ,way are they useful to us?
These are proper questions; if we give them careful thought we find that most of our plans for to-morrow are guided by our knowledge of the past.
There is a direct benefit in a meeting of this kind and a consideration of the history of one hundred years. This taking account of stock has a real and immediate value to each of us; for example, think for a moment of the difference in the ideas which control a merchant if he has the notion that the city is here only for a few months; or on the other hand is here for a century. If he is possessed with the belief that we are here for a short period he will get along with inconveniences, will order only a small stock of goods and be ready for a quick move. On the other hand, if he keeps always in the back of his head the thought that this is a growing community settled 100 years ago, that its prosperity is deeply rooted in permanent resources and that in another hundred years our descendants will throng these same streets and still use some of the structures we are now building, he will not be content with merely temporary expedients but will consider his store and its surroundings as something permanent. He will put into the building up of his trade much more energy than he possibly could if there was all the time a lurking feeling that he must soon depart for other localities.
The same thing is true, even to a greater degree, with the home-builders. If the laborer, the mechanic, the clerk or the professional man is convinced that his occupation is reasonably continuous he will no longer be willing to remain as a tenant or to occupy an unattractive house. He will feel that every dollar wisely invested in more attractive surroundings will yield a steady return. He will be a "booster" for better and more permanent things. Everyone recognizes at a glance the difference in the way people act and in outward appearance of those towns and cities which have a well recognized history and where the citizens live and are guided by a real confidence in their future. A proper understanding of the history of a place and of its natural resources forms the solid foundation upon which the plans for the future are based.
In this brief narrative, it is, of course, impracticable to go into details of names and dates; for our purpose we should have clearly in mind the larger events, those which enable us to judge, each for himself, what will be the outcome during the next ten or twenty years or even a generation. We have been here, that is, some of the older families, for upwards of a century. We are celebrating this fact not because of any special characteristic of these pioneers; they did not differ essentially from thousands of others; we do not know much more than the names of many of them; but it is because these pioneers and their successors have developed here a spirit of optimism and of progress that it is possible for us to enjoy a degree of comfort and of satisfaction exceeding that of many other parts of our great country.
It may be well to stop for a moment to describe the country as it was when the first white man saw it and mention briefly the reasons why this locality is different from others.
Origin -- To really understand our natural resources the imagination must go back for uncounted millions of years to the time when the rocks, the sandstones and the shales which now form the hills, were slowly being deposited particle by particle beneath the salt water of the ocean or of inland seas. Sometimes these waters were very deep and fine mud slowly settled to the bottom building up the beds of shale such as now are being dug and ground to make brick. Again the water was shallow and turbulent. Stones washed from higher lands were rolled about and became the white pebbles which are so conspicuous in some of the "rock cities" in our vicinity. At all times there were marine animals living in these waters, mostly the lower orders of shell fish. We can hardly drive a pick into the rocks of the hillside without digging up rock containing the impression of these shells. The sight of the imprint of these shells and the traces of seaweeds and of various plants and animals in our rocks is so common that we think nothing of it, but there is here a point of vital important in our business; namely, as to what became of the soft fleshy part of the animals that inhabited these shells.
We know that the great deposits of coal are the result of the preservation through millions of years of the remains of the plants, gigantic ferns and related species. If these were preserved, why not other organic matter? Why not the soft tissues of the thousands of millions of tons of the shellfish? According to the present theory of geologists, this has happened: These softer parts buried in the mud have been gradually changed into the oils and gasses which now fill the spaces between the grains of what was once the seashore sands but which now we call the Bradford oil bearing sandstone. The individual grains, rounded by the ocean waves, have been cemented where they touch each other, but in the spaces between each grain, as shown by the microscope, there is ample room to store the oils and the games resulting from the slow decomposition of these millions of tons of marine animals.
These pebbles, sands and mud deposited in nearly horizontal layers beneath the more or less still waters of the ocean, in the course of the millions of years which have elapsed, have been gradually pushed upwards. Since the time these rocks were raised above the level of the ocean, the rain and wind has been working on them, washing off layer after layer, carrying the material away in the muddy waters; the streams gradually eroded downward through the softer rocks. These streams flowing to the north in our vicinity cut their way below the present valleys and carried to unknown distances the particles of soil worn away from the ancient land. This slow cutting down was interrupted, however, in relatively recent times as now reckoned, say only a few million years ago. At that time and for unknown thousands of years, there was a slight difference in the annual temperature of this part of the country, not very great it is true, but just enough so that the snows which fell during the winter were not completely melted in the summer. They accumulated in Canada and as they piled up, the mass of ice, several thousand feet in thickness, slowly worked itself Southward until it reached the relatively high ground where we now are.
Curiously enough the great glaciers coming slowly one after another never swept on over our country. They divided, part of the ice going toward the Southeast and part toward the Southwest. This fact has made a great difference in our industries. This accident we may say, of millions of years ago is of great importance in our daily life. For one thing, the ice wall at the North checked the flow of our rivers and caused them to fill up their beds so that the present valley door is several hundred feet above the ancient stream level affording wider space for cultivation of the soil and necessitating the use of long strings of drive pipe for the valley wells. More than this the glacier brought with it and deposited North, East and West of us enormous masses of sand and gravel. We have none of it and for road building and other purposes must bring these in from the glaciated regions.
Indians -- As a result of all these great natural forces, we can picture the land as it was first seen by adventurous white men. They found here a hilly region covered with dense growth of white pine intermingled with hemlock and various species of hard wood. The valley lands were relatively broad and level compared with those of other parts of Western Pennsylvania and the hilltops were flat. The whole country formed an excellent hunting ground for the Indians, there was plenty of food and shelter for game; even up to within the memory of many of us here, deer, bear, wolves, wildcats and foxes were not at all uncommon. In my very early boyhood here I saw about as many Indians as white men and caught glimpses of deer and bear coming down from the hills comparable in number with the cattle or dogs of the early settlers.
The Indians tribes who occupied this part of the State were divided into many groups, but at the time of the coming of the white men had organized into a confederacy, known as the Six Nations. Their idea of ownership was limited almost wholly by what we call personal property. The tribes disputed with each other the rights to hunt or fish. The conception of occupation and permanent ownership of a piece of ground was wholly foreign to them. They could not conceive of the possibility or necessity of exclusive ownership as they moved their habitations from place to place according to the seasons or the prevalence of game. They were about as willing to sell a piece of ground of unlimited extent as you would be to sell a piece of blue sky and with about as good a claim of ownership or ability to deliver possession. If any white man was so foolish as to give them beads, an axe or rifle for some land over which they had been hunting or roving they were usually perfectly willing to receive the gift and let him keep possession if he could.
Pennamite War - The first attempts at survey and settlement of our immediate locality grew out of the efforts of the Susquehanna-Connecticut Land Company to establish a title. Their surveyors penetrated as far West as Tuna Creek and their maps show the outline of a township known as LORANA, created in 1796, extending from the New York State line South up Tuna Valley and including most of Foster and Bradford townships. This was granted by John Franklin and his associates to Joshua Downer, Ezekiel Hyde and Samuel Ensign as recorded as Liber F, p. 112 of the Records of Susquehanna County. (See biography of Arthur George Olmsted, by Rufus Barrett Stone, Phila., 1919, P. 47.)
To understand the reason for these surveys we must recall a bit of early history relating to the long and bitterly fought contest between people of the State of Connecticut and those of Pennsylvania regarding the political control and ownership of the broad stretch of lands now included in the Northern counties of Pennsylvania between parallel 41 and 42. It seems that in the free and easy way in which lands in the new world were given away by the English Crown, patents were issued by King Charles 11 in 1675 to the proprietors of Western New Jersey, later known as Pennsylvania, covering lands as far North as the 42nd parallel or the present New York State line. Six years later, April 2, 1681, the King made a grant to the Connecticut Colony extending from Delaware River Westerly to the South Sea and North of the 41st parallel; that is literally across the continent of North America. It was then assumed that the continent, Westward from Delaware River, was not much wider than it is in Central America and that in giving away the land it might as well be described as extending to the South Sea, now known as the Pacific Ocean.
The Connecticut Colony, proceeding on the assumption that it had the jurisdiction over these lands and owned them, granted or sold portions to various pioneers who proceeded Westward crossing the narrow part of New York and going beyond the Hudson and Delaware rivers to the attractive Wyoming Valley traversed by the Susquehanna. They established homes in the midst of the Indian tribes and cultivated their fertile farms. Before long the people from the vicinity of Philadelphia attempted to establish their claim to these lands. Clashes of authority took place resulting in what is known as the Pennamite Wars between the Connecticut-Susquehanna Company and its supporters on the one side and the government of the Pennsylvania Colony on the other. Conditions were aggravated by the Indian Wars; the stories of the hardships; the sufferings and massacre of the people of Wyoming Valley has formed one of the dark periods of American colonial history. Our immediate interest perhaps lies in the fact that the Connecticut-Susquehanna Company continued to push Westward from the Wyoming Valley and finally extended surveys and laid out townships in our vicinity.
The long drawn out contest, culminating in the Pennamite War, was finally settled by what is known as the Trenton Decree of 1782 (see address of F. W. Gnichtel before the Trenton Historical Society, November 18, 1920, Library of Congress, F157B7G5).
Land Sales -- Two years later, in 1784, the State of Pennsylvania purchased from the Six Nations the area comprising the Northwestern Counties being the residue of the Indian lands within the limits of Pennsylvania. Many of you landowners may have noticed that your chain of title runs back to this purchase made in accordance with the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, dated October 23, 1784, and signed by the Chiefs of the Six Nations, the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagoes, Cayugas, Senecas and Tuscaroras. The State, desirous of settling these lands, laid them out in tracts of about 1,000 acres and put them up for sale by lottery. The price at first was $80.00 per hundred acres, but as sales were not readily made at this rate the price was gradually dropped to $13.50 per hundred acres.
The authority to survey each of these thousand-acre tracts was conveyed by what was known as a Warrant, each of these having a different number so that in time the tract of land itself came to be known as Warrant number so and so. The land upon which the greater part of Bradford City is located is known as Warrant or Patent No. 3906, No. 4009 being to the North and No. 3498 to the East.
In addition to having a number there was an early custom of giving each of these Warrants a name and these names are somewhat suggestive of those given to the Pullman railroad cars, being more or less fanciful or of classical origin, showing the interest of the early owners in matters of that kind.
The first purchaser from the State was William Bingham of Philadelphia, one of the wealthiest and best known men of the State. He bought 134 Patents under date of December 23, 1794, in the then Lycoming County, adjacent to New York State and on the Alleghany River, where it first leaves Pennsylvania. His estate conveyed most of these lands to the United States Land Co., Incorporated, July 1, 1836, which in turn sold its land in 1851 to Daniel Kingsbury of Boston, Massachusetts.
Bingham and his associates were greatly concerned to have settlers on these lands not merely that they might sell portions and benefit by the increase in value, but also that they might shut out adverse claims by the Connecticut people. Apparently they advertised widely and made inducements to come to people in various parts of the country. Among the first comers were a small group from Southern Vermont, among whom and possibly the leader was John F. Melvin from Melvin's Mills in Bradford Township, New Hampshire. The researches of our townsman, Hon. R. B. Stone, have shown that the first mention of the name of Bradford on the county records is the petition in Melvin's writing (the well-rounded Spencerian style) dated June 19, 1827, asking that the County Commissioners authorize the organization of the township.
Bradford -- Various explanations have been given to the origin of the name Bradford. It is a name which has been applied to many settlements. There are at least 17 post office of this name in the United States. There is also in our State Bradford County, which may have been named after the Pennsylvania William Bradford, the first printer in the State, one of the prominent men in Colonial history, and while our town may have been named for the same, yet the connection with the Melvin petition seems to point to Bradford Township, Merrimac County, New Hampshire, in the Connecticut Valley, the home of the early settlers. This, in turn, leads back to William Bradford, Governor of the Plymouth Colony.
The name of our valley, the Tununguant, commonly called Tuna, is obviously of Indian origin, and was adopted by the first settlers. Its meaning has been variously explained, the first part of the word Tunun meaning "big" and the termination Guant signifiying either "frog" or "mouth." The creek being that of the Big Frog or Big Mouth, characteristic of its appearance where it emptied into the Allegany River.
McKean County, cut off from Lycoming County, was organized in 1804 and named from the very active public-spirited Governor Thomas McKean, whose energy contributed much toward the settlement of the Northwestern part of the State. He is a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a member of the Congress in 1765 and 1774-84, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania and later Governor 1799-1808; one of the ablest and most determined of the patriots; died in Philadelphia in 1817. Lycoming previously had been formed in 1795 from Northumberland County and this in 1772 from Northampton, taken in 1752 from the first or original County of Bucks, created in 1682.
Lumber - It is to be noted that the first settlers in Bradford Township, seeking cheap tillable lands, timber and opportunities for trade with the Indians, came by way of the Allegany Valley, this being the natural mode of approach; in fact, until very recent times, it has been quite difficult to get in or out of Tuna Valley by wagon road from other directions because of the steep slopes of the surrounding hills. These early settlers traveling slowly by ox teams, literally cut their way through the forest. Their intercourse with outsiders was facilitated by the use of boats on the Allegany and its branches. For many years it was the practice to make up rafts of timbers and boards, pinning these together with huge wooden spikes and floating them down to Pittsburgh, or even far down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The smaller rafts were joined together as the rivers widened until the surface of the rafts was apparently acres in extent. On these rafts were built small bunk houses for shelter. Arriving at their destination the rafts were taken apart, the lumber sorted and sold and the raftsmen walked back along the river to their homes.
The first houses were rude shelters of hewed logs; tradition has that the first frame house in Bradford was located on the site of the Berry Block. A plan of the town was drawn in 1836 (see Leeson, p. 164). In a short time, however, mill machinery was brought in and water wheels installed along the creeks. The best known of these mills was that at the head of Main Street, where the St. James Hotel now stands. The reason why Main Street does not continue directly Westward is that "Uncle Daniel" (Kingsbury) would not permit it to be laid out across his millpond. The sharp curve in the creek at this point is due to the fact that it was diverted around the old pond.
The mills of those days before the invention of the circular saw were rather easy going affairs. The great pine logs (for no one thought of touching anything under 36 inches in diameter) were hauled or rolled into the creeks, floated down on the spring floods into the mill ponds, pulled out usually by oxen and rolled on a traveling platform which brought them slowly to a huge straight bladed saw, jogging up and down, driven by a water wheel. When once in position and the saw set in motion, the sawyer had nothing to do but to sit back until the slowly moving log had been carried for its full length against the saw and the slab or board had dropped off. Then the carriage was pushed back and the operation repeated.
Shingles were made by hand and brought down from the woods to the mill yards, made into bundles and floated down the river on the lumber rafts or hauled by ox team to centers of population. For 50 years or more lumbering was the principal business in and about Bradford, a little farming being carried on, just enough for local needs, as there were no markets available. There was from time to time some little local excitement about mining and a few thin beds of coal were opened up, the first being near Instanter in 1816.
The first small group of houses in Bradford Township was named Littletown, as it was the home or headquarters of Colonel Little, for many years the agent of the United States Land Company. Later with ambitions for larger growth and with a belief that a more pretentious designation might be helpful the name of the township. Bradford, was adopted as that of the village.
The growth of Bradford was steady and continuous. The first houses replacing the earlier log cabins were comfortable, well designed, neatly painted, characterized by the broad cornices and substantial appearance of many of the older houses to be seen throughout the prosperous part of New York State. Sixty years ago Main Street was shaded on both sides by double rows of maples extending from the mill pond at the head of the street to the Eric Railroad station. It was lined with comfortable houses, most one story, set back from the street and with a few stores. It was a quiet, permanent town, the center of lumber and tannery business, inhabited by fairly well-to-do people, the principal event being the arrival of the daily train and the main subject of conversation the possibility of finding more valuable beds of coal or of making from this coal the so-called coal-oil, or better still of discovering such oil in the rocks under the valley floor as had been done near Oil City. About 1857 apparatus for making coaloil was set up on Main Street in Bradford about opposite the Riddle House. (Leeson, p. 61).
Oil -- Interest finally culminated in the attempts made in 1861 to drill a well near the West edge of town. This went down only 200 feet when courage and money (Leeson, p. 62) gave out Then in 1865-66 a better financed attempt was made and a hole was drilled to a depth of 875 feet but with small encouragement. It is to be noted that this first deep well stopped within 175 of the oil bearing sand rock, or "third sand" as it is locally called. A small amount of oil of high grade, found probably in what we now know as the "second sand," stimulated further efforts. Various companies were formed and finally in 1871 on the Foster farm, two miles northeast of Bradford, oil at a depth of 1110 feet was found; the well producing ten barrels a day. This encouraged other efforts and during the next few years several wells were drilled so that by the end of 1875 there are reported to have been 17 wells in the Bradford field with a total production from the years 1868 to 1875 Of 36,000 barrels from the entire group. In this year Lewis Emery, Jr., came into the field together with a number of other energetic oil men.
The nearly uniform success of these wells, when drilled to a depth of about 1200 feet beneath the valley bottom, attracted the attention of investors from all parts of the world. Drilling was continued as briskly as men and material could be procured and by 1881 the maximum production of 23,000,000 barrels a year had been reached. From this time the production gradually declined and about 1890 it was generally believed that the field was exhausted. Many people left for other parts and for newer oil fields, although it was generally believed that there would never be another producing area at all comparable. One of the greatest experts of the time declared that there was absolutely no likelihood of another similar oil discovery. (See History of the Counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter by Professor M. A. Leeson, Chicago, 1890.)
We do know that instead of the oil bearing rocks being exhausted the early wells had merely taken out ten or twelve per cent of the oil, this being the portion forced out by the expansion of the gas held in liquid form between the grains of sand. However, many of the best productive properties were abandoned or sold for a mere trifle as the price of oil had dropped to a point that they were no longer valuable. Remember that this was before the time of gasoline motors and that the principal value of the crude oil was for kerosene the market for which was practically flooded.
It was found that many of the abandoned wells continued to show signs of oil and that the fresh water which had entered some of these wells through leaky casing or from ground water were apparently affecting other wells. Alarm was taken at this and a State law passed requiring the plugging of old wells to keep the fresh water from the oil sand.
It was gradually discovered that in many instances the flooding of one or more wells with fresh water caused an increase in the production of other wells 150 to 200 feet or more away, the effect not being noticeable usually until the water had been on the sand rock for a year or two. From this it was argued that it might be possible to obtain more oil by systematic flooding. This has been undertaken in various parts of the field with the result that the total production has been steadily maintained and has not declined notably for several years.
Finally, a few inquisitive persons have taken it upon themselves to try to learn more about the oil bearing sand rock, its capacity to hold and deliver oil and to obtain some facts as to whether these flooded out portions of the oil fields still contained any considerable amount of oil. Drillings have been made by a diamond bit by which a continuous core of sand rock has been obtained for examination. It has been found that the porosity of these rocks is usually from 10 to 20 per cent.; that when it is as high as 12 per cent. or more oil can be had and that relatively large wells are found in rock with a porosity of 18 to 20 per cent.; also that even in the so-called flooded out sand there remain from 60 to 70 per cent. of the original quantity of oil. In other words, in the 100,000 acres of oil bearing sand rock making up the Bradford field, there may still be a billion or more barrels of oil and that under present methods we will be busy for generations getting this out. Possibly a century from now, our great-greatgrandchildren will still be actively at work with new and as yet unthought of methods.
Just now in our search for improved methods we are trying to find out how it is that the oil is held in the rock, why it does not flow out more freely and what methods can be used to cause the oil to let go of the sand grains. We have learned that fresh water will induce the oil to leave the rock but after a few days' exposure the fresh water becomes contaminated. It dissolves perhaps 2/10 Of 1 per cent. of the oil and thus contaminated it no longer breaks up the affinity or close adherence between the particles of oil and those of the sand rock.
The problem is complicated by the fact that each grain of sand has one or two infinitesimal thin coats which separate the pure silica of the sand from the oil and that substances which might cause the silica to Iet go of the oil are not effective because of the existence of these coatings.
Laboratory experiments have indicated that a solution of washing soda or sodium carbonate is better than fresh water and does not become contaminated as rapidly. Further research is needed and also long continued field tests, but we may look forward with reasonable assurance to the fact that although the oil bearing rocks yield up their treasure slowly, yet there is possibility of an indefinite continuance.
Forest Destruction -- The great forests of white pine rapidly disappeared about the time of the discovery of oil. The hemlock, then left in the country, was at first esteemed of little value, but when pine no longer could be had attention was given to the hemlock. For many years the bark alone had value and many good logs were left to rot in the woods after the bark had been stripped from them. Then with increasing demand for building material throughout the East, the hemlock was cut clean, leaving only the hard woods which also for a time were thought to be practically worthless. By the time of the great World War, came the spread of chemical industry, great areas of wooded land were cut clean, every tree big or little being taken for the manufacture of creosote. wood alchohol or other chemicals. The destruction was complete and ruthless, not even seed trees being left on many hillsides. Nevertheless, in this favorable climate nature set to work rapidly to reclothe the slopes and the scars are not as visible as they were a few years ago.
Slowly the lesson is being learned that lumber, wood working and chemical industries can be built up on a permanent basis and without complete destruction of the forest growth. This has been the life work of Governor Gifford Pinchot and his associates. He, as Forester of the United States, and later as State Forester, has urged year after year the adoption of a business-like policy, one which will permit these natural resources to be used in such a way as not to destroy them but on the contrary to permit a continual growth of the business and the maintenance of a permanent industry.
In what has already been said the attempt has been made to show that here is a country of good climate, great natural beauties, of large resources in lumber, clay and petroleum; that it has sustained in comfort, a steadily growing population; that in spite of the rise and decline of the oil boom, there has been a steady growth of the city in comfort and general prosperity; that although we have been lavish or even wastefully extravagant in destroying the forests and extracting the oil from the ground, yet it is possible by studying the lessons of the past, by practicing a better conservation and use of the forest growth, by encouraging agriculture, particularly dairying, and by proceeding systematically to get more oil out of the ground, we may look forward to a continuous enlargement of our local industries and, more than this, to the maintenance of comfortable homes for a contented and prosperous population.
NEWELL, FREDERICK HAYNES, engineer, civil, min- hydraulic; former chief U. S. Reclamation Service; born Bradford, Penna.; graduate Mass. Inst. Tech., in mining engineering, 1885; post-graduate studies in petroleum geology; assistant in Ohio Geological Survey in oil fields; mining investigations in Pennsylvania and Virginia; assistant hydralic engineer, U. S. Geological Survey, 1888-90; hydrographer, 1890-1902; chief engineer U. S. Reclamation Service, 1902-07; first director, 1907-14; then consulting engineer.
Mr. Newell graduated in 1885 ar the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and after field experience in Colorado and other states was appointed on October 2, 1888, as Assistant Hydraulic Engineer of the U. S. Geological Survey, being the first aid designated under Major John W. Powell to investigate the extent to which the arid regions of the United States might be reclaimed by irrigation. He advanced steadily in the work, expanding its scope and being successively designated as Hydrographer and as Chief of the Hydrographic Branch. At the same time he actively assisted Representative Francis G. Newlands (later Senator) of Nevada, George H. Maxwell of California, President of the National Irrigation Association, and others in the preparation and public presentation of various Congressional bills, one of which by the personal efforts of President Roosevelt became the Reclamation Act when signed by be the latter on June 17, I902. Immediately after that date Mr. Newell was appointed Chief Engineer under Charles D. Walcott, then Director of the U. S. Geological Survey.
During the next few years the organization of the Reclamation Service was completed and plans outlined for extensive work in each of the western and states, work being initiated in most of these. In 1907 when Mr. Walcott left the Geological Survey to become Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the Reclamation Service was organized as a separate bureau of the Department of the Interior with Mr. Newell as Director and Arthur P. Davis as Chief Engineer. Construction was rapidly pushed until twenty-six projects, including reservoirs, canals and related works were completed in whole or part, notably the Roosevelt, Shoshone, Arrowrock, Gunnison Tunnel sad other, involving the investment of over $100,000,000, in 100 dams, of which ten form reservoirs of national importance also 25 miles of tunnels, 13,000 miles of irrigating canals and ditches with regulating works, bridges, steam and hydro-electric generators, transmission lines, pumps and devices connected with supplying water to 20,000 farms. Especial efforts were made to attain the highest practicable economy and efficiency in the execution of the work and to meet the need and desires of the settlers under them.
Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt has written: "For fourteen years I have followed at first hand the work of Mr. Frederick H. Newell. I speak from my personal knowledge when I say that he was one of the most loyal, disinterested and efficient public servants the United States has had throughout that period. I first came in touch with him when I was Governor, when I drew on him for aid and advice in formulating the proper conservation policy for the State of New York. During the years that I was President he was one of my righthand men. It is too often the case in the United States that the men who are most prominent, who attract most attention, are inefficient or even vicious public servants, whereas the men who do the best work (I think, rather better than that done by public servants of any other nation), pass almost unnoticed and without any adequate rewards. Mr. Newell belongs to that small group. He is a public servant of whom it is the bald and literal truth to say, that by his services he has made all good American citizens his debtors."
In addition to his official duties, Mr. Newell has served as Secretary of the National Geographic Society and also of the American Forestry Association. He has been an active member of many scientific societies serving on committes of the American Society of Civil Engineering, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Washington Society of Engineers (President in 1907), Washington Academy of Science (Vice President in 1907), Western Society of Engineers, member of the U. S. Land Commissions, U. S. Inland Waterways Commission, National Boards of Fuels and Structural Materials, Illinois Society of Engineers, Engineering Council (N. Y.), American Association of Engineers (President, 1919), Reclamation Research Committee.
Member of Cosmos Club (Washington), and various Greek letter, altruistic, and scientific organizations.
Author: Oil Well Drilling (1888); Agriculture by Irrigation (1894) ; Hydrography of the Arid Regions (1891) ; The Public Lands of the United States (1895); Irrigation in the United States (1902) ; Hawaii, Its Natural Resources (1909); Principles of Irrigation Engineering (1913); Irrigation Management (1916) ; Engineering as a Career (1916) Water Resources, Present and Future Uses (1919), etc.
Awarded the Cullum gold medal by the American Geographical Society.
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Last Update January 30, 2020