The 1896 Derrick Souvenir Book (Cover page – page 25)

This book was provided by Sally Shipwash.

The following early book about Oil City is interesting on several accounts:

  1. It provides an early look into the history of Oil City written by the people who were actually living in that time.
  2. The prose demonstrates how the writers of the time wrote, spelled and possibly spoke the English language.
  3. As seen by the many photographs, Oil City has seen a massive transformation over time from how the entire area was permeated with the Oil Industry until now.
  4. And lastly, a comment from me (William L. Passauer) on the politics of the day and "The Oil City Derrick".  If you read the detailed history of Monarch Park on my Monarch Park website, you will see mention of a local oil broker named Mr. Smithman. He was a very rich and progressive man in the time this book was published. He was singularly responsible for the introduction and building of Oil City’s first electric trolley system and the building of Smithman Park, later called Monarch Park.  In fact, both the trolley system and Smithman park were in place when this book was published. However, Mr. Smithman was not included in its review of the many prominent men. This is because the editor of The Oil City Derrick had it out politically for Mr. Smithman. Had it not been for The Oil City Derrick, Mr. Smithman’s electrical trolley system might have been the first of its kind in the world. In fact, The Oil City Derrick fought against Mr. Smithman at every turn.
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The Cover of The 1896 Derrick Souvenir Book

The Title page

Page 3 - The first page with text.

The Beginning, Hunting Ground of the Seneca Indians, Cornplanter's Possessions, The First Settlement, Benj. Thompson's Tract, The First Tavern, Early Oil Matters.

Page 4

Oil City as a Borough, Laying Out a City, The First Ferry, First Railway Bridge, The First Steamboat, Landings in the Third Ward, Social & religious Duties, An Oil Fleet On Fire, Fire and Flood of 1892.

Page 5

Fire and Flood of 1892 (Con't), A Mad Flight for Safety, Pathway of the Flames, An Appeal for Aid, Oil City's Railroad History, Newspapers.

Page 6

Newspapers (Con't), Oil Pipe Lines, Industries of the City, The Oil City Tube Company, The Kramer Wagon Works, The Oil Exchange.

Page 7

The Oil Exchange (Con't), Oil City as a Business Centre, Church Organizations, St. Joseph's Church.

Page 8

St. Joseph's Church (con't), The Presbyterian Church, The Babtist Church, The Methodist Church.

Page 9

The Methodist Churches (Con't), The Hebrew Society, The A.M.E. Church, Second Presbyterian Church,

Page 10

Second Presbyterian Church (Con't), The Episcopal Church, Calvary Church, The Lutheran Church, The YMCA.

Page 11

The YMCA (Con't), Grove Hill Cemetery, Future of the City, Petroleum Reviewed.

Page 12

Petroleum Reviewed (Con't).

Page 13

Petroleum Reviewed (Con't).

Page 13

Petroleum Reviewed (Con't).

Page 15

Petroleum Reviewed (Con't), Oil Shafts.

Page 16

Oil Shafts (Con't), Oil & Gas.

Page 17

Oil and Gas (Con't), The First White Settler in Oildom. Early References to Oil.

Page 18

Its Fame reaches germany, Antiquity of Pits.

Page 19

Antiquity of Oil Pits (Con't), Seneca Oil and British Oil, Oil in Kentucky, Marketing Oil in Jugs.

Page 20

Natural Gas, Cuba Oil Spring, How Oil Creek Got Its Name, An Early Oil Book.

Page 21

An Early Oil Book (Con't), First Deed for Oil Purposes, The First Company, The First Drilled Well, Important Events, with Dates.

Page 22

Summary of Oil Production, Supplementary.

Page 23

Supplementary (Con't), George P. Hukill, Franklin G. Ridgway.

Page 24

Church Pictures.

Page 25

Church Pictures.