Sunday, May 24, 2015

Oil and Mining Companies in Eastern Kentucky in 1865

Upper Big Sandy Valley
At the time of this writing (May 24, 2015), Eastern Kentucky is yet again experiencing a drilling boom, reminiscent of the swarms of speculators from the East who descended upon the area in 1865 and bought thousands of acres of land from the farmers, leased mineral rights, built derricks and began boring - all in search of precious oil. In this day and age, the speculators and their companies hail from the Gulf of Mexico, from states such as Louisiana and explore gas and oil. Our first oil boom was rather short-lived and had fizzled out by 1867. How long it will be around this time, and at what cost to our area and its people, remains to be seen.

As described in a previous article, the end of the Civil War marked the start of frenzied oil exploration in Eastern Kentucky.  A great number of stock companies were formed to explore the natural resources of Eastern Kentucky, with a number of the leading local men jumping onto the band wagon. Between January and June 1865, no less than 49 oil, coal and minerals companies were chartered in Eastern Kentucky alone. The list does not include out-of-state companies who held mining interests in the Big Sandy Valley and other areas in Eastern Kentucky.

Oil and Mining Companies in Eastern Kentucky 1865
(Names of officers and date of incorporation)

Beaver Creek Oil Company
Edwin S. Graham, H. C. Caruth, Pack Thomas, and Thomas Sheerer
February 24, 1865

Big Blaine Creek Petroleum Company
John M. Rice, Jake Rice, and John B. Hatcher
May 31, 1865

Big Paint Creek Oil Company
Martin Preston, U. B. Evarts, Ross Forward, Roland Whitney, B. M. Anderson, J. T. Boyle, Collis Ormsby, and E. D. Tyler
January 31, 1865

Big Sandy and Great Oil Spring Petroleum Company
Len. A. Harris, A. G. McCook, Ben. Robinson, J. A. Fisher, J. F. Horr, C. Rule, and J. B. Auxier
March 1, 1865

Big Sandy Coal, Oil and Mining Company
Captain A. J. Allen, Col. George W. Gallup, S. J. Henderson, D. M. Johnson, G. W. Dixon
Bef. January 19, 1865

Big Sandy Oil and Mineral Company
George Carpenter, F. Gray, W. L. Scott, J. Hearn, Thomas B. Vincent, R. H. Henry, J. P. Vincent, A. H. Gray, and Orange Noble
March 2, 1865

Big Sandy Petroleum Company
Zephaniah Meek, H. L. Swetnam, J. T. Boyle, Roland Whitney, U. B. Evarts, E. D. Tyler, Collis Ormsby, B. M. Anderson, and J. S. Phelps
January 27, 1865

Boston & Big Sandy Oil Company
Incorporated in Massachusetts. Office in Boston 1865. Property in West Virginia and Kentucky.

Buffalo Mining Company
George T. Steadman, A. C. Vandyke
Principal office in Greenup Co. KY
March 1, 1865

Carter Coal, Iron, and Oil Company
William Wurts, Green H. McAtee, Marinus King
March 4, 1865

Crystal Mining and Oil Company
E. L. Chandler and Robert A. Bradshaw
March 4, 1865

Cliff Springs Mining Company of Kentucky
Wm Reson, Michael West, Thomas Sherlock, George H. Hill, Hamilton Lyon, Henry E. Harper, Thomas S. Brown, R. R. Whitman, David Harper Jr., R. R. Pullam, A. M. Searls, Henry H. Seems, Ref. Butler, Jacob Resart, Matthew H. Coats.
February 4, 1865

Eastern Kentucky Oil Company
B. B. Groom, John M. Riffe, Hugh L. Ray, Allen N. Bush, J. N. B. Hardwick, James Flanigan, Green B. Farney, all of Clarke County
February 22, 1865

Eastern Kentucky Oil and Mineral Company
H. C. Lilly, R. B. Jamison, A. D. Powell,  Isaac N. Cardwell, J. H. Gardner, Joseph Blackwell, Robert Riddell, jr., H. C. Dickerson, Thomas H. Barnes, Jas. K. Barnes, of Estill County, Kentucky
K. F. Hargis, Jas. F. Blount, David Price, J. G. McGuire, of Owsley County, Kentucky
Thos. P. Cardwell, W. D. Cardwell, of Breathitt County, Kentucky
Elijah Patrick and Reuben Patrick, of Magoffin County, Kentucky
March 3, 1865

Eastern Kentucky Oil, Coal, Mining and Iron Manufacturing Company
E. H. Taylor, Jr., James J. Miller, W. A. Gaines, E. H. Watson, and S. F. J. Trabue.
February 23, 1865

Eastern Kentucky Oil Creek Mining Company
F. Gray, R. W. Emerson, R. H. Henry, J. P. Vincent, F. F. Farrar, Geo. Carpenter, John Richards, A. T. Marsh, and W. L. Scott
March 2, 1865

Eastern Kentucky Petroleum Company
John Mason Brown, George W. Gallup, John Henderson, Harman Conley, Winsten Conley, and Laban T. Moore
January 23, 1865

Eastern Kentucky Petroleum and Mineral Company
John P. Winston, W. C. Culbertson, John E. Hamilton, John G. Carlisle
February 22, 1865

Frankfort and Big Sandy Oil, Coal, Mining, and Iron Manufacturing Company
Jacob Swigert, E. H.Taylor, jr., W. A. Gaines, James J. Miller, and R. P. Pepper
February 23, 1865

Greenup and Boyd Coal, Oil, Mining and Manufacturing Company
Benjamin Butterworth, A. M. White and Wm. Stewart
June 3, 1865

Greenup Coal and Oil Company
Labin J. Bradford, George Wurts, W. T. Finch, J. Taylor Bradford, and B. C. Larew
Chartered  February 15, 1860
Michael Ryan, George Wurts
Amended February 27, 1865

Greenup County and Little Sandy Mining and Petroleum Company
Wm. P. Anderson, A. G. Burt, Wm. Dodd, John Bogher, and James C. Moores
March 4, 1865

Greenup County Mining, Petroleum, and Manufacturing Company
Geo. Wents, Samuel G. Wents, Alfred Spaulding, E. F. Dulin, and Wm. C. Ireland
January 26, 1865

Greenupsburg and Cincinnati Petroleum and Oil Company
John E. Winn, William C. Ireland
February 1, 1865
Amended February 25, 1865

Highland Petroleum and Mining Company
E. G. Phelps, T. M. Conditt, and Wm. Berry
May 31, 1865

Kentucky & West Virginia Oil & Coal Company
Office in New York 1866. Extinct.

Lawrence Coal, Iron, and Oil Company
George W. Coons, James A. Johnson, William Wurts
March 4, 1865

Lawrence Oil, Coal, Mining and Iron Manufacturing Company
James J. Miller, E. H. Taylor, Jr., and W. A. Gaines
February 23, 1865

Lick Branch Oil, Mining and Manufacturing Company
Wm. Berry, E. G. Phelps, and T. M. Conditt
May 31, 1865

Little Sandy Mining and Oil Company
Robt. W. Robb, Rich. F. Robb. and W. C. Ireland
March 4, 1865

Magoffin County Oil, Coal, and Manufacturing Company
George Sutherland, J. W. Harding, Parker Artis, Wm. Ecton, H. W. Calmes
March 3, 1865

Morgan County Coal, Oil, Salt, Lumber and Mineral Manufacturing Company
George M. Hampton, William C. Miller
June 3, 1865

Morgan Oil and Mining Company
John Fox, John W. Van Hook, William Fitch, J. F. Boyle, L. M. Flournoy
February 22, 1865

Mountain Petroleum and Transportation Company
M. E. Ingram, H. D. McHenry, Wm. Millward, L. S. Trimble, Wm. McKee Fox, John Woods, J. T. Boyle, L. M. Flournoy, A. H. Hoger, and John R. Thomas
February 24, 1865

North Kentucky Oil Company
Lafayette Devenny, William H. Clement, H. H. Huston, F. B. Rust, C. G Rogers, J. W. Stevenson, and Harvey Myers
June 3, 1865

Oil Creek Oil Company
A. H. Gray, R. W. Emerson, R. H. Henry, F. F. Furror, J. R. Vincent, Orange Noble, J. W. Hammond, W. L. Cleaveland, and F. Gray
March 3, 1865

Oil Spring Fork Oil and Mineral Company
J. W. Hammon, W. L. Cleaveland, John Richards, Geo. Carpenter, R. W. Emerson, J. P. Vincent, F. Gray, R. H. Henry, and A. H. Gray
March 2, 1865

Oil Spring, Kentucky, Petroleum Company
Colonel Sidney B. Jones, Wm. N. Thompson, and J. C. Beck, M. D.
March 4, 1865

Oil Spring and Sand Lick Petroleum Company
Wm. Frazier, Richard P. Rundle, Wm. Kidd
June 3, l865

Old Oil Spring Mining and Petroleum Company
Sam. L. Mitchell, Geo. C. Knight,and Geo. F. Chester
June 3, l865

Paint and Barnett Creek Oil and Mining Company
Frederick W. Jones, William Kidd, and J. Mansfield Davis
June 3, 1865

Paint Lick Oil and Mining Company
F. F. Farror, R. H. Henry, J. P. Vincent,
Geo. Carpenter, F. Gray, J. Hearn, Thomas B. Vincent, Orange Noble, and A. H. Gray
March 3, 1865

Pike Mining and Manufacturing Company
J. M. Montmollin, E. D. Ashford, James G. Hatchitt, James Harlan, Jr.
February 25, 1865

Rush Creek Mining and Manufacturing Company
Robertson M. Biggs, William Biggs, Sr., Andrew Biggs, F. K. O'Farrell, and Ed. F. Dulin
February 27, 1865

Sandy Valley Oil Company
Charles G. Shaw, George W. Shaw, George C. Glass, George F. Sadd, and Harvey Myers
May 26, 1865

Sandy Valley Petroleum Company
Thomas Wallace, Lloyd B. Dennis, Jake Rice, John B. Hatcher, and John M. Rice
January 26, 1865

Star Oil, Coal and Mining and Manufacturing Company of Carter County
W. T. Nicholls, R. D. Callihan, Addison McCullough, William H. Lampton, L. D. Ross, R. W. Lampton, W. L. Geiger, and James Kilgore
February 24, 1865

Tug Fork Lead, Iron, Salt and Oil Mining and Manufacturing Company
Thomas Wrightson, R. T. Baker, Jacob Hawthorn
February 27, 1865

West Liberty Coal, Oil, Lumber, Mining and Manufacturing Company
George W. Hampton, Wm. C. Miller
March 4, 1865

Article researched and written by Marlitta H. Perkins, May 2015. Images are the author's property, unless noted otherwise. Unauthorized use and/or duplication, including images, without express written notice by the author is strictly prohibited. 
© 2015. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Thanks for doing this!

    You might want to check out the Tar Spring Oil Co. of Cincinnati. Hamilton Lyon of Cliff Springs/Lyon’s well in Paintsville was on the board.
    According to a 12/30/1864 advert in the Cincinnati paper, the company owned “…in fee simple, one thousand acres of land in Lewis County, Kentucky, four miles south of Vanceburg, on the Ohio River, and on Salt Lick Greek, a tributary of the Ohio, and is part of the oil tract lately discovered in Adams County, Ohio, crossing the river to Lewis County, Kentucky, and extending through the land for miles into Kentucky.

    I have the clipping I can email, or you might just find it online. I think I went through the Library O’ Congress’ newspapers.

    1. I’d like the article please

  2. Marlitta - I came across your articles while researching an 1865 stock certificate for the Southern Kentucky Coal, Mining & Transporting Company. Based on the engraving within the vignette on the certificate the company seems to have been in the oil business too. I wanted to ask if you have ever come across this company in your research. I can send you a photo or scan of the certificate - it is beautiful and historically fascinating. Thank you. Richard Van Dyke

  3. Thank you for this blog. That's all I can say. You most definitely have made this blog into something thats eye opening and important. You clearly know so much about the subject, you've covered so many bases. Great stuff from this part of the internet. Again, thank you for this blog.
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