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Celebrating History: Gas drilling in Havre, 1914


March 28, 2014

Exciting news was in The Havre Plaindealer’s March 28, 1914, issue. We celebrate Montana Territory’s 150th anniversary with this 12th installment of this series.

Every Indication Of Success In Gas Drilling Operations

Excitement was at a high pitch in Havre last Saturday, when it was announced that the gas drilling operations were at least partially successful. All that day and Sunday, a steady stream of autos carried people to the well site in the east end, and the curious were rewarded by seeing the flames from the natural gas flow shoot to a height from 20 to 30 feet.

Damp gas in considerable volume was found at a depth of a little more than 900 feet. Officials of the drilling company believe they will be entirely successful in their quest, and that dry gas in commercial quantity will be encountered in from 500 to 700 feet further. Drilling operations have been at a standstill all this week because of the presence of water in large volume in the well, but it is believed this flow of water will be checked within a few days and the drilling prosecuted with vigor.

Numerous inquiries are reaching Havre daily concerning the prospect for gas, and when the dry flow is encountered, which now seems certain, it is expected that Havre will immediately experience an influx of investors in what will be one of the chief manufacturing cities of the state of Montana.

In other news, health officials in north-central Montana held a meeting in Havre, Charles Griffin brought in a group of people from the Southern United States to check out the area, and a new grocery store opened:

New Grocery Now Open For Business

The Unique Grocery company, located in the Chestnut building on Third Avenue, is now conducting business, though the formal opening, which was to have taken place last Saturday, had to be delayed because of the non-arrival of the show cases to be placed in the new store. These have been shipped, however, and as soon as they reach Havre and are in place, the formal opening of Havre’s new business house will occur. The date of this opening will be announced later.

It wasn’t all good news:


At Sacred Heart hospital on Wednesday occurred the death of Mrs. Marie Olson, who was brought to the city recently from the ranch home ten miles north, for treatment. Deceased was 51 years old, and leaves a husband and three sons to mourn her demise. The funeral occurred yesterday afternoon from the Troy & Kay chapel on Third avenue, Rev. Dr. Norby conducting the sad rites. Burial followed immediately in Mt. Hope cemetery.


Matthew J. Frendeal died at Sacred Heart hospital Monday last, following a long illness from Bright’s disease, and the funeral and burial occurred from Holland’s chapel Thursday morning. Frendeal was a homesteader near Wild Horse lake, and was brought to this city several weeks since for treatment. So far as known, he has no relatives here.


Bright’s disease caused the death of V. Lamboot at Inverness on Tuesday of this week. The deceased was 50 years of age, and had been two years in the country, coming from the east to take up a homestead seven miles north of Inverness. A wife and eight children were left to mourn his death. The funeral was conducted at Inverness the following day, and burial was in charge of Holland & Son of this city.

In much happier news, the local Woman’s Club was busy distributing flower seeds to school children to plant to help make Havre pretty, as well as working on the newly established Pepin Park. In the society columns we also find:

Edward Sartain met with a bad accident Wednesday night, when a wild horse he was breaking, became unmanageable and kicked him in the abdomen, severely injuring him. He is at present confined at Dr. William’s private hospital.


The meat market at Gildford belonging to J. A. Crites, burned the latter part of last week with a loss of about $2,000, which is only partly covered by insurance. The fire started from adjoining building.


Misses Ethel Frank and Elva Derdorff of Minot, N. D., arrived in Havre Thursday and will take up with residence on their claims at Inverness soon.


Attorney L. V. Beaulieu is now snugly ensconced in his new office rooms over Boone Drug Co., than which none better exist in Havre.

New Library Plans Forwarded To Board

At an adjourned meeting of the city council last Monday evening, amended plans for the new Carnegie library were considered. The original plan did not meet the approval of the Carnegie library board, because of interior arrangement, and the new set has been forwarded for their inspection. Both sets of plans were drawn by Architect M. B. Riffo of this city.

New Tonsorial Parlor Under Security Bank

Workmen are busy this week remodeling the room under the Security State bank, vacated this week by Stuart the tailor, who moved to the room in the rear of the basement formerly occupied by the Allen real estate agency. The front room is being remodeled to accommodate a new tonsorial parlor that will be established by E. E. Ellis, proprietor of the Havre barber shop, and when the new shop is completed it will be one of the best shaving emporiums to be found in the northwest.


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