Sunday, December 18, 1887

Nature's Great Storehouse for Chloride of Sodium

It is Here, and in such Quantities that it Can Never be Exhausted

Development of the Gouinlock & Co. Prospect Well - One Hundred and Thirty Feet and the End Not Yet - Other News


The discovery of salt in South Hutchinson delighted the citizens of Hutchinson more than it is in our power to express for it meant great things for our city. In the first place the NEWS was certain that it would attract, besides the capitalist the business man and be the means of furnishing a vast amount of labor to the laboring men in the city, as soon as the find was developed.

The announcement of the wonderful discovery had hardly been made until eastern firms engaged in the manufacture of salt were attracted here for the purpose of investigating the facts concerning it. Among them was Mr. W.0. Gouinlock, representing the firm of Gouinlock & Co., of Warsaw, N.Y., who came here, and after satisfying himself on the subject, made preparations for sinking a test well.

Our readers are familiar with the operations of this company. They lost no time in getting their machinery on the ground and completing their plans for sinking a well. They leased their ground southeast of the city, placed their machinery Into position, which soon arrived, and commenced operations. They made very little fuss or flurry, but hurried the work rapidly forward.

Considerable interest in their work was manifested by our citizens, who were anxious to ascertain the area of the salt field, some of whom felt dubious of ever striking it on this side of the river. The operators at the new well had no hesitancy in the mutter and felt that they would strike the same deposit on this side.

To sum matters up, the report was circulated on the street Friday that salt had been struck in the new well. The report was not verified until yesterday morning. As soon as the news was given out substantiating the report, a grand stampede was made by our citizens to the scene of operations.

A NEWS reporter who had kept a close watch of the proceedings at the well, stole a march on the crowd, and hurrying to the well was soon in possession of the facts and a large quantity of the salt. The first salt was struck at a depth of 425 feet, and the drill has been pounding away continuously since in salt. Some shale has been struck in small quantities.

The drill at the hour of ten p.m. had reached a depth of 550 feet and had therefore passed into a vein of salt which is at present 130 feet in thickness. When operations were suspended last night, the drill was still in the salt.

Mr. Gouinlock informed the reporter that the salt was as it had been represented to be, and was good. "In fact," said he, "it is better than I expected to find."

The gentleman said in reference to sinking the shaft, "We have experienced no trouble in our work on the well. The drilling has been so easy that there was no necessity of sharpening th e tools."

The company have saved samples of the salt and will have it analyzed at once. A pump will be put in operation in a few days and some of the brine will be secured which will be analyzed. As soon as a satisfactory report of the aualysis is received the erection of the works will be commenced at once.

The company will manufacture boiled salt. Water will be forced into the well with a force pump, and the salt will be dissolved. The brine will then be pumped up and evaporated.

The drillers who have charge of the work are J.A. Saunders and Chas. Smith, of Bedford, Pa., and have had years of experience in drilling. They informed the reporter that they had encountered no quicksand in sinking the well.

The discovery made on this side will forever settle the question as to the quantity of the deposit. Dr. Colvard, the chemist, informed a reporter last night that he had examined the salt and that although he had not analysed it, he was satisfied that in quality it was equal to the South Hutchinson salt. Score another point for old Hutch in her march to prosperity.