Thursday, September 29, 1887

Another Immense Vein of Rare Purity Passed Through Yesterday - The Operators Jubilant

The drill in the experimental well in South Hutchinson passed through another vein of rock salt yesterday morning, showing up a depth of thirteen feet fully equal in purity to the large vein penetrated Tuesday. This makes a total thickness of nearly 40 feet of salt, a thin layer of shale lying between the two veins. As usual no admittance to the enclosure was allowed, but it was learned that the indications for oil was so strong as to be exciting. The proprietors of the well are confident that either coal, gas or oil will be found in paying quantities within the next ten days, and the drill will be sent with all rapidity possible. Not so much anxiety is manifested as to the outcome of further experiments, though, as the salt will be a mine of wealth itself, and it will be taken out in immense quantities if nothing more valuable is found.

Experts claim that the salt can be raised at a cost of less than seven cents a bushel, while the usual market price is in the neighborhood of twenty-five cents. With millions of bushels in sight, it is thus seen what a bonanza is at our doors. The annual production of salt in this country is about thirty million bushels, and we import an additional fourteen million bushels. The demand is always greater than the home supply, so an over production is improbable. In England, one rock salt mine alone employs over twelve hundred men, and its product is largely shipped to the United States. A few more such finds as the Hutchinson mine will make England withdraw from the American market.