2003: COUNTY POOR FARM HAS SOME "RICHES" - Walter Emery Smith Drills A "Good Well"



Emery Smith says "A good well it is"

Calhoun's old 100 acre Poor Farm may not be so poor when it comes to gas and oil production, according to producer Walter Emery Smith of Grantsville.

Smith just drilled a well on the old farm, the royalty long owned by Calhoun County, and "A good well it is," he said.

The Calhoun County Poor Farm was closed years ago. (Story on Hur Herald)

The county owns 1/8 royalty under the Bull River farm, although the land was sold years ago and has been sub-divided.

The royalties could put a little money into the county's cash-strapped coffers, with a second well being planned for next year.

"The new well was drilled in about 5750 feet in the shale," said Smith, who is in the "over 80" crowd. "I've really enjoyed the gas and oil business, although it has caused lots of headaches over the years."

Smith said he and his father Mont have drilled about 150 wells, all but two of them in Calhoun. "I haven't had a dry hole, yet," he said.

Smith is among a departed generation of local oil and gas producers who have drilled hundreds of wells in Calhoun, now the multi-national corporations have taken over.

Smith is a third generation oil and gas man, his grandfather Joe Smith came to Calhoun in 1896 to build Godfrey L. Cabot's carbon black factory at Cabot Station. "He and Godfrey were close friends," said Emery, having worked for him at Cabot, PA. His dad, Mont Smith was a "Cabot man" for 50 years

"My granddad had 13 children. My father, Mont, was the youngest. He ate more chicken necks than any one in Calhoun County," said Emery. "He was the youngest of the kids and he was always the last to get to the chicken platter."