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Benhomer Risser oil well aerial photograph, McKenzie County, N.D.
Benhomer Risser oil well aerial photograph, McKenzie County, N.D.
TitleBenhomer Risser oil well aerial photograph, McKenzie County, N.D.
Date of Original1951
CreatorShemorry, Bill, 1914-2004
Creator RolePhotographer
Description"The Benhomer Risser well, located southeast of Johnson Corners, about 30 miles from Watford City, was the first commercially producing oil well in McKenzie County. It came in on April 13, 1952, and produced over a period of 38 years." Benhomer Risser No. 1 spudded in McKenzie County August 8, 1951. Completed as first producer in McKenzie County March 29, 1952.
General SubjectOil
Business & Industry
Subject (LCTGM)Oil wells
Oil well drilling rigs
Petroleum industry
LocationMcKenzie County (N.D.)
Decade1950-1959
Item Number1-28-78-2
Negative Number1-28-78-2
Format of OriginalFilm negatives
Dimensions of Original4 x 6 in.
Publisher of OriginalWilliston Daily Herald
Place of PublicationWilliston, N.D.
Transcription"Risser 1951"--Handwritten on envelope containing negatives
NotesTitle created by staff.
Biography/HistoryWilliam E. "Bill" Shemorry was a native of Williston, N.D. who began work in the newspaper industry as a newsboy selling the Williston Herald and the Williams County Farmers Press. In 1953, he started to publish the Williston Plains Reporter, which he operated for 25 years before selling to the Williston Herald. Shemorry then began to concentrate on his own writing and photography. In addition to writing many books on the history of Williams County, he also collected photographs of early North Dakota photographers. Shemorry was an active member of the Williston Fire Department, was Civil Defense Chief of Williams County for three years in the 1950's, and was a combat photographer in World War II. Shemorry's photograph of the discovery of oil in North Dakota on April 4, 1951 at the Clarence Iverson No. 1 is one of the most famous oil photographs ever taken, and was published in many national publications.
Bibliographic ReferenceThe quoted description is from Shemorry's caption that was published with the photograph in the article "Benhomer Risser was North Dakota's longest producer" in The Williston Daily Herald, 2001-03-27, p. 1A. The article was part of Shemorry's series, "The Best Little Stories of the 20th Century" written weekly for The Herald. The quoted description is from Shemorry's caption that was published with the photograph in "The First 12 Wells Drilled in Western North Dakota Oil Country" in The Williston Daily Herald, 2001-08-05, pgs. 16-17. This photograph appeared in the Herald Oil Section.
Repository InstitutionState Historical Society of North Dakota
Repository CollectionWilliam E. (Bill) Shemorry Photograph Collection Mss 10958
Credit LineState Historical Society of North Dakota, William E. (Bill) Shemorry Photograph Collection (1-28-78-2)
Rights ManagementPermission to reproduce this image must be requested from the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
Ordering InformationTo order a reproduction, inquire about the collection, or provide information about an image, please email Emily E. Schultz at eschultz@nd.gov
Digital IDws128782
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