Caney Gas Well Fire – 1906

On February 23, 1906, a small town in southeast Kansas found itself in the nation’s limelight as a natural gas well erupted into flames after a lightning strike. The “Caney, Kansas gas well fire” was actually located just over the state line in “Indian Territory” (soon to be Oklahoma).  Many varieties of postcards were created for the burning gas well and captioned with the Kansas towns of Caney, Coffeyville, Independence, and Bartlesville, OK.  Gas rates were estimated as high as 70 million cubic feet a day.  The “largest gas well in the world” burned for over four weeks.  One postcard, dated March 18, 1906, bears the note:  “Come and see the wonderful well.  It’s still burning.  It shook the ground so last night the window rattled.  We are 4 miles from it.”

SPENCER, Jeff A., and TAYLOR, Andy, 2007, The 1906 Caney gas well fire, Kansas, Oil-Industry History, v. 8, , p. 61-67.

SPENCER, Jeff A., 2012, The 1906 Caney gas well fire, Kansas: addendum, Oil-Industry History, v. 13, p. 149-150.


One thought on “Caney Gas Well Fire – 1906

  1. G. Beauford

    thanks Jeff for your pictures and information on the beginnings of the oil industry – esp. the Louisiana portion. Best – Gertie M. Beauford


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