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Williston Oil Discovery Day celebration barbecue, N.D.
Williston Oil Discovery Day celebration barbecue, N.D.
TitleWilliston Oil Discovery Day celebration barbecue, N.D.
Date of Original1953-04-18
CreatorShemorry, Bill, 1914-2004
Creator RolePhotographer
DescriptionMunching on barbecue sandwiches are Dr. Robert E. Wilson, Oil Discovery Day guest of honor, and Patsy Joyce, queen of the celebration. Patsy served Wilson the first sandwich. Thousands enjoyed free barbecue under Standard Oil sponsorship. Joe Donahue served the sandwiches. Eddie Conlin Jr. stands on the right in the photograph with his son. Holger Smitt, Oil Discovery Day general chairman stands to the left of Ms. Joyce.
A real western barbecue for over 15, 000 visitors to Williston was prepared and served free of charge. More than 4, 500 pounds of prime beef was putchered, carefully spiced, wrapped in paper, and hand sewed into burlap sacks by Williston Jaycees members. Fires were started the morning of April 16th and kept burning for 28 hours.
General SubjectCity & town life
Subject (LCTGM)Celebrations
Business people
Petroleum industry
Personal NameWilson, Robert Erastus, 1893-1964
Joyce, Patsy
Conlin, Eddie Jr.
Organization NameWilliston Jaycees (Williston, N.D.)
Standard Oil Company
LocationWilliston (N.D.)
Item Number1-219-16
Format of OriginalPhotographic prints
Dimensions of Original5 x 8 in.
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.
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 (1-219-16)
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
Digital IDws121916
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