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Williston Oil Discovery Day Mineral rights Drawing, Williston, N.D.
Williston Oil Discovery Day Mineral rights Drawing, Williston, N.D.
TitleWilliston Oil Discovery Day Mineral rights Drawing, Williston, N.D.
Date of Original1953-04
CreatorShemorry, Bill, 1914-2004
Creator RolePhotographer
Description(Right) William Walters, local oil and mineral broker, and (left) Oil Discovery Celebration Day general chairman Holger Smitt, along with an unidentified man (center) review the mineral drawing details before the celebration.
Part of mineral rights were awarded at 10:30 p.m. at the Armory were presented to the Jaycees by William Walters.
More than $5, 000 in mineral rights, part of which were on the Clarence Iverson farm, were given at the second annual Williston Oil Discovery Day celebration on April 17-18, 1953. Registration for the prizes was in the Armory both days, with the drawing on April 18. Registrants were required to be over six years of age, and had to sign their own name. There was no charge for the registration. At the time of the celebration, there were four producing oil wells on the Clarence Iverson tract. The winner of the mineral rights became the immediate owner of producing royalty. Other mineral rights given away included some offsetting a producing well and other minerals in Williams County. The rights were donated by Clarence Iverson, owner of the first oil well in North Dakota, and three Williston oil brokers, Gregg Kildow, William Walkters, and Bob Demaree. Also contributing minerals were the Williston Jaycees.
General SubjectCity & town life
Subject (LCTGM)Men
Petroleum industry
Suits (Clothing)
Personal NameSmitt, Holger
Walters, William
Organization NameWilliston Jaycees (Williston, N.D.)
Standard Oil Company
LocationWilliston (N.D.)
Item Number1-219-3
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 (1-219-3)
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 IDws12193
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