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Big Viking Oil Co. oil celebration, southeastern Williams County, N.D.
Big Viking Oil Co. oil celebration, southeastern Williams County, N.D.
TitleBig Viking Oil Co. oil celebration, southeastern Williams County, N.D.
Date of Original1929 or 1930
DescriptionA large crowd has gathered to celebrate drilling operations at the Big Viking Oil Co. wildcat oil rig. At the base of the well, a large group of men, women, and children are walking, talking, and viewing the rig. Several automobiles are parked near the rig. Bluffs of the Badlands are visible behind the automobiles.
General SubjectAwards & ceremonies
Subject (LCTGM)Oil well drilling rigs
Subject (LCSH)Ford automobile
Personal NameHanson, W. J.
Hanson, Ernam
Moellring, George
Wicklund, C. A.
LocationBadlands (N.D.)
Williams County (N.D.)
Item Number1-75A-20-7
Negative Number1-75A-20-7
Format of OriginalGlass negatives
Dimensions of Original2 x 3 in.
Transcription"Sept. 1929 June Aug. May 1930"--Handwritten on original box
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 ReferenceInformation about the Big Viking Oil Co. well was derived from Shemorry's book: Mud, Sweat and Oil: The Early Days of the Williston Basin, pgs. 30-39.
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 (1-75A-20-7)
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 IDws175A207
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