Saturday, January 30, 2016

On This Date in Minnesota History: January 30

January 30, 1905 – The Bessie Street artesian well, recently completed by the Crookston Waterworks Power and Light Company, was dynamited this morning around 2:30, and is feared to be completely wrecked.

The well was 215 feet deep, eight feet in diameter and for a distance of 80 feet a circular brick curbing had been built. The pump was installed at the bottom of the curbing last week, and the well was ready for operation. It was sunk to give Crookston a pure water supply, and was to have been pumped into city mains in place of the river water.

The outrage has caused a tremendous sensation and all the civil machinery has been started to land the miscreant. The well had cost something over $10,000. W. J. Murphy of Minneapolis is the principal owner of the waterworks and light company.

The explosion broke many windows and frightened the residents of the city nearly out of their wits, several women being on the verge of hysterics. Many people remained up the balance of the night frightened by the trembling of their houses.

There are rumors, with no apparent basis, that the well was destroyed by the owners of smaller wells, whose flow was damaged by the big well.

It is believed that the damage may reach as much as $5,000.

Duluth Evening Herald; “Wrecked by Dynamiters. Big Artesian Well Sunk for Crookston is Blown Up.”; Jan. 31, 1905; p. 2.


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