Friday, December 20, 2013

Why are Mt. Pleasant High School teams called “The Oilers”?

The Laura Root #1 oil well, discovery well of the Mt. Pleasant oil field, was almost astraddle the Isabella/Midland county line. Being located almost equal distance from Mt. Pleasant and Midland, either could have become the place to live, commute to the field.

When the Mt. Pleasant field discovery well was reportedly looking good in mid 1928, Walter Russell sprung into action, spearheading a group of Mt. Pleasant businessmen who pratically overnight leased pipeline right-of-way from the discovery well to the railhead at Mt. Pleasant, securing an easy route to market for the crude oil from that field, when the discovery well came in August 29, 1928.

The oil, the equipment suppliers, the people and the resultant cashflow, went to Mt. Pleasant instead of Midland, just ahead of the Great Depression. Mt. Pleasant became the Oil Capital of Michigan,

Because the presence of an active oil and natural gas exploration and production industry presences, Mt. Pleasant felt little of the Depression’s financial chaos. In appreciation for the oil industry’s role in Mt. Pleasant’s comparative prosperity during the Great Depression, the name of Mt. Pleasant High School athletic teams was changed to the “Oilers”.


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