Sunday, June 24, 2012

D is for ... DRILLER!

Special thanks to Alona at Gould Genealogy for coming up with the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge!

D is for DRILLER!

Well driller, that is. My great grandfather, Louis Phelisa Lanctot, got his start in 1910 as a well driller in St. Helena, Nebraska.[1]  He traveled to Cedar Co., Nebraska and Yankton Co., South Dakota for work.

In 1912 or 1913, he was hired to drill a well on a farm in Utica Township, Yankton County, South Dakota. The man who hired him was Louis Schneider (otherwise known as my 2nd great grandfather). Louis and Mary Alice Schneider were marred in July 1913.

By 1917, Louis had started his own well drilling company[2] and employed Mary Alice's brother Charles to help with the workload. You know, keeping it in the family. Louis and Mary Alice purchased land in Bucknam, Wyoming (25 miles from Casper) and settled there in 1917.

I don't know much about the well drilling industry back in the early 1900s, but I found this photo of a "new" steam-powered well drill from 1903. I can imagine Louis might have used something like this when he started.

Louis worked as a well-driller for the remainder of his short life.  He died in a truck wreck in Casper, Wyoming in 1922.

1. 1910 United States Federal Census, Cedar County, Nebraska, (St. Helena/Precinct 2); p. 10B-11A, lines 96-2, T624_840, Img. 467, [database online]

2. "World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," digital image [database online],, card for Louis Phelisa Lanctot, no. 75, Converse, Wyoming.

Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com


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