Arkansas City is a bidder for the $1,000,000 helium plant proposed for this section of the country.

Chas. E. Rader of Kansas City was in the city in the interest of a helium plant with a capacity for handling 2,500,000 cubic feet of gas daily, and talked of one for Dexter. This plant will be established by Kansas City and New York financiers, and Mr. Rader is representing them.

Mr. Rader stated this morning that his company already had one thousand acres of leases and desired to lease eight hundred acres more. Upon the securing of these holdings depends the establishment of the helium plant in this section.

Mr. Rader was calling on parties here, holding leases in eastern Cowley, for the purpose of securing them. W. L. Lesh and L. Shearer, of this city, and Chas. Redder, of Butler, Pa., are owners of a three and one half million helium gas well near Otto in southeast Cowley county. These gentlemen have two hundred forty acres of land under lease surrounding their well. James Day has a two and one half million helium gas well and five hundred acres under lease.

Conference Held Here

Mr. Rader was here for the purpose of seeing if he couldn't deal for these properties, and was negotiating with Messrs. Lesh and Shearer this morning. The well owned by Messrs. Lesh, Shearer, and Redden has a record of having the highest test of helium of any gas well in the country and is very valuable property.

Ever since the first wells were brought in, in southeastern Cowley, it has been known that these wells were rich in helium. There appears to be plenty of gas there, but it cannot be used for fuel purposes because of the helium in it. Years ago the first well which was put down near Dexter came in with a wonderful pressure and a terrific roar, but it was almost impossible to light the gas. At that time helium ws known little of, and it has only been lately the public learned why the Dexter gas did not burn.

During the war and since the manufacture of dirigibles, the government and scientists have found out the use of helium. It will be remembered, some time ago the big dirigible accident in England was because of poor helium which filled the bag, and shortly afterwards the Roma collapsed from the same cause in Virginia. If the helium that is obtainable in southeastern Cowley had been used neither accident would have occurred because of its high quality.

Mr. Rader representing this company, called up Secretary Seyster of the chamber of commerce and the secretary took the matter up with him, endeavoring to secure the factory for Arkansas City, because of better facilities here for shipment of helium, and also because of a better opportunity to dispose of the gas after the helium has been extracted from it by the industries here, or for other fuel purposes.

Go To Dexter

Today Secretary Seyster and Mr. Rader went to Dexter and to the helium gas field sections, in southeast Cowley, to make investigations and to see if it was possible to secure the required acreage to induce the company to locate in this section. While in the city Mr. Rader stated that his company had practically enough acreage and expected to close for the remainder this week. He also said his company would build pipe lnes to Sedan, Osage, Augusta, and other adjacent gas fields. He also stated the plant would be able to treat 2,500,000 feet of gas daily.

The Traveler is not informed as to what benefit a helium plant would be to a community, but is another industry, and if it is as big as is talked of, it should be secured for Arkansas City if possible.

A million dollar plant is worth considering and securing.



SATURDAY, MAY 20, 1922

O. B. Seyster, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, who made the trip to the helium fields in the eastern part of the county yesterday with Chas. E. Rader, representing eastern capitalists, is of the opinion that Arkansas City has a good chance to secure this plant if it is built. The territory visited yesterday was around Otto, Falls City, where the Lemaster acreage is located, and Dexter.

Seyster and Rader were accompanied by C. B. Tingley, manager of the Kansas Gas and Electric company. The Kansas Gas and Electric company would have a special interest in securing the plant for this city in the event that they establish a high powered electric plant here as has been contemplated for some time.

According to Mr. Seyster, a new well is now being drilled on the Dodson land just south of Dexter, which is 1,100 feet, and shows 15,000,000 feet of gas. This is three to four hundred feet deeper than the gas found in the Dexter field several years ago. The original field was developed at 600 to 700 feet, and the gas found at this depth has long since been exhausted. It was said to have about 2 percent helium. Oil wells are operating the same field, which were brought in at a depth of over 2,000 feet, but all of these wells seem to have missed the helium gas found at 100 feet.

J. E. Day, who with his associates recently brought in a 2 2 million gasser near Otto, is at present in Tulsa, to which place Mr. Rader went this morning, to confer with him. The Traveler reported the bringing in of this well at the time and stated then that what would be done with the field would depend entirely upon the results of the analysis of the gas at the state laboratories. Mr. Day and associates sent a sample of the gas to Topeka for test, and the results are said to be very favorable for helium development.

According to Secretary Seyster, however, the state laboratory will not give out an official report until a man from this department comes to the field and gets the gas for himself. Seyster stated that arrangements were being made to have this done immediately.





Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Friday, August 4, 1922

(From K. C. Journal-Post)

The spotlight of the world again is centered on Kansas.

A scientific discovery and the richest helium containing gas field in the world, a combination which promises to make dreams of American inter-city travel by dirigible and even privately owned airships a reality, rather than freak laws and queer political pranks, this time is drawing the attention of the entire nation and Europe to the Sunflower state.

For it was Hamilton P. Cady, professor in chemistry at the University of Kansas, that first identified helium gas as a part of the natural gas of the Midcontinent field, and as a war service he and David F. McFarland and other associates perfected a commercial method of extracting the helium at a cost that is not prohibitive even for the man of average means to use.

Natural gas bearing the largest helium content of any field in the world is now found at Dexter, in Cowley County, Kansas, a little more than 200 miles from Kansas City.

The value of helium gas lies in the virtue that it will not ignite save under an enormously high temperature, which makes it valuable for use in balloons and dirigibles, since its use eliminates all possibility of explosion and renders the use of a gasoline motor, mounted directly under the gas bag, safe and practical.

Helium gas is considered a very rare product and not until recently was it discovered that the Dexter product was sufficient to be a factor in our national business affairs.

The story of helium is one of the romances of science. Probably nothing in the scientific world, except radium, compares with it in human interest. Helium is one of the best examples of a discovery in pure science that has wide commercial application.

Erection of a $1,000,000 plant at Dexter, with a capacity of 50,000 feet daily, has been announced by Kansas City and New York interests.

The only other plant in the United States formerly was in Fort Worth, Texas, which is operated by the United States government. The helium from this plant is used exclusively in army and navy dirigibles, and the scarcity of the gas in this field makes the cost of production too high for commercial use.

The first well was drilled near Dexter in 1903. After the gas was discovered, a sample was sent to the University of Kansas for analysis. In the analysis made by Prof. Cady and Prof. McFarland, it was discovered that the helium content of the gas was 1.82 percent. After the test was made, Prof. Cady procured samples from all the gas fields of Kansas. The Dexter sample contained the larger percentage of helium than any of the other samples obtained in the state. Recent investigation showed that the Dexter field contains the largest amount of helium of any field in the world.

Helium gas was never in great demand until the United States entered the world war. In 1917 an experimental station was built by the government at Fort Worth. This plant grew to be a very large station, and at the time the armistice was signed had shipped 150,000,000 feet of helium gas in steel containers to England.

Geological investigations demonstrated the possibility of supplying helium from natural gas.

The first flight of an airship filled with helium gas took place on December 16, 1921, when the C-7 blimp of the United States navy sailed over the capitol at Washington. A ship of that size requires 180,000 cubic feet of helium. During the war the cost of enough gas to fill the ship would have been $350,000. The cost of filling the same size balloon under present conditions would not be more than $18,000 as helium is now extracted at a cost of about 10 cents a cubic foot.

Pure helium has about 93 percent the lifting power of hydrogen. Helium diffuses through a fabric at approximately 75 percent of the rate of hydrogen.

The process of separating helium from natural gas is one of refrigeration. The refrigeration of the gases reduces all of the other gases except helium to a liquid.

A disaster such as happened to the Roma at Hampton Roads, early in February, in which thirty-four lives were lost, could have been prevented had the bag been filled with helium, according to a report made Wednesday by the investigating committee of the war department.

If the Germans had been able to use helium to inflate their Zeppelins, the story of the world war might have been different. From experience gained in the defense of London, it was learned that the dirigible was vulnerable against a well-organized attack. The Germans too recognized this point and invariably made attacks on England at night, operating from a high altitude in order to minimize the attacks from airplanes, as a single incendiary bullet fired into a dirigible inflated with hydrogen would quickly bring the ship down in flames. The inflammability of the hydrogen was the one weak point in this method of attack.

The constant fear of a swift and terrible death had its effect also on the operating crews, lessening their efficiency.

The non-inflammability of helium also makes it possible to place the engines in the framework of the dirigible, giving greater control of the craft and increased speed.

The formation of inter-city and interstate passenger and freight carrying dirigible services are expected to be made soon after the commercial plant at Dexter is in operation. The low price of helium as compared with the cost of hydrogen, which the passenger-carrying dirigibles of Europe use, is expected to make air passenger and freight traffic on a large scale much more successful in this country than in Europe. The minimizing of danger will be the largest factor in the promotion of an American air travel line.

A privately owned dirigible with a small motor and comparatively small gas bag is not out of the realm of possibility since the discovery of helium in quantities.

And all of this the world owes to Kansas and a Kansas man.




In connection with the story published yesterday by the Traveler on the proposed helium gas plant at Dexter, the Traveler has received the following information from Charles E. Rador, attorney, Kansas City, Missouri.

"For your information we wish to inform you that the organization of the Dexter Helium Company of America, at Dexter, Kansas, is completed and the declaration of trust filed for record in Jackson County, Missouri. Furthermore, we are pleased to inform you that we have completed an underwriting agreement for the securities of the corporation to provide funds to carry out its plans.

"A New York broker, who is interested in this underwriting agreement, is now in Kansas City; and a representative of oil interest in Tulsa has joined the underwriting so that mid-west investors will have the same opportunity as eastern investors to join in the enterprise.

"As a matter of further interest, Martin W. Baden, a geologist of Winfield, Kansas, is in Kansas City and has been engaged by the Dexter Helium Company of America as its geologist. Mr. Baden has just completed a temporary and very favorable report concerning the holdings of the company, which are known to contain the richest helium gas bearing sands in the world today according to Kansas and national geologists."