University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The History Collection

Page View

United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the years 1921-1932

Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs to the Secretary of the Interior for the fiscal year ended June 2, 1921,   pp. [1]-69 ff. PDF (26.8 MB)

Page 17

the authority theretofore granted the superintendent to execute oil 
and gas mining leases on their lands, and the leasing of such lands 
has been suspended pending authorization by the Indians in council 
Three oil and gas leases, covering 14,363.87 acres of land in the 
Blackfeet Reservation, Mont.. were approved. Oil has not been dis- 
covered on the reservation, but as the leases provide for immediate 
drilling operations the value of the lands for oil and gas purposes 
will be determined. 
One hundred and sixty-six oil and gas leases, covering 13,803.43 
acres of land in the Kiowa Reservation in Oklahoma, were sold. The 
amounts realized from bonus and-advance royalties were $135,216.12 
and $2,058.77 respectively. The average bonus per acre was $9.80. 
On November 18, 1920, the 4,800 acreage limitation as applied to 
the Indian reservations in the State of Oklahoma, exclusive of the 
Five Civilized Tribes, Osage Nation, and Kiowa Reservation, was 
modified so as to permit a lessee to thereafter acquire oil and gas 
leases on a total of 9,600 acres of restricted land. The modification 
of this rule enabled all those holding the maximum acreage to obtain 
additional leases, resulting in increased income to the Indians de- 
rived from payments of bonus and royalties. The depression in the 
oil industry, following the drop in price of crude oil, commencing 
about January 1, 1921, and the consequent curtailment of new opera- 
tions, reduced the income from this source to an appreciable extent. 
Oil development on the ceded portion of the Shoshone Indian 
Reservation in Wyoming has not heretofore progressed satisfactorily, 
due to lack of transportation facilities and pipe lines and litigation 
instituted by F. Chatterton and associates of Riverton, Wyo., against 
various lessees of departmental oil and gas leases. A compromise set- 
tlement was made whereby Mr. Chatterton and associates dismissed 
the suits and waived all rights in and to the lands embraced in said 
suits, in consideration of which a lease was executed in favor of Mr. 
Chatterton covering 2,400 acres of land within the ceded portion of 
the reservation, which lease, in addition to the usual rents and royal- 
ties, provided for the payment of $72,000 bonus and extensive drill- 
ing operations. Due to the settlement of this troublesome litigation 
which has been holding back development in this field and the fact 
that large capital has become interested in the lands, conditions 
should materially improve during the coming year. 
Development of the oil and gas resources in the Osage Indian 
Reservation, Okla., during the fiscal year 1921 has been rapid, not- 
withstanding a scarcity of materials necessary to carry on drilling 
operations and other unfavorable conditions affecting the oil indus- 
try. It is estimated that during the calendar year 1920 Osage County 
produced more oil than any other county in the United States. In 
the early part of the calendar year 1921 the discovery was made of 
what is known as the Burbank pool on the west side of the reserva- 
tion, where very little development work had heretofore been done. 
This new field already has more than 35 oil wells producing oil in 
large quantities. 
Two sales of oil leases were held during the fiscal year-one on 
October 12, 1920, and the other on June 14, 1921. Approximately 

Go up to Top of Page