Page 824-825, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


Ed C. Varner, one of the most conspicuous men in the development of the Augusta gas and oil field, is a native of Illinois. He was born in Jackson county in 1867, and is a son of Jesse V. and Olive (Orr) Varner. The father was a native of Washington county, Ohio, born in 1828, and a son of Joseph and Martha (Drumm) Varner, natives of Ohio. He died in 1904. The mother, Olive Orr, was a native of Mahoning county, born in 1837, a daughter of Russell and Eleanor (Winans) Orr. She is one of Butler county's pioneer women and now resides in Augusta.

Ed C. Varner came to Kansas with his parents when a boy eleven years of age. He received his education in the public schools of Illinois and in Butler county after coming here. He was reared on his father's farm and as a boy became familiar with general farming methods and stock raising. He began farming on his own account in 1891, and in 1894 bought a farm, upon which he has lived for eleven years. In the fall of 1902, he bought the northeast quarter of section 17, Walnut township, for which the paid $2,600. He bought the place from Merle Karnahan and here he engaged in general farming and stock raising, and by his industry and good business judgment has met with success and profited.[sic]

While Mr. Varner was more successful as a farmer and stock raiser than the average man, his real success, which made his name familiar to the oil producing world from one end of the country to the other, came with the development of the Augusta field, which today is the mecca of the oil investors and producers of the country.

Mr. Varner owns 285 acres within the oil belt, and the first gas well brought in on his place was on April 28, 1914. and there are now five good producing gas wells, besides several offsets. The first oil well brought in on Mr. Varners place was on July 12, 1915, and there are now ten producing oil wells, some of the best in the country, located on his property. The last one brought in was on May 24, 1916, and as a producer far excels any well in the district up to date. The most con-


servative estimate of the production of this well places it at 7,000 barrels per day.

Ed Varner's brother, Frank, is also a large land owner in the Augusta oil and gas district, owning 277 acres upon which there are now ten good producing oil wells, and in all fairness to the Varner brothers, and to others interested in the Augusta oil fields, it can be said that the Varner brothers were prominent factors in bringing about the deep tests in this district, which have been so prolific in production to date. The original intention of the operators of this district seemed to contemplate gas production only, but Ed and Frank Varner insist that deeper tests should be made than those contemplated before leasing their properties. The world knows the result.

Ed C. Varner was united in marriage at Augusta, September 23, 1894, to Miss Ona Carr,, daughter of D. M. and Nancy (Dobbins) Carr, both deceased. The Carr family located at Augusta in 1882. To Mr. and Mrs. Varner have been born five children, as follows: Ethel, was graduated from the Augusta High School in the class of 1916; Ralph, a student in the Augusta High School, and member of the class of 1917; Chester, in his second year in the Augusta High School; Cecil, a student in the grade school of Augusta, and Velma.

Mr. Varner is a conscientious man, and his business methods have always been straightforward and candid, and he has the absolute confidence of his fellowmen with whom he has had dealings, and the friendship and well wishes of his many old friends and acquaintances.

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