The first discovery of natural gas in Indiana occurred in 1876 in the town of Eaton. A company was drilling in search of coal, and when they had reaching a depth of six-hundred feet, there was a loud noise and foul smelling fumes began coming from the well. After a brief investigation, it was decided they had breached the ceiling of Hell, and the hole was quickly filled in. In 1884, when natural gas was discovered in nearby Ohio, people recalled the incident. They returned to the spot and opened Indiana's first natural gas well. The gas was so abundant and strong that when the well was lit, the flames could be see from Muncie.Hoosiers have always been a little off. Likewise, this entry for Kirksville, Missouri reminds me that surveyors have always been easily bought:
According to tradition, Jesse Kirk, Kirksville's first postmaster, shared a dinner of turkey and whiskey with surveyors working in the area on the condition that they would name the town after him. Not only the first postmaster, Kirk was also the first to own a hotel and a tavern in Kirksville (contrary to popular belief, the name of the city has no connection to John Kirk, onetime president of Truman State University). However, the grandson of Jesse Kirk reported that the town was named for Kirk’s son John, a figure of local legend credited with killing two deer with a single bullet. "Hopkinsville" was explained as a joking reference to the peculiar gait of John Kirk’s lame father-in-law, David Sloan; the jocular name was discarded when the village was selected for the seat of justice in Adair County.As I look things up on Wikipedia, I'm going to try to remember some of the stranger things I come across.