On the fourth anniversary of the Macondo oil spill on April 20, 2010, it’s fitting to recall another historic out-of-control well in the early days of the oil patch: Oklahoma’s Wild Mary Sudik.
The well was named for a real woman who by all accounts was a humble and sensible human being. “Wild” described not the woman, but the well that blew out on her property on March 26, 1930 and flowed for 11 days before it was capped.
Wikipedia, using historical and newspaper accounts, including those of the Oklahoma Historical Society, called the real Mary “modest.” It said she and her husband Vincent were Czech immigrants who bought a 160-acre dairy farm in 1904 and expanded it in 1924 to encompass the site of the future wild well. Because Mary signed the well lease first, wells on the property were named for her.