December 24, 1893 - the drillers who were hunting for natural gas had only enough coal on hand to run another twelve hours when they struck gas. It turned out to be a good strike. At open flow, production reached up to 4,000,000 cubic feet per day.
November 1, 1898 - Allen County is to have a new town. It is located on the Missouri Pacific Railroad midway between Iola and La Harpe and will be known as Gas City. E.K. Taylor platted 100 acres into 50' X 140' residential lots with 15 foot alleys and 25' X 140' business lots with 15 foot alleys. The streets are nearly all graded and everything is ready for the erection of buildings.
December 10, 1898 - The first day on which the lots started selling. The lots will continue to sale for one week, after which none will be sold again for thirty days. Terms of sale: One-half cash, and the balance at 8 per cent.
July 31, 1899 - Application for a post office returned with the request from the Department that the "city" part of the name be dropped. E.K. Taylor reluctantly agreed, thus becoming just "Gas".
The following June, the Palmer Oil and Gas Company of Fostoria, Ohio leased several thousand acres, sank a number of wells and produced up to 14 million cubic feet per day. This field developed rapidly, finally measuring roughly eight miles long by four miles wide. In 1904, a new field was discovered to the north and in 1906 a third was discovered to the west of the north field, the biggest of all.
In 1907, the boom was at it's height, and a total of nine smelters had been induced to move here. One of them was the biggest in the United States, producing 60% of the nation's Zinc, and 40% of the world's Zinc. It processed the only Zinc rolling mill and Sulfuric Acid plant west of the Mississippi River. The Zinc industry centered in Allen County and employed 2,300 men with an annual payroll of $1,500,000. Today we still have waste land scarred by the Sulfuric Acid plant. Some vegetation is just beginning to be seen on this land.
An inexhaustible supply! The gas supply was thought to be inexhaustible. Rates were:
Cook Stove in Private Home - $1.00 per month
Heating Stoves (winter only) - $1.00 per month.
First 2 gas lights in a home, the rate was $.05 cents per month, and $.05 cents for each additional light in the same house.
Production of natural gas finally worked up to an incredible amount of a billion feet per day. Late in 1907, the pressure began to fall. By the end of 1910, six of the nine smelters had shut down, two of the three brick plants had also closed as well as one of the cement plants. The inexhaustible natural gas supply was exhausted.
Today Gas is a third class city of 532 people. All of these people derive their income from sources other than natural gas.
Gas is located at 37°55'26N, 95°20'46W (37.923851, -95.346168). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 km² (0.8 mi²), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 556 people, 217 households, and 167 families residing in the city. The population density was 282.5/km² (735.0/mi²). There were 234 housing units at an average density of 118.9/km² (309.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.60% White, 0.18% African American, 1.26% Native American, 0.72% Asian, 0.18% from other races, and 3.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.16% of the population.
There were 217 households out of which 34.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.9% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.6% were non-families. 20.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 2.94.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 104.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,804, and the median income for a family was $38,942. Males had a median income of $25,104 versus $18,500 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,012. About 9.4% of families and 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.9% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.