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Across the Fence: The hand dug well
May 16, 2013 M. Timothy Nolting   

Photo: Early horse powered well drilling machine located at the Texas Trail Museum in Pine Bluffs, Wyo., donated by the Gardner and Moritz brothers. Photo by M. Timothy Nolting

Early pioneers to Nebraska, Kansas and all other regions of the west, where live streams and rivers or natural springs were miles away, usually dug a well for ready access to water. The digging was a long, tedious and dangerous undertaking that could consume months to complete. Well digging was usually done during ‘free’ time, that is, time when settlers were not building homes or barns or fences or were not turning the sod, planting or harvestin...

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