The year 1903 marked the first gas well in Rush County and the beginning of oil and natural gas expedition in the area. The well reached a depth of 2,000 and was located at the northern edge of the city of Bison. A quarter of a century later, explorers discovered shale rock saturated with natural gas just south of the city of Otis. This finding led to the production of 50 oil and gas wells and a boost in the local economy’s activity and income. Adding to the success of oil and natural gas in Rush County was the discovery of “wonder mud” in the small town of McCracken in 1939, which was heavily used throughout the industry by drilling engineers.
As of April 2014, Rush County produced 37,916 barrels of oil and 33,614 mcf of natural gas. In addition, 3,179 registered wells are present and active within the county.