American Well & Prospecting Company. Organized in Kansas in 1890 by Horace Greeley Johnston (1851-1930) of Ohio and Pennsylvania native Charles Rittersbacher (1857-1919). This company began as a water well drilling business. In 1891 the partners moved to Texas and began drilling in Corsicana. In 1894, while drilling on S. 12th street, they struck crude oil, which led to the discovery of the Corsicana oil field. The firm began making and distributing rotary drilling equipment in 1900. Converted to a munitions plant in World War II, the business was sold to Bethlehem Steel and operated at this site until 1959. (1982) #8728