In the autumn of 1920 the town of Holstein, in Ida County, began the drilling of a second deep well for its public water supply, the work being done by Thorpe Brothers of Des Moines. On March 29 of the present year (1923) Mr. George Thorpe called the office of the Geological Survey by phone from Holstein and told me that they were "up against a hard proposition," that they were able to drill only a few inches a day, and he asked me to go up there and advise them what to do. I went to Holstein the next day and examined the drillings from the bottom of the well. My inspection showed very quickly that the rock was a granite, for not only were the clear limpid grains of quartz in evidence but fragments of light pink feldspar were equally abundant and some fragments of dark ferromagnesian minerals also were present. The drill foreman gave me a chip about an inch square which he said had come from the bottom of the well and this corroborated the evidence of the cuttings. It is a light pinkish gray granite of very distinctive appearance. The drill had penetrated this granite for thirty feet. No wonder they were "up against a hard proposition"! The City Council was advised to stop drilling at once. It is, perhaps, needless to say that no water had been found in the granite.
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science
©1923 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Lees, James H.
"An Unusual Well Record in Northwestern Iowa,"
Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, 30(1), 445-450.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/pias/vol30/iss1/71