Less than 5 years after oil was discovered in Lawrence County-------
Vincennes Morning Commercial September 30, 1910
Over 200 witnesses from Bridgeport and Lawrenceville
to Testify in the River Pollution Cases at Cairo
The federal government authorities, who for some time, past have been investigating, the pollution of the Embarras and Wabash rivers with oil, which is allowed to flow into these streams from the oilfields of Illinois, will have a hearing of the oil pollution cases against some of the large oil operators at Cairo, Illinois today, and no less than 200 witnesses from the vicinity of Lawrenceville and Bridgeport have been summoned to testify at the trial.
The pollution of these rivers has been going on ever since oil was first discovered in large quantities in Lawrence County, and much damage has been done both in the Embarras and in the Wabash below the mouth of the Embarras, especially to the government damn and locks just North of Mt. Carmel Illinois. Much complaint was lodged against the oil operators, and later the government authorities took up the matter and file several cases against the larger oil companies.
In time of high water this oil has covered the low lands and in many cases is said to have ruined growing crops.