the turn of the 20th century the American public dubbed young Guy
Finley the "Boy with the X-Ray Eyes" but it was a name foisted upon
him and not one that he chose. The gift that earned him the tag was,
to him, something unseen, an invisible means of sensing something
that can't be seen with the naked eye.
Finley was about 9 or 10 years old when he told his father, Joel Finley,
that he could tell where water was located underground just by walking
over that ground. Joel Finley was a practical and open-minded father
so he took his son at his word.
"Well son, we'll try and see if you can do it," the elder Finley said
to Guy. "Show me where the water is and I will dig a well. We can
always use a new well."
This occurred in the arid ranching country around Bandera
a place where ranchers like Joel Finley are usually willing to at
least listen to anything that might produce water. In this case, taking
his son for his word proved fortuitous because water was found right
where Guy Finley said it would be, and at a shallow depth too.
1965, when Finley was 76 years old, Dallas Morning News columnist
Frank X. Tolbert interviewed Finley. He told Tolbert that news of
his gift had spread like wildfire through the ranch country.
"I went north of Del
Rio and located three wells for a fellow named Guy Strickland,"
Finley said. "He got water right at first in two of the wells. And
he had faith enough in me to investigate and find that the third hole
was a little crooked. He put in a shock, straightened it out, and
got plenty of water.
"My father and brother had a ranch out near Sanderson
in the Big Bend. This was very dry country. I located a well and told
them that somewhere around 60 feet they would find water. I think
they hit water at 62 feet."
Guy Finley's brother, G.B. Finley, drew up contracts and charged around
$500 to customers if water was found. That's when the name "The Boy
with the X-Ray Eyes" was coined. The true believers claimed that he
could see right through the ground but always said his gift was more
of a feeling than any kind of Superman-type x-ray vision.
Later, when Guy was courting his future wife, the former Alma Margaret
Wilson of Bandera,
the Wilsons were forced to haul water from the Medina River to supply
their Bandera County
ranch. Guy Finley politely suggested to his future father-in-law that
he dig a well at a certain spot, where he would find water at about
Mr. Wilson was more skeptical than Finley's father had been so he
had Finley dig the well himself; he found water at about six feet.
Mr. Wilson commented, "All these years we've been hauling water, and
yet it was running right under our feet all the time."
In 1901, the mother of all Texas oil fields, Spindletop,
came in, and an oil company was organized at Uvalde.
Finley, a sixth grader at the time, was taken to Spindletop
to see if he could find oil on the Uvalde Oil Company's leases.
The oilmen secretly buried a barrel of water at one spot and a barrel
of oil at another and took the youngster out in the field on a dark
and moonless night. Records in the archives at the University of Texas
show that Finley told the company to drill at one end of the lease
but, for whatever reason, they drilled at the other end and hit a
dry hole. A gusher later came in at the sight Finley had picked, but
a different oil company was the beneficiary of that strike.
The gift that so marked Guy Finley's childhood began to desert him
about the time he got involved in the oil business. "It was a gift
that was given to me to give to other people," he told Tolbert. "I
started losing this power after my family commenced commercializing
on my gift. I think the commercialization of my gift is what ruined
it. It has been somewhat restored at times since I quit charging.
But I've never again commercialized my gift."
Wonderful Boy of Uvalde County by Mike Cox
Ancient Art of Dowsing by C. F. Eckhardt
In the search for water, minerals, and many other things, there
is nothing quite as controversial as the practice of dowsing, whether
it be with a forked willow or peach switch, the 'Spanish rods,'
or any number of other devices. There are two things you can say
for certain about dowsing... more
For Graves & Witching For Water by Dana Goolsby
producers, grandmas make miracles by Delbert Trew
Of all the strange, weird and confusing bits of history, none quite
compare with rain dancers, water witchers and grandmas. Each could
perform miracles if the sign was right, a fresh peach tree twig
was used or the malady could be cured with Castor Oil or Black Draught