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Illinois
Coal & Coal Mining
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Adams County, Illinois

Featuring Coal Mining
 
      Adams County is a county located in the central part of the state of Illinois.       39.99° N, 91.19° W
and is also the westernmost county of the State.
      Adams County was formed in 1825 out of Pike County and named in honor of the sixth President of the United States, John Quincy Adams.
 
      The population was 68,277 in 2000 and 67,103 in 2010.
 
      The county seat of Adams County, Illinois is Quincy.
 
      There are twenty-three townships in Adams County, Illinois.:
Beverly, Burton, Camp Point, Clayton, Columbus, Concord, Ellington, Fall Creek,
Gilmer, Honey Creek, Houston, Keene, Liberty, Lima, McKee, Melrose, Mendon,
Northeast, Payson, Quincy, Richfield, Riverside, Ursa
 
      Some of the Cities, Towns, & Villages are :
Camp Point, Clayton, Coatsburg, Columbus, Golden, La Prairie, Liberty,
Lima, Loraine, Mendon, Payson, Plainville, Quincy, Ursa
      along with the unincorporated Villages of :
Beverly, Bigneck, Burton, Fall Creek, Fowler, Hickory Grove, Kellerville,
Kingston [ 2 villages in Illinois share this name ], Marblehead, Marcelline, Meyer,
North Quincy, Paloma, Richfield,
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Coal related History of Adams County, Illinois in 1879 1

      The coal shaft at Coatsburg penetrated the thickest bed of drift that has, perhaps, been found in this county.
 
      At Camp Point, a few miles east of Coatsburg, the Quaternary beds were all penetrated in sinking a tank well at the railroad station. They were here only sixty feet in thickness, but no note was made of the character of the different beds passed through. Probably the lower beds of stratified clays and the ancient soil above them, were not found here, and the beds passed through were only the surface soil and sub-soil and the true Drift deposits. From the soft and yielding character of the beds, a satisfactory natural section of them is rarely met with, and it is only when they have been penetrated in sinking coal shafts, wells, and other artificial excavations, that a correct section of the whole series can be seen.
 
      The middle coal seam in the above section ( No. 2) is the most regular in its development and furnishes altogether the best coal in the county. It out-crops on the south fork of Bear creek, and is worked by Mr. Ferguson, on the northeast quarter of section 17, township 1, north, range 6 west. The coal at this point ranges from two to three feet in thickness, and is of good quality, being generally quite free from the bi-sulphuret of iron. The roof is a bluish clay shale of which about fifteen feet in thickness is exposed at the mine, above which there is a thin seam of bituminous shale and soft coal, indicating the horizon of another coal seam which has been opened on another branch of the cut about a half a mile southeast of Ferguson's mine.
 
      The coal on this upper seam which we refer to, No. 3, is only from eighteen to twenty inches in thickness and is full of iron pyrites at the only point where it has been opened in this vicinity. It is overlaid with about two feet of black slate, and by eighteen or twenty feet of sandstone.
 
      A mile and a half southwest of Ferguson's, on section 19, coal has been mined for several years by stripping the seam along the valley of a small creek, a tributary of Bear creek, but the mines are now abandoned. On Little Missouri creek, six miles northeast of Clayton, coal is dug in the same manner, by stripping the seam in the Creek valley. The seam is here is about twenty-eight inches thick and the coal is of good quality. This is on section 12, township 1 north, range 5 west, on the southeast quarter of section 12, township 2 north, range 5 west; this seam has been worked on Cedar creek. The coal here is about thirty inches thick and is underlaid by white fire clay and overlaid by fifteen or twenty feet of clay shale.
 
      On the southwest quarter of section 34, township 1 north, range 5 west, about a mile southwest of Clayton, a thin seam of coal was opened in the early settlement of this part of the county where the coal outcrops on a small branch of McGee's creek. The coal was found to be only from fourteen to sixteen inches thick and was overlaid by four feet of black shale which contained a few fossil shells, among which were Discina nitida and an Aviculopecten. This is perhaps coal No. 3 of the above section. On the northeast quarter of section 36, township 2 north, range 8 west, coal was dug at an early day on Mr. Higby's land. The coal was found here in the bed of a small creek with no exposure of the bed associated with it, and was mined by stripping the seam of the overlying soil and clay. It was said to be from two to three feet in thickness with six inches of blue shale and about a foot of black shale above it. The coal was rather poor in quality, and was probably an outlier of No. 1. The coal was underlaid by sandstone which was exposed near by and half a mile southwest of this point, the concretionary limestone of the St. Louis group was found in situ.
 
      South of Clayton the country becomes quite rolling and hilly, but the ravines seldom expose the bed rock, and no coal is found outcropping though it probably underlies most of the surface north of McGee's creek. After crossing the creek at Hughes' Ford, coal is found in the bluff on the south side, section 28, township 2 south, range 5 west; while below it are outcrops of the St. Louis and Keokuk limestones, the latter forming the bed rock in the creek valley. The coal seam has been opened by Mr. Luke Snow at two points; one in the face of the bluff, where a tunnel has been commenced, and the other on a small stream still further south, where the seam has been worked in an open trench on the outcrop. The coal is here from eighteen to twenty inches thick, and is overlaid by about two feet of bituminous shale, above which about six feet of clay shale was seen. The beds immediately below the coal were not exposed, but we are inclined to regard this as an outcrop of the lower seam, No. 1. On the northeast quarter of section 31, township 2 south, range 5 west, there is an outcrop of coal that was known as Bassett's coal bank, and was worked at the time of our first visit to this part of the county, in 1853. The coal is here from sixteen to eighteen inches thick, and is overlaid by about two feet of black shale, containing numerous fossils, among which were a large
 
      On the southwest quarter of section 7, township 3 south, range 6 west, there is a similar outcrop of coal and bituminous shale, the latter containing the same fossils as Bassett's. South of Liberty and west of Kingston, coal outcrops at various localities on the head waters of McDonald's creek; and before the construction of the C. B. & Q. Railroad the beds were worked quite extensively, and the coal hauled on wagons to supply the Quincy market. Since the construction of the railroad, however, coal can be more cheaply obtained from the mines in McDonough county, and those formerly worked in this part of the county have been generally abandoned. There is, however, a little coal still dug in this vicinity to supply the demands of the immediate neighborhood.
 
      The coal measures in the south part of this county, as in Pike, are quite irregular in their development, and seem to assume the character of outliers from the main coal field. North of Columbus the three lower seams are found in their regular order, although not all equally constant in their development. Coal No. 2, or the Colchester seam, is by far the most constant, and will probably be found underlying nearly all the townships 1 and 2 north, in ranges 5 and 6 west, in this county; and may be reached by shafts, at a depth varying from seventy-five to one hundred and fifty feet, according to the thickness of the Quaternary beds at the different points.
 
      At Camp Point, No. 2 was found at the depth of ninety feet, and at Coatsburg at one hundred and twenty-nine feet. Its general thickness is from two to two and a half feet, being the same here as in McDonough county. The quality of the coal is good, but the seam seldom has a good roof, and consequently requires considerable expenditure for cribbing where the mines are to be worked permanently. South of Columbus there is no development of coal in the county that would justify the expectation of its ever becoming a valuable mining region, though considerable coal may be found in the vicinity of Liberty and Kingston, extending south to the Pike county line, perhaps sufficient for the local supply of that part of the county for some years to come. Mill creek, on the western borders of this region, and McGhee's on the east, show continuous exposures throughout their whole course, of the lower carboniferous limestones that lie entirely below the coal measures, and clearly defined horizon, below which no workable coal seam has ever been found. These limestones may be reached anywhere over the coal field in this county at a depth of one to two hundred feet, and when reached a further search for coal, by going deeper, will only result in failure. In the northern part of the county the coal measures rest upon the St. Louis limestone, and hence the outcrop of this rock is a valuable guide in determining the boundary of the coal area; but in the southeastern part of the county this limestone is not found, and the coal measures rest upon a lower division of the lower carboniferous series, as they also do in Pike county; this has resulted from the erosion of the limestone strata before the coal epoch, by which the upper beds have been wholly or partially removed, allowing the coal measures to rest unconformably upon the lower divisions of the series. But whenever any division of this limestone series is reached in searching for coal it is entirely useless to extend the search below that horizon.
 
The Coal Trade.
      Three firms were engaged in the coal trade last year. The trade has grown to be an important business in the city, as the figures below show:
 
The Quincy Coal Company employ 250 men, and in twelve months brought to the city and disposed of about 3,000 cars of coal.
H. S. Osborn 1
President Quincy Coal Co. ; office : Front and Broadway
Residence : southeast corner 2d and Spring streets
Born in London in 1814
came to Rochester, N. Y., in 1834; thence to Pike county 0., in 1837; went into the milling business
came to Quincy in 1846, and erected the Eagle Mills
married Miss Sarah A. Carter in 1850
She was born in Morgan county, Ill., in 1848
They have two children : C. C. and H. C.
Are members of the Baptist Church. He is a Republican.
He took the management of the Quincy Coal Co. in August,

The Neelyville Company was in business from January up to November 1st, ten months. The firm had about seventy-five men employed, and brought to the city about 800 cars of soft coal, and 70 cars of hard coal. The total is estimated by the company at $35,000.
 
The Colchester Company gave employment to about eighty men, and ship to the city over 1,000 cars of coal a year.
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Early Coal Mine Operators Sources  
Manufacturing ~ Coal Mine related

Barringer Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    Adams County - Township 2 South, Range 6 West, Section 29
Strip Mine.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Barringer Coal Mine   Barringer Bros.   1924
[Source - No. 2, Index 715]

Liberty Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    Adams County - Township 2 South, Range 6 West, Section 28
Strip Mine.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Ferguson Coal Mine   Ira Ferguson   1925 - 1927
Liberty Coal Mine   Liberty Coal Company
Post Office address : Liberty
  1928
[Source - No. 2, Index 727]
 
J. Ira Ferguson, Liberty; in 19254

Schwartz Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    Adams County - Township 2 South , Range 5 West, Section 1
Strip Mine.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Schwartz Coal Mine   G. O. Schwartz   1936 - 1937
[Source - No. 2, Index 2002]
 
G.O. Schwartz, Camp Point; in 19367

Stauffer Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    Adams County - Township 3 South , Range 5 West
Strip Mine.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Stauffer Coal Mine   C. C. Stauffer   1938 - 1940
[Source - No. 2, Index 2003]
 
Stauffer Coal Company, Beverly; in 19389

Swartz Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    Adams County - Township 2 South , Range 5 West, Section 1
Strip Mine.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Swartz Coal Mine   O. H. Swartz   1935 - 1936
[Source - No. 2, Index 2001]

Triple S Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    Adams County - Township 2 North, Range 5 West, Section 12
Strip Mine.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Three Counties Coal Mine   Three Counties Coal Company   1941 - 1947
Triple S Coal Mine No. 2   Triple S Coal Company
David E. Rowland
  1947 - 1969
Triple S Coal Mine   Triple S Coal Company
D. E. Rowland
  1947 - 1969
Triple S Coal Mine
T 2 N, R5W, Section 13
  Triple S Coal Company   1947 - 1969
[Source - No. 2, Index 836]

Western Illinois Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    Adams County - Township 1 North , Range 5 West, Section 27
Strip Mine.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Western Illinois Coal Mine   Western Illinois Mining Corporation   1938 - 1940
[Source - No. 2, Index 2000]
 
Western Illinois Mining Corporation, Clayton; in 19389

Early Coal Mine Operators
Listed in the Annual Coal Reports
Dat is first year listed; Location is Post Office
A. P. Hollenbeak, Liberty; in 194111
W. G. Hollenbeak, Liberty; in 19389
J. H. Kennedy, Liberty; in 19265
Dan Lauterback, Camp Point; in 19183
John McClain, Camp Point; in 19183
E. A. Meyer Construction Co.; Quincy; in 19378
Roy E. Stauffer, Beverly; in 193910
George Tonrnear, Liberty; in 19265
Frank & John Totsch, Clayton; in 19346

Manufacturing ~ Coal Mine related
Hayton Pump Company advertisement
[ Colliery Engineer - July 1915 ]

Sources :
 
2 The History of Adams County, Illinois
                Murray, Williamson & Phelps; 85 Washington St.; Chicago; 1879

2 Coal Mines in Illinois, Adams County
                Illinois State Geological Survey, 615 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, IL. 61820

3 Thirty-Sixth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1918
                Department of Mines and Minerals       Illinois State Journal Co., Springfield, Illinois, 1918

4 Forty-Fifth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1925
                Department of Mines and Minerals       Illinois State Journal Co., Springfield, Illinois, 1926

5 Forty-Sixth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1926
                Department of Mines and Minerals       Illinois Printing Co., Danville, ILL., 1927

6 Fifty -Third Coal Report of Illinois, 1934
                Department of Mines and Minerals       Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

7 Fifty -Fifth Coal Report of Illinois, 1936
                Department of Mines and Minerals       Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

8 Fifty -Sixth Coal Report of Illinois, 1937
                Department of Mines and Minerals       Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

9 Fifty -Seventh Coal Report of Illinois, 1938
                Department of Mines and Minerals       Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

10 Fifty -Eighth Coal Report of Illinois, 1939
                Department of Mines and Minerals      Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

11 Sixtieth Coal Report of Illinois, 1941
                Department of Mines and Minerals       Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

 

Coal & Coal Mining in Illinois
 
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