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Illinois
Coal & Coal Mining
History & Genealogy

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Douglas County, Illinois
Featuring Coal Mining
      Douglas County is a county located in the central part of the state of Illinois.
            39.77° N, 88.22° W
As of 2000, the population was 19,922 and in 2010 the population was 19,980.
The county seat is Tuscola, Illinois.
Douglas County was formed in 1859 out of Coles County, and was named for Stephen A. Douglas.
      Douglas County has nine townships:
            Arcola, Bourbon, Bowdre, Camargo, Garrett, Murdock, Newman, Sargent, Tuscola
      Some of the cities, towns, villages and communities are :
Arcola, Arthur (east half), Atwood (east half), Camargo, Garrett, Hindsboro, Hugo, Newman, Tuscola, Villa Grove
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Coal Mines Fatalities
Reference Sources

Douglas County, Illinois
Coal Mines

Murdock Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    Douglas County - Murdock,
Township 16 North, Range 10 East, Section 34
A Shaft Mine at a depth of 207 feet with a coal seam of 7 feet in thickness.
possibly an error, but this is listed as being 365 feet deep in the 1947 Coal Report2
Mine Name Operated By Years
Murdock Coal Mine   Bell & Zoller Coal Mining Company   1946
Murdock Coal Mine   Bell & Zoller Coal Company   1947
Murdock Coal Mine   Bell & Zoller Coal Mining Company   1948 - 1952
Murdock Coal Mine   Bell & Zoller Coal Company   1953 - 1954
Murdock Coal Mine   Moffat Coal Company   1955 - 1970
Murdock Coal Mine
Zeigler Coal Mine No. 1
  Zeigler Coal Company   1971 - 1991
Notes
A Slope Mine at a depth of 180 feet with a coal seam of 7 feet in thickness. 1973 - 1976
A Shaft & Slope Mine at a depth of 180 feet with a coal seam of 7 feet in thickness. 1977 - 1980
A Slope Mine at a depth of 220 feet with a coal seam of 7 feet in thickness. 1981 - 1985
[Sources - Nos. 1 through 37, 38 Index #666]

Zeigler Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    Douglas County - Murdock,
Township 16 North, Range 10 East, Section 28
A Shaft Mine at a depth of 215 feet with a coal seam of 7 feet in thickness.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Zeigler Coal Mine No. 5
Murdock Coal Mine No. 5
  Zeigler Coal Company   1973 - 1987
Notes
A Slope Mine at a depth of 215 feet with a coal seam of 7 feet in thickness. 1975
A Shaft & Slope Mine at a depth of 215 feet with a coal seam of 7 feet in thickness. 1976 - 1980
A Slope Mine at a depth of 215 feet with a coal seam of 7 feet in thickness. 1981 - 1985
[Sources - Nos. 26 through 37, 38 Index #954]

Douglas County, Illinois
Coal Mine Fatalities

Spelling of names is as they are reported in the State of Illinois records.
CULLEY
June 12, 196821. Mr. Earl Culley, of Newman, age 52, married, two dependent children, was injured June 7, 1968, at approximately 4:45 a.m., while performing his duties as a laborer at the Moffat Coal Company, Murdock Mine, located at Murdock, Douglas County, Illinois, where he had been employed for 17 years.
      Mr. Culley and Mr. Rhodes were using the Long Airdox Bolting Machine, pinning the sixth crosscut left in the fifth main north off of fourth main west entry. It was the first cut out of the crosscut and they were installing the first row of bolts, which required five bolts, in line with the left rib of fifth main north. They had each installed two four foot bolts. Mr. Culley was drilling the hole for the fifth and Mr. Rhodes was making up the pin and was walking around the back of the machine to give Mr. Cully the bolt. At the back of the machine he saw Mr. Culley lower the boom at full rotation and was aware of what was about to happen. He called out to warn him but was too late. The drill steel hit him above the left ear knocking him down. Mr. Rhodes shut the switch off at the machine and went for help in the adjoining place. First aid was administered at the scene. Doctor and ambulance were on top at 5:00 a.m. and attended the injured at 5:05 a.m. He was taken to Mercy Hospital at 5:20 a.m., in Champaign, Illinois. Arriving at 6:20 a.m., he was in surgery five and one half hours. He came to his death at 10:45 p.m., on June 12, 1968.
 
JENKINS
April 29, 195610, Mr. David Jenkins, of Westville, age 55, married, no dependent children, died of injuries received April 28, 1956, at 9:20 A. M. at the Moffat Coal Co., Murdock Mine, Murdock, Douglas County, Illinois, at 9:25 P. M. April 29, 1956. He was employed as a motorman.
      The deceased, Mr. David Jenkins, was taking 14 loaded cars out. His buddy said that when he started over the grade on the east haulage road, they saw some lost loads on the track about 200 feet ahead. Mr. Jenkins tried to stop the trip but was unable to do so. When they got close to the lost loads, the trip rider jumped and was immediately followed by Mr. Jenkins. In some manner Mr. Jenkins was caught under the wheels of his trip, causing injuries which resulted in his death. There were from 3 to 5 feet of clearance on each side of the track. There seems to be a tendency for the "he and she" hitching to pull loose at this point.
 
KURFIRST
December 26, 198033. Mr. Donald D. Kurfirst, of Clinton, Indiana, age 40, married, two dependents, was fatally injured by flying rock or coal at approximately 5:15 P.M., Thursday, December 18, 1980, while in the performance of his duties as General Inside Laborer at Zeigler Coal Company, Mine No. 5, Murdock, Douglas County, Illinois.
      Jeff Ward and Donald Kurfirst were working in a crosscut between the No. 3 Entry and No. 4 Entry of the No. 2 Unit shooting coal. Several holes were loaded and fired on the left side of the No. 3 Entry when a piece of coal flew from the crosscut, hitting Donald Kurfirst in the back of the head. Mr. Kurfirst was administred first aid at the scene and was then taken to the surface where an ambulance was waiting. Donald Kurfirst died at the hospital on December 26, 1980, due to injuries suffered on December 18, 1980.
 
PLUMLEE
May 22, 197326, Mr. Harold L. Plumlee, of Herrin, age 34, married, 3 dependent children came to his death at 2:10 p.m. on May 22, 1973, from a roof fall while in the performance of his duties as the manager of Zeto Industries at the Zeigler Coal Co., Mine #5, Murdock, Douglas County, Illinois. The mine was under construction at the time of this accident.
      On May 22, 1973 a continuous miner was being operated in the face of the slope entry at the Zeigler No. 5 mine. Approximately 6 feet in the face had been mined and the operators were having difficulty crossing over a permanent cement sump. Mr. Grounds, Assistant Maintenance Superintendent, gave orders to back the mining machine up and put bridge boards across the sump for better traction. After the continuous miner was moved back Mr. Grounds examined the roof and thought it to be safe. Mr. Deknudt, Mine Examiner, stated that he had examined the roof and made tests for gas 10 minutes prior to the accident and in his opinion the roof was safe. Mr. Plumlee, Mr. Grounds, and Mr. Stearns got a bridge board and laid it across the sump. Mr. Plumlee got a shovel and was moving loose coal so the bridge board could be put in place, when the roof fell and killed him.
      Mr. Grounds and Mr. Wisely, Maintenance Superintendent, moved the rock off of the victim and moved him back in the clear, gave him mouth to mouth resuscitation for 10 minutes, then took him to the surface. At 2:28 p.m. Dr. M. Johnson pronounced him dead, and he was then taken to Joins Funeral Home in Newman, Illinois.
 
WILSON
September 29, 195811, Mr. Francis Burl Wilson, of Georgetown, employed as a repairman, was killed at the Moffat Coal Company, Murdock Mine, Murdock, Douglas County, Illinois, on September 29, 1958, at 1:10 p.m. Mr. Wilson was 54 years old and is survived by his widow. He had five years experience at this mine.
      The deceased and his buddy, both repairmen, were changing a set of trucks on a 10-ton locomotive. They had raised one end and had cribbed it up with 4 x 6 timbers. The end on which they were changing trucks was jacked up and a 5 foot long 80-lb. rail was put under it supported by similar timbers. The defective trucks had been removed and good ones were substituted. The men had a crib on top of the locomotive and were going to raise the trucks in place with a hoist. As there was some interference, the deceased got under the locomotive and called to his buddy to raise the truck a couple of notches. When it was raised one notch, the supporting rail broke and the locomotive fell, killing Mr. Wilson instantly.
 

Sources :
1 Sixty Fifth Coal Report of Illinois, 1946
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

2 Sixty Sixth Coal Report of Illinois, 1947
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

3 Sixty-seventh Coal Report of Illinois, 1948
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

4 Sixty-eighth Coal Report of Illinois, 1949
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

5 Sixty-ninth Coal Report of Illinois, 1950
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

6 Seventieth Coal Report of Illinois, 1951
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

7 Seventy-first Coal Report of Illinois, 1952
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

8 Seventy-second Coal Report of Illinois, 1953
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

9 Seventy-fourth Coal Report of Illinois, 1955
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

10 Seventy-fifth Coal Report of Illinois, 1956
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

11 Seventy-seventh Coal Report of Illinois, 1958
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

12 Seventy-Eighth Coal Report of Illinois, 1959
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

13 Seventy-Ninth Coal Report of Illinois, 1960
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

14 Eightieth Coal Report of Illinois, 1961
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

15 Eighty-First Coal Report of Illinois, 1962
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

16 Eighty-Second Coal Report of Illinois, 1963
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

17 Eighty-Third Coal Report of Illinois, 1964
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

18 Eighty-Fourth Coal Report of Illinois, 1965
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

19 Eighty-Fifth Coal Report of Illinois, 1966
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

20 Eighty-Sixth Coal Report of Illinois, 1967
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

21 Eighty-Seventh Coal Report of Illinois, 1968
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

22 Eighty-Eighth Coal Report of Illinois, 1969
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

23 Eighty-Ninth Coal Report of Illinois, 1970
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

24 Ninetieth Coal Report of Illinois, 1971
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

25 Ninety-first Coal Report of Illinois, 1972
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

26 Ninety-second Coal Report of Illinois, 1973
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

27 Ninety-Third Coal Report of Illinois, 1974
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

28 Ninety-fourth Coal Report of Illinois, 1975
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

29 Ninety-Fifth Coal Report of Illinois, 1976
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

30 Ninety-sixth Coal Report of Illinois, 1977
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

31 Ninety-Seventh Coal Report of Illinois, 1978
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

32 Ninety-Eighth Coal Report of Illinois, 1979
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

33 Ninety-Ninth Coal Report of Illinois, 1980
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

34 One-Hundredth Coal Report of Illinois, 1981
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

35 One-Hundred-First Coal Report of Illinois, 1982
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

36 One-Hundred-Second Coal Report of Illinois, 1983
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

37 One-Hundred-Fourth Coal Report of Illinois, 1985
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

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


Coal & Coal Mining in Illinois

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