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Illinois
Coal & Coal Mining
History & Genealogy

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Moultrie County, Illinois
Featuring Coal Mining
      Moultrie County is a county located in the central part of the state of Illinois.
            39.64° N - 88.62° W
As of 2000, the population was 14,287.
The county seat of Moultrie County is Sullivan, Illinois.
 
      Moultrie County was formed in 1843 out of Shelby and Coles Counties.
It is named for South Carolina General, and later Governor, William Moultrie. General Moultrie defended Sullivan's Island, South Carolina from British attack in 1776. The site was later renamed Fort Moultrie.
 
      Moultrie County has seven townships :
            Dora, East Nelson, Jonathan Creek, Lovington, Lowe, Marrowbone, Sullivan, Whitley
Newspaper Articles       Fatalities       Non-Fatal Casualties       Sources

Lovington Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :
   Moultrie County - Township 15 North, Range 5 East, Section 27
Mine Name Operated By Years
Lovington Mine No. 1   Lovington Coal Company   1909 - 1925
[Source - No. 1, Index 336]

1909 Annual Coal Report2
       The Lovington Coal Company of Lovington in Moultrie county, which has had one of the hardest struggles in mining history in this State, succeeded in getting a shaft to the large coal seam in that county; at a depth of 912 feet they have found a 9 foot seam of coal, and from the geological formations, I am of the opinion that the seam is No. 6. This company has been working for something over five years to get this mine down and have ex-pended about three hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($350,000) in the enterprise, and when completed, according to the plans it will cost a half million dollars.
       Too much praise cannot be given to this combination of men, for the completion of this mine, and especial honor is due Mr. Robert Campbell, the general manager for overcoming that which very often looked like an unsurmountable difficulty. A complete description of this mine will be given in the next report, at which time this mine will be complete.
 
1910 Annual Coal Report3
Abandoned Mines.
       The Lovington Coal Company at Lovington, Moultrie county, was closed by my order October 20. 1909, on account of not having the escapement shaft down in the time specified by law. I allowed the employment of a sufficient number of men to supply coal for steam purposes at the mine. The company is going ahead with the sinking of the escape shaft and will soon have it completed.
 
1929 Annual Coal Report6
Mines Not Operated -        Lovington Coal Company
 
1930 Annual Coal Report7
Idle Mines -        Lovington Coal Company
 
1931 Annual Coal Report8
Idle Mines -        Lovington Coal Company
 

 

Newspaper Articles

courtesy of Greg Hamblin, & the Moultrie County, Illinois ILGenWeb
1900
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Decatur Daily Review, December 8, 1900
New Coal Shaft
       Lovington Reporter: Work on the prospective coal shaft goes steadily on. Yesterday afternoon the drill was down 720 feet and the work will continue until they get down 1000 if a paying vein is not struck in the meantime. The promoters are still sanguine of success and the farther down the hole gets the more intense is the interest in the project. Several light veins of coal have been struck. These have ranged in thickness from four to twenty-five inches. At the depth of 550 a strong vein of salt was struck and salt water pushed out of the hole for several hours. A pint of the water was boiled down and several tablespoonsful of salt was obtained The cores are all being preserved and when the work is completed we will know just what kind of foundation we are resting upon.
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1902
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Decatur Herald, March 11, 1902
TRYING TO BOOM IT
The Lovington Mine Project was Almost Forgotten
       An effort is under way to put new life in the coal mine project at Lovington. Many months ago a prospect bore was made and a vein of coal tapped. This vein was nine feet thick and an analysis demonstrated that it was of fine quality. The promoters secured free of charge coal rights beneath 5000 acres of land. Some little attention was given to the organization of a company, but it lagged and finally nothing was heard of it. Now the project is being revived. Wednesday night a crowd of Lovington folks went to Sullivan on a special train to hear speeches on the benefits that might be derived if the shaft was sunk. The Lovington people have subscribed for stock to the value of $40,000 and the wish is to sell that much more. resting upon.
1903
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Decatur Herald, January 20, 1903
Lovington.
       On Tuesday several of the citizens helped themselves to some coal from off a car that was being carried through to Stewartson by the Wabash railroad.
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Decatur Daily Review, January 26, 1903
SULLIVAN.
EXCUSE IS PAST
But Robbing of Coal Trains Continues.
Sullivan Has No Coal but Can Get Wood.
Sullivan, Ills. Jan. 26. -- It is an old saying that "It's an ill wind that blows nobody good", but it does seem that the coal famine gives some people excuse to get free coal from the passing trains. If a man's family is freezing and he actually needs the coal it is not so bad but just how long the railroads will endure the same performance day after day remains to be been.
 
       A lot of coal is thrown off every day as the through freight on the C & E. I. goes north. But two cars of coal have been delivered here the last week and were it not for the wood being used there might be suffering here.
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Decatur Daily Review, March 26, 1903        At last the coal company has decided to put the Wood propelling pump in the coal shaft, as heretofore it has been unsuccessful on the outside. There have been times though when it has thrown a full stream, but sand and gravel and rocks prevented it from working properly. It is thought now they will have no trouble in clearing the shaft of its water, and going to the rock.
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Decatur Daily Review, April 3, 1903
LOVINGTON.
CHANGE AT MINE.
       J. J. Rittman resigned his position as superintendent of the coal shaft Monday. His resignation is due to the dissatisfaction that existed among several of the stockholders, who seemed to think that Mr, Rittman was responsible for all the slowness and bad luck at the shaft. The company is corresponding with several men, but has not hired a superintendent yet. They want a good man who has an established reputation as a sinker. There is a good opening for the right man.
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Decatur Daily Review, December 8, 1903
COAL DEAL AT LOVINGTON
Taylorville Man Will Pay Cash For Stock.
$80,000 WAS ISSUED.
This Insures Another Coal Mine.
       Cyrus A. Potts of Taylorville has secured an option contract on three-fourths of the capital stock of the Moultrie Courty Coal company at Lovington. He is to pay in cash on June 1, 1904, the face value of all of all stock that is sold to him. He will take all of the stock.
 
       The capital stock is $80,000 and will be increased. As soon as the deal is closed a new shaft will be sunk.
 
       This will enable the stockholders in the Lovington enterprise to get out without loss. They have spent about $70,000. Water kept them from completing their shaft. Work has been suspended since last spring. The shaft was down 109 feet and now has eighty-nine feet of water in it.
 
       The new owners will get for their money the coal rights under 6,000 acres of land and 104 acres of land. The vein is eight feet, ten inches thick.
 
       This deal makes the coal mine a certainty for Lovington and saves present owners from loss.
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1904
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Decatur Herald, February 2, 1904
LOVINGTON'S NEW COAL CO.
The Organization Will be Capitalized at $100,000
       The new coal mine people are ready for business and have issued a prospectus, stating their intention and plan for developing their Lovington property. The name of the company has been changed to the Lovington Coal Mining Company, and $100,000 worth of first lien securities which are called registered certificates, have been issued and are placed upon the market.
 
       The company owns about 5000 acres of coal rights, 105 acres of land, nearly $10,000 worth of machinery and material, and have underlying these rights an eight foot ten-inch vein of coal. In view of these holdings their stock has an exceptionally high value and they anticipate no trouble in finding a ready sale for it. -- Lovington Reporter
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Decatur Daily Review, August 19, 1904
FIRST DIGGING ON NEW COAL SHAFT
Reorganized Company at Lovington Makes New Start.
(Review Special Service.)
       Lovington. Ills., Aug. 19 -- The first work of digging a shaft was started by the Lovington Coal Mining company Thursday afternoon at 1 o'clock. This is the company that was organized to take over the rights and property of the Moultrie Coal company.
 
       Joseph Stocks and Jasper Dyer, the first two gentlemen to subscribe for stock in the new company, were given the honor of throwing the first shovels of dirt.
 
DIFFICULTIES.
       The company secured an option on the property here only a little over six months ago and began work in the face of great obstacles. However, it has overcome seemingly insurmountable difficulties and reached a point where success is practically assured.
 
       The company has two veins, one eight feet and ten inches thick, at a depth of 900 feet. Analysis of the coal show that it is identically the same as that taken out at Assumption, probably the best in Illinois.
 
       Several Decatur people have taken stock in the new company and the president, Cyrus A. Potts, lives in Decatur.
 
       Two shifts of men are at work on the mine until the big steel shoe is lowered below the surface, which is expected to be done by Monday. The tipple will then he erected and another shift put on.
 
       The work is in charge of Robert Campbell of Decatur, and the shift bosses who will he in charge of the work after Monday are also from Decatur. They are Manny Campbell, Shirley Brockman and William Pate. There will be eight men to each shift.
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Decatur Review, December 30, 1904
LOVINGTON.
WORK ON THE MINE.

       The coal mine is getting along nicely. They only lack a few feet of being on hard pan. When this is reached they will be safe and free from water as when on the rock. Coarse gravel is being hoisted now. Superintendent Campbell has a full force of men now and is pushing things very rapidly. This cold weather is a little hard on the top men, but they have a little house adjoining the frame work with a hot stove in it, making it very nice for them. The tramway is also covered with galvanized tin so the only tine the men are exposed is when they are hoisting and lowering the bucket. Ed Hewitt is hauling coal for the company now in the place of Dan Binkley, who resigned. Dan Binkley and Sheltan Bricker are both working in the hole.
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1906
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Decatur Herald, July 3, 1906
WORK AT LOVINGTON COAL MINE
Lovington Coal Mine diagram 1906

       The Springfield Boiler and Manufacturing company are constructing a steel shoe 9 feet 10 inches wide, 14 feet 10 inches long and six feet high out of three quarters of an inch boiler plate to be used by the Lovington Coal Mining company in going to the rock in the manner designated on accompanying diagram.
 
       It is believed that with this shoe and the method employed in carrying it to the rock the shaft can be safely anchored on the rock and the sand and water shut out. When this is accomplished the workmen can excavate from 90 to 100 feet per month and it will only be a question of a few months until coal is reached.
 
       Sinking operations were begun in the fall of 1904 and have been carried on almost continuously ever since. A 10 inch wood curbing was first carried, together with the steel sinking shoe, to a depth of 164 feet. At this point the curb and shoe were anchored and an inner curbing of wood and concrete were constructed back to the surface.
 
       An effort was then made to go down to rock with an eight inch curbing when, at a depth of 168 feet the sand and water broke in and the whole shaft began to settle. After several months of most careful work the whole shaft was settled a distance of seven feet permitting the eight inch timbers to rest on the rock.
 
       It was then discovered that these eight inch timbers were too light to withstand the weight from above and the pressure from behind them It therefore became necessary that these timers be removed and replaced with heavier timbers and it has been deemed advisable to install a steel shoe and force it back of these timbers in the manner described on the diagram.
 
       The shoe is expected lo reach Lovington this week and the work of installing the same is to begin Monday, July 2nd. This will probably be the final attempt made to carry the curb to the rock, and if it proves to be successful it will be conceded to be a remarkable piece of engineering and practically assure the success of the enterprise.
 
       The quality and thickness of the strata of rock where the company hope to anchor the curb is very satisfactory and the test boring shows nothing but rock and shale from this point to the coal.
 
       The thickness of the strata of coal at Lovington, also its superior quality, has attracted much attention. Added to this is the well known fact of the awful struggle that has been made to overcome the heavy strata of sand and water which probably has no equal in the state.
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1907
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Decatur Review, January 2, 1907
LOVINGTON MINE WILL BEGIN WORK
Lovington, Ills, Jan. 2 - The Lovington Coal Mining company has employed Henry Mann as superintendent. He took charge Monday. Several deep wells will be sunk and work on the shaft will be resumed as soon as the wells are completed.
 
       Frank Rittenhouse has a force of men repairing the smokestack and getting things in readiness for work.
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1908
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Decatur Daily Review, March 28, 1908
LOVINGTON COAL SHAFT STRIKES ROCK
Vein of Coal Just Below the Rock Strata.
(Review Special Service.)
Lovington, Ill., March 28. -- The anxious days at the Lovington Coal company ended Thursday, when the steel shoe at the shaft was landed on sandstone rock at a depth of 149 1/2 feet. Just before reaching the sandstone six feet of shale was gone through.
 
LOVINGTON JUBILANT.
       The people of Lovington are jubilant over the fact that at last the large vein of water and sand that has given the sinkers so much trouble has been penetrated. Two shafts already have been abandoned. There has been scarcely any water and sand to contend with at the present shaft, and the success at this shaft is due to the diligent work of the superintendent, R. W. Campbell, who has been almost constantly on the ground. The shaft is located north and west of the Vandalia depot in the Byron Cheever addition to Lovington.
 
SAND 8O FEET THICK.
       The sandstone upon which the casing now rests is 80 feet thick; then a vein of coal two feet thick is reached. When the work of sinking is completed there will be two hoisting shafts 7 x 9 feet and one air shaft 8 1/2 x 9 feet. The work of sinking the shaft will cease now until the shaft is concreted. The concrete will be about 5 1/2 inches thick and will take about fifteen days to finish.
 
TO HOLD MEETING.
       Notice of a meeting of all the stockholders has been sent to all certificate holders to the meeting next Tuesday, when the plans of the company will be discussed and a big meeting is expected. Every stockholder is expected to be present.
 
       Mr. and Mrs. C. G. McCrarey will serve dinner on Tuesday to all women at the shaft.
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1909
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Decatur Daily Review, March 20, 1909
SHAFT IS NEARING VEINS OF COAL
Big Vein In Lovington Mine to Be Reached by April 1.
Lovington, March 19. -- The coal shaft people expect to strike a five foot vein in a few days and then have twenty-two feet further to go to reach the eight foot vein. This should be done by April 1. A strata of slate lies between the two veins.
 
       The necessary machinery for mining has already been purchased and will be put in place in the next few weeks. It is the intention of the company to begin sinking an air shaft as soon as the one now under way is completed.
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Decatur Daily Review, March 25, 1909
ONE VEIN REACHED; OTHER ON APRIL 1
Big Lot of Coal Lies at Depth of 900 Feet.
Lovington, March 25. -- A vein of coal was struck at the shaft Sunday measuring three feet and four inches. The coal is at a depth of 873 feet.
 
       Thirty feet further down lies a vein of coal eight feet and ten inches In thickness, according to the first boring made eight years ago. Since July, 1902, attempts have been made to sink a shaft to this coal. Thousands of dollars have been expended.
 
TWO ABANDONED.
       Two shafts have been abandoned at a depth of about 100 feet on account of sand and water. The company expects to reach the big vein April 1 and the day will be one of rejoicing, not only for the coal mine people but the citizens as well.
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Decatur Daily Review, April 3, 1909
CITIZENS WILL BANQUET COAL CO. OFFICIALS
Lovington Is Happy Over Results of Mine Drilling.
Lovington, April 3. -- A meeting of the business men was held Thursday evening and arrangements were made to give a banquet to the coal company officials and employees Wednesday, April 14. The banquet will be held in the Red Men's hall at noon. The Bement band will be engaged to furnish music for the occasion.
OFFICERS OF COMPANY.
       The officers of the company are: President, W. E. Fisher, of Harmmond; vice president, John Benson of Bement; secretary and treasurer, A. E. Hanson of Lovington; superintendent; R. W. Campbell of Lovington.
SOON TO OPERATE.
       The quality of the coal taken from the eight-toot vein is of the very best, and a mine in actual operation, which has been apparently only a dream, will soon be a reality. However, it will likely be several months before hoist1ng will begin, as all the necessary machinery is yet to be put in place.
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Decatur Daily Review, April 10, 1909
Lovington's Mine Story Of Decatur Man's Push
Lovington. April 10. -- Now that the faith of the promoters of the Lovington coal mine has been justified by the finding of four strata of fine coal, a total of twenty-one feet in thickness, it is interesting to recall that as far back as the oldest citizen can remember there has been a conviction in the minds of progressive men that coal could be found here in paying quantities.
 
EIGHT YEARS OLD.
       In 1900 six men decided to put up the necessary cash and sink a prospecting hole. They held coal and mineral rights under some 6,000 acres of land adjoining the town. The men were: A. R. Pifer, J. C. McKnight, Joseph Stocks, C. W. Brown, S. P. Drake and L. G. Hostetler.
 
       The prospecting was continued to a depth of 920 feet. The core disclosed numerous coal veins. Then the work was dropped for a time.
 
COMPANY ORGANIZED.
       In September, 1901, the Moultrie County Coal company was organized with a capital stock of $150,000, with A. R. Pifer president, J C. McKnight vice president and L. G. Hostetler secretary-treasurer. But the capitalization was cut down to $80,000 when the larger sum was hard to raise.
 
       Work on a shaft was started June 24 of that year on the Hostetler tract near the first prospect hole. The work continued until August. A strong flow of water and quicksand caused a big outlay of expense and work was stopped. Superintendent Baxter resigned, and was followed by James Paul, who in turn threw up the job.
 
SLOW WORK
       Then J. T. Rittman of Decatur took hold. He tried various things at further outlay of money and finally resigned, unable to cope with the situation. Peter Moran employed to succeed him lasted three days.
 
       The shaft was abandoned. The experience had cost the company about $30,000. The project languished.
 
POTTS TRYS IT
       Cyrus A Potts, of Taylorville, took hold of the proposition by taking an option on the project. The Lovington Coal Mining company was organized in January, 1901, with a capital stock of $100,000.
 
R. CAMPBELL EMPLOYED
       Robert Campbell of Decatur was employed as superintendent. The shaft on the Cheever land was commenced Thursday, Aug. 19, 1904. At the end of the first month the shaft was down 75 feet. In November the shaft was pushed through fifty feet of quicksand and a lake of water that appeared bottomless. Nearly 5,000,000 gallons of water was being pumped daily. Only a few inches were gained a day.
 
       During December, January and February the workmen waged the stiffest fight against sand and water ever known in shaft sinking in Illinois.
 
HE OBJECTED.
       In August a depth of 164 feet had been gained. At this time it was decided to land the shoe and commence the concrete inner casing. This was done and Superintendent Campbell resigned as he felt this action was premature. Dick Clodfelter was put in charge.
 
       Mr. Camphell's contention was proved correct. The sand and water followed down the outside of the casing and the enormous pressure forced it into the shaft. Thousands of tons of sand were removed. Finally Mr. Clodfelter resigned.
 
FOUR FEET A YEAR.
       William Pate succeeded him and got four feet further in the twelve months he held the reins. Then he quit. A few hundred dollars more was gathered together by the preserving promoters and Jack Mann of Lincoln was induced to try his hand. He came and stayed three months and did not gain an inch.
 
CAMPBELL REEMPLOYED.
       Through all of 1906 work was practically at a standstill. Then about April 1, 1907, Robert Campbell was again persuaded to take charge. He advised, however, leaving the shaft and starting another. At this time President Potts of Decatur decided he had had enough and followed after the many superintendents and the two Clarks, who resigned in February, 1906.
 
       In his report to certificate holders in Decatur May 7, 1907, Mr. Potts showed that $231,075 had been spent and that there was indebtedness due of $5,000. Mr. Potts sold his share to W. B. Hudson of Henryetta, Okla., and he and Robert Campbell each put up $1,000 to meet a past due pay roll and other urgent expenses.
 
BOOKS ALL RIGHT
       The nervousness of certificate holders was quieted by the report of a committee composed of J. H Hall, Bement; J. A. Vent, Hammond and Joseph Stocks, Lovington, who examined the books and found everything straight.
 
       At a meeting $9300 was raised on the condition that Mr Campbell remain as superintendent. Mr. Campbell had asked for $30,000. Work of raising this amount was started.
 
NEW TRIALS.
       On Mr. Campbell's advice another boring was made north of the second shaft. Conditions were found unfavorable for the sinking of a shaft. Several coal veins were found but at different depth from the other boring. The company decided to sink a shaft on the Cheever lots near the Vandalia pumping station.
 
       Actual work on the shaft was started Oct. 15. 1907, and continued without cessation until early in 1908 when the funds were again exhausted. For sixty days Mr. Campbell and A. E. Hanson, who had succeeded C. A. Clark as manager, were out after money.
 
HAD ENOUGH.
       At this point President Hudson decided that he had had quite enough, and quit. He gave Hanson and Campbell an option on his interests.
 
       Finally the two men, Campbell and Hanson, raised the necessary amount of cash and about March first active operations were resumed and have been continued to the present time.
 
FINANCIAL STATEMENT.
       The time actually required to sink the last shaft, which is now completed, was about fourteen and a half months and the total cost was in the neighborhood of $80,000. The amount invested in the second shaft was about $100,000. and the amount put in the first shaft was $100,000, including franchises, commissions and machinery. There are now outstanding certificates to the amount of $300,000.
 
       During nearly eight years of ups and downs there have been two times when there was a failure to meet payrolls, and in both cases these were paid in a few days.
 
ACCIDENTS FEW.
       There was but one fatal accident since the first shovel of dirt was thrown nearly eight years ago. While attempting to raise a smokestack July 18,1902, Thomas Edwards was crushed to death under the falling stack. The company settled with the widow. There have been other minor accidents, notably the one to Jack Turner, whose skull was fractured by a broken coupling at the present shaft. He got judgment at the March term of court for $1250.
 
HOW IT LIES.
       At the depth of 902 feet the company went through a vein of the finest grade coal, eight feet in thickness. In the same shaft at a depth of 249 feet is a three-foot vein, and at a depth of 873 feet a five-foot vein. While digging the sump below the eight-foot coal vein, another strata of coal five feet in thickness was found. This was seventeen feet below the big vein. This means over twenty feel of coal within a distance of less than fifty feet.
 
       The formation between these two veins is as follows. Two feet of clay shale, seven feet of sand shale, five feet of sandstone, two feet of black slate. The first boring stopped in the slate. This find proves that had they gone a foot further they would have struck more coal.
 
       The Lovington coal field is unprecedented in the state.
 
CAMPBELL'S RECORD.
       Robert Campbell is the man who sunk the shaft of the Manufacturers and Consumers Coal company in Decatur. He has had plenty of experience and is an able superintendent. The Lovington people think the success of the mine is largely due to his perserverance and endeavor.
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Decatur Daily Review, April 14, 1909
ALL LOVINGTON GIVEN UP TO CELEBRATION
300 at Banquet to Mark Reaching of Twenty-one Feet of Coal Veins
Lovington, April 14. -- Three hundred sat down at the banquet given by the business men of the town, "to certificate holders, stockholders and miners" at the Lovington coal company, at 11 o'clock this morning. The tables were spread in Red Men's hall.
 
SEE TOWN MADE.
       The citizens believe that the future success of the town is assured by the big find of coal about ten days ago. The banquet was to celebrate the conclusion of eight years work and the reaching of 21 feet of coal veins.
 
       The dinner was served by the women of the Methodist and Christian churches at long tables.
 
ADDRESSES.
       Following the dinner there was a meeting in the Bijou theater. The principle addresses were made by Judge W. G. Cochran of Sullivan and Attorney Hugh Housum of Decatur. There were informal talks by others. There was music by the Bement band.
 
DECATUR LED.
       Certificate holders from Decatur, Bement, Monticello, Oakland, Arthur, Arcola, Sullivan and Strasburg. The largest crowds were from Decatur and Bement, fifty coming from the Macon county capital and nearly as many, headed by the Bement band, from the other town.
 
WORK IN TWO MONTHS
       Actual work In the Lovington mine will start in about two months. It is possible that the first of June will see coal hoisted.
 
       The foundations for the hoisting engine are in place. The machinery for the mine has been ordered. Mineworkers are flocking here looking for employment. They come from all parts of the country, the fame of the mine having spread.
 
DECATUR'S SHARE.
       Fifty Stockholders Have Seen Stock Change all Colors.
 
       It was harder to find a Lovington stockholder in Decatur today than it was for Diogenes to locate an honest man in his famous daylight torchlight expedition, but not for the same reason. Plenty of holders of Lovington coal mine stock live in Decatur but they were temporarily absent. They arose betimes this morning, arrayed themselves in their most festive apparel and hied themselves Lovingtonward on the earliest train.
 
GALA DAY.
       Things are doing in Lovington today. It is a fiesta, a gala occasion, a red letter day when the stockholders in the coal company gathered to fitting celebrate the opening of one of the finest veins of coal in Central Illinois. There was feasting and eloquence and joy unrestrained.
 
OTHER TIMES.
       There have been other times when it was hard to find stockholders in the Lovington coal mine in Decatur when there was nothing doing in Lovington. That, indeed, was the reason they were hard to find. They were here all right but they didn't wear a badge. You might talk to one of them a good while without finding out that he owned any such stock unless you happened to mention that you would not mind buying a little coal mine stock. Then the coal mine stock holder would offer you something mighty alluring in the shape of stock in a hole in the ground near Lovington. It was a good thing of course but the holder needed the money and would let lose of it at -- well, something less than par.
 
DIFFERENT TODAY.
       But it is different today. There is an eight foot vein of fine coal at the lower end of that hole. And it isn't hard to recognize the owner of a block of the stock. You can tell him by the roseate atmosphere which surrounds him.
 
       This leads one of the Decatur stock holders to the varying color scheme which has distinguished the holders of Lovington coal mine stock. He says it has at different times varied from an indigo blue to a brilliant rose. There have been intermediate shades in colors, sometimes a dull gray and at others a sickly green. But now it is rose and it seems to be rose to stay.
 
TRIBULATION.
       The Lovington coal mine has gone through more kinds of tribulation than ever before befell a coal mine in this section of Illinois. The work on it has been at different times suspended and at other times apparently permanently abandoned. But by sheer persistence and pluck they have kept hammering away at it until a vein of unusual value has been uncovered. The work has been underway for eight years. It is no wonder that the men who had their money invested in it, in some cases the money which they had accumulated by years of saving, should at time have felt blue and green or any other color.
 
DECATUR STOCKHOLDERS.
       It can not be stated positively how many stockholders there are in Decatur now or how much of the stock is owned here. It is estimated that at one time more than fifty Decatur men owned stock in the concern. Some of them have sold out and some others have moved away. Others would have sold out if they could have found purchasers for their stock.
 
       One prominent Decatur business man who owns some of the stock says that he made up his mind only last winter that he wanted to invest in the stock. He offered fifty cents on the dollar and found himself almost swamped with offers. He bought some of the stock at this price and then got cold feet. He can understand now that the circulation in his lower extremities was not as good as it should have been, and that the thing which he ought to have done was to take all the stock offered at that price.
 
NONE ON SALE NOW.
       But no stock can be bought at 50 at the present time. Nor can it be bought at 100. It is rated at 125 and, probably some of the stockholders are asking more than that. It is hard to say what the stock is really worth for the mine is not yet productive and the actual value of stock can only be measured by its earning capacity. But the shaft has been sunk and four good veins of coal have been found. The machinery has been bought and there is ample money to put the mine in operation. The holders of the stock realize that they have a good thing, a better thing than was promised them by the promoters of the enterprise and they are not anxious to sell.
 
HAS $3,000 IN IT.
       A. B. Creech who is employed by the Curtis Jewelry company, has $3,000 invested in the company. Mr. Creech formerly lived at Lovington and was interested in the enterprise at the start. He attended the festivities in Lovington today.
 
       William M. Chance of 147 South Main Street is also a stockholder and he also went to Lovington to attend the banquet today.
 
       Hue Singleton is one of the magnates of the concern. He took stock to the value of $500 and last winter determined to buy more but about the same time he commenced erecting a mansion which persisted in outgrowing the estimate and he stifled his magnate ambitions.
 
ONLY A MODEL ONE.
       C. M. Hurst of the Morehouse & Wells company is a stockholder but he says he is one of the most modest and inconspicuous sort.
 
       There were and probably are yet a number of stock holders about the Union Iron works. A. R. Montgomery was one time prominently connected with the company. John Benson of this city is also a stockholder.
 
       Some idea of the enthusiasm which the mine has aroused may be gathered from the fact that forty-six tickets to Lovington were sold for the early Vandalia train this morning. Most of them were for people going to attend the celebration.
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Decatur Daily Review, April 23, 1909
FIRST COAL FROM LOVINGTON MINE
Ullrich, April 23. -- Bailey Bros. & Kearney of this place received the first carload of coal shipped from the Lovington coal mine. This coal is from the deep vein, which was recently found, and is of excellent quality.
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Decatur Daily Review, May 5, 1909
Town With Great Coal Mine Wants 10,000 People.
Sullivan, May 5. -- An automobile party consisting of some of Lovington's prominent business men came to Sullivan Tuesday. William Fischer, manager of the Lovington Coal Mining company and 0. Atchison were in the party. The boom that is on at Lovington over the big find in coal has had its effect on the aspirations of Lovington people who are hinting at a possible population of 10,000 in ten years hence, with the capital of Moultrie located there.
 
       It seems well for Sullivan and vicinity that the court house is built and so well built that it will last at least ten years.
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1911
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Decatur Daily Review, December 22, 1911
MINE STOCKHOLDERS MEET.
       The capital stock holders of the Lovington Coal Mining company held their annual meeting at the company's offices in Lovington Tuesday. All the present directors were elected, viz: J. M. Duncan, Andrew Swenson, John Benson, J. C. Stocks, W. H. Silver and R. S. Knapp. On the third Tuesday in January the directory will meet at the office of Mr. Knapp in Washington. D. C. where the election of the managing officers will be held. The present officers will be re-elected. 700 of the 1000 shares were represented at the meeting here Tuesday.
 
BUSINESS EXCELLENT.
       The business of the company is now in a very satisfactory condition, from 350 to 400 tons of coal being mined each day. The Wabash railroad is one of the largest users of the coal, their requirements now running to 167 tons a day.
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1912
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Decatur Review, January 26, 1912
STOCKHOLDERS ADVANCE MONEY
       $30,000 More Needed In Lovington Mine.
 
MEETING IN DECATUR
       Track, Cars and Houses Are Needed.
 
       A most important meeting of the local stockholders of the Lovington Coal company was held Wednesday night in Columbia hall. The frankly avowed purpose of the meeting was to raise more money to operate the mine. The company after great expense and long delay is now on the high road to prosperity but it is at this critical moment lacking in transportation facilities, speaking figuratively, of course. The company has the coal, has the shaft, the machinery and now has the market but it is in immediate need of funds sufficient properly to operate the mine.
 
MANY STOCKHOLDERS.
       The matter was presented last night by J.C. Stocks, secretary of the company. There were present at the meeting about thirty-five stockholders. There are in Decatur or vicinity about 100 stockholders in the company, only about one-third of them being present at this meeting. There are said to be about 400 stockholders in the company and last night's meeting was called to bring the local people together. Among those present last night were the heavier stockholders in this city. The response to Mr. Stocks' call for more money is said to have been prompt and liberal, the only disappointment being that there were not more of those directly interested present.
 
NEED $30.000
       It is said that there is immediate need of about $30,000 in order to properly work the mine. It is probable that $25,000 would answer but the larger sum will be raised. There is needed at once a larger ventilating fan which will cost about $1000. More tracks are needed in the mine and more cars. Only about half as many mine cars are now owned by the company as are needed. There is also an emergent demand for dwellings to house miners. It was stated that there are no vacant houses in Lovington and that miners come there and go away again because they can find no place to live.
 
MEN EMPLOYED
       There are now employed by the Lovington company about fifty miners and twenty-five others, making a total force of seventy-five. The payroll is about $3,000 [possibly: the number is hard to read] a month. It is necessary to provide the facilities mentioned above in order to work the mine up to its capacity and in the most economical way. The company has the coal and has the market for it, and at this juncture it is of the utmost importance to be able to supply the market.
 
       No assessment can be made on the stock and the money supplied at this time must be furnished in another way. It is proposed to raise it from the stockholders by voluntary subscriptions. The stockholders will be issued stock for the money advanced or if they prefer they will be given a note. The local stockholders say there is no question but the money needed will be raised.
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Decatur Daily Review, January 28, 1912
LOVINGTON COAL COMPANY WILL KEEP UP THE LICK
       It appears that an impression has prevailed in the minds of some that the Lovington Coal Mining company is going on the rocks financially. That impression is not justified for a moment by the facts in the case, say those who are thoroughly acquainted with the situation.
 
       The men behind the Lovington mine are now out of the woods, and that after an investment of over a half million dollars. Those men put up money by the hundreds of thousands of dollars when the prospect was anything but cheering; it is not to be conceived that they will fail themselves in the last stretch.
 
WHAT THEY HAVE.
       The property of the company now consists of: A main shaft and an escape shaft 902 feet deep. A coal vein eight feet to eight feet, ten inches thick; quality about the best to be found in Illinois, possibly the very best in the state. Five thousand acres of coal rights in fee simple. A mine now developed to the point where 350 to 400 tons a day are taken out by fifty miners and twenty-five company men. Compare this showing with the one that presented itself in this enterprise in May, 1907.
 
THE GLOOMIEST PERIOD.
       At that date considerably more than $200,000, in fact nearly $240,000, had been sunk in two abandoned shafts. It was necessary, if anything was to be accomplished, to start all over again. The wonder is those interested did not give up at that time. But they didn't give up. They hustled among themselves, coaxed and cajoled each other, and since then they have put in more than another $200,000. Now they have something to show for their time and money, in fact have a good deal. It is nonsense, it is insisted to imagine that men who have stood by this enterprise in this fashion will quit with present cheering prospects to urge them on.
 
CLOSE TO THE HARVEST.
       And it is a fact that not a great deal more money is called for to finance the finishing touches of the enterprise. The aim at this time has been to get an additional $20,000, or about that sum; after which there is every reasonable assurance that the enterprise can move right along. And this additional money is wanted from the men who have already invested a half million in cash in the venture. Of course the money will be got.
 
THEY DID BIG THINGS.
       The story of this Lovington coal mine has features that should be interesting to many people. It is a story of struggle against hard luck and abundant adverse conditions, during which battling the good fighting men put up a half million dollars. And that is something that happened right here in the center of the prairie state; it was a display of courage, fighting qualities and hope that should get attention anywhere in the world.
 
PERSONNEL OF COMPANY.
       At the present time the company is composed of eighty stockholders, capital stock $100,000. Then there are 400 registered first lien certificates holders, who hold this form of obligation to the amount of $376,860.
 
       One-third of the capital stock and about $100,000 of certificates are held by Decatur people. In all in this city are seventy-five to one-hundred people who are interested, so it will be seen this is a considerable Decatur venture.        The neighborhoods of Bement and Hammond hold about a third of the capital stock, and also $100,000 [$160,000?] of the certificates.
 
       The remainder of stock and certificates is scattered about in different places, of course a fair share being held in Moultrie county.
 
THE OTHER DEBT.
       In addition to stock and certificates there is an indebtedness of something like $125,000. This is for money borrowed to keep the work going along. This is a demand obligation and bears interest. It is a second lien on the property, coming after the lien of the registered certificate holders. The certificates of indebtedness issued by this company are described as "a from of preferred stock without voting power." They are a first lien on all property of the company, and of course they are supported by a trust deed. Certificate holders are entitled to 80 percent of the net profits from operation of the mine.
 
ASKED TO TAKE CERTIFICATES
       Certificates under the trust deed may be issued to the amount of $300,000 (??? amount not clear), so that $133,000 of these may still be issued. The proposition advanced and now under way is to the holders of notes for the $125,000 of indebtedness to surrender those notes and take certificates in their place. It is said that is seems entirely likely that $100,000 of the indebtedness will be turned into additional certificates, and that will nearly absorb the amount of certificates that can be issued under the trust deed.
 
DEBT IS TO THEMSELVES.
       For a proper understanding of the situation is should be stated that for the most part, in fact nearly altogether, the indebtedness of $125,000 is to men who own capital stock and certificates in the company.. There is practically no debt to outsiders; so that with the men who own the notes it is a question of handling their own affair. It is a debt they owe to themselves, and the only question is as to what form it shall assume. There isn't any outside creditor to come along and crowd matters.
 
REFUSED TO SQUEEZE.
       The matter of surrendering notes against the company and taking certificates in their place has been presented in meetings at Lovington, Decatur and Bement. The movement is going along all right; it is the thing that will be done.
 
       It was suggested by some certificate holders that it would be all right with them to let the property go to sale under a court order, say on suit started by holders of notes. This might afford some a chance to buy in the property for a small part of what it is really worth.
 
       That suggestion was frowned upon. It was only a way of "squeezing" some worthy people out, people who up to this time have put up their money in handsome quantity and often under most discouraging conditions and prospects.
 
A TWELVE YEAR STRUGGLE.
       It was about twelve yours ago that the Lovington coal mine enterprise was started. In the rare June days of 1900 A. R. Pifer, J. C. McNight, Joseph Stocks, C. W. Brown, S. F. Drake and L. G. Hostetler got together and raised $5,000 among themselves to prospect for coal in Lovington.
 
       In November of that year they began taking out a 2-inch core, which work was finished the middle of December. That core showed:
 
       At 255 feet, two feet of coal. At 873 feet, three feet, two inches of coal. At 902 feet, eight feet, ten inches of coal.
 
       The coal in the thick vein was sent on for analysis and was found to be high class.
 
       The Moultrie County Coal company was formed in September, 1901. The capital stock was put at $150,000. The neighbors thought it was too much stock, so it didn't sell.
 
       In January, 1902, there was another hitch at it and the capital stock was put at $80,000. This time it sold.
 
THE FIRST SHAFT.
       In June, 1902, the first shaft was started, and then the long session of real grief was under way. In August the shaft was down 100 feet when water showed up. Then came quicksand. It didn't take long to use up the $30,000 available for shaft sinking.
 
       Superintendents and different makes of pumps followed each other in rapid succession. The shaft was abandoned in April, 1903. That was a damper on coal mine enthusiasm in the Lovington neighborhood.
 
SECOND SHAFT.
       Cyrus A. Potts of Taylorville in December, 1903, tried his hand at resuscitation, and it was a tough case. He organized the Lovington Coal Mining company, and those in the first company were either included or their holdings were purchased. No one was left out.
 
       In August, 1904, enough certificates had been sold to start work. Robert Campbell, who had made his reputation in sinking the M. & C. shaft in Decatur, was engaged for the Lovington work. So a second shaft was started.
 
       This was pushed down 75 feet in a month; the next month it was taken through fifty feet of water and quicksand. It was necessary to pump 5,000,000 gallons of water a day. It was slow work, and in August, 1905, a depth of 164 feet was reached, and it had been expensive work.
 
       Here the big steel shoe was taken out, against the protest of Robert Campbell. Campbell was right about it, and taking out the shoe later proved disastrous. Superintendents succeeded each other rapidly and everything went to the bad. They got to the point where no headway could be made against the volume of water.
 
       Practically no progress was made in 1906. In April, 1907, Robert Campbell was induced to get back on the job. Cyrus Potts withdrew from the enterprise.
 
TRIED A THIRD TIME.
       There was a meeting of stock and certificate holders in Decatur in May, 1907. Then it was shown that there was an indebtedness of $5,000 and that $231,075 had been invested and lost. Many wanted to quit.
 
       Robert Campbell and W. B. Hudson wouldn't give up. Each of those men put up $1,000 of his own money to meet pressing claims.
 
       There was a meeting in May, 1907, of certificate holders in Lovington. Robert Campbell went there filled with the courage that is born of super-abundant faith. He asked those people to raise another $30,000 and begin all over again.
 
       By July, 1907, they had the $30,000 and work was started on the third shaft. Campbell was in charge this time and proposed to stay in charge. A new location was picked out for the third shaft after making short borings. The third shaft was started in October, 1907. It was necessary to do some more hustling for funds during two months in 1908. More money was got and the work was continued. The shaft was put down 902 feet and that part of the work was finished in April, 1909. Campbell gained more reputation, of course. Then it was a comparatively easy matter to get more money to sink the escape shaft. This brings us up to the present time.
 
WORTH A MILLION, THEY SAY.
       It is an easy guess that the people who have stuck to the enterprise and put up their money all this time will do the little that remains. It is claimed they will have a property that is worth a million dollars, that is it will have net earnings on that amount.
 
THE QUALITY OF COAL.
       Concerning the quality of coal taken out of the Lovington mine we give an analysis of it and coal from the Assumption mine, the latter heretofore regarded as furnishing the best coal in the state. The figures are furnished by the state authorities:
 LovingtonAssumption
Moisture6.4511.54
Volatile matter38.7936.65
Fixed carbon43.5 42.89
Ash 10.268.92
Sulphur 4.593.87
Thermal units11,98911,631
Total coal units 14,91014,913

 
OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS.
       Decatur interests are largely represented in the officers and directory of the company. The list shows:
 
President -- J. M. Duncan, Decatur.
Vice president -- John Benson, Decatur.
Manager and treasurer -- J. C. stocks, Decatur.
Secretary -- William T. Kirkpatrick, Lovington.
Superintendent -- J. J. Rittman, formerly with M. & C. in Decatur.
Directors -- J. M. Duncan, John Benson, J. C. Stocks of Decatur; Andrew Swenson, Bement; W. H. Silvers, Hammond; R. S. Knapp, Washington, D. C.
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Decatur Review, March 12, 1912
LOVINGTON MINE CASE UP.

All of Monday's session of the circuit court was taken up with the case of Albert Hiser against the Lovington Coal Mining company, and is over a commission which the plaintiff claims is due him from the coal mining company for selling stock in the company. The case will take up most of Tuesday's session.
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Decatur Daily Review, August 22, 1912
LOVINGTON MINE OWNERS TO MEET
Letter to Stockholders Says Changes Must Be Made.
 
Lovington Aug 22 -- The stock and certificate holders of the Lovington Coal Mining company have been notified that a special meeting of the capital stock and registered first lien certificate holders of the company will be held at the office of the company in Lovington on Wednesday, Aug 28, commencing at 10 a. m.
 
THE PURPOSES
The following purposes for the meeting as outlined in the notice served are:
       For the purpose of informing the capital stock and registered first lien certificate holders as to the physical condition of the property and the financial condition of the property since the fire which occurred on Sunday, Aug. 11, 1912.
       Also to make reports as to the physical and financial condition of the company in general.
       Also for the purpose of determining the wishes or the capital stock and certificate holders as to what is to be done in reference to continuing the business of the company under the present conditions and under the constant struggle for existence unsupported by working capital.
 
URGES PRESENCE
       The notice which was in the form of a letter urged the stockholders to be present and become informed with the exact conditions of the company. It also made the statement that it is impossible to develop a sufficient output to make any money for the capital stock and certificate holders under the present conditions, and that something must be done at once, or the property would probably be lost to the present holders.
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1914
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Decatur Daily Review, February 20, 1914
LOVINGTON COAL MINE GIVES OUT REPORT
Lovington Reporter: According to the annual report of the coal mining board, just issued, no one has been killed in the Lovington mine the past year. Statistics for the mine have been made public as follows;
Coal mined -- Mine run, 2,513; lump, 58,997; other grades, 43,770; total 105,280.
Days in operation -- 224.
Average number of miners -- 81.
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Decatur Daily Review, April 2, 1914
NONE KILLED IN LOVINGTON MINE
       A statement was printed a few days ago to the effect that among the Italian miners leaving for the old country was one little woman who left a husband in the Lovington grave yard, he having been killed in a fall of rock while endeavoring to rescue a comrade.
 
       J. C. Stocks, manager of the Lovington Coal Mine, says that such an accident as this does not fit into the history of the Lovington coal mine at any point. There has never been a fatal accident in this mine since it has been in operation and there has never been but one serious accident. In this case, the miner was endeavoring to relight a blast when the charge exploded and cost him an eye.
 
       Mr. Stocks says that the Lovington coal mine is not one of the kind that suffers from falls of rock. The roof is substantial and props are seldom needed. There were eight Italians of the Lovington mine force that left to go back to Italy. It is possible that in this party was a widow but Mr. Stocks does not recall a death among the Italians employed in the mine. He is absolutely certain, however, that no one has ever been killed in a mine accident.
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Decatur Daily Review, April 11, 1914
MINE CLOSED.
       The coal mine has closed down temporarily. Some much needed repair work will be done about the shaft and it is reported by employees that work will be resumed in about two weeks. The expiration of contract between miners and operators has nothing to do with the shut-down.
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Decatur Daily Review, September 26, 1914
BREAK ALL RECORDS AT LOVINGTON MINE
Lovington Reporter. -- The coal mine broke all previous records for hoisting coal Wednesday, when 1,104 3/4 tons were raised to the surface. This made an average of fifty tons per hour and things about the shaft were pretty busy. The quality of the coal seems to be better as the vein is working east and southeast.
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1917
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Decatur Daily Review, May 16 1917
SMALL FIRE IN LOVINGTON MINE
Lovington, May 16 -- The mine was shut down Monday and Tuesday and the men were not allowed to work on account of an excess of gas. It caught fire Sunday but was soon put out.
1922
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Decatur Daily Review, December 28, 1922
MINE INSPECTOR MISSING IN LOVINGTON COAL MINE BLAST
Charles Finley, Formerly of Decatur, Believed Dead; Ed Hewitt, Mule Feeder, Injured, Gives Alarm.
 
       Lovington, Dec. 28 -- Mine Inspector Charles Finley is missing, Ed Hewitt, mule feeder, is seriously injured and four other men including Superintendent Rue McLain, are suffering from the effects of gas with which they were overcome while searching for Finley, as the result of an explosion in the Lovington mine Thursday morning. Incidentally it is reported that all the mules in the mine have been overcome by gas.
 
       At 2 o'clock Thursday afternoon it was believed that Finley was dead. The mine rescue party, called from Springfield had not yet arrived.
 
EXPLOSION AT 5:20.
       The explosion, the cause of which has not yet been learned, occurred at 5:20 o'clock Thursday morning Only Finley and Hewitt were in the mine at the time, Finley having gone underground to make the usual investigation of conditions before the miners went to their daily employment. Where he was at the time of the explosion is not known, as it has been impossible to make a thorough search or investigation.
 
       Hewitt was blown a distance of about forty feet, and was badly hurt. He managed, however, to crawl to the cage and give the signal to the men at the top.
 
MEN ENTER MINE
       As soon as it was known an explosion had occurred, Lawrence Valentine, Mine Superintendent McLain and about ten others went into the mine to search for the mine examiner. They were met by gas fumes, however, and were overcome. Other rescuers went to their aid and removed them from the mine. They were given prompt attention, and are recovering
 
       In the meantime the mine rescue crew was summoned from Springfield, and left at once for Lovington. Nothing further can be done toward the rescue of Finley or determination of the extent of the fire resulting from the explosion, until this crew gets on the job.
 
IN NORTH PART.
       The explosion occurred in the north part of the mine at about the 900-foot level.
 
       Finley has been mine examiner here about three years, coming to Lovington from Decatur when he received the appointment here. He has a family here and two brothers James and John Finley, employed at the Macon County mine in Decatur.
 
LOST FOR HOUR.
       Rue McLain, a member of the first rescue party of fifteen men, became lost in the mine and was missing for an hour. He finally was found, however, and was carried to the top and resuscitated. Other members of that party who were overcome by gas were Baxter, Downey and Robert Hines.
 
       Drs. W. K. Hoover and Scaggs arrived promptly and began the work of resuscitation --- Hoover at the top and Scaggs in the mine.
 
       The explosion occurred at a point about 1,500 feet north of the shaft. A number of the concrete partitions were knocked out and the eighteen mules employed to haul the dump cars were killed, either by the explosion gas.
 
       A number of the coal cars have been hoisted from the mine.
 
       The mine has been working from l50 to 200 men, and hoisting from twenty-eight to thirty-five cars of coal a day.
 
       Finley's family here consists of a wife and several young children
 
STARTED SHAFT IN 1904.
       The Lovington Coal Mining company started the sinking of the first shaft here in 1905. At that time the company took over the rights and property of the Moultrie Coal company. Cyrus Potts of Decatur was the first president of the new company, but resigned in 1907 when he sold a controlling interest.
 
       About 1912 the company experienced serious financial difficulties, but weathered the gale, procured funds and operated more extensively than ever.
 
400 STOCKHOLDERS.
       There were about 400 stockholders in the company, about 100 of these being in Decatur and vicinity. The mine has modern equipment, has been producing a fine quality of coal and is employing in the neighborhood of 200 men.
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Decatur Daily Review, December 29, 1922
Mine Inspector's Body Recovered From Mine
Charles Finley Only Victim of Thursday's Explosion at Lovington --- Hewitt Relates Harrowing Experience --- Mules Are Saved.
 
Lovington, Dec. 20--The body of Mine Inspector Charles Finley, victim of the explosion In the Lovington mine at 5:20 Thursday morning, was recovered at 4:30 Thursday afternoon by the Springfield rescue crew that reached here a couple of hours before,
 
       The body was at a point about 1,500 feet north of the opening of the mine, crumpled against a broken coal car. The right side was horribly burned, but the left side, on which the body was lying, was untouched, and the body was not mangled. The skull, however, was badly fractured, And this was given as the cause of the man's death in the verdict or the coroner's jury which was impaneled Thursday evening by Coroner Tohill of Bethany.
 
ONE OTHER IN MINE.
       Ed Hewitt, mule tender, the only other man in the mine at the time of the explosion, had a harrowing experience, but came out alive and with comparatively minor injuries. The eighteen mules he had gone into the mine to feed were knocked down by the explosion, but the quick work of those on top in turning on the ventilator saved the animals from suffocation.
 
HEWITT'S STORY.
       "I was in the back part of the stable," said Hewitt in telling his experience. "It was about five o'clock, or maybe a few minutes after. I heard an explosion, the barn door was blown open, and I was knocked down by the force of the shock. Immediately the place became filled with dust and smoke and I began to try to pry my way out of the stables to the outlet of the shaft."
 
BLACK DAMP.
       "The black damp gas was fast filling the place, and I found it difficult to get out. I was not seriously hurt, but I choked down several times before I reached the telephone."
 
       "I scarcely remember anything that happened after the explosion until some time after I got out of the mine. I crawled and walked and found my way to the telephone, where I called the night watchman. He told the engineer what had happened, and I crawled on the cage and was hoisted out."
 
MULES SAVED.
       "Some of the mules were knocked down from the force of the explosion and others were badly affected by the gas that entered that part of the stable afterward. But the rescue party succeeded in opening the ventilator, and not one of the animals died."
 
RESCUERS ENTER MINE.
       As soon as it was learned an explosion had occurred, Mine Superintendent J. R. McLain led a party of a dozen rescuers into the shaft, and though he and three or four others were overcome by gas for a time, McLain was the last man to leave the mine. In the evening, after the body of Finley had been recovered. For an hour at one time he was separated from his followers, but was found and resuscitated.
 
       Other men who were overcome by the gas fumes temporarily were Robert Hynds, William Jamison and Alex Downey. Martin Percotta, a member of the Springfield crew, was overcome by gas when he went down in the afternoon, but he and the others are recovering nicely from the effects.
 
CAUSE UNKNOWN.
       The cause of the explosion has not been determined, but is under investigation by State Mine Examiner Joe Hoskins. According to the Springfield rescue crew, the interior of the mine was not badly torn up, though the explosion was terrific and broke down some concrete partitions. Some gas remains in the mine, but will be removed at once and repairs made, so that work can be resumed at or soon after the beginning of the year. The mine has been working about 200 men and hoisting from twenty-eight to thirty-five carloads of coal a day.
 
       The force of the explosion blew loaded cars, weighing tons, from the tracks and demolished, empty cars.
 
FINLEY'S SURVIVORS.
       Mr. Finley, who was about 33 years old, is survived by his wife and three children, Clifford, Agnes May and Robert Donald, all of Lovington; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Finley, two brothers and a sister, John and James Finley and Mrs. Andrew Lemons, all of Decatur. About thirteen years ago he married Miss Ida Souders of Decatur.
 
MOTHER AT MINE.
       Mr. Finley's mother, grief-torn, remained at the top of the mine throughout the long hours of the day Thursday, and still kept her vigil when the body was brought up.
 
       The body of Mr., Finley was taken to the undertaking rooms of W. B. McMullin, and while arrangements for the funeral have not been completed it is expected the funeral will be held at the Methodist church here on Saturday, with the Masons in charge of the services.
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1923
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Decatur Daily Review, January 10, 1923
LOVINGTON MINE SUPT. RESIGNS
Place Not Filled -- Mine is Still Closed.
 
Lovington. Jan. 10. -- The resignation of R. E. McLain as superintendent of the Lovington coal mine amid the temporary inability of the company to fill the position is responsible now for further delay in the re-opening of the mine, in which an explosion occurred a few weeks ago.
 
       It was expected that the mine would re-open this week, as it appeared that it had been placed in working condition again, but further delay was experienced from the above mentioned cause. It may be that the mine will re-open next Monday, however.
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Decatur Daily Review, January 15, 1923
LOVINGTON MINE AGAIN OPERATES
Work Resumed Monday Under Supt. Adams.
 
       Lovington, Jan. 13. -- The Lovington mine, which has been closed for the last three weeks, subsequent to the explosion in which Mine Inspector Charles Finley lost his life, was re-opened Monday morning for the hoisting of coal. A small force of men has been at work since the explosion, cleaning up the mine and putting it in readiness tor the resumption ot work.
 
       Horace Adams, the newly employed superintendent, is in charge. No report as to the cause of the recent explosion has yet been made public.
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1924
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Decatur Review, November 23, 1924
BUYS MULES FROM LOVINGTON MINE
Manie Wilson Gets Nine Animals As Investment.
 
       Nine young mules that had been used in the Lovington coal mine, that closed recently, were bought this week by E. C. Manie Wllson of Decatur, who bought them as an investment. The mules, which are young animals and in excellent condition, were removed from the mine some six months or more ago, and when it seemed that the mine was to resume steady operation they were returned to Lovington, but were kept there on pasture until their sale to Mr. Wilson.
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Moultrie County, Illinois
Coal Mine Fatalities
EDWARDS
July 18,19029 -- There was but one fatal accident since the first shovel of dirt was thrown. While attempting to raise a smokestack July 18,1902, Thomas Edwards was crushed to death under the falling stack. The company settled with the widow.
 
FINLEY
December 28, 19224, Charley Finley, of Lovington, mine examiner, age 33 years, married, was killed by an explosion of gas which he set off while making an examination in the Lovington Coal Company's mine. He leaves a widow and three children.
Lovington, Dec. 289 --The body of Mine Inspector Charles Finley, victim of the explosion In the Lovington mine at 5:20 Thursday morning, was recovered at 4:30 Thursday afternoon by the Springfield rescue crew that reached here a couple of hours before,
       The body was at a point about 1,500 feet north of the opening of the mine, crumpled against a broken coal car. The right side was horribly burned, but the left side, on which the body was lying, was untouched, and the body was not mangled. The skull, however, was badly fractured, And this was given as the cause of the man's death in the verdict or the coroner's jury which was impaneled Thursday evening by Coroner Tohill of Bethany.
       Mr. Finley, who was about 33 years old, is survived by his wife and three children, Clifford, Agnes May and Robert Donald, all of Lovington; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Finley, two brothers and a sister, John and James Finley and Mrs. Andrew Lemons, all of Decatur. About thirteen years ago he married Miss Ida Souders of Decatur.
 
JAMEISON
August 28, 19235, William Jameison, of Lovington, laborer, age 55 years, married, was killed by an explosion of gas in Lovington Coal Company's mine. He leaves a widow and one child.
 

Moultrie County, Illinois
Non-Fatal Casualties

July 1, 1923 - June 30, 1924 & July 1, 1925 - December 31, 1925
BOONTIN, Alfred age 64 years, Married, of Lovington
17 Mar 1924 - Thumb injured, falling coal - Time lost - 30 days
 
BOONTIN, Leo, Single, of Lovington
15 Feb 1924 - Leg injured, falling coal - Time lost - 40 days
 
DROPP, John age 35 years, Married with 4 children, of Lovington
24 Nov 1923 - Back injured, loading coal - Time lost - 90 days
 
DUFFEY, James, Married with 5 children, of Lovington
27 Dec 1923 - Shoulder injured, falling coal - Time lost - 180 days
 
GLAVEY, Patrick age 40 years, Single, of Lovington
29 Apr 1924 - Back injured, pushing car - Time lost - 40 days
 
KOSTELLIE, Joe age 47 years, Married with 5 children, of Lovington
3 Mar 1924 - Back injured, fell down - Time lost - 120 days
 
McCRYSTAL, Peter age 39 years, Married with 5 children, of Lovington
18 Mar 1924 - Knee injured, fell down - Time lost - 120 days
 
SHAZER, Frank age 39 years, Married with 4 children, of Lovington
15 Apr 1924 - Hip injured, loading car - Time lost - 90 days
 
STICKLE, Fred age 17 years, Married, of Lovington
14 Jan 1924 - Back injured, on machine - Time lost - 30 days
 
STROZAR, Frank, Married with 4 children, of Lovington
18 Apr 1924 - Hip injured, falling coal - Time lost - 40 days
 
WOOLEY, Claud age 52 years, Single, of Lovington
16 Feb 1924 - Shoulder injured, falling coal - Not returned to work
 
ZABSKI, Stanley age 82 years, Married with 3 children, of Lovington
3 Dec 1923 - Thumb injured, on car - Time lost - 90 days
 

 
Sources :
 
1 Coal Mines in Illinois, Moultrie County
                Illinois State Geological Survey, 615 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, IL. 61820

2 Twenty-Eighth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1909
                Springfield, Illinois; Illinois State Journal Co.. State Printers, 1910

3 Twenty-Ninth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1910
                Springfield, Illinois; Illinois State Journal Co.. State Printers, 1911

4 Forty-Second Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1923
                Department of Mines and Minerals
                Illinois Printing Co., Danville, ILL., 1923

5 Forty-Fifth [should have been Forty-Fourth] Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1925
                Department of Mines and Minerals
                Illinois State Journal Co., Springfield, Illinois, 1926

6 Forty-Eighth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1929
                Department of Mines and Minerals
                Journal Printing Co., Springfield, ILL., 1930

7 Forty-Ninth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1930
                Department of Mines and Minerals
                Illinois Printing Co., Danville, ILL., 1931

8 Fiftieth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1931
                Department of Mines and Minerals
                Illinois Printing Co., Danville, ILL., 1932

9 Decatur Daily Review, April 10, 1909; December 29, 1922; Newspaper articles
                Courtesy of Greg Hamblin, & the Moultrie County, Illinois ILGenWeb

 

Coal & Coal Mining in Illinois

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