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Illinois
Coal & Coal Mining
History & Genealogy

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Rock Island County, Illinois
Featuring Coal Mining
      Rock Island County is a county located in the northern part of the state of Illinois.
            41.47° N, 90.57° W
As of 2000, the population was 149,374 and in 2010 the population was 152,046.
The county seat is Rock Island, Illinois.
Rock Island County was formed in 1831 out of Jo Daviess County.
      Rock Island County has eighteen townships:
            Andalusia, Blackhawk, Bowling, Buffalo Prairie, Canoe Creek, Coal Valley, Coe, Cordova, Drury, Edgington, Hampton, Milan,East Moline, Moline, Port Byron, Rock Island, Rural, Silvis, South Moline, South Rock Island, Zuma
      Some of the cities, towns, villages and communities are :
Andalusia, Buffalo Prairie, Campbell's Island, Carbon Cliff, Castle Junction, Coal Valley (partial), Cordova, Coyne Center, East Moline, Edgington, Ginger Hill, Hampton, Hillsdale, Illinois City, Milan, Moline, Oak Grove, Port Byron, Rapids City, Reynolds, Rock Island, Rock Island Arsenal*, Taylor Ridge, Silvis
* Rock Island Arsenal is a census-designated place and the island contains the Rock Island National Cemetery.
 
Coal Mining History Coal Mines Fatalities Reference Sources

 
Rock Island County
Coal Mining History

 
Mining in the Coal Valley Quadrangle 10
      The earliest record of coal mining in Rock Island County is 1867, when 68,000 tons were mined (indicating that mining started considerably before that year), although production records were not reported until 1882. An 1877 History of Rock Island County states that 46 mines operated in the previous year, producing almost 300,000 tons. All the mines in the Coal Valley Quadrangle mined underground using the room and pillar method. The longwall method was tried prior to 1885 by the Eureka Coal Company, but that attempt failed due to geologic conditions in the area. The coal was near the surface, often accessed directly from the outcrop at the surface into the hillside. Shafts were rarely 80 feet deep, more commonly 30 to 40 feet.
 
Geology 10
Coal Measures. -- In that portion of the county lying west of Rock River the coal measures are found as outliers, overlaying and resting unconformably upon the Devonian and Upper Silurian limestone, as far north as the vicinity of Port Byron, where it finally terminates. The most northerly point where a workable bed of coal has been found on this side of the river, is at Rapids City, where the seam is from four to five feet thick, and over lies the Niagara limestone, with only a few feet in thickness of shales and fire clay between. Two miles east of Hampton, where coal shafts have been sunk, are good seams from four to five feet thick. The Carbon Cliff mines were the earliest worked on the west side of Rock River. For many years extensive coal operations, in connection with an establishment for the manufacture of pottery and tire-brick, were carried on at this point, under the management of W. S. Thomas, Esq., but the limited supply of coal finally became so nearly exhausted that mining here was discontinued. The triangular piece of elevated land east of the city of Rock Island, bounded by Pleasant Valley, Rock River and the Mississippi, is a mass of coal measure materials, resting upon a Devonian or Upper Silurian formation of under lying limestone.
 
      All that part of the county south and east of the Mississippi and Rock River ranges of bluffs is underlaid by the coal measures. In every part of the county the coal measures are covered with a deep deposit of drift-clays. At Milan, Carbon Cliff and east of the city of Rock Island, this drift-clay is from forty to seventy-five feet in thickness.
 
      South of Rock River the coal measures are more regular and more extensively developed than in the northern part of the county. The coal mining interest has become an important branch of industry in Rock Island County. According to the Inspector's report for 1876, there were twenty-six mines regularly operated eight months of the year, and some twenty others occasionally worked. In these were employed an aggregate of 941miners, the average for the whole time being 650. Six important mines are operated constantly. The whole number of tons of coal mined was 299,228, its value at the mines being $597,917. The average value of coal per ton at the mines was $1.99. The amount of capital invested in coal mining was $243,750. The capacity of the mines worked for the production of coal was 506,550 tons annually. The thickness of the coal seams varies from three and a half to five and a half feet, and is reached at a depth of from 40 to 120 feet. The coal is raised at the principal mines by steam power. The active operations in mining have greatly enhanced the value of contiguous lands, and led to the introduction of railroads as a special means of transportation. The Milwaukee and St. Paul has trains constantly running from the principal mines in Hampton township to connect with the Western Union railroad. Also private tracks have been laid for the discharge of coal on the Mississippi River. The Coal Valley Mining Company run trains from Rock Island to Coal Valley, twelve miles, for coal exclusively. They also own and operate the Rock Island and Mercer County Railroad, from Rock Island to Cable, in Richland Grove township, in Mercer County, a distance of twenty-six miles. This road has been built and is operated for coal and general purposes.
 
      For the time they have been worked, the Rock Island County coal mines will compare favorably with any in the West. The defective machinery, apparatus, or manner ol mining, resulting from hasty preparation, are rapidly disappearing, as proprietors of the mines feel the necessity of putting in operation plans tor rendering the miners' lives safer, and their leisure hours happier. The report states that no person was killed in the mines during 1876, two cases of fracture of limbs being the most serious accidents.
 
Rock Island County Coal Report of the Inspector of Coal Mines 11
      Daniel Gordon, Esq., Inspector of Coal Mines for this county, has just made his annual report to the Governor, of the condition of the coal mines and coal lands in this county, as far as ascertained by him for the year 1875. We are indebted to him for a copy of his report, from which we condense the following facts:
Number of acres of known coal lands discovered and being worked in the county, 2,669. Number of acres worked out, 439. Greatest number of miners at work at any time during the past year, 1,017. Average number employed, 632. The number of tons of coal produced during the year 1875 was 268,541. And the average price at the mines was $2.19 a ton. The value of coal mined during the year was $577,597. The amount of capital employed in the business was $244,350. The capacity of production was 725,550 tons. The number of mines opened and worked was 30. The condition of these mines, as to ventilation, is reported "good" in 7; and "fair" in 9; "deficient" in 5; deficient in part in 6.

 

 
Rock Island County, Illinois
Non-Fatal Casualties

July 1, 1923 - June 30, 1924 & July 1, 1925 - December 31, 1925
 
KRACKLOW, Carl age 26 years, Married, of Coal Valley
15 Feb 1924 - Hand broken - Time lost - 44 days
 
KRAPP, Rudolph age 28 years, Married with 1 child, of Coal Valley
20 Nov 1923 - Arm injured - Time lost - 49 days
 
SCHADT, Conrad age 39 years, Married with 6 children; 7 dependents, of Silvis
20 Aug 1923 - Arm broken - Time lost - 46 days
 

 
Sources :
1 Statistics of Coal In Illinois 1894
                Thirteenth Annual Report - Springfield, ILL.; Ed. F. Hartman, State Printer, 1895

2 Sixteenth Annual Report of the State Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1897
                Coal in Illinois - Springfield, ILL; Phillips Bros. State Printers, 1898

3 Seventeenth Annual Report of the State Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1898
                Coal in Illinois - Springfield, ILL; Phillips Bros. State Printers, 1899

4 Twentieth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1901
                also the Third Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                October 1, 1901, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield, -- Springfield, ILL.; Phillips Bros., State Printers, 1902

5 Twenty-second Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1903
                also the Fifth Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                October 1, 1903, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield, -- Springfield, ILL.; Phillips Bros., State Printers, 1904

6 Twenty-third Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1904
                also the Sixth Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                October 1, 1904, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield, -- Springfield, Illinois State Journal, State Printers, 1905

7 Twenty-Sixth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1907
                also the Ninth Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                September 30, 1907, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield, -- Springfield, ILL.; Phillips Bros., State Printers, 1908

8 Fifty-Second Coal Report of Illinois, 1933
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

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

10 Coal Mines in Illinois, Rock Island County
                Illinois State Geological Survey, 615 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, IL. 61820

11 The Past and Present of Rock Island County, Ill.
                published by H. F. Kett & Co., Cor. 5th Ave. and Washington St.; 1877

12 Statistics of Coal Production in Illinois, 1883,
                A Supplemental Report of the State Bureau of Labor Statistics,
                by John S Lord, Secretary; Springfield, ILL: H. W. Rokker, Printer and Binder; 1883

13 Third Biennial Report, Bureau of Labor Statistics of Illinois, 1884
                Springfield, ILL; H. W. Roker, State Printer and Binder, 1884

14 Statistics of Coal In Illinois 1885
                A Supplemental Report; State Bureau of Labor Statistics
                Reports of Mine Inspectors; For the Year Ended July1, 1885
                Springfield, ILL; H. W. Roker, State Printer and Binder, 1885

15 Statistics of Coal in Illinois, 1887
                A Supplemental Report of the State Bureau of Labor Statistics
                Springfield, ILL.; H. W. Rokker, State Printer and Binder, 1887

16 Fifteenth Annual Report of the State Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1896
                Springfield, ILL; Phillips Bros. State Printers, 1897

17 Statistics of Coal In Illinois 1893
                Twelveth Annual Report - Springfield, ILL.; H. W. Rokker, State Printer and Binder, 1894

18 Statistics of Coal In Illinois 1895
                Fourteenth Annual Report;    Springfield, ILL.; ED. F. Hartman, State Printer, 1896

19 Eighteenth Annual Report Prepared by the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1899
                Springfield, ILL; Phillips Bros. State Printers, 1899

20 Nineteenth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1900,
                also the Second Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                October 1, 1900, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield, -- Springfield, ILL.; Phillips Bros., State Printers, 1901

21 Twenty-first Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1902
                also the Fourth Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                October 1, 1902, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield, -- Springfield, ILL.; Phillips Bros., State Printers, 1903

22 Twenty-Fourth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1905,
                also the Seventh Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                September 30, 1905, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield, -- Springfield, Illinois State Journal, State Printers, 1906

23 Twenty-Fifth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1906,
                also the Eighth Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                September 30, 1906, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield, -- Springfield, ILL.; Phillips Bros., State Printers, 1907

24 Twenty-Seventh Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1908
                Springfield, Illinois; Illinois State Journal Co.. State Printers, 1909

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

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

27 Thirtieth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1911
                State Mining Board -- Springfield, Illinois; Illinois State Journal Co.. State Printers, 1912

28 Thirty-First Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1912
                State Mining Board -- Springfield, Illinois; Illinois State Journal Co.. State Printers, 1913

29 Thirty-Second Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1913
                State Mining Board -- Springfield, Illinois; Illinois State Journal Co.. State Printers, 1914

30 Thirty-Third Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1914
                State Mining Board -- Springfield, Illinois; Illinois State Journal Co.. State Printers, 1914

31 Thirty-Fourth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1915
                State Mining Board -- Illinois State Journal Co., State Printers, 1915

32 Thirty-Fifth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1916
                State Mining Board -- Springfield, ILL.; Illinois State Journal Co., State Printers 1916

33 Twenty-Sixth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1917
                Department of Mines and Minerals; Year Ended June 30, 1917
                Printed by authority of the State of Illinois; Springfield: Illinois State Journal, State Printers, 1917

34 Thirty-Seventh Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1918
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Springfield, ILL.; Illinois State Journal Co., State Printers 1918

35 Thirty-Eighth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1919
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Springfield, ILL.; Illinois State Journal Co., State Printers 1919

36 Thirty-Ninth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1920
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Springfield, ILL.; Illinois State Journal Co., State Printers 1920

37 Fortieth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1921
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Phillips Bros. Print, Springfield, Illinois; 1921

38 Forty-First Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1922
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Illinois Printing Co., Danville, ILL., 1922

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

40 Forty-Third Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1924
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Illinois Printing Co., Danville, ILL., 1924

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

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

43 Forty-Sixth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1927
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Illinois Printing Co., Danville, ILL., 1928

44 Forty-Seventh Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1928
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Illinois Printing Co., Danville, ILL., 1929

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

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

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

48 Fifty-First Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1932
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Journal Printing Co., Springfield, ILL., 1933

49 Fifty-Second Coal Report of Illinois, 1933
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

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

51 Fifty -Fourth Coal Report of Illinois, 1935
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

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

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

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

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

56 Fifty -Ninth Coal Report of Illinois, 1940
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

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

58 Sixty First Coal Report of Illinois, 1942
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

59 Sixty Second Coal Report of Illinois, 1943
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

60 Sixty Third Coal Report of Illinois, 1944
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

61Sixty Fourth Coal Report of Illinois, 1945
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

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

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


Coal & Coal Mining in Illinois

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