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Illinois
Coal & Coal Mining
History & Genealogy

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Sangamon County, Illinois
Featuring Coal Mining
      Sangamon County is a county located in the central part of the state of Illinois.
            39.76° N, 89.88° W
As of 2008, the population was 194,925.
The county seat is Springfield, the state capital.
 
      Sangamon County was formed in 1821
It was formed out of Madison and Bond Counties and named for the Sangamon River.
 
      Sangamon County has twenty-six townships:
            Auburn, Ball, Buffalo Hart, Capital, Cartwright, Chatham, Clear Lake, Cooper, Cotton Hill, Curran, Divernon, Fancy Creek, Gardner, Illiopolis, Island Grove, Lanesville, Loami, Maxwell, Mechanicsburg, New Berlin, Pawnee, Rochester, Springfield, Talkington, Williams, Woodside.
 
      Some of the Cities, Towns, Villages and communities are :
Andrew, Archer, Auburn, Barclay, Bates, Berlin, Bissell, Bolivia, Bradfordton, Breckenridge, Buffalo, Buffalo Hart, Cantrall, Chatham, Cimic, Clear Lake, Curran, Dawson, Devereux, Divernon, Farmingdale, Glenarm, Grandview, Illiopolis, Jerome, Leland Grove, Loami, Lowder, Mechanicsburg, New Berlin, New City, Old Berlin, Pawnee, Pleasant Plains, Riverton, Riddle Hill,Rochester, Sherman, Southern View, Spaulding, Springfield, Thayer, Williamsville
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Coal Mining History Coal Mines Reference Sources
Fatalities A - L     M - Z   Non-Fatal Casualties

 
Coal Mining History in Sangamon County, Illinois
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History of Sangamon County, llinois 42
COAL MINES.
      The discovery of coal by E. P. Howlett, at Riverton, in 1865, and the assurance given by the State Geologist that underneath, probably, the entire county, good working veins of coal existed, stimulated further explorations, resulting in the fact being made known that this township was rich in "black diamonds."
      The Powers Coal Mine was first opened in 1866, but mining was not carried on until the following year. A shaft two hundred and fifty feet deep was sunk, when a vein of coal from five and a half to six feet in thickness was discovered, which has since been continually worked. At the present time from eighty to one hundred men are worked in the mine, and some ten or twelve employed in work on the outside. From three hundred and fifty to four hundred tons of coal can be taken out each day. They now average thirty cars per day of ten tons each. Three grades of coal are placed upon the market -- lump, chestnut and nut, which are supplied to the railroad and city trade. The Wabash Coal Company are proprietors of the mine at the present time, with an office in the Library Building in Springfield. Jacob G. Loose sunk the first shaft at the Junction soon after the war.
      The Black Diamond Coal Mine is located near the Junction, and a shaft two hundred and fifty feet deep was commenced June, 1880, and by October, coal was being taken out from a six foot vein, which now yields three hundred tons per day. Every protection is afforded the men working in the mines, a heavy fan ventilator being used to furnish fresh air and drive out foul air when necessary. Speed Butler is the proprietor of the mines, which cost the sum of 830,000 to commence operations.
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1885 Annual Coal Report1 - Collieries in Sangamon County
Black Diamond Mine.
      This mine has changed hands during the year, the original owner, Mr. Speed Butler, having died. The shaft is now leased to John W. Moore, Thos. Gray and Robt. Solomon. The mine, during the year, has not been up to the requirements of the law as regards ventilation and the closing up of worked-out rooms. The new firm has promised to put everything in shape according to law.
John W. Moore, Secretary; Thos. Gray, Outside Manager; Robt. Solomon, Mine Manager.
 
Wabash Coal and Mining Co. No. 2 Colliery, at Dawson.
      This shaft has been worked nearly up to its full capacity. The coal averages 5½ feet thick, and is of a very fair quality. This seam is not so much troubled with "horseback" and clay slips as the mines around Springfield. The ventilation is very good. An 8-foot Murphy fan is used for ventilation, and everything is in good order below. The air has been split, and air crossings put in during the year.
T. P. Mowitt, Manager.
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1903 Annual Coal Report14 - Explosions
EXPLOSIONS
      In view of the accidents, and the loss of life thereby, it would seem very desirable and important that both the mine owners and miners, take up this matter with the manufacturers of blasting powder, and urge and insist that a powder be produced that will not engender or give off a flame of such volume, and that will be much safer to use in blasting coal. If this matter be neglected, there is great danger that other explosions may take place, attended with unusual loss of life. However, the most important line of action is to devise at an early day, some means to put an immediate check to the reckless and extravagent use of powder, which has developed in the last three years.
      All coal should be undercut or sheared before blasting, except in machine mines, where very little shearing or undercutting is done. In former years the miner used his pick to undercut or shear the coal so as to give the shots a chance to blow the coal; at the present time the pick is very seldom used.
      In blasting off of the solid, one-third of the coal is generally slack or fine coal, and from 80 to 100 pounds of the fine dust is given off by each shot, which makes blasting extremely dangerous, where tight shots are fired. The recent joint action of the operators and mine workers in securing an amendment to the mining law regarding the quantity of powder to be used in the preparation of shots is very commendable, and will prove a valuable aid to the mine management in preventing the reckless use of powder; no possible law or set of laws, however, will instruct an inexperienced miner or give him good judgment in locating his shots, or teach him how much powder to use in preparing a shot.
      A hole may be drilled and charged according to law and yet be exceedingly dangerous: blown out shots are frequent, and so called windy shots are almost of daily occurrence in this district.
      The recent amendment to the mining law as regards blasting, will be of little value unless operators, mine officials, inspectors and miners determine that it must be enforced, for their mutual protection, and for the best interests of all persons working in the mines.
      During the last three or four years the work of blasting down the coal has been done in a reckless and dangerous manner; in a number of mines in the district, viz: Victor Coal company; Auburn and Alton Company; Chicago-Virden Coal company at Auburn and Chatham, and the Cantrall Cooperative Coal company ; at these mines the employees were afraid to be in the mine during blasting time, hence the operators and miners have agreed to employ shot firers, from two to four men at each of those mines, to fire all the shots, after all other employees are out of the shaft. Any shot not properly placed to blow down the coal in a safe condition will not be fired by the shot firers. This has improved the conditions at these mines. However, the life of the shot firer is always in danger.
 
See : Explosion of October 13, 1902 at Victor Coal Company
See : Explosion of February 25, 1903 at Auburn and Alton Coal Company
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1907 Annual Coal Report18 - Enforcement of the Mining Law
      During the year eight miners in Sangamon County have been arrested and fined for violation of the mining law, relating to tamping with coal dust and one for drilling a dead hole.
 
1908 Annual Coal Report19 - Enforcement of the Mining Law
      During the year several operators in this district have been fined by the courts for neglecting to file maps of their mines as required by law. Several miners have have also been fined for opening powder kegs with picks in direct violation of the law. A shot-firer at Lincoln was prosecuted and fined for firing shots before the men had left their working places, and for giving a miner a squib with which to light his own shot.
      I have experienced a great deal of trouble in enforcing the law relative to the technical points, which have arisen more especially with the provision in section 8 that there is no punishment for the offender for the first offense, when, by the first violation of the law, the violator may cause the death of several men. If such should occur, all that can be done under the present law is to warn the offenders not to repeat the offense.

Sources :
1 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

2 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

3 Sixth Biennial Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of Illinois, 1890
                Springfield, ILL.; H. W. Rokker, State Printer and Binder, 1891

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11 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

12 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

13 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

14 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

15 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

16 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

17 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

18 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

26 Thirty-Fourth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1915
                State Mining Board -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois; Springfield, ILL,
                Illinois State Journal Co., State Printers, 1915

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

28 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

29 Thirty-Seventh Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1918
                Department of Mines and Minerals
                Printed by authority of the State of Illinois; Springfield, ILL.; Illinois State Journal Co., State Printers 1918

30 Thirty-Eighth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1919
                Department of Mines and Minerals
                Printed by authority of the State of Illinois; Springfield, ILL.; Illinois State Journal Co., State Printers 1919

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

42 History of Sangamon County, Illinois; together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships . . .
                portraits of prominent persons, and biographies of representative citizens. . .
;
                Inter-State Publishing Company, Chicago; 1881; p1061

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

55Sixty First Coal Report of Illinois, 1942
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

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

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

58Sixty Fourth Coal Report of Illinois, 1945
                Department of Mines and Minerals -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

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

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

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

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

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

 

Coal & Coal Mining in Illinois

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