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Illinois
Coal & Coal Mining
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Washington County, Illinois
Featuring Coal Mining

Coal Mines
of
Washington County, Illinois
1865 - 1999

 
Ashley Township
 
Du Bois Township
 
Irvington Township
 
Johannisburg Township
 
Lively Grove Township
 
Nashville Township
 
Okawville Township
 
Venedy Township
 
Washington County townships
Coal Mine Fatalities of Washington County, Illinois
 
 
18855
Washington County
      There are three mines in this county producing coal, and a new shaft has been sunk to coal at Ashley. This will be completed and equipped as soon as the necessary funds can be obtained. The Dubois company and the Nashville Coal Co. have both had their escapements furnished with ladders, and the Nashville shaft has also a fan. The Dubois mine has had a large amount of work put on it, and needs much more. The present manager is doing well. Mr. Brown, the superintendent, tells me that he has spent all the mine has made on the improvements required, and will continue to do so until he gets the mine in good condition.
      The shaft at Okawville is supplying the local trade, a number of working men having leased it, and put it in working order. Here the only steel boiler in the district is in use.
 
18876
Washington County
Consolidated Coal Company, Joseph Morris, lessee, Nashville
G. W. Brown Coal Company, Dubois
White Smoke Company, Okawville
 

 
Ashley Township
Township 2 South, Range 1 West, Sections 13 - 36
Source
Reference #
Section # Company NameMine NameYears Operated
424927Ashley Coal CompanyAshley1895 - 1895
204527Ashley Coal CompanyAshley1900 - 1900
   Source :1879 History
- - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -
  
Ashley Coal Mine
      The mine was shut down in 1898 due too little acreage being mined.
The water ran into the mine faster than it could be pumped out.
The coal was of good quality and the seam was 4 foot 10 inches.
      It was in operation for a short time.
It was owned by C. E. Hammond and the Pace Brothers.
      It was told that as late as 2000 you could drop a stone in shaft and here it hit bottom. The exact location of the mine site should be in the land records in the County Seat, Nashville, Illinois.
      In 2005 Joe Kasban owned land, just South of the South Milk Plant Dam. To this day, bricks are scattered around the place where the mine shaft is located.
By : W. J. "Bucky" McCoy

 
Du Bois Township
Township 3 South, Range 1 West, Sections 1 - 36
        In 1865, a coal shaft was sunk by Voss & Beard to the depth of 200 feet, and they stopped work. A year later it was sunk 50 feet deeper by J. W. Tilley & R. S. Peyton. R. S. Peyton became the sole proprietor and continued sinking the mine to 296 feet. In 1879, the mine was operated by the Forman & Slutterd estate.
   Source :1879 History
- - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -
Source
Reference #
Section # Company NameMine NameYears Operated
32033G. W. Brown & CompanyDuBois1865 - 1884
32033DuBois Coal CompanyDuBois1884 - 1886
32033G. W. BrownBrown1886 - 1888
32033DuBois Coal CompanyDuBois1888 - 1890
32033Kuhn & SchwindKuhn1890 - 1891
32033J. D. SchwindSchwind1891 - 1892
32033Kuhn & SchwindKuhn1892 - 1894
32033Adam Kuhn Coal CompanyDuBois1894 - 1834
32033DuBois Coal CompanyKuhn1934 - 1935
32033Bois Coal CompanyKuhn1935 - 1961
 
- - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -
Influence of Coal Mine
 
The Coal Mine

 
     The Kuhn Coal Company mine in Du Bois was dug in 1865 to supply fuel for steam locomotives. The 300 foot deep mine proved to be the longest operating mine in the state.
      Mules drug coal cars to the shaft head. An ancient steam boiler provided power to bring coal to the surface. There was no modern machinery and no electricity.
      Miners worked by the glow of carbide lights attached to their helmets. A pick and shovel were their only tools. They brought up about 100 tons of coal per day.
      The mine operated in fall and winter and closed during the spring and summer so miners could farm their ground.
      Sylvester Felts, who lived next door to the mine and worked there off and on for most of his life, recalled that the whistle blew every half hour between five and seven each morning, calling the miners to work.
      Outside his window, he could see the men walking, riding horses or seated in horse-drawn wagons as they drifted to the mine to begin the day's work.
   
 
      When spring came and the mine closed, men would work on their farms or find employment elsewhere. Even the mules split the year above ground and below ground. In the spring they were allowed to adjust to the sunlight and then were taken to farms to work. It was said that the first thing they did was to lie down and roll in the dirt.
      After the Kuhn mine closed, the mine's tipple stood as an unofficial monument to the past. It was a reminder that until the mine closed it had the distinction of being the oldest operating mine in the state. Now the tipple and the surrounding buildings are gone. Its longevity is attributed to the fact that the slow recovery of coal by hand gave the mine its extensive life span.
      In the spring of 1961, the mine closed for the summer. That proved to be the last time that coal was hoisted from the mine.
     The mine remained open until 1962. the men worked the same way then as they did when the mine opened. Miners chopped at the coal with picks and shoveled it into the mule-drawn carts.
 DuBois mine photo
 
      John Waligorski, a former general manager, bookkeeper, secretary-treasurer of the mine's cooperative company, reported that when operations were to resume in the fall, there was trouble with the shaft. Attempts were made to repair the shaft but they failed and the mine was never in operation again.
 
      The narrow shaft extended about 300 feet down to the coal bed. Mining was done by the room and pillar method. Old maps indicate the mined out area extended about a mile to the west and almost a mile to the north of the shaft. Miners said the coal seam averaged about six feet in thickness.
 
      At the time of the closing, the mine produced about 140 tons of coal per day. Waligorski said annual production was about 10,000 to 12,000 tons. Some was transported to industrial areas; some was sold to local truckers who loaded at the mine.
 
      Employees usually numbered between 30 and 40. The majority of these were coal diggers. There were also mile skinners, track layers, two hoisting engineers and tipple hands.
 
      The coal was of high quality and production costs were low. During the final years of operation the mine was operated, in part, as a cooperative with part of the profits going back to the men who dug the coal.
 
DuBois mine photo No. 2
"Bud" and Charley Setzekorn no longer work at the Kuhn mine . . .
        Records show some of the expenses of the Du Bois Coal Company in 1884 :
1 large time book
2 small time books
Nevel Qualls . . survey help
John Morgan . . survey help
wick
Nevel Qualls . . .shift work
John Morgan . . . shift work
John Eaton, digging 19 bu. coal
nails
98 gals Zero oil @15¢
nails and bolts for trap door
rope
1 bu. corn
 
10 pounds harness leather
two teams, hauling slack
1 gallon oil
hauling powder to mine
bell rope
2 blank books
$1.00
.20
1.00
1.00
.10
4.87
1.68
.38
.15
14.70
.70
.25
.50
 
7.00
4.00
.20
.20
.10
.20
 
There were 53 employees at the mine in 1886;
41 employees in 1888.
 
miners worked for $1.50 per day in 1891.

DuBois mine photo No. 3
. . . but in 1957, when they did, the "lunchroom" was a quiet corner.

Article and Photographs furnished by W. J. "Bucky" McCoy

 
Irvington Township
Township 1 North, Range 1 West, Sections 25 - 36
Township 1 South, Range 1 West, Sections 1 - 36
Source
Reference #
Section # Company NameMine NameYears Operated
8625Centralia Coal CompanyCentralia1909 - 1948
8625Peabody Coal CompanyPeabody1948 - 1949
- - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -
Centralia Coal Company
Number 5 Mine
Wamac, Washington County, Illinois
March 25, 1947
  Recover 35 Dead From Pit; Hope Fades For Others
No. 5 Mine Disaster Ranks With Greatest In Nation's History

was the headlines on March 25, 1947 of the "Centralia Sentinel"
        The twisted and broken bodies of 18 miners were brought to the surface from Centralia Coal Company's No. 5 mine this morning, increasing to 35 the number of known dead in an explosion Tuesday and leaving 76 still trapped in the pit and given "no chance at all" by a mine rescue squad leader.
      A heavy snow fell over the grim setting as rescue squads, after working through the early morning hours, brought the second group of dead miners from 540 feet below the ground. There were only a few persons at the pit as the bodies were placed in ambulances and taken to a temporary morgue in a nearby bus garage. last night 16 bodies were removed to the garage. Earlier one miner removed from the mine on Tuesday died.
      An unidentified rescue worker said the bodies of the 18 brought from the pit today were twisted and bruised and clothing on some were burned, indicating they had been nearer to the explosion than the 16 miners who were found last night.
      As the death toll mounted, with a rescue leader predicting it would reach 111, company officials said rescue attempts would be pushed, "we're not going to give up."
Predicts 111 Dead
      The toll of 111 dead predicted by William J. Rowekamp, rescue leader and recording secretary of the Centralia local of the AFL United Mine Workers whose members worked the mine, would rank the disaster as the greatest in the nation's coal fields since 195 lost their lives in 1928 at Mather, Pa.
      The company presented a revised total of the number of miners who had been in the mine at the time of the blast.. Vice President W. P. Young said 142 men had been in the mine and 33 had been removed alive. Earlier he said 151 had been below and 30 had been rescued alive..
      Rowekamps's views were echoed by other rescue workers who said that not a single victim has been taken alive from the mine since Tuesday night several hours after the explosion.
      One miner helped out at that time died later. Sixteen bodies were removed over a half-hour period last night and eighteen more were being removed early today
      Opinions varied widely as to the length of time that would be required to complete exploration of the more than 3½mile tunnel, 540 feet below ground, in which the trapped men had been working.
      Driscoll O. Scanlan, an Illinois state mine inspector, said because of the slow progress it might take a week to probe to the end of the seven-foot high passage. Mule power was being used in preference to machinery for fear of electrical sparks detonating gases collected in the workings. Rescue workers wore gas masks. Side diggings off the east-west passage were being boarded up to assure better ventilation for rescue workers.
      However, a federal mine inspector who asked that his name not be used, said the squad of 30 who worked grimly through the night had "checked all but two entries on the east-west passage" and said he believed the men still unaccounted for were in these side passages.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Relatives Keep Vigil
      Bodies taken from the mine were moved temporarily to an improvised morgue in a nearby bus garage. Relatives of the miners held a vigil at the mine entrance during the day and early evening yesterday but as the tedious rescue work far underground proceeded slowly and a heavy snow began falling in 25-degree temperatures, went to their homes.
      Meanwhile there were these other developments :
     1. In Washington the U. S. Senate ordered an investigation of the disaster after Senator Brooks (R-Ill) asserted there had been violations of safety codes under federal administration. Soft coal mines generally have been in government possession since last spring. At Centralia Vice President Young of the coal company withheld comment on the Senate investigation until he had been more fully informed.       2. Rowekamp made public a letter the union local had sent to Governor Dwight Green of Illinois a year ago asking the governor "to please save our lives, to please make the (state) Department of Mines and Minerals enforce the laws (at the mine) . . . . before we have a dust explosion."
      Governor Green's office said in a statement that such a letter had been received and that the Governor had requested the department concerned to give it "full and complete consideration." The Governor also released a report to him from the committee named by the state department to investigate charges made in the letter, which related that "the complaint sounds a good deal worse than it really is."
      3. Circuit Judge Ralph L. Maxwell said in a statement he would instruct the Washington county grand jury to conduct an inquiry to determine if any criminal negligence was involved in the explosion. The jury will meet next April 14.
      4. A state inspection of the mine made a week before the disaster showed the mine was "not adequately rock dusted," that dirty haulage roads should be cleaned and sprinkled and ventilation increased at various points. The inspection report also stated recommendations of previous inspections had "not been complied with and should be complied with."
      Young of the coal company said in an answer to this that "we have been working on these recommendations. Some can be accomplished in a few days but others take several months, which accounts for their appearance in several reports."
      Rock dust is finely ground rock spread in mines for the purpose of reducing explosion hazards.
Excerpt form the "Centralia Sentinel", Centralia, Illinois, March 25, 1947
furnished by W. J. "Bucky" McCoy

  Miners who perished in the Centralia a No. 5 Mine Disaster :
JOE ALTADONNA; RODRIGO ALVAREZ;
JOE BALLANTINI; ALVIN M. BARNES; MARTIN BASOLA; NICK BASOLA; DOMENICK BENEVENTI; HARRY A. BERGER; CELSO BIAGI; HAROLD JACK BRYANT; JOE BRYANT; EDWARD BUDE; OTTO BUEHNE; RAYMOND C. BUEHNE; TOM BUSH; JOHN BUSSE;
CHARLES CAGLE; THEODORE V. CARRIAUX; ARTHUR H. CARTER; JOSEPH CERUTTI; DOMENIC CERVI; ANTON CHIAROTTINO; PAUL COMPER; CLIFFORD COPPLE; FRANK COPPLE;
LEO R. DEHN;
EUGENE ERWIN; GEORGE EVANS;
FRANK FAMERA; ANDREW FARLEY; WALTER H. FETGATTER; JOHN FIGIELLK; WILLIAM F. FORTMEYER; RAY FOUTS; ODIA LEE FRANCIS; LUTHER FRAZIER; MARTIN FREEMAN, SR.; MARTIN P. FREEMAN, JR.; ALBERT FRIEND; BRUNO GAERTNER;
ANGELO GALLASSINI; TONY GIOVANINI; JOHN GROTTI; LOUIS GROTTI; ADOLPH GUTZLER; JOHN H. GUTZLER; FRED W. GUTZLER; JOHN W. GUTZLER;
HENRY HOEINGHAUS; EDWARD HOFSTETTER; GUSTAVE HOHMAN;
NED L. JACKSON;
HENRY KNICKER; PHILLIP KNIGHT; JOSEPH KOCH, SR., CHARLES KRAUS;
FRED LAUGHHUNN; DOMENICO LENZINI; PETE LENZINI;
MILES McCOLLUM; CHARLES McGREAVEY; CLARENCE McGREAVEY; JOHN MAZEKA; WILLIAM MENTLER; FRED MOORE; ELMER G. MOSS;
HENRY W. NIEPOETTER;
CHARLES OESTREICH;
GEORGE PANCEROFF; FRANK PAULAUSKIS; JOHN PAWLISA; CHARLES L. PEART; JOSEPH H. PEILER; ALVA F. PETREA; WALTER PELKER; PETER PIASSE; JULIUS PIAZZI; LOUIS PIAZZI; JOHN PICK, SR.; JOHN PLACEK; ALFREDO POLLACCI; GEORGE POWELL; RICHARD PRIVETTE; GLENN PURCELL;
NICK REGGO; JACOB W. RETHARD; FORREST RHODES; CARL ROHDE;
DANIEL C. SANDERS; JACOB SCHMIDT; ARCHIE SCHOFIELD; LEE GERARD SHAW; ANTON SKROBUL; CLARENCE SMITH; RAY O. SMITH; ANDREW SPINNER; JOSEPH SPINNER; ALFRED STEVENS; H. W. SUNDERMEYER;
JAMES TABOR; ANTHONY TICKUS; STANLEY TICKUS; ANTON TILLMAN;
EMMETT UHLS;
DUDE VANCIL, SR.; JOE VANCIL, SR.;
MARK L. WATSON;
JOE ZINKUS; MAX ZONARINI.
1947 Annual Coal Report7
REPORT OF EXPLOSION.
Centralia Coal Company Mine No. 5
Centralia, Washington County, Illinois
By
Harold L. Walker, Director,

The Centralia Coal Company Mine No. 5 is located about two miles south of Centralia, Washington County, Illinois. A coal-dust explosion occurred in this mine at 3 :26 p.m., March 25, 1947, resulting in the death of 111 men. Sixty-five deaths were due to bums and violence, and 46 deaths were due to breathing irrespirable gases resulting from combustion of the coal dust. One of the victims of the noxious gases was rescued but died after being taken to the surface. At the time of the explosion 142 men were in the mine; 24 escaped unaided and eight, including the one who later died, were rescued. Two hundred and sixty-seven men were employed at the mine, fifty on the surface and 217 underground. Of the underground employees 75 worked on the night shift. The average production of coal amounted to approximately 2200 tons per day.
 
General information pertaining to the mine :
 
1) In general the mine was very dry with the exception of local areas where it was necessary to pump water. No special measures were taken to allay coal dust at its source.
 
2) The hoisting shaft is 540 feet deep. A double-compartment down-cast air shaft 537 feet deep is located 1200 feet south of the hoisting shaft. The ventilating fan is located underground.
 
3) The mine operates in the Illinois No. 6 coal bed, which averages 76 inches in thickness at this mine. The immediate roof is medium-hard black shale from 1 foot to 5 feet in thickness. The main roof is strong limestone of approximately 30 feet in thickness. The floor is medium-hard fire clay.
 
4) The room and pillar method of mining was followed, and the pillars were not extracted. The main entries were driven two and three abreast. Room entries were turned right and left off the main entries at 800-foot intervals and were 12 feet in width.
 
5) Rooms, 28 to 30 feet in width, were turned on 60-foot centers off heading and air courses and were driven to a depth of 400 feet. Room and entry cross-cuts were at 60-foot intervals.
 
6) Ventilation was provided by a seven-foot aero-plane-type fan, operated blowing, and located about 100 feet from the bottom of the intake air shaft.
 
7) The mine was considered gassy by the Federal Bureau of Mines but was considered as non-gassy by the Illinois Department of Mines and Minerals. Methane analysis as high as 0.7% normally had been found on one occasion ; however there is no record that gas had ever been detected with a flame safety lamp. A large number of oil and gas wells penetrated the coal bed but none were in open workings of the mine.
 
8) Heavy deposits of coal dust were present at the time of the explosion, along the roadways in working places, and on the roof, ribs, and timbers in working sections. Little effort had been made to load out excessive quantities of dust, and watering methods were not employed to allay dust at its source.
 
9) Rock dust had been applied in active haulage entries but was not maintained near the working face nor applied in rooms. In active entries rock dusting terminated from 500 to 1000 feet outby the face.
 
10) Explosibility tests on the Illinois No.. 6 coal bed, as conducted at the USBM experimental mine at Bruceton, Pennsylvania, showed that 33% incombustible matter was required to prevent ignition when no gas was present and 59% incombustible matter was required to prevent propagation under the same conditions. (See bulletin 167, p. 249)
 
11) Permissible explosives. Black Diamond No. 15, in eight-ounce cartridges were used for all blasting purposes. The explosives were detonated with No. 6 strength blasting caps and orange wax fuse. The fuse was ignited with open flame carbide lamps. Charges of explosives varied from one to two pounds.
 
12) Shot holes were charged during the working shift. Stemming of coal cuttings and surface clay was used and made up into prepared dummies of 14 inches length. None of the shot holes inspected contained more than one dummy and none of the holes were properly tamped. A number of charges were loose in the hole, and it was possible to remove some of the charges from the hole by pulling on fuse. A large number of holes were observed to be tamped with coal cuttings.
 
13) The mine was operating under normal conditions, and no unusual or abnormal conditions had been reported prior to the time of the explosion. No interruptions had occurred to the ventilating system. The barometric pressure was reported to be 29.1 inches of Hg on March 25 and 29.3 inches of Hg on March 24.
 
14) The drillers were also the shot firers, and they ignited the shots at the end of the working shift. The shot firers were given the signal to light the shots after all normal face operations had ceased and the men were in the man-trips or enroute thereto.
 
Th explosion caused no property damage on the surface of the mine. No damage was caused on the 1 west main haulage road beyond 3000 feet outby the nucleus of the explosion. No damage was done to the 4 west main haulage, a distance of 2500 feet from the nucleus of the explosion. In the area near the nucleus of combustion there was considerable damage, consisting of demolishing stoppings and doors, damage to locomotives, extensive damage to cable-reel shuttle cars, tearing down of trolley and feeder lines, destruction of timbering permitting large roof falls which covered machinery and tore down electrical lines. It was estimated that approximately 30 days would be required to repair equipment, install trolley and feeder lines, remove debris from roadways, and complete other necessary work before operations could be resumed.
 
The reports of the Bureau of Mines and State Department of Mines and Minerals agree that the point of origin of the explosion was at the head of the first west entry. In this area all forces were outby and the damage radiated from the area. There was no evidence of a blown-out shot at the face of the entry; however there was evidence that the top rib shot was underburdened since the shot did not pull all the coal at the right rib in the normal fashion.
 
Neither the Federal nor State report reached conclusions as to the cause of the explosion, excepting that it was a coal dust explosion. It is, however, true that a blown-out shot of explosives, which had been stemmed with coal dust or an underburdened shot of explosives, could have ignited the coal dust. The dust cloud in which ignition took place could have been raised by the shot which ignited the dust, or by preceding shots in the same working place or the adjacent cross-cut.
 
SUMMARY OF CONTRIBUTING CAUSES

 
The mine was dry and dusty and contained heavy deposits of fine coal dust in all active working sections of the mine.
 
Rock dust had not been applied in rooms nor in entries for a considerable distance outby the working faces.
 
Methane had never been found in appreciable amounts and was not thought to be a contributing cause to the explosion.
 
The explosion occurred at the end of the working shift, and all operations had ceased at the face excepting for blasting. Blasting was the only operation in progress which could have caused a dust cloud to be raised.
 
Permissible explosives were being fired, and coal dust was being used for stemming.
 
The propagation of the flame ceased in short distances after encountering rock dusted areas. On the 1 west main haulage road rock dust was not applied within the last 500 feet outby the face but propagation of the flame was smothered within 300 feet after encountering the rock dusted area.
 
LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THE EXPLOSION

1) Mines which liberate little or no methane are not immune from widespread and tragic explosions if dry and dusty conditions exist there-in and adequate measures are not taken to control the dust hazard.
 
2) This explosion forcefully demonstrates the need to re-evaluate the hazards of dust explosions. Heretofore, dusty conditions in mines have not been considered as constituting an imminent danger. In the future it may be necessity to withdraw the men from the mine, or from the portion where danger exists, until appropriate measures have been taken to remedy the dangerous conditions.
 
3) Partial rock dusting of mines leads to a false sense of security. In this explosion, rock dusting the haulage entries did not prevent the flame from propagating from room to room through the cross-cuts. The conditions indicate that the explosion propagated itself mainly through rooms and died out as it reached rock dusted haulage roads and abandoned areas. Explosion hazards are mostly created at the face where dust is being made, and not on the haulage roads. The prevention of propagation of explosions from one room to another can only be accomplished by rock dusting all working places up to and including the last open cross-cut.
 
4) Permissible explosives stemmed with coal dust and fired with a fuse in a dependent sequence are dangerous, and the right combination of circumstances may initiate combustion of coal dust suspended in the air.
 
5) There is strong evidence to support the belief that 44 men working in two sections of the mine, not affected by flame or violence, could have saved themselves if they had been properly instructed in the principles of erecting barricades.
 
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
In the preparation of this report free use has been made of data appearing in the following reports :
1. Final Report of Mine Explosion, No. 5 Mine, Centralia Coal Company, Centralia, Washington County, Illinois, March 25, 1947, by M. J. Ankeny, W. A. Gallagher, F. J. Smith, Frank Perz, and J. S. Malesky. United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines.
2. Inspection of Centralia No. 5 Mine, by W. Gill, Wm. Mitchell, M. Reak, B. Schull. State of Illinois Mining Board of the Department of Mines and Minerals.

 
Johannisburg Township
Township 2 South, Range 5 West, Sections 1 - 36
Source
Reference #
Section # Company NameMine NameYears Operated
63730August JansenJansen1931 - 1933
63730Darmstadt Coal CompanyDarmstadt1933 - 1953
63730Schneidwind Coal CompanySchneidwind1949 - 1950
    ? dates inconsistant

 
Lively Grove Township
Township 3 South, Range 5 West, Sections 1 - 36
Source
Reference #
Section # Company NameMine NameYears Operated
99029Peabody Coal CompanyMarissa1977 - 1999
   Slope type mine 

 
Nashville Township
Township 2 South, Range 3 West, Sections 1 - 36
Source
Reference #
Section # Company NameMine NameYears Operated
22613Clarkson Mining Company?Ante 1883
22613Charles Hartman Coal CompanyHartman1883 - 1884
22613Charles & YockHartman1884 - 1885
22613Nashville Coal CompanyNashville1885 - 1887
22613Consolidated Coal Company of St. LouisNashville1887 - 1890
22613Camnan & Morris BrothersCamnan & Morris1890 - 1893
22613Hugh MurrayNashville1893 - 1899
22613Alex MurrayNashville1899 - 1901
22613Hugh MurrayNashville1901 - 1905
22613Gallatin Coal & Coke CompanyGallatin1905 - 1907
22613Nicholson Coal CompanyNicholson1907 - 1910
22613Finke Harris CompanyFinke1907 - 1910
22613Nicholson Coal CompanyNicholson1912 - 1915
 
 
Nicholson Coal Company
Nashville, Illinois
circa 1910 - 1915

Nashville Coal mine
Nashville Coal mine photo No. 2 Nashville Coal mine photo No. 3 George Henderson
Will Runk
Ab Winfree -
           Fourth Fr Lt
Chas Anderson
Chas Hampton
Nashville Coal mine photo No. 4
Photograph dated 1913
 
 
22613Nicholson BrothersNicholson1915 - 1917
22613Nashville Coal CompanyNashville1917 - 1924
22613Clarkson Mining CompanyClarkson1924 - 1940
Nashville Coal mine photo No. 5
Photograph dated 1939
 
Nashville Coal mine photo No. 6 Clarkson Manufacturing     circa 1940's - 1950s
location approximately same location as coal mine
 
Clarkson Manufacturing Company advertising card front Clarkson Manufacturing Company advertising card back
Postcard Photographs furnished by : Jo House from the Harrl Beatty Collection

 
Okawville Township
Township 1 South, Range 4 West, Sections 1 - 36
Source
Reference #
Section # Company NameMine NameYears Operated
391321Okawville Coal CompanyOkawville1885 - 1886
391321White Smoke Coal CompanyWhite Smoke1886 - 1890
391321F. W. StrickerStricker1890 - 1893
391321Grattendick & LunteGrattendick & Lunte1893 - 1894
391321Okawville White SmokeOkawville1894 - 1895
391321White Smoke Coal CompanyWhite Smoke1895 - 1896
391321Okawville Coal CompanyOkawville1896 - 1901
391321H. WaitlandWaitland1901 - 1902
391321Ben PodgetPodget1902 - 1903
391321Okawville Coal CompanyOkawville1903 - 1907
- - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -
391428William FrankFrankAnte 1937
391428Bierman & ArrowsmithFrank1937 - 1938
391428Community Coal CompanyFrank1939 - 1943
391428George Andrew Coal CompanyCommunity1943 - 1943

 
Venedy Township
Township 1 South, Range 5 West, Sections 1, 2, 11 - 16, 19 - 36
Source
Reference #
Section # Company NameMine NameYears Operated
69934Venedy Coal CompanyVenedy1922 - 1928
69934Adolph BrocksmithBrocksmith1928 - 1933
69934Venedy Coal CompanyVenedy1933 - 1969

 
 
Sources :
 
DIRECTORY OF COAL MINES IN ILLINOIS
Washington County
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
ILLINOIS STATE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, September 2008
Illinois State Geological Survey
Natural Resources Building, 615 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61820
 
1879 History
Combined 1879 History and 1906 Standard Atlas of Washington County, Illinois
Brink, McDonough & Co.; Philadelphia
 
Newspaper excerpts
The "Centralia Sentinel", Centralia, Illinois, March 25, 1947
 
Photographs Courtesy of Jo House and W. J. "Bucky" McCoy
 
5 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

 
6 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

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

 
Coal Mine Fatalities
of
Washington County, Illinois
     Underground mining has always been wrought with accidents and tragedies of many different types. Coal mining in this area was mainly all in underground mines and over the years, there were many accidents, fires, cave-ins, rock falls, and machinery failures. The saddest of all the catastrophes is the loss of life. Some of the fatalities that occurred during the heaviest coal mining years in this vicinity are listed below in an effort to provide an aid in genealogy and historical research.
      Additional entries are always welcome.
 
BERSCHELT
April 5, 19285, Thursday, Gus Berschelt, of Nashville, loader age 50 years, widower, was killed by a fall of slate in Clarkson Coal Company's mine, [Nashville, Washington County, Illinois]. He leaves a dependent child.
 
FORTMEYER
March 25, 194710, Tuesday, William F. Fortmeyer, of Irvington, buggy operator, aged 25 years, married, died in the Centralia Coal Company's No. 5 Mine explosion disaster. He leaves a widow and two children.
 
FRIEND
March 25, 194710, Tuesday, Albet J. Friend, of Richview, triprider, aged 36 years, married, died in the Centralia Coal Company's No. 5 Mine explosion disaster. He leaves a widow and one child.
 
KEIL
September 12, 19224, Tuesday, Matt Keil, of Tamaroa, mine manager, age 48 years, married, died from injuries received six days previous in Kuhn Coalery Company's mine [DuBois, Washington County, Illinois]. The mine had been closed about one year and preparations were being made to start operating. Deceased was at shaft bottom and stepped across the cage to start a pump which was about six feet from the cage, while thus engaged the cage without his knowledge was taken away and in attempting to cross back, he walked into cage seat, which was about 3½feet deep in water that had been heated by exhaust from pump. He was so badly burned that he died as stated above. He leaves a widow and three children.
 
KROEGER
October 28, 194710, Tuesday, Leonard Kroeger, of DuBois, coupler, age 56 years, married, died from injuries received on Friday, September 12, 1947, being crushed between coal cars in Bois Coal Company's Kuhn Mine, DuBois, Washington County, Illinois.
 
MAXWELL
February 18, 19133, Tuesday, Ira Maxwell, of Nashville, miner, aged 33 years, married, was killed by falling slate in the Nicholson Coal Company's mine, Nashville, Washington County, Illinois. He leaves a widow and two children.
 
PELKER
March 25, 194710, Tuesday, Walter Pelker, of DuBois, timberman, aged 31 years, married, died in the Centralia Coal Company's No. 5 Mine explosion disaster. He leaves a widow and two children.
 
PRIVETTE
March 25, 194710, Tuesday, Richard Privette, of DuBois, timberman, aged 39 years, married, died in the Centralia Coal Company's No. 5 Mine explosion disaster. He leaves a widow and two children.
 
SANDERS
March 25, 194710, Tuesday, Daniel C. Sanders, of Irvington, driller, aged 66 years, married, died in the Centralia Coal Company's No. 5 Mine explosion disaster. He leaves a widow.
 
SEIFERT
February 16, 19358, Saturday, Herbert G. Seifert, of Venedy, miner, aged 40 years, married, died from blood poison resulting from injuries received in mine of Venedy Coal Company [Venedy, Washington County, Illinois] ; leaving widow and four children.
 
SHINDALL
October 14, 18841, Tuesday, William Shindall
At the Nashville mine, Nashville, Wm. Shindall, a married man, 27 years old, father of two children, was instantly killed on the 14th of October. he was timbering in sinking a shaft, and a plank which he was sending up became detached from the rope and fell about 100 feet, striking him on the head, causing instant death.
 
SMITH
February 7, 19347, Wednesday, John Smith, of Nashville, loader, age 47 years, married, ws killed by falling coal in Clarkson Coal Mining Company's mine. [Nashville, Washington County, Illinois] He leaves a widow and one child.
 
WALIGORSKI
January 8, 19419,Wednesday, Michael Waligorski, of DuBois, miner, aged 62 years, married, died on January 8, 1941 from injuries he received on Saturday, January 4, 1941, when a shot exploded on him in Bois mine No.1, DuBois, Washington County, Illinois. He leaves a widow.
 
WATTS
January 16, 18932, Monday, Griffin Watts, of DuBois, miner, married, aged 44 years, employed bu Kuhn & Schwind, at DuBois, was instantly killed by a piece of rock falling on him at the face of his room. The room had a rock top, and a piece of the same, about sixteen inches thick and twenty-five feet long, became loose; he put two props under the back end; the end next to the face of the room was resting on a loose shot he had fired; he mined the coal off, when the rock fell with the above result. He left a widow and four children.
 
WRIGHT
June 10, 19306, Tuesday, Morrison Wright, of Nashville, miner, age 59 years, married, died from injuries received six days prior in Clarkson Coal and Mining Company's mine, Nashville, Washington County, Illinois, by a rock fall. He leaves a widow.
 

Washigton County, Illinois
Non-Fatal Casualties

July 1, 1923 - June 30, 1924 & July 1, 1925 - December 31, 1925
ATCHINSON, E. age 45 years, Married with 1 child; 2 dependents, of Centralia
23 Oct 1923 - Hand injured, falling jack pipe - Time lost - 132 days
 
CASTALLORI, Romeo age 37 years, Married with 4 children; 5 dependents, of Centralia
27 Jul 1923 - Back injured, Lifting car - Time lost - 61 days
 
COX, Elmer age 30 years, Married with 3 children; 4 dependents, of Centralia
26 Jan 1924 - Chest injured, between cars - Time lost - 45 days
 
HARBAT, Andrew age 39 years, Single, of Centralia
20 Feb 1924 - Eye injured, flying coal - Time lost - 43 days
 
HOPKINS, Thomas age 40 years, Married with 4 children; 5 dependents, of Centralia
18 Oct 1923 - Back injured, loading coal - Time lost - 34 days
 
McGLASSEN, Walter age 26 years, Single, of Centralia
11 Jan 1924 - Body injured, pushing car - Time lost - 33 days
 
MILLER, J. F. age 31 years, Single, of Du Bois
13 Nov 1923 - Body injured, falling rock - Time lost - 36 days
 
PERRIK, Sam age 53 years, Married with 1 child; 2 dependents, of Centralia
25 Aug 1923 - Arm injured, loading coal - Time lost - 33 days
 
PHELPS, Harry age 27 years, Married with 1 child; 2 dependents, of Centralia
15 Feb 1924 - Leg injured, fell off car - Time lost - 36 days
 
PHELPS, John age 59 years, Married with 1 dependent, of Centralia
11 Dec 1923 - Body injured, pit car - Time lost - 34 days
 
REEVES, Otty age 48 years, Married with 3 children; 4 dependents, of Centralia
23 Oct 1923 - Back injured, falling prop - Time lost - 57 days
 
RICHARDS, James age 41 years, Married with 1 dependent, of Centralia
23 Aug 1923 - Body injured, pushing car - Time lost - 40 days
 
SKOAT, Felix age 48 years, Married with 2 children; 3 dependents, of Centralia
22 Nov 1923 - Back injured, lifting coal - Time lost - 45 days
 
STOOFER, Charles age 27 years, Married with 1 dependent, of Centralia
31 Oct 1923 - Foot injured, falling rock - Time lost - 34 days
 
WARD, James age 53 years, Married with 1 child; 2 dependents, of Centralia
6 Feb 1924 - Back injured, cars collided - Time lost - 44 days
 
WARREN, William age 35 years, Married with 4 children; 5 dependents, of Centralia
24 Feb 1924 - Body injured, motor ran away - Time lost - 60 days
 

 
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 1893
                Twelveth Annual Report -- Springfield, ILL.; H. W. Rokker, State Printer and Binder, 1894

3 Thirty-Second Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1913
                State Mining Board -- Printed by authority of the State of Illinois
                Springfield, ILL.: Illinois State Journal Co., State Printers, 1914

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 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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