From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, in a story titled “Origin of Coal,” comes this bit of coal history dated May 24, 1927:
ORIGIN OF COAL
It is a self evident fact that coal is of vegetable origin, and the evidence of which can be briefly stated, based on present scientific study of this subject:
1. Vegetables remains long extinct are found plentiful in close proximity with coal seams; stumps, roots, leaves and stems are found int eh slate overlying the seam and under clay, and are found even imbedded in the seams themselves.
2. This vegetation is associated with the coal seam and often becomes coal whiles till retaining its original form and structure.
3. This vegetation is found and recognized in the whole coal seam, even the coal ashes carefully examined under a powerful microscope show vegetable cells.
4. The perfect gradation may be traced from wood through the different kind of coal, and by chemical analysis.
5. Peats may be manufactured into a substance having many of the qualities of coal, and we may say further that all carbon and hydro carbon have organic matter.
The Flora or plant life of the coal measures are of the most abundant and perfect of all the extinct plants. It has been estimated that there are about 2000 known species of plant fossils in the coal measures. This Flora is really interesting to the geologist in that it furnishes a key to the evolution of the land plants. These plants are found preserved in some form in the coal seams in the overlying slate and rocks and underlying clays and slates.
From address by Charles E. Krebs, at convention of Mine Inspectors Institute of America, in session at Charleston last week.
Appalachia, Boston, Cincinnati, coal, F.W. Batcheler, history, Holden, Huntington, Island Creek, Island Creek Coal Company, James D. Francis, Kentucky, Logan, Logan Banner, New York, Norfolk and Western Railroad, Ohio, Pine Creek, Pond Creek, R.S. McVey, Thomas B. Davis, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this story titled “Boston Coal Men Pleased with Island Creek Development–New Town of Pine Creek Planned For,” published on October 25, 1927:
BOSTON COAL MEN PLEASED WITH ISLAND CREEK DEVELOPMENT–NEW TOWN OF PINE CREEK PLANNED FOR
Wish that more of the men at Boston, who talk about “mining camps” could come to West Virginia and see the flourishing cities and towns which dot the coal fields and ride over the hard roads which connect them was expressed Friday by F.W. Batcheler of Boston, treasurer of the Island Creek Coal Company. Mr. Batcheler, for 25 years in his present capacity, had just arrived in Huntington after his first visit to his company’s properties in Logan county and on Pond Creek in Kentucky. He said frankly that the experience had been a revelation to him, familiar as he already was in theory with the activities of his and other companies in these fields, reports the Herald-Dispatch.
Thomas B. Davis of New York, the Island Creek president, who has observed personally the development of the coal fields, was no less enthusiastic than Mr. Batcheler in his comment off the changes which have been wrought since his first visit to Island Creek.
“At first,” he said, “we had to go up the Norfolk & Western, using an accommodation train, and go across the mountains on horseback. Now we can inspect both Pond Creek and Island Creek properties in less time than it took them to get into the field.”
His enthusiasm and that of his fellow travelers was heightened by the fact that the party came to Huntington from Holden, by automobile, in two hours and twenty minutes.
With the president and Mr. Batcheler were R.S. McVey of Cincinnati, vice president in charge of sales, and James D. Francis of Huntington, vice president. Other members of the sales force took part in the inspection visit to the fields.
President Davis spoke in an optimistic strain of business conditions, which he feels are going to continue good despite a “let down” tendency now manifest.
“We can’t go at top speed all the time,” was his comment.
One of the chief points of interest to the inspection party while in Logan was operation No. 22, a new shaft mine which is being opened by the Island Creek company at an outlay of several million dollars.
15-Foot Seam at No. 22
“The shafts are down,” Mr. Davis said, “and we have found a 15-foot seam of coal as good as any found anywhere. The hoists are being raised and the first houses are being built.”
The preliminary housing in the new town of Pine Creek will include about forty buildings. The complete program, the officials explain, includes 600 houses to care for a population of 3,500. To reach this operation a railroad extension was built and a hard road, running for much of the seven-mile distance, was built by the company to connect Pine Creek with Holden.
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this interesting item about a transition from industry to agriculture in Point Marion, PA, dated August 19, 1927:
HOW A FARMING COMMUNITY WAS BUILT AGAIN
Glass factories and coal mines had kept the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, and the banker busy the year round in Point Marion, Pennsylvania. Hired men left the farms, followed by the farm owners, to get their share of the attractive wages. Suddenly labor saving machinery was brought in to the old hand method window glass factories. The coal business took a drop and hundreds of people had to find new employment. Savings accounts dwindled. Deposits of the two banks dropped off almost a million dollars. “Bring in more industries,” was being sung at luncheon clubs all over the land, every town seemed to be advertising unlimited water supply, cheap fuel, and free factory sites. Competition was keen and the reward doubtful.
The question came, “Why not stimulate the agricultural pursuits of the community which have lain dormant so long?” Farm income might be increased and production costs lowered in many instances. The first move of one of the banks was the purchase of healthy chicks. These were furnished by the bank at wholesale to interested farmers, payment to be made by note payable in six months. The bank followed through by aiding in the dissemination of culling and feeding knowledge and by helping to market the cockerels, which in most instances paid the initial cost of all the chicks.
When the pumpkins began to turn yellow, plans were laid for a great community exhibit. Besides the poultry display, farm produce exhibits from the surrounding country were entered. Altogether it made an impressive exhibit, bringing home the lesson to Point Marion people that there were great undeveloped opportunities within their own dooryards which they had overlooked.
The annual exhibit will be continued in the future by the bank. A horse show is sponsored, better seed corn and seed potatoes are made available to the farmers for planting, and the bank will continue to build agriculture in the community as a sound basis on which to work. “It will probably be some time before we shall see larger fruits of our endeavors,” the banker says, “but we are looking ahead ten to fifteen years.”
For more about Point Marion, PA, follow this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_Marion,_Pennsylvania
Appalachia, Aracoma, books, coal, feuds, genealogy, George T. Swain, Hatfield-McCoy Feud, history, Kingsport, Logan, Logan Banner, Mine Wars, Native American History, Native Americans, Tennessee, West Virginia, Woodland Press
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this item about George T. Swain’s effort to write a history of Logan County dated May 27, 1927:
New Logan County History is Written
G.T. Swain, the Author, Says It May Be Ready For Distribution In 60 Days.
Announcement was made yesterday by G.T. Swain that his manuscript, on which he has been working for the past several years, of a complete history of Logan county, is practically completed and he plans to leave here within the next ten days for Kingsport, Tenn., where he will place it in the hands of a publisher.
It is understood the book will be published with cloth binding, the cover title to be printed in gold letters, and the work will cover approximately 400 pages. It will give traditions and legends of the tribe of Indians that inhabited this valley, details of the invasion and battle here when Aracoma was killed, the early life of the pioneers and who they were, as well as incidents occurring here during the early years.
It will contain a full history of the Hatfield-McCoy feud which occurred partly on Logan soil and a full and complete account of the mine war. Organizations of the coal companies that developed the valley will be given in full and even the names of the first white male and female child born in the valley will be recorded.
In addition to the historical data which have been obtained after laborious work the book will contain biographical sketches and pictures of approximately fifty prominent men who helped in the development of the great Guyan valley coal field. The completed book is expected to be ready for distribution within 60 days.
NOTE: To order a reprint of Swain’s history book, go here: http://www.woodlandpress.com/book/local-history/history-logan-county-west-virginia
NOTE: It’s very important for local newspapers to promote works by historians/writers!
From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this letter from James R. Branch of the Branchland Coal Company, dated May 15, 1913:
Kitchen, W.Va., May 9, 1913
Editor Logan Democrat,
It may be of interest to you to know that the mines in the Guyan Valley operated by the Branchland Coal Co. adopted this month the nine hour day and two monthly pay-days suggested by Governor Hatfield.
These miners are probably the first in West Virginia to pay off on the double pay-day system, Saturday the tenth of May being the first day the men were paid off. I must say that it seems to make them happy and contented, and I am of the opinion that the changes will benefit the operator as well as the employee, for although men will have been scarce we are being flooded with them now. Miners live a hazardous life and are entitled to more consideration than they frequently receive. Our effort has always been to keep in touch with them and their complaints and troubles which are sometimes almost childish, but by sifting the real from the unreal and then acting justly the men are not hard to deal with, and they soon learn to trust those who treat them with consideration, justice and humanity.
West Virginia’s welfare and prosperity largely depend on her mines, and while I do not wish to pose as the preceptor of others, I sincerely believe that nearly all of our labor troubles could be adjusted by showing the miners as much liberality and kindness as possible.
Jas. R. Branch, Pres.
From the Logan Democrat of Logan, WV, comes this item of news about the C&O and a proposed new Logan train station, dated May 10, 1917:
C. & O. PLANS NEW STATION
Great Volume of Business in Logan Compels Road to Consider Step
The C. & O. has decided on building a new freight and passenger station in Logan, according to a widely circulated rumor in railroad circles. The step has been under consideration for some time and it is said that the need for a bigger terminal in Logan has become imperative since this division was detached from the Huntington division and created into a separate branch of the system.
It is impossible at this time to verify the report that the new station is assured but a couple of railroad men who are said to have the confidence of those “higher up” have declared that a new station at Logan has become an absolute necessity.
Along with this rumor is another to the effect that the rapid development of the Logan county coal fields and the ever increasing volume of coal produce here will soon result in the system being doubletracked from Logan to Huntington. This measure is said to have been decided upon as a measure of economy as the existing conditions do not permit the railroad to realize the full extent of its possibilities.
More Than Talk
These rumors which have gained circulation before have been vigorously revived in railroad circles and the increasing importance attached to the Logan division make it appear as if more than talk would eventuate.
The Logan division is well known among traffic men in this part of the country is the most productive of the entire C. & O. system. More business is done through the Logan freight office than in Cincinnati or any other large city which is touched by that railroad. Furthermore, the constantly increasing number of new coal operations in Logan county show that the possibilities of this field are as yet only in their infancy. In a few more years, traffic under a single track system would be entirely congested and a double track will be the only means of enabling the railroad to care for the business in this field.
The creation of Logan as a separate division emphasizes the necessity of a new station to care for the force of officials and clerks who are brought to the city. At the present time, superintendent W.E. Webb and his staff are compelled to occupy offices at Peach Creek which they will use until an addition is built to the yard office, but this too will be only of a temporary nature. Larger quarters, such as afforded in the Huntington station, are needed by the division chief and his staff and are said to be contemplated in the plans under consideration for a new station at Logan.
Supt. Webb Arrives
Supt. Webb and his staff arrived in Logan last week and were busy seeking suitable accommodations the first few days. Supt. Webb is not new to this field as he was for many years chief clerk to the division superintendent at Huntington who formerly had charge of the Logan District. Mr. Webb is a comparatively young man and is looked upon as one of the most promising younger railroad executives in the country. As chief clerk he had the respect and confidence of both officials and clerks and doubtless will make an enviable reputation as chief of the newest division on the C. & O. system. He bears the reputation of never speaking without coming directly to the point and wasting no unnecessary words.
The other officials and clerical staff heads here now are: H.A. Davin, trainmaster; H.C. Davis, assistant trainmaster; R.W. Mumfort, chief engineer and E.F. Parkins, time keeper. A number of other clerks are expected in a few days.
Source: Logan (WV) Democrat, 10 May 1917.