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McDonough County, Illinois
Featuring Coal Mining
 
      McDonough County is a county located in the central part of the state of Illinois.       40.46° N, 90.68° W

 
      McDonough County is named in honor of Thomas Macdonough who defeated a British squadron in the decisive naval Battle of Lake Champlain in the War of 1812. McDonough County was part of the "Military Tract" set aside by Congress for veterans of the War of 1812.
 
      The population was 132,913 in 2000 and 32,612 in 2010.
 
      The county seat of McDonough County, Illinois is Macomb.
 
      There are eighteen townships in McDonough County :
Bethel, Blandinsville, Bushnell, Chalmers, Colchester, Emmet, Hire, Industry, Lamoine, Macomb, Macomb City, Mound, New Salem, Prairie City, Sciota, Scotland, Tennessee, Walnut Grove
 
      Some of the Cities, Towns, & Villages are :
Bardolph, Blandinsville, Bushnell, Colchester, Good Hope, Industry, Macomb, Prairie City, Sciota, Tennessee
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Dogs in Coal Mine
1903 Annual Coal Report 3
Dogs Employed in Mines for Hauling Cars.

      In McDonough county mines 31 dogs are employed for drawing empty and loaded cars of coal to and from the mines, to the bottom of the shaft or to the mouth of the drifts.
      On one of my visits to the mine of Rippetoe and Rundle, at Colchester, I was very much interested in observing the intelligence exhibited by one of these animals. The driver with his dog was returning from the bottom of the shaft, the dog drawing an empty car, on arriving at the summit of the hill, the dog, without any instruction, jumped into the car and rode with the driver down the incline to the level below, arriving at the bottom the dog jumped out of the car and palled it up the grade on the opposite side to the working face.
      I am unable to classify the different kinds of dogs that are in use at these mines. Above is shown a mastif hitched to a car of coal, which it has just drawn out of the mine.
      I do not esteem so highly, the value of dogs, in consideration of their mere usefulness to the miner or to the operator, as I do other domestic animals : the horse, pony and mule; yet the dog to a greater degree beyond that of any other animal, has become the humble friend and companion of man, seeming actually to have knowledge to be delighted with the joys, or, to sympathize in the sorrows, of his master. On this account it is, that he is alike "The pampered minion of royalty and half starved partaker of the beggar's crust."
 

McDonough County, Illinois
Coal Mines

A few selected Coal Mines relating to listed fataliies, etc.

Curtis Coal Mines
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Curtis Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McDonough County - Township 4 North, Range 2 West, Section 19
This is a drift mine.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Curtis Coal Mine   Fred Curtis   1905 - 1907
Curtis Coal Mine   Oscar Curtis   1907 - 1909
Curtis Coal Mine   Fred Curtis   1909 - 1915
[ Source - No. 8, Index 6185 ]
 
Olin F. Foster died in this mine on December 12, 1933.
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Curtis Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McDonough County - Township 4 North, Range 2 West, Section 19
This is an undergrouind shaft mine.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Curtis Coal Mine   Ira Curtis   1938
[ Source - No. 8, Index 2865 ]

Colchester Coal Mines
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Colchester Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McDonough County - Township 5 North, Range 4 West, Section 14, SW SE NE
This is an underground shaft mine at a dpeth of 80 to 85 feet with an average coal seam of 2 feet in thickness.
Colchester Coal Mine   Colchester Coal Company   1881 - 1884
  Production and years of operation before July 1881 are unknown.
[ Source - No. 8, Index 6243 ]
Last Production reported in 1884
 
President, A. Newland
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Colchester Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McDonough County - Township 5 North, Range 3 West, Section 7, NE NE SW
This is an underground shaft mine at a depth of 72 to 73 feet with an average coal seam of 2 feet in thickness.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Colchester Coal Mine   Colchester Coal Company   1884 - 1892
[ Source - No. 8, Index 6206 ]
Last production reported in 1892.
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Colchester "A" Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McDonough County - Township 5 North, Range 3 West, Section 7, NE SE SE
This is an underground shaft mine.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Colchester "A" Coal Mine   Colchester Coal & Mining Company   1893 - 1899
      Colchester Coal Company opened a mine 1893 that was 450 yards east of the mine closed in 1892 (mine index 6206, in the same section), which is in this vicinity.
[ Source - No. 8, Index 6945 ]
Last production was reported in 1899.
Edward Williams died on April 26, 1898 as the result of a roof fall while he was pulling pillars.

Foster Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McDonough County
This is a drift mine.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Foster Coal Mine   Newman Foster   1881 - 1887
  Production and years of operation before July 1881 are unknown
Foster Coal Mine   Ed Foster   1887 - 1988
Foster Coal Mine   Newman Foster   1888 - 1899
[ Source - No. 8, Index Unknown Locations ]
 
Oliver Foster, 14 year old son of the owner, died in this mine on September 7, 1886.

Hunter & Stewart Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McDonough County - Township 5 North, 4 West, Section 13, NW NW SE
This is an underground shaft mine at a depth of 60 feet with an average coal seam of 2 feet in thickness.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Burney & Stewart Coal Mine   Burney, Hunter & Stewart   1901 - 1902
"A" Coal Mine   Burney Coal Company   1902 - 1911
Dicky Coal Mine No. 2   Colchester Coal Company
Stewart, Hunter & Avril
  1911 - 1914
Hunter & Stewart Coal Mine   Hunter & Stewart   1914 - 1915
[ Source - No. 8, Index 22 ]
Last production reported in 1915.
 
John Larson died on November 27, 1911 in a Colchester Coal Company 's mine.

Rippetoe & Rundle Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McDonough County - Township 5 North, Range 4 West, Section 13, NW NW NW
This is an underground shaft mine at a depth of 50 feet with an average coal seam of 2 feet in thickness.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Rippetoe & Rundle Coal Mine No. 38   Rippetoe & Rundle   1899 - 1907
Rippetoe Coal Mine No. 38   Rippetoe Coal Company   1907 - 1908
Rippetoe Coal Mine   J. G. Rippetoe   1908 - 1909
 Mine notes indicated pillars were being drawn in September 1908.
[ Source - No. 8, Index 758 ]
Lasrt production reported in 1909.
 
      Rippetoe & Rundle both had worked for Quincy Coal Company. John Rippetoe was the hoisting engineer and J. C. Rundle was the mine manager. They leased and operated Quincy Coal Company No. 36 and No. 37 Mines as well as this one.
      (Rippetoe had prerviously been spelled Ripatre)

Swanson Coal Mines
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Swanson Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McDonough County - Township 5 North, Range 3 West, Section 2, NE SW NW
This is an underground slope mine.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Swanson Coal Mine   Elmer Swanson   1928 - 1929
[ Source - No. 8, Index 6222 ]
Last production was reported in 1929.
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Swanson Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McDonough County - Township 5 North, Range 4 West, Section 1, NE SE SE
This is an underground mine.
Swanson Coal Mine   Swanson & Sons   1936 - 1939
[ Source - No. 8, Index 6524 ]
Last production reported in 1939.
 
George Heaton died in this mine on March 29, 1939.

Wilson Coal Mines
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Wilson Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McDonough County - Township 5 North, Range 3 West, Section 8, NW NW NW
This is an underground slope mine.
Mine Name Operated By Years
Wilson Coal Mine   John Wilson   1881- 1892
 Production and years of operation before July 1881 are unknown.
[ Source - No. 8, Index 6211 ]
Last productiuon was reported in 1892.
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Wilson Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McDonough County - Township 5 North, Range 3 West, Section 5, SW SW SW
This is an underground shaft mine at a depth of 35 to 80 feet, with an average coal seam of 2 to 2 feet.
Wilson Coal Mine   John Wilson   1897 - 1917
[ Source - No. 8, Index 6973 ]
Last production reported in 1917
 
John Entwistle died in this mine on December 19, 1906.
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McDonough County, Illinois
Coal Mine
Fatalities
CARROLL
April 30, 18849, William Carroll, a miner aged 29 years, married; leaves a widow and one child; was killed by a loose rock falling on him in Thomas Greenbank's mine, located at Colchester, McDonough county. Carroll, in partnership with Thomas Greenbank, was engaged in driving an entry across old rooms, for the purpose of reaching some old pillars of solid coal that had been left. They had passed through two old rooms, and were going across the third, when Carroll, in oppostion to the advice of his partner, ventured under a dangerous looking rock. It came down on him, squeezing him into the slack and mud beneath. Greenbank was unable to remove the rock, and had to go for assistance, and before Carroll could be extricated life was extinct.
 
ENTWISTLE
December 19, 19064, John Entwistle, of Colchester, miner aged 44 years single, in the employ of John Wilson, at Colchester, was instantly killed by falling rock on the roadway of his room about 36 feet from the face; the deceased had finished his day's work and was pushing his car out of the room when the rock v/hich had been loosened by a clay slip suddenly fell on him; the rock was about 7 feet long, 5 feet wide and six inches thick.
 
FOSTER
December 12, 19336, Olin F. Foster, miner, age 41 years, married, was killed in Fred Curtis Coal Company's mine by a fall of rock. He leaves a widow.
 
September 7, 18861, Oliver Foster, a boy 14 years old, was instantly killed by a fall of roof, in Newman Foster's local mine located near Colchester, McDonough county. Foster was the son of the proprietor of the mine and was working with his father in the face of their room when a portion of the roof fell crushing the boy beneath it, and before he could be extricated life was extinct.
 
HEATON
November 16, 18839, George Heaton, a miner, aged 38 years, married; leaves a widow and six children; killed by a fall of roof in the face of his working room in McIntosh's mine, located at Colchester, McDonough county.
 
March 29, 19397, George Heaton, of Colchester, miner, aged 62 years, single, killed by fall of rock in mine of Swanson Coal Co., no dependents.
 
LARSON
November 27, 19115, John Larson, of Colchester, miner, aged 63 years, married, was killed by a fall of rock in the Colchester Coal Co.'s mine, Colchester, McDonough County. He leaves a widow and six children.
 
WILLIAMS
April 26, 18982. Edward Williams, of Colchester, aged 24 years, a miner, who leaves a widow and one child, was injured April 26, 1898, at the Colchester Coal aud Mining Co.'s mine, Colchester, McDonough county. He was working in room No. 13, in the southwest entry, taking out the pillar which, with his two partners, he had cut through the day before. On the above date he went into his room with his partners, and had been at work only about ten minutes when a fall of the roof occurred which caught him. He was taken out from under the fall as soon as possible, and it was found that he was badly hurt, and he died in twelve hours.
 

Sources :
 
1 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

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

3 Twenty-Second Annual Coal Report, Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1903
                Springfield, ILL.; Phillips Bros., State Printers, 1904

4 Twenty-Sixth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Startistics, 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

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

6 Fifty-Second Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1933 -- Department of Mines and Minerals
7 Fifty -Eighth Coal Report of Illinois, 1939 -- Department of Mines and Minerals
8 Coal Mines in Illinois, Fulton County
                Illinois State Geological Survey, 615 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, IL. 61820

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

 

Coal & Coal Mining in Central Illinois
 
 
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