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McLean County, Illinois
History and Genealogy

Featuring Coal Mining
 
      McLean County is a county located in the central part of the state of Illinois.       40.49° N, 88,85° W
As of the 2000 census, the population was 150,433; and in 2010, the population was 169,572.
 
      The county seat of McLean County, Illinois is Bloomington.
 
      McLean County was formed late in 1830 out of Tazewell County, and was named for John McLean, United States Senator for Illinois; and is the largest county by land area in Illinois.
 
      McLean County has thirty townships :
            Allin, Anchor, Arrowsmith, Bellflower, Bloomington, Blue Mound, Cheney's Grove, Chenoa, Cropsey, Dale, Danvers, Dawson, Downs, Dry Grove, Empire, Funk's Grove, Gridley, Hudson, Lawndale, Lexington, Martin, Money Creek, Mount Hope, Normal, Old Town, Randolph, Towanda, West, White Oak, Yates
 
      Some of the Cities, Towns, Villages and Communities are :
Anchor, Arrowsmith, Bellflower, Bloomington, Carlock, Chenoa, Colfax, Cooksville, Danvers, Downs, Ellsworth, Gridley, Heyworth, Hudson, Le Roy, Lexington, Merna, McLean, Normal, Saybrook, Shirley, Stanford, Towanda,
along with Ghost towns of : Allin, (named for early pioneer James Allin, father of Dr. Lee All), Benjaminville, Kumler
 
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Coal Mines             Biographies             Fatalities             Sources

 

 
Chenoa Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McLean County - Township 26 North, Range 4 East, Section 1
This was a underground shaft mine.
Mine Name Operarted By Years
Chenoa Coal Mine   Chenoa Coal & Mining Company   1889 - 1890
Davis Coal Mine   Davis Coal Company   1890 - 1895
Chenoa Coal Mine   Ferguson & Jones   1895 - 1896
Davis Coal Mine   Davis Coal Company   1896
Chenoa Coal Mine   C. H. Hewitt Coal Company   1896 - 1899
Davis Coal Mine   Davis Coal Company   1899 - 1900
Chenoa Coal Mine   Chenoa Coal Company   1900 - 1902
Chenoa Coal Mine   Berwick Coal Company   1902 - 1903
Chenoa Coal Mine   Consumers Coal Company   1903 - 1904
Chenoa Coal Mine   Illinois Coal Mining & Coke Company   1904 - 1905
Chenoa Coal Mine   Easterly Coal & Mining Company   1905 - 1906
[Source - No. 1, Index 445]
1902 Annual Coal Report 11
Improvements.
      The Davis Coal Co. of Chenoa, McLean county, has sold its mine to a Chicago company. The new company intends to develop the property into a paying mine.
 
1904 Annual Coal Report 13
Business Changes.
      The Berwick Coal Co., of Chenoa, McLean county, has disposed of its mine at that place to the Consumers Coal Co., of Chicago, which has been operating it since July 1, 1903.
 
1905 Annual Coal Report 14
Business Changes
      The Consumers' Coal Co., Chenoa, McLean county, has sold its mine at Chenoa, to the Illinois Coal Mining and Coke Co., of Chicago.
 

 
Colfax Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McLean County - Township 24 North, Range 5 East, Section 3, SE SW NE
This was a underground shaft mine, at a depth of 387 - 400 feet with an average coal seam of 5 feet.
Mine Name Operarted By Years
Colfax Coal Mine   Colfax Coal & Mining Company   1888 - 1904
Colfax Coal Mine   Colfax Cooperative Coal Company   1904 - 1916
Colfax Coal Mine   Colfax Coal Company   1916 - 1918
[Source - No. 1, Index 279]
The last production was reported in June 1918.
 
1904 Annual Coal Report 13
Business Changes.
      The Colfax Coal Co., Colfax, McLean county, has sold its mine at that place to a number of miners who are operating it under the name of the Colfax Cooperative Coal Co.
 

 
Illinois Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McLean County - Township 23 North, Range 2 East, Section 6, NW SE
Note : 1 - The location is deduced from various text descriptions. The descriptions from the Coal Reports were: "one mile west of town", "one mile west of Union Depot in Bloomington", "halfway between the Chicago & Alton and the Big Four Railroads."
This was a underground shaft mine.
Mine Name Operarted By Years
Bloomington Coal Mine   Bloomington Coop Coal Company   1885 - 1887
Illinois Coal Mine   Illinois Coal Mining Company   1898 - 1899
[Source - No. 1, Index 6373]
Note : 1
      The mine had been abandoned in 1887 because of inadequate financial resources to invest in the machinery needed to make the mine efficient. The shaft was deepened to the Colchester Coal in 1898 and both seams were mined. The mine was economically viable, and suspicions were voiced in the 1899 Coal Report that the McLean County Coal Company bought the mine to shut it down in order to remove competition.
The last production was reported in 1899.
 
1898 Annual Coal Report 8
Old Mine Reopened.
      A corporation known as the Illinois Coal Mining Company began operations in December, 1897, to reopen the old cooperative coal mine, situated one mile west of the Union depot in Bloomington. Several years ago a company of miners sunk the shaft to seam No. 6 of the geological, section, finding that seam at a depth of 300 feet. It is nearly four feet thick, but of an inferior quality, and is overlaid with a poor roof. The enterprise proved unprofitable, and after a short period of operation the plant was abandoned and has remained so for twelve years. The present parties, in attempting to reopen the mine, encountered a great deal of difficulty, as a large amount of the curbing had become broken, letting the sides of the shaft cave in badly, which rendered it a dangerous as well as a costly undertaking. On May 1, 1898, they finally reached seam No. 5, which is 85 feet deeper than the one formerly worked. The coal is of superior quality and is overlaid with a splendid black slate roof. It is being opened on the long-wall system, for which it is admirably adapted, and, in the meantime, sinking will be continued to the seam still below the present one. The shaft will then have a depth of 540 feet and will have two workable seams of coal; the upper is four feet thick and the lower one three feet. Both seams will be developed at the same time. A splendid tower has been erected, which is designed to handle a large output, and is equipped with a pair of direct-acting engines, 18 x 36 inches,, coupled to an 8-foot drum. Steam is generated by two two-flue boilers of a large pattern. Railroad facilities are had by a switch leading to the Big Four Railroad. A spur could be easily had from the Kansas City division of the C. & A. R. R., as the mine lies half way between that road and the Big Four. Mr. John Marland, an old and experienced manager, who owns stock in the mine, is the superintendent. The machinery was built in Danville and gives splendid satisfaction.
 
1899 Annual Coal Report 9
Abandoned Mines.
      The most important mine abandoned during the year was that of the Illinois Coal Mining Company, at Bloomington. This mine was a new one, having been in operation scarcely a year. The seam of coal being worked was four feet thick and of splendid quality; the condition for mining could hardly have been more favorable, and the selling price was all that could be desired. The property would undoubtedly have been a paying one. No reason was assigned as to why the mine was abandoned, but quite a number of the people of Bloomington suspected and concluded that the company had been bought out by the McLean Couuty Coal Co., which operates a mine, and the only one, in Bloomington. All of the machinery, which was of the very best kind, was removed to a new mine at Centralia, this state.
 

 
McLean Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McLean County - Township 23 North, Range 2 East, Section 5, NE NW SE
This was a underground shaft mine, with two coal seams.
The upper seam at a depth of 400 feet and an average thickness of 4 feet.
The lower seam was at a depth of 513 - 545 feet with an average thickness of 3.67 feet.
Note : 1 - Drop shafts connect the two seams, but did not extend to the surface. The mine notes and Coal Reports both refer to these as slopes. All coal was hauled to the surface from the lower seam.
Mine Name Operarted By Years
McLean Coal Mine No. 1   McLean County Coal Company   1867 - 1927
[Source - No. 1, Index 100]
The last production was reported in 1927.
 
1885 Annual Coal Report 2
The McLean County Coal Co.
      This is a shaft located at Bloomington at the junction of the C. & A. and I. B. & W. railroads. This mine having received such favorable mention by my predecessor, with such full description of the workings, I will simply state by way of endorsement that I fouind every thing in cinnection with it all that could be desired. The managers spare nothing that will tend to make it safer and healthier. The ventilation, while good, will still be improved by a split in the air current, which was nearly completed on my last visit, May 26. In addition to this thye proprietors are preparing to move the hauling engines below to the other side of the shaft, where the heat arising from the machinery can be utilized in the upcast, instead of heating the air at the intake, as is now the case. The company realizing that the upper seam is not as saleable as the lower, owing to its hardness which necessitates considerable labor in breaking it up for steam use, have erected a steam breaker to crush the coal to four different sizes, the largest of them being four and one-half inches. The various sizes are conveyed by chutes leading from the revolving screen to bins capable of holding 500 tons of prepared coal, which are so arranged that wagons can be quickly loaded. The breaker is worked by a 15 inch elt, connecting witht eh belt pulley on the engine. The whole plant is incased in a building 40 feet high, 75 feet long and 18 feet wide.
      W. W. Stephenson, Sup't; Thos. Radford, Mine Manager.
 
1894 Annual Coal Report 6
Fires
August 9, 1893, the tower and top buildings of the McLean Coal Company's shaft at Bloomington was entirely destroyed by fire, thereby causing operations to be suspended. Arrangements were at, once entered upon to rebuild, and in October following all the buildings were completed and in a more substantial manner than formerly.
 
1895 Annual Coal Report 7
Improvements
The McLean Coal Company of Bloomington, has sunk a new shaft from the middle to the lower vein, and drop the coal down to the lower vein where they have a double tail rope system of haulage. The air current now passing down this shaft has largely increased the volume of air circulating, by reducing the length of the air-way one-half.
 
1909 Annual Coal Report 16
Improvements.
      The McLean County Coal Company has replaced an old fan with a double inlet Sirocco fan 6 inches in diameter and 2 feet wide. This is the first fan of this type installed in the West and is an innovation that will be watched with interest by the mining engineers as it takes the place of a 22 foot fan on an old Longwall mine. This company has also put in three 200 horse power vertical water tube boilers to take the place of about 12 old cylinder boilers. The new boilers are each 6 feet in diameter 32 feet high with 94, 4 inch tubes. They are equipped with safety feed water regulators, shaker grates, 48 square feet of grate surface for each boiler and a live steam purifier with 1,067 square feet of pan surface, for taking scale forming matter out of the feed water.
 

 
Oleander Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McLean County - Township 24 North, Range 5 East, Section 2, NE NE SW
This was a underground shaft mine at a depth of 400 feet with an averae coal seam of 5 feet.
Mine Name Operarted By Years
Seymour Coal Mine   Frank Seymour & Son   1894 - 1895
Unknown   Unknown   1896 - 1900
East Colfax Coal Mine   East Colfax Coal Company   1898 - 1901
East Colfax Coal Mine   Anglo-American Coal Company   1901
Unknown   Unknown   1902 - 1921
Oleander Coal Mine   Barney L. Oleander   1922 - 1924
Oleander Coal Mine   Oleander Mining Company   1924 - 1925
Notes : 1
      The 1895 Coal Report stated that the shaft was sunk and then very little else done beyond removing a little bit of coal around the shaft, because of a misunderstanding of the different stockholders.
      The East Colfax Coal Company was owned by Ewing & Pitt of Bloomington, Illinois, who bought the Seymour Mine about a year after litigation ceased. According to Gilbert M. Johnson in "Colfax, Illinois and its Coal Mines", the company was known as Stevenson Company.
      The tops works were destroyed by fire, and financial difficulties prevented the re-opening and the mine was abandoned.
[Source - No. 1, Index 2892]
Last reported production: 1925.
 
1895 Annual Coal Report 7
New Mines.
      Frank Seymour & Son, Colfax, have sunk a new mine one mile north of the town, on the side of the Illinois Central. Very little has been done since the shaft was sunk.
 
1899 Annual Coal Report 9
New Mines.
      Some five years ago a joint stock company, composed of wealthy farmers and representative business men, residing in and around Colfax, McLean county, sunk a shaft there to seam No. 6 of the geological section, which was found at a depth of 400 feet, and was a little over five feet thick and of a superior quality; but at that time there was no work done other than to remove a little coal at the bottom of the shaft. Through a misunderstanding of the different stockholders, the property became involved in litigation, causing a suspension of operations, which continued until about a year ago, when the present owners, Messrs. Ewing & Pitt, of Bloomington, secured the property and equipped it with first class hoisting machinery, in connection with a tower that is intended for a large output. It will undoubtedly be operated extensively in a short time. The mine is situated on the Kankakee and Bloomington division of the I. C. R. R., and the product will be shipped to Chicago and the northwest. About fifty men are employed at the present time.
 
1902 Annual Coal Report 11
Abandoned mines.
      The East Colfax Coal Mining company, of Colfax, McLean county has abandoned their mine during the past year.
Fires.
      Sunday night, Dec. 16, 1901, the boiler house, engine house and hoisting drum of the East Colfax Coal Co.'s mine at Colfax was destroyed by fire, caused by the explosion of an oil lamp. The Anglo-American Coal Co. had leased and had taken possession of this mine, expecting to operate it after making the repairs made necessary by the fire. The company however failed to get the insurance money, as the old company claimed and collected it; as a consequence the mine was abandoned.
 

 
Stewart Coal Mine
The legal description lists this as :    McLean County - Township 24 North, Range 6 East, Section 5, NE NW SE
The location was deduced from the Coal Report description of the location ("one-quarter mile south of Anchor on the Illinois Central Railroad"), and may differ from the actual location by one-quarter mile in the east-west direction.
This was a underground shaft mine at a depth of 310 feet with an average coal seam of 3 feet.
Mine Name Operarted By Years
Stewart Coal Mine   Stewart Coal Company   1894 - 1895
[Source - No. 1, Index 6374]
The last reported production was in 1895.
 
1895 Annual Coal Report 7
New Mines.
      The Stuart Coal Company, Anchor, McLean county, has sunk a new shaft one-fourth of a mile south of Anchor, on the side of the Illinois Central railroad. The shaft is 310 feet deep and the seam of coal is 3 feet 6 inches thick, with fire clay bottom. This company is going to put in a first-class plant, having already begun making brick to construct their buildings on top. They control 1,300 acres of land in that vicinity and expect to have a large output of coal.

 
McLean County, Illinois
Coal Mine
Biographies
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Thomas Weeks
Inspector, Bloomington 17
 
March 25, 1850 - August 12, 1911
Photo of Thomas Weeks
      It becomes our sad duty to chronicle the death of Thomas Weeks, late State inspector of mines for the fourth inspection district, which occurredat St. John's Hospital, Springfield, Illinois, August 12, 1911, after a brief illness.
The following is a short sketch of his life contributed by a friend:
Thomas Weeks was born at Kates Hill, Worcestershire, England, March 25, 1850. In 1861 his father and family emigrated to the United States, locating at Kewanee, Illinois. He attended school in England until he was ten years of age.
      At the age of fourteen, and while yet a boy, he began working in the coal mines and followed mining in its various branches until his death. In the year 1895, Mr. Weeks accepted the management of the Colfax Coal Company and held this position until November 7, 1901, when he was appointed State Inspector of Mines by Governor Yates, serving in that capacity at the time of his death.
      On September 16, 1880, Mr. Weeks was united in marriage with Sarah Jenkins of Streator, three children were born, all of whom, with his widow, survive the deceased.
      The children are Mrs. Bertha L. Calhoun of Winslow, Arizona; C. Elmer Weeks of Chicago, Ill., and Edgar L. Weeks of Bloomington, who resides with his mother.
      Mr. Weeks was a thirty-second degree Mason, being a member of the Bloomington Lodge No. 43, Bloomington, Chapter No. 26, R. A. M.; DeMolney Commandery No. 24 Knights Templars, and Mohammed Temple Mystic Shrine and Peoria Consistory Scottish Rite Masons.
      Mr. Weeks was of the positive type of character, and to know him well was to admire his sterling qualities. He was buried with Masonic honors at Bloomington, Illinois, August 15, 1911.
      Those who enjoyed his acquaintance will long remember him for his many kind and encouraging words. He was firm, but always kind.

 
McLean County, Illinois
Coal Mine
Fatalities
BAITTO
August 26, 190111, Thomas Jones, of Chenoa, miner, age 35 years, single, Joe Bria, of Chenoa, miner, age 21 years, single, Joe Baitto, of Chenoa, miner, age 48 years, wife and seven children in Italy, and Barni Calveth, of Chenoa, miner, age 31 years, wife and one child, were instantly killed by falling down the shaft of the Chenoa Coal Co., Chenoa, McLean county. The morning of the accident, about seven o'clock, these men entered the cage to descend into the mine; as the cage was being lowered it caught on the stops, which prevented its descent; this caused some slack rope to go to the cage; before the engineer could reverse his engine and take up the slack the cage slipped from the stops; the weight breaking the rope, the cage and men fell to the bottom of the shaft killing the four men instantly.
 
BAUSHKA
June 26, 18935, C. Baushka, of Bloomington, age 32, married, two children, employed as a miner in the McLean County Coal Co.'s mine, Bloomington. While undermining, a large block of coal fell injuring him internally, to which he succumbed a few minutes afterward.
 
BELDONA
October 27. 190212, Dominick Beldona, of Colfax, miner, aged 25 years, single, was instantly killed by a fall of rock in the mine of the Colfax Coal company, Colfax, McLean county. Deceased had fired a shot two days previous on the right side of his room, which knocked out all of the props on that side except the roadside props, for a distance of 12 or 15 feet. During the interval from Saturday, the 25th, to Monday, the 27th, some slate had fallen and a large mass had become loosened at the point where the props had been knocked down; the mine examiner had notified Beldona and his brother, who worked with him, of the condition of their room, and had contracted with them to remove the slate and secure the loose rock above; while at work a large mass of rock suddenly fell, crushing deceased beneath.
 
BREWER
June 30, 190211, J. N. Brewer, of Colfax, miner, age 50 years, was fatally injured by a fall of rock in his room in the Colfax Coal & Mining Co.'s mine at Colfax, McLean county. The accident occurred about 11 A. M., from the effects of which he died at 2:30 P. M. the same day. There had been a fall of rock in his room earlier that morning, and a timberman had been sent to help clean it away. There was also found a piece of loose rock; Brewer stepped over to this rock for the purpose of getting the length of a prop to put under it, while doing this the rock fell on him with the result as stated; he leaves a widow and five children.
 
BRIA
August 26, 190111, Thomas Jones, of Chenoa, miner, age 35 years, single, Joe Bria, of Chenoa, miner, age 21 years, single, Joe Baitto, of Chenoa, miner, age 48 years, wife and seven children in Italy, and Barni Calveth, of Chenoa, miner, age 31 years, wife and one child, were instantly killed by falling down the shaft of the Chenoa Coal Co., Chenoa, McLean county. The morning of the accident, about seven o'clock, these men entered the cage to descend into the mine; as the cage was being lowered it caught on the stops, which prevented its descent; this caused some slack rope to go to the cage; before the engineer could reverse his engine and take up the slack the cage slipped from the stops; the weight breaking the rope, the cage and men fell to the bottom of the shaft killing the four men instantly.
 
CALVETH
August 26, 190111, Thomas Jones, of Chenoa, miner, age 35 years, single, Joe Bria, of Chenoa, miner, age 21 years, single, Joe Baitto, of Chenoa, miner, age 48 years, wife and seven children in Italy, and Barni Calveth, of Chenoa, miner, age 31 years, wife and one child, were instantly killed by falling down the shaft of the Chenoa Coal Co., Chenoa, McLean county. The morning of the accident, about seven o'clock, these men entered the cage to descend into the mine; as the cage was being lowered it caught on the stops, which prevented its descent; this caused some slack rope to go to the cage; before the engineer could reverse his engine and take up the slack the cage slipped from the stops; the weight breaking the rope, the cage and men fell to the bottom of the shaft killing the four men instantly.
 
ERRICSON
March 17, 190413, Gust Erricson, miner, aged 58 years, married, in the employ of the McLean County Coal Co., Bloomington, McLean county, was almost instantly killed by being run over by empty pit-cars. In this mine there is tail rope haulage: and for a distance of 3,000 or 4,000 feet there is a double track, with a separate rope for each track: Erricson having finished his day's work, had started to walk to the shaft bottom; on his way he was overtaken by the loaded trip in the middle of which was an empty car in which some men were riding to the bottom. It appeared from the evidence at the coroner's inquest that Erricson attempted to get into that car when he was struck by the empty trip, which was passing on its way inside, and knocked under the cars. He died in ten or fifteen minutes after being taken from under the cars. He leaves a widow and four grown children.
 
FARRELL
On September 16, 18863, William Farrell, aged 18 years and single, was injured in the McLean County Coal Company's mine at Bloomington from the effects of which he died on the 26th of the following October. The deceased was trip-runner on the cable rope for two years and had just asked the pit-boss for a change to mule driving in order to obtain higher wages. His request was complied with and on the first day of the change and on his sixth trip he miscalculated his whereabouts in coming into the parting and jumped off his car in the wrong place and was caught between the cars and the entry side and crushed so badly that he died.
 
FERRY
October 4, 18936, Eugene Ferry, of Chenoa, miner, 25 years of age, single man, employed by the Benton Coal Co., Chenoa, McLean county, had fired a shot and at once, before the smoke had cleared away, returned to the face of his room to see the effect; his partner had advised him to wait until the smoke had cleared away, a prop had been knocked out by the force of the explosion and had loosened a piece of the roof, or rock, about five feet long by two and a half feet thick, which fell, pushing Ferry down on to the loose coal and injuiing him so seriously that he died three hours afterwards.
 
FRANKE
December 20, 190111, Rhinehardt Franke, of Bloomington, miner, age 41 years, was instantly killed by a fall of slate at the face of his room in the long-wall mine of the McLean County Coal Co., Bloomington, Ill. The deceased had started to work the day previous after being out of the mines two years or more. The room in which he began work had not been worked for several months. He was engaged taking off the loose coal from the face on the right-hand side of his place about ten feet from the road head, when a piece of slate about 2 feet wide, 12 feet long and 14 inches thick, fell on him with the result as stated; he leaves a widow and two children.
 
HALL
February 15, 1898 8, James Hall, of Colfax, a miner, aged 17 years, working in the mine of the Colfax Coal Co., Colfax, was instantly killed by a fall of roof at about 8:30 a. m. He was working with Charles Campbell, an old and experienced miner. Deceased had just begun to mine off a standing shot when the roof gave way, crushing him to death. His partner had sounded the roof at that place about twenty minutes before the accident and stated that it sounded hard and solid. He leaves one dependent.
 
HERBERT
November 7, 18894, Daniel Herbert, of Colfax, aged 48 years, single, was employed by the Colfax Coal Co., Colfax, as a coal digger. He had applied a lighted match to a blast, and retired to the entry until his hsot went off, but while standing there a piece of rock fell on him,, from which injury he died that hour.
 
JONES
August 26, 190111, Thomas Jones, of Chenoa, miner, age 35 years, single, Joe Bria, of Chenoa, miner, age 21 years, single, Joe Baitto, of Chenoa, miner, age 48 years, wife and seven children in Italy, and Barni Calveth, of Chenoa, miner, age 31 years, wife and one child, were instantly killed by falling down the shaft of the Chenoa Coal Co., Chenoa, McLean county. The morning of the accident, about seven o'clock, these men entered the cage to descend into the mine; as the cage was being lowered it caught on the stops, which prevented its descent; this caused some slack rope to go to the cage; before the engineer could reverse his engine and take up the slack the cage slipped from the stops; the weight breaking the rope, the cage and men fell to the bottom of the shaft killing the four men instantly.
 
JOY
May 22, 18957, James Joy, of Colfax, miner, aged 37 years, was fatally injured in the Stewart Coal Mining Company's mine at Anchor, McLean county. The deceased, along with other miners, was putting in large timbers, in the bottom of the shaft. He was cutting a ditch in the fireclay under the coal, in which to put a sill timber, on which to place the upright timbers. Some loose coal was on the pillar on his left, with a sprag under it to prevent it from falling over. The deceased had cut forward to the sprag, and removed it from under the coal, and failed to replace it behind him, thinking the coal would stand until he had finished the cutting. A few minutes after the sprag had been taken out, the coal fell and crushed him in the ditch, injuring him so seriously that he died at 1:30 o'clock P. M., twenty minutes after being taken on top.
 
MOWRY
July 6, 18894, C. Mowry, of Colfax, aged 23 years, married, was employed as a coal miner by the Colfax Coal Co., Colfax. He was fatally injured by a fall of rock in his room, and he died on the 13th of the same month from the injuries received. He left a widow and one child.
 
NELSON
December 23, 1897 8, John Nelson, of Bloomington, a topman, aged 38 years, married, and employed by the McLean County Coal Co., Bloomington, was instantly killed by falling to the hard frozen ground from the trestle work that extends from the shaft to the engine chutes. Deceased was engaged in moving a car of coal when his feet suddenly slipped, causing him to fall. He leaves a widow and four children.
 
March 28, 190312, Magnus Nelson, of Bloomington, miner, aged 62 years, married, employed in mine No. 1, of the McLean County Coal company, Bloomington, McLean county, was injured by a fall of coal. He had fired a shot, which failed to break the coal down; he then started to undermine the coal and while doing so it fell on him, crushing him about the hips, and body, and injuring him internally. He died April 1, 1903, leaving a widow and three children, one child dependant.
 
O'HARA
On February 25, 18873, William O'Hara, aged 25 years and single, was employed as a mule driver by the McLean County Coal Co., at Bloomington, his duty being to pull trips to and from the cable rope to the pit bottom. While starting up a loaded trip his feet became entangled in the mule's hitching chain and he was thrown backwards, his head striking heavily against the front car, from the effects of which he died the same day.
 
OSAM
December 11, 189910, Jacob Osam, of Bloomington, was killed by being caught in the machinery of the revolving screen. It has never been fully determined just how the accident happened, as no one was present at the time, and nothing was known until one of the top men heard him shout to stop the engine that causes the screen to revolve, which was done at once, but before anyone reached him he was dead. It is presumed that he was up there for the purpose of oiling some part of the machinery when he met his death. The accident happened at the mine of the McLean County Coal Co. He left a widow and three small children dependent.
 
SAUNDERS
December 18, 18936, Herman Saunders, of Colfax, laborer, aged 26 years, single, employed at the Colfax Coal Co.'s shaft at Colfax, McLean county: at seven o'clock in the evening, the deceased was standing on the west side of the shaft at the lower landing, waiting to go down to work: the mine manager was giving some instructions to the night-shift boss, when, apparently without any reason, the deceased walked around the shaft to the east side where some timber was lying ready to be sent down, when he either stumbled or purposely climbed over the timber and walked into the shaft, being on the side where the cage was down, he fell a distance of 400 feet and was instantly killed.
 
STAKOSKI
December 31, 190212, Stanis Stakoski, of Bloomington, miner, aged 26 years, single, employed in the McLean County Coal company's mine, Bloomington, McLean county, was fatally injured by a fall of coal and slate, from the effects of which he died two days afterwards. Deceased had only commenced work in this mine the day before the accident; the second day his partner not being in, he was working alone, and had just begun mining when a piece of coal about seven feet long, two feet wide, with about eight inches of slate sticking to it, fell on him with the result as stated. He was a native of Poland.
 
WELSH ( WALSH )
October 21, 190515, Robert Welsh, of Bloomington, driver, aged 23 years, single, was injured by a falling niggerhead in the McLean County Coal Co.'s mine, at Bloomington, from the effects of which he died November 14, 1905. The deceased was on his way out with his mule and car to the bottom of the shaft, having finished his day's work. There were five men riding in the car, while Welsh was sitting on a seat hanging over the front end of the car. The accident occurred on the main hauling road, fully one-half mile from his usual working place. His mother, who is a widow, was dependent on him.
 
WHITE
February 13, 190312, Louis B. White, of Colfax, miner, aged 42 years, married employed at the Colfax Coal company's mine, Colfax, McLean county, was instantly killed by a fall of a rock while working in his room. Deceased was loading coal into a pit ear when a large piece of rock, nine feet long, five and a half feet wide, and six inches thick at one edge, tapering to three inches, suddenly fell on him, crushing him beneath. The mine examiner had reported the room in a safe condition that morning. It was well timbered to within six feet of the face, and gave no indications of any loose rock. This appears to have been an unavoidable accident. He leaves a widow and seven children.
 
WILSON
December 29, 18925, James Wilson, of Colfax, employed as night timberman by the Colfax Coal Co., Colfax. Deceased had given orders to two coal miners who were breaking off a room from the entry, not to work that night as the roof was bad over the entry opposite their room. After they had gone home, Wilson had occasion to take a load of timber into that same entry, and while cleaning away some fallen rock, opposite the room above mentioned, to get his car past, a large piece of rock fell on him, from the effect of which he died the following evening. Wilson was married but had no family.
 

 
Sources :
 
1 Coal Mines in Illinois, McLean County
                Illinois State Geological Survey, 615 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, IL. 61820

2 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

3 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 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

11 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

12 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

13 Twenty-third Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Startistics, 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

14 Twenty-Fourth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Startistics, 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

15 Twenty-Fifth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Startistics, 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

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

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

 

 
Coal & Coal Mining in Central Illinois

 
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