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Southeast Quarter of Macoupin County
C O A L
Coal Mining
        For more than 125 years, coal mining has held a predominance in the area within and around Gillespie, Illinois. Starting around 1880, coal mines were sunk in this area. With the Dorsey Mine and the Gillespie Mine shafts in or adjacent to the Village of Gillespie and the Clyde Mine near the Village of Clyde, which is now Hornsby, all being sunk in 1880 and coal production being reported in 1881; a coal industry opened a new era. Lasting all the years up until this year of 2008, coal has played a major role in the commerce of the area.
 
        The railroads being built through the state created a need for more coal to fuel the trains and their operations. The increase in demand for this unique compound caused more mines to be sunk and this brought a need for miners to bring this coal to the surface. More men along with their families arriving in this area created a need for housing. The housing necessity was the reason for villages seeing their beginning in a cluster around Gillespie. Walking was the primary means of transportation to and from work at the mines. Many of the villages were started close to a mine.
Railroads of the area

        In the early 1900's the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company started mines for the fuel source for their operations. These four mines were the Superior Mines. Even though the villages were named, they were commonly known as and referred to by the mine number. "Number One" was the only way to mention Eagarville if you wished for others to know what you meant.
 
        Gillespie has this heritage of the coal industry and it is shown in many ways. The local Chamber of Commerce has adopted the name "Coal Country Chamber of Commerce" and "Black Diamond Days" is a local celebration of coal that is held in the spring during the first weekend following Memorial Day. The Black Diamond logo can be seen on some building and at the entrance signs to the City of Gillespie. As a note of interest, the Village of Gillespie was incorporated as the City of Gillespie in 1907.
 
        In the sections below, I have tried to provide a brief description for the mines located in the near vicinity of Gillespie, Illinois, including some additional mine related information.
 
        The worst tragic occurrence that happens in mining is the death of a miner while at work. The causes can be of many different types from the gases that are likely to be present, fires, floods, dirt falls, slate falls, and coal falls either from the roof of the mine or at the face of the coal seam that is being mined. Machinery failures can also cause problems for the safety concerns of all the people employed in the mine. Some of the fatalities of this local area for the years 1884 - 1984 are listed :         Mine Fatalities : |   A - I    |   J - R    |   S - Z    |
 
        A lot of things happen connected with the coal mining industry that can be called tragedies. Mine subsidence has caused many surface damages during the years that the mines were actively mining coal and continue to occur today.
Benld Elementary School         As recent as March 28, 2009, mine subsidence caused major damage to the Benld Elementary School. Some of the floors settled over a foot and continued to sink further in the next few days, almost reaching a depth of two and a half feet.
        This damage caused by mine subsidence eliminated use of the building. The School was only seven years old and provided classrooms for approximately 700 students. This resulted in disrupting the entire Community Unit School District No. 7, by having to utilize the same space for the displaced students in the same buildings as the Middle School and High School. A split schedule was used to accomplished this and used for the rest of 2008-2009 school year and the following school year all the way through October.
        Throughout the years there have been many occurrences of mine subsidence, some very minor and some larger. Cracked basements, cracked walls in homes and other buildings, collapse of sidewalks and damage to paved streets are just a few that have affected many people living in this area. Underground utility piping damage is also another result of mine subsidence that can ultimately affect many of the residents and businesses that rely on these utilities.
 
        Additional material including articles and photographs of miners, mining items, machinery, personal effects, and tools of the trade would be welcome.

Gillespie's First-Aid and Rescue Contests
 
Gillespie's Miners' Cooperative Store - 1st store of this type in Illinois
 
Page 2    Coal Mines and Mining in other parts of Macoupin County
 
Photo Tribute to the Coal Miners of Macoupin County, Illinois
 
  BENLD, Illinois         A village in the midst of several coal mines.         south of Gillespie, Illinois
 
CLYDE Mine aka Hornsby Mine         Hornsby, Illinois         east of Gillespie, Illinois
 
DORSEY Mine         Gillespie, Illinois
 
GILLESPIE Mine         Gillespie, Illinois

        Gillespie, Illinois & Progressive Miners of America
 
KIMBERLY Mine         Henderson, Illinois         northeast of Gillespie, Illinois
 
LITTLE DOG Mine         Gillespie, Illinois
 
MONTEREY Mine No. 1         north of Gillespie, Illinois
 
SHAY Mine         north of Gillespie, Illinois
 
SUPERIOR Coal Company         Four mines in the area.
      including   Coal Washing Plant         east of Gillespie, Illinois
 
SUPERIOR Coal Mine Number 1         Eagarville, Illinois         east of Gillespie, Illinois
 
SUPERIOR Coal Mine Number 2         Sawyerville, Illinois         south of Gillespie, Illinois
 
SUPERIOR Coal Mine Number 3         Mount Clare, Illinois         southwest of Gillespie, Illinois
 
SUPERIOR Coal Mine Number 4         Wilsonville, Illinois         southwest of Gillespie, Illinois
 
WHITE CITY, Illinois         Bell & Zoller No. 15 Mine         southeast of Gillespie, Illinois

 

        Mt. Olive, IL. area mines - southeast of Gillespie, Illinois
Consolidated No. 8 Mine
Consolidated No. 9 Mine
Consolidated No. 10 Mine
Hoosier Mine

 

        Staunton, IL. area mines - south of Gillespie, Illinois
Anchor Mine
Consolidated No. 6 Mine
Consolidated No. 14 Mine
Henry Voge Mine     Madison County
Mt. Olive & Staunton No. 1 Mine     Madison County
Mt. Olive & Staunton No. 2 Mine     Madison County
Staunton No. 5 Mine
Staunton No. 7 Mine

        Virden "Riot"                 Virden, Illinois         north of Gillespie, Illinois


 
Macoupin County
Southeast Quarter
Coal Mine Locations

Not to Scale
Map of Mine Locations
 
Clyde Mine
Hornsby, IL.
      The Clyde Mine or Hornsby Mine is located a few miles east of Gillespie, in Cahokia Township.
 
The legal description lists this as Macoupin County - Township 8 North, Range 6 West, Section 9, NE, NE, NW,
According to mine notes this mine shaft was sunk by Henry Voge, probably in 1880 . There is not any knowledge of production prior to 1881.
This was an underground mine with a depth of 388 - 396 feet and an average coal seam thickness of 6 - 7 feet.
Clyde Mine History
Mine Name Operated By Years
Yoch Mine   Joseph Yoch & Brother   1881-1884
St. Barnard Mine   St. Barnard Coal Company   1884-1886
Clyde Mine   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1886-1896
Clyde Mine   W. W. Williams   1896-1897
Hornsby Mine   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1897-1906
The last reported production was in March 1906.                            [Source - No. 1, Index 2907]

 
1885 Coal Report10
Collieries in Macoupin County, Illinois
St. Barnard Coal and Mining Company, Clyde, Hornsby P. O., Macoupin County, Illinois.
      This is the Yock mine at Clyde, Hornsby P. O., and will be now known as St. Barnard Coal and Mining Co. It is a machine mine, operating on an average six Yock coal cutting machines. A Duplex Yock compressor is used to supply air to the coal cutting machines. This shaft has a very bad roof, but is worked very successfully with the machines.
      Benjamin Yock, Manager.
 

 
Dorsey Mine
Gillespie, IL.
      The second, if not the first mine, in Gillespie was located near the east border of the village (now city) and was known as "Dorsey Mine", and was in Gillespie Township.
 
      The mine was located on Walnut Street where the grain elevator used to be and where public housing now is. This is just to the east of the police department building and west of Bear Creek.
 
The legal description lists this as Macoupin County - Township 8 North, Range 7 West, Section 13, SE, SE, SE,
now being between Oak and Walnut streets to the east of Fulton Street. Further east is Clay Street, which was not in the Gillespie village limits at this time.
An underground mine with a depth of 346 - 375 feet and an average coal seam thickness of 7 feet,
The Dorsey Mine was operated by the B. L. Dorsey Coal Company from 1881 - 1886
and operated by the Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis from 1886-1887.
The last reported production was in 1887.                                                      [Source - No. 1, Index 2908]
 
also listed this way
Dorsey Mine History
Mine Name Operated By Years
Dorsey Mine   Dorsey Coal Company   1883-1887
Dorsey Mine   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1887-1889

 
Note :
An 1875 Plat Map of Gillespie shows the Cleveland Cincinnati Chicago & St. Louis Railroad passing right by this location. It is shown as going in an eastwardly to westwardly direction halfway between Oak and Walnut Streets with the Depot being located on Macoupin Street approximately where City Hall is now located.
 
1883 Geological Survey of Illinois13
At Gillespie, in Macoupin county, a shaft has been sunk during the past year by B. L. Dorsey & Son, for the details of which I am indebted to Mr. Alexander Butters. Coal No. 5 was found here at the depth of about 365 feet, passing the following beds: . . . . .
Bottom of coal 373 ft. 5 in.
 
1885 Coal Report10
Collieries in Macoupin County, Illinois
Dorsey Coal Company, Gillespie, Macoupin County, Illinois.
      This shaft has not been worked since the 1st of March, owing to the strike in the Staunton district. The underground works are in good condition; ventilation good, secured by a Murphy fan. Ladders have not yet been put into the new escapement shaft, but a notice has been served on the company to have them supplied.
      S. Dorsey, Superintendent.
      A. Butters, Mine Manager.
           See : Biography of Alexander Butters
 

 
Gillespie Mine
Gillespie, IL.
      The first, or second, mine, in Gillespie was located to the north and east of Gillespie under the area of what is now East Gillespie and a very small part of Gillespie, and was in Cahokia Township.
The legal description lists this as Macoupin County - Township 8 North, Range 6 West, Section 18, SW, NE, SW,
According to The Staunton Times of February 26,1897, the mine shaft was sunk in 1880 by Henry Voge. There is not any knowledge of production prior to 1881.
This was an underground mine with a depth of 345 - 355 feet and an average coal seam thickness of 6 - 8 feet.
Gillespie Mine History
Mine Name Operated By Years
Young, Fuller & McKinney Mine   O. Young, D. W. Fuller, O. F. McKinney   1881-1882
Young & McKinney Mine   O. Young & O. F. McKinney   1882-1883
Gillespie Mine   Gillespie Coal Company   1883-1886
Gillespie Mine   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1886-1909
The last reported production was December 31, 1909.                            [Source - No. 1, Index 763]

 
1885 Coal Report10
Collieries in Macoupin County, Illinois
Gillespie Coal and Mining Company, Gillespie, Macoupin County, Illinois.
      This shaft was worked very successfully up to the 1st of March, when it stopped, owing to the strike in the Staunton district, as is not in operation at present. Everything around the mine is in good order. The ventilation is good. The underground workings are in good order, and a Murphy fan is used for ventilation.
      O. F. McKinney, Superintendent.
      Wm. Opie, Mine Manager.
 
1897 Coal Report11
Gillespie Mine Fire of 1896
      At about 7:30 P. M. on the 16 of October in 1896, a fire broke out in the main north entry of the Gillespie Coal Mine in Gillespie, Macoupin County, Illinois. Coal production was suspended due to this fire for five and a half months for half of the mine and eight and a half months for the other half. A great property loss was incurred, but there was no lives lost in this fire. the south side of the mine was able to resume production of coal on April 1, 1897 and operations on the north side didn't resume until July 1, 1897. On the day of the fire, there was no one in the mine after 5:30 P. M. and the fire was observed by the night man noticing smoke coming from the hoisting shaft.
 
      Consolidated Coal Company went to a considerable expense to get Gillespie Mine back into production. Eight hour shifts on a continual basis for for the eight and a half months it took to get the mine back to work. The workmen involved were able to accomplish this without any fatalities or casualties.
 
 
Some of the fatalities of the local area for the years 1884 - 1984 are listed :         Mine Fatalities

 
Gillespie Illinois
Progressive Miners of America
Colonial Theatre Photo  

      In September of 1932, the founding convention of the Progressive Miners of America was held at the Colonial Theater in Gillespie, Illinois.
      Delegates representing tens of thousands of miners assembled. They voted to break from the United Mine Workers of America and form a new union, the Progressive Miners of America.

PMWA group photo
Photograph Courtesy of : minewar.org

 
      In 1932, a newspaper "The Progressive Miner" and known as the "Official publication of the Progressive Mine Workers of America." began publishing in Gillespie, Illinois. Sometime in the next few years, the newspaper publication was relocated to Marissa, St. Clair County, Illinois and continued until 1957.
First Headlines :
Progressive Miners's newspaper
Photograph Courtesy of : minewar.org
Smash The Terror In Franklin County
NEW UNION LAUNCHED

 
August 10, 1932 -
BENLD, IL. -- Coal miners agreed to form The Progressive Mine Workers of America.
 
August 14, 1932 -
BENLD, IL. -- At a meeting of the miners, they voted to travel to Taylorville, Christian County, Illinois to shut down the the Peabody Coal Mine, where the miners there had agreed to going back to work by accepting the contract.
 
August 19, 1932 -
BENLD, IL. -- Fifteen hundred miners started for Taylorville, and were able to shut down the mine because the local miners refused to cross the picket lines.
 
September 1, 1932 -
GILLESPIE, IL. -- At the Colonial Theater, a convention, lasting three days, was held founding the Progressive Miners of America.
This new union was representing approximately 30,000 coal miners.
Claude Pearcy, of Gillespie, was the acting president and later became president of the union.
William Keck was the acting secretary-treasurer.
 
mid-February 1933 -
GILLESPIE, IL. -- At the Colonial Theater, a Wage Scale convention was held by the Progressive Miners of America. Over 200 miner-delegates from throughout the state attended.
 
May 1933 -
GILLESPIE, IL. -- The Progressive Miners of America along with their Ladies Auxiliary held a rally at Gillespie Park for speakers trying to gain support for better labor conditions.
 
June 1934 -
GILLESPIE, IL. -- A picnic and large parade was held by the Progressive Miners of America with attendees from all over the state. The mealtime was enjoyed at Reservoir Park.
 
September 1934 -
GILLESPIE, IL. -- The second constitutional convention was held by the Progressive Miners of America at the Colonial Theater.
 
February 1935 -
GILLESPIE, IL. -- Gillespie was the location of a convention by the Progressive Mine Workers of America. Delegates from throughout the state attended.
 
December 1946 -
GILLESPIE, IL. -- John McCann, of Gillespie, was elected president of the Progressive Mine Workers of America. He will assume the duties of this office in February.
 
Expanded Section - See :Progressive Miners of America
 
Additional information :
The Progressive Miners of America and the 1930's Illinois Mine War "No Backward Step"    by Greg Boozell
 
Mine Union Radicalism in Macoupin and Montgomery Counties    by Victor Hicken - 1997 Victor Hicken
 
Frank Fries Memoir
Coal Mining and Union Activities Project; Interview and memoir by Nick Cherniavsky & Barbara Herndon, 1973
Archives/Special Collections LIB 144, University of Illinois at Springfield
 
Jack Battuello Memoir #1
Coal Mining and Union Activities Project; Interview and memoir by Nick Cherniavsky & Bobbie Herndon, 1982
Archives/Special Collections LIB 144, University of Illinois at Springfield

 
Henderson, IL.
      In February of 1921, the West Virginia Coal Company which was owned by John Henderson, opened offices in Gillespie, Illinois.
      With Mr. G. E. Urbain as the superintendent, a new mine was being sunk on the Louis Cordum property approximately three miles northeast of Gillespie.
      During June of 1921, building lots were being sold for the new town of Henderson.
      A vein of coal considered to be of about nine foot was struck in August of 1921.
 
Kimberly Mine
Henderson, IL.
The legal description lists this as Macoupin County - Township 8 North, Range 6 West, Section 7, SE, NE, NE,
which encompasses the area under Henderson and is in Cahokia Township.
An underground mine with a depth of 386 feet and an average coal seam thickness of 9 feet,
The Kimberly Mine was operated by the Perry Coal Company from 1922 - 1923
and notes also state it was known as "Old Henderson Mine" by the West Virginia Coal Company, but there was not any production reported under these names.
The last reported production was in August 1923.                                 [Source - No. 1, Index 2906]

 
 
Some of the fatalities of the local area for the years 1884 - 1984 are listed :         Mine Fatalities

 
Little Dog Mine
Gillespie, IL.
Gillespie Little Dog Mine photo 1
Photograph furnished by : Carol Ries
 
Gillespie Little Dog Mine nphoto 2
Photograph furnished by : Jill Secoy
 
Little Dog Mine
Gillespie, IL.

 
During 1918/1919 The "Little Dog Coal Company" was began by Sam Westwood and was known as
            "Gillespie Coal Company".
      Sam M. Westwood was a resident of Staunton, Illinois in 1910.
On the 12th of September in 1918, he registered for the World War I draft.
His birth date was shown as June 12, 1877 and he listed his residence as Gillespie, Illinois.
The occupation was stated as "Mine Superintendent" for the Gillespie Coal Company.

 
In 1945 C. V. Beck purchased the Little Dog Mine.
            See also : Clarence Beck & Little Dog Mine Memories by Nancy V. Beck
 
The legal description lists this as
      Macoupin County - Township 8 North, Range 7 West, Section 13, 600 FSL, 100 FWL, NE,
and is in Gillespie Township.
An underground mine with a depth of 347 feet and an average coal seam thickness of 7 - 7 feet,
was located adjacent to Gillespie on the Northwest.
Little Dog Mine History
Mine Name Operated By Years
Liberty Mine   Gillespie Coal Company   1918-1940
Perry Mine   Perry Coal Company   1941-1945
Little Dog Mine   Little Dog Coal Company   1945-1967
Little Dog Mine   Florida Coal Company of St. Louis   1967-1968
The last reported production was November 26, 1968.                                 [Source - No. 1, Index 843]

 
 
Some of the fatalities of the local area for the years 1884 - 1984 are listed :         Mine Fatalities

 
Monterey No. 1 Mine
Macoupin County, IL.
Monterey Coal Mine
Photograph furnished by : Jill Secoy

The legal description lists this as Macoupin County - Township 9 North, Range 7 West, Section 22, SE, NW, SW,
which encompasses over 12,000 acres underground a few miles to the north of Gillespie, IL. in Brushy Mound Township.
An underground mine with a depth of 300 - 330 feet and an average coal seam thickness of 6 2/3 - 7 feet,
Monterey No. 1 Mine is operated by Monterey Coal Company and began operations in 1970. It is presently (2008) continuing to produce coal, but may close in the near future.
                                                                                    [Source - No. 1, Index 886]

 
 
Some of the fatalities of the local area for the years 1884 - 1984 are listed :         Mine Fatalities

 
Shay Mine
Macoupin County, IL.
      Monterey No. 1 Mine closed in the early part of 2009 and after being down for over 200 days; was reopened as Shay Mine, and in October of 2009 began producing coal.

 
Superior Coal Company
Gillespie, Macoupin County, Illinois
      In 1902 the Superior Coal Company began to open mines in the area.
The Superior Coal Company was owned by Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company, which had three of the largest coal mines in world for the first half of the twentieth century.
Railroads of the area
      The towns associated with these mines did not exist before the mines where opened. The development of the communities was done by the mining company and various builders, building houses to provide homes for the coal miners and their families.
            At Mine No. 1 (Eagarvile), three of the houses. These homes were demolished during the mid 1990's
                  Eagarville house 1       Eagarville house 2       Eagarville house 3
 
"Number 1" was at Eagarville; opened August 1903 & closed in 1951
 
"Number 2" was at Sawyerville; opened October 1903 & closed in 1952
 
"Number 3" was at Mt Clare; opened in 1904 & closed in 1953
 
"Number 4" was at Wilsonville and it opened in 1916 & closed in 1954.
 
1904 Annual Coal Report 5

      The Superior Coal Company, Gillespie, has opened up two new mines in Macoupin county, designated as Nos. 1 and 2. Mine No. 1 is two miles southeast of Gillespie and No. 2 is three and one-half miles south. Railroad connections are made to these mines by a branch road, known as the Macoupin Mounty railroad, connecting at Greenridge with the C. & A. railroad, thence south crossing the C. C. C & St. L. railroad at Gillespie and to the mines.
 
      No. 1 shaft is 348 feet deep and 9 x 17 feet in the clear, with two cageways and pipe chambers. The cage ways are each seven feet wide: the pipe chamber two feet four inches wide. The seam of coal is eight feet thick and No. 5 of the general section, being equivalent to Mt. Olive and Staunton coal seams. The tower is built of steel; the compressor, dynamo, engine and boiler houses are built of brick with slate roof: there are six boilers, each 60 inches in diameter, by 18 feet long, with 60 four-inch flues, each rated at 100 horse power. The hoisting engine is double first motion: each cylinder 24 x 36 inches with a seven foot straight drum; the ropes are one and three-eighth inches in diameter: dump cages are used for hoisting; the screens are stationary, as the coal from the mines will be consumed by the Chicago & Northwestern railroad. The fan is 16 feet in diameter and five and one-half feet wide; it is a central disk fan; the fan house is fire proof. The underground works are laid out on the improved plan. The coal will be mined and worked on the panel system. Fifteen miners' houses have been built at No. 1 mine and 22 at No. 2. The No. 1 is a duplicate of the No. 3 mine.
 
      The coal at these mines will be mined by the Ingersoll-Sergeant coal cutting machines. A large Ingersoll compound compressor has been installed at each mine and air signals will be used. The towers and out-housing around both shafts are all built of steel. ample side-tracks and scales have been put in. The company owns an extensive royalty of coal lands with a suitable tract of surface land at each mine and has plans now under way for sinking No. 3 mine. These mines in the future will have a large output when properly opened out.
 

1913 Annual Coal Report 8
Improvements
      The Superior Coal Company, Gillespie, Macoupin County, has made many important changes and additions to its equipment. On the surface, each plant has been repaired extensively, including a complete overhauling of boiler plants, compressors, repairing of the chutes and tipples and weighing apparatus. A new grade has been established in the railroad yards at each mine and the company has installed a Fairmont car retarder to handle the railroad cars over the scales while loading. This machine has proven to be very valuable, both for its efficiency and its complete control of a railroad car while loading.
      At No. 1 and No. 2 mines two large steel smoke stacks have been erected to take the place of two which had entirely given away.
      In connection with the machine shop equipment at Mine No. 3, there have been installed a complete Ox-Acetylene welding outfit, a combination shears and punch with 24-inch throat, and a turning lathe.
      At No. 3 mine a plant for making concrete blocks out of cinders and cement has been installed. These blocks are made in large quantities and taken into the mine for use in building mine stoppings, etc.
      A new 200 K. W. Westinghouse generator directly connected to an Ideal engine 20" x 20" with complete switchboard equipment for connections in parallel with the old generator of the same type has been installed at Mine No. 3.
      In the mines the parting extension necessary to keep the motors going close to the face has been made during the year, and many valuable changes in the haulage system and bottom arrangements made which have placed these mines far ahead of their previous records for tonnage.
      At No. 2 the rock was taken down from the roof and the bottom grade extended back about fifty feet, making a larger holding capacity for the bottom.
      At No. 3, on the east side of the bottom, the rock roof was taken down about 3 feet and the main overcast raised in proportion, and the tracks on that side of the mine elevated several feet, grading out to a plane upon which the motor will successfully throw its cars into the bottom without having to stop and push, which will mean quite a saving of time and permit this motor to go further in after tips.
      There have been added to the haulage equipment two Goodman 5-ton reel type gatering locomotives and one 15-ton ball-bearing armature Jeffery road motor with arc light and all the latest improvements.
      At No. 3 mine the compressed air machines have been entirely abandoned and the mine fully equipped with electric coal-cutting machines. five Sullivan short-wall type machines were purchased, three of which were put into No. 3 mine and two of them substituted for four chain breast machines of the Jeffery type at No. 2. The chain breast machines being made part of No. 3's equipment.
      This company has also, during the year, installed eight automatic trap doors. Two of them have been in operation for ten months and are working splendidly. The other six have been recently installed. It is the intention of the company to substitute these doors for the old-fashioned wooden doors as quickly as possible.
      In addition to the foregoing improvements, 275 mine cars have been added, stoppings rebuilt, and two overcasts have been erected at each mine.
      Interest has been maintained in First Aid and Rescue Work, and, in December, 1912, this company conducted, at its own expense, a contest in First Aid to the Injured, which placed it in the lead in First Aid Work. A valuable trophy was awarded and a splendid program rendered. Prominent mine men of the State and community were present. The company has during the past year, provided a supply of enameled steel signals, signifying danger, pointing the way to the surface, hands off, and adopted the Illinois Legal Code of Hoisting Signals.
 

1917 Annual Coal Report 7
Improvements
      The Superior Coal Company, Gillespie, Macoupin County, beside making extensions on the haulage roads of their three mines, has laid much heavy iron in preparation of future extensions and roller bearing wheels are being substituted for the old type wheels in the mine cars at mine No. 1 and 2, and a large number of new type cars purchased for all three mines. The most important improvement during the year was made at mine No. 1, where all the compressed air machinery was taken out and in its place were added to the electrical equipment, one 240-kilowatt generator direct connected to a 20 by 20 engine, seven breast mining machines and three shortwall mining machines; a belt driven trip hammer to sharpen machine bits, and one 11 by 12 Westinghouse air pump were installed; 80 feet of the main shaft from the landing down was retimbered and new guides put in. On the surface the tipple was repaired, the track and hopper scales overhauled and repaired and a concrete sewer built behind the boiler room to drain blow-off water from the boilers. At mine No. 2 there has been built a car barn below so that the mine cars can be repaired without sending them on top. A 25-kilowatt direct connected generator, one breast mining machine and a 15-ton locomotive were added to the electrical equipment. At mine No. 3 several thousand feet of motor road has been retied, straightened and brushed, while on the surface three boilers were reset, an addition built to machine shop for the engine that runs the line shaft, and a 4-foot radial drill purchased for the machine shop. At each of the three mines a new water tank was erected on the surface. For the sprinkling of roads there has been installed three large steel tanks out of which water is forced by compressed air so that the top and ribs of entrys are sprinkled as well as the bottom. Additions are being built to all of the wash houses in order to add more sprays and place all of the sprays in a separate room. The ventilation has been improved at all three mines by rebuilding the old stoppings with concrete blocks and with new stoppings in the mouths of abandoned entries. Two boilers were reset at the coal washer and two steel smoke stacks erected.

 


 
mine washer photo
Photograph furnished by : Jill Secoy
Original Photograph taken by Frank J. Orso
 
Superior Coal Company Mines
Coal Washer
located on Old Washer Road east of Gillespie

1907 Annual Coal Report 4

Coal Washing Plant of the Superior Coal Company Near Gillespie
      The coal washing plant of the Superior Coal Company is located on the main line of the Macoupin County Railway, about three miles north of Benld and within a few hundred yards of the crossing of the C., C., C. & St. L. R. R. This washery was designed and built by the American Coal Washer Company of Alton, Ill. Its capacity is 250 tons of coal an hour. The coal is brought to the washery in gondola cars of 80,000 pounds capacity from the three mines of the company.

      The coal passes at the mines through a bar screen one and a quarter inches apart. The loaded cars are left standing in front of the washery on a double track having a down grade towards the washery. This down grade of the tracks continues through the washey and beyond the track scales, so that the cars are handled solely by gravity. The washery is built in two symmetrical halves, each independent of the other, but arranged so that in case of break down one side can feed coal to the other side. The coal is taken out of the cars by two car unloaders, one over each of the two tracks. Each of these unloaders has a capacity of four cars an hour. The unloaders clean the cars perfectly, requiring very little hand shoveling. Five men can operate one unloader and handle the cars easily. the cars are pulled against the unloader by a double paper friction winch. Each unloader delivers the coal into the boot of an elevator, which conveys it into a double bin situated above and to the right of the washing jigs. The bottom of these bins are inclined towards the horizontal at an angle of forty-five degrees and are lined with heavy sheet steel so that the coal slides by gravity into the jigs. The flow of coal is regulated by iron gates. The car unloaders and coal elevator of each side are driven by manilla ropes attached to a 12 by 14 inch single engine. In front of the coal bins are located the jigs, four on each side. In the jigs the coal is seperated from the slate, sulphur and other impurities. These impurities being heavier than the coal, accumulate on the bottom of the jigs and slide out of the jig boxes through the opening in front. Each opening can be operated and regulated by gates. The impurities from the four jigs on one side slide into an elevator located between the second and third jig. This elevator lifts the slate to an elevation where it slides through a chute into a small slate bin located outside of the washery building. This slate bin is built over a narrow gauge track on which a self dumping slate car is operated by means of endless wire rope and hoisting engine.
 
      The coal after being freed from all impurities, flows over the front of the jigs and is sluiced into a large revolving screen, where all of the water is drained off and the coal seperated into two sizes. The coarse coal which goes over the screen drops into an elevator, which delivers it into bins located over the railroad tracks. By means of sliding gates in the bottom of these bins the cola can be loaded into the railroad cars. the fine coal which passes through the screen and all of the water are collected into a settling tank. the coal settling in the bottom of this tank is conveyed by means of a double flight conveyor to an elevator which delivers the coal onto the shaking screen. On this shaking screen the coal is thoroughly sprinkled and rinsed with fresh water which removes all of the fine particles of fire clay, the fine coal leaving the shaking screen perfectly clean and dry. An elevator takes the coal from the shaking screen and delivers it into washed coal bins. Each of the two slides is driven by a 13 by 16 twin engine. The power is transmitted by means of manilla ropes.       On one side of the railroad tracks and within thirty feet of the washery building the boiler house is located. This building is a brick structure, with timber roof trusses and brick floor. It contains four 150 horse power return-tubular boilers, two feed pumps and one water heater. Coal for the boilers is delivered from the head of the washed coal elevators by a chute.
 
      The washery building is 142 by 130 feet and 83 feet high to the ridge pole of the roof over the natural coal bin. The building is enclosed with drop siding and the roof covered with prepared gravel roofing paper. The engine rooms have concrete floors. During the winter the buildings will be heated by steam.
 
1916 Annual Coal Report9
Improvements
      The Superior Coal Company, at the washer, two boilers have been reset, a smokestack erected, new electric car puller installed, all the buildings on the surface painted and new track scales with concrete foundation and steel I beams put in.
 

The Gillespie News
Gillespie, Illinois
Wednesday, March 30, 1960
'25 Years Ago in Gillespie'
Furnished by Marlene VanDoren
      WASH HOUSE OF THE No. 1 MINE
      The fire at the wash house of the No 1 mine of the Superior Coal Company was a severe loss. The house cost in the neighborhood of $10, 000 and was fire proof, with the exception of the rafters: it was a total loss. The miners lost their clothes, and many of them their auto keys, and it is judged that their loss will be in the neighborhood of $3000. The peculiar thing about the fire was that several drillers had left the wash house only about ten minutes before the fire was discovered, and at the time they left the wash house, there was no fire and no indications of a fire, neither did any of them smell smoke. Its origin is a mystery.

 

 
Benld, Illinois
      Situated in almost the middle of three mines, Benld furnished the residences of the immigrants that settled in this area to work in the coal mines to raise their families. People came from many countries, some of which are Austria, Bohemia, Croatia, England, France, Galecia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, and Sweden.
 
      The history of the area, of course, begins with Native Americans, and in the 1800's came the Dorsey family and the settlement of Cahokia Township in Macoupin County, Illinois. With the thought in mind that these constitute a vital part of the history of Benld, we are only going to look at the early 1900's on.
 
      Superior Coal Company, a subsidiary of Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company, bought 40,000 acres of coal and mineral rights in 1903 from the Dorsey family and began to sink mines to furnish coal for their locomotives.
Number 1 was to the north and east of Benld at what is now Eagarville.
Number 2 was to the south of Benld at Sawyerville.
Number 3 was to the west at Mount Clare.
 
1 9 1 0
1910 National Guard at Benld, IL.
Photograph furnished by : George Vincent
Caption :
National Guardsmen set up camp to keep order during unrest on part of the local mines in 1910 in Benld.

 
Superior No. 1 Mine
Eagarville, IL.
Superior Coal Company No. 1 Mine entry gate
Photograph courtesy of Robert Contratto
 
Superior Coal Company No. 1 Mine
Photograph courtesy of George Vincent
 
Number 1 Mine
Eagarville, IL.

 
The legal description lists this as
      Macoupin County - Township 8 North, Range 6 West, Section 29, 1100 FSL, 1200 FEL, NW,
which encompasses the area under Gillespie and east also under Eagarville, and was in Cahokia Township.
An underground mine with a depth of 320 - 348 feet and an average coal seam thickness of 6 - 9 feet,
Superior No. 1 Mine was at Eagarville, and operated by the Superior Coal Company
It opened August 1903 and closed in 1951
Coal production was reported from 1904 through May 1951                      [Source - No. 1, Index 413]

 
1916 Annual Coal Report9
Improvements
      The Superior Coal Company at mine No. 1, has erected a concrete smokestack 195 feet high, which takes the place of six metal stacks; finished resetting of twelve boilers; painted all the buildings on the surface except the houses, and the contract has been let for this work and they will be painted in a short time; motor roads extended about 3,500 feet, and considerable narrow work has been driven using the same for air courses, which adds considerable to the ventilation. Gates have been put on the main ways to keep the men from coming out and coming in contact with moving cars on the bottom.
 
 
Some of the fatalities of the local area for the years 1884 - 1984 are listed :         Mine Fatalities

 
Superior No. 2 Mine
Sawyerville, IL.
early Superior Coal Company No. 2 Mine
It is postmarked on the back Dec. 6, 1900 and the message is written in Russian.
Postcard furnished by : Kate Konneker Basso
 
Superior Coal Company No. 2 Mine
Photograph furnished by : George Vincent

 
Number 2 Mine
Sawyerville, IL.

 
The legal description lists this as
      Macoupin County - Township 7 North, Range 6 West, Section 6, 670 FSL, 120 FEL, NW,
which encompasses the area to the south of Gillespie & Benld under Sawyerville, and was in Cahokia Township.
An underground mine with a depth of 321 - 360 feet and an average coal seam thickness of 6 - 8 feet,
Superior No. 2 Mine was at Sawyerville, and operated by the Superior Coal Company
It opened in October 1903 and closed in 1952 or 1953
Coal production was reported from 1904 through September 1953
           though the mine was idle during 1925                                      [Source - No. 2, Index 503]

 
1916 Annual Coal Report9
Improvements
      The Superior Coal Company at mine No. 2, the company has erected a new concrete smokestack which takes the place of five metal ones. Also put in a new ash blower and a new electric pump and pump house at the reservoir; painted all buildings on the surface; placed a new steel crank on the right hand hoisting engine which makes the engines at all three mines equipped with cranks. The resetting of twelve boilers has been completed and motor haulage roads extended 4,000 feet. The hoisting shaft around the bottom has been retimbered and new bunting, curbing and guides put in throughout the shaft.. Gates have been placed on the main ways to keep the men from coming out in contact with moving cars while hoisting coal. The stairway and air shaft have been repaired; motor roads leveled and straightened, and 75 sets of roller bearing trucks placed under mine cars.
 
 
Some of the fatalities of the local area for the years 1884 - 1984 are listed :         Mine Fatalities

 
Superior No. 3 Mine
Mount Clare, IL.

 
Superior Coal Company No. 3 Mine
Photograph furnished by : George Vincent

 
Number 3 Mine
Mount Clare, IL.

 
The legal description lists this as
      Macoupin County - Township 8 North, Range 7 West, Section 36, 500 FNL, 440 FWL, NW,
which encompasses the area to the south and west of Gillespie under Mount Clare, and was in Gillespie Township.
An underground mine with a depth of 340 - 350 feet and an average coal seam thickness of 6 - 9 1/3 feet,
Superior No. 3 Mine was at Mount Clare, and operated by the Superior Coal Company
It opened August 1904 and closed in 1953
Coal production was reported from 1905 through October 1953                      [Source - No. 2, Index 66]

 
1905 Annual Coal Report 6
Prospective Mines
      The Superior Coal Co., Gillespie, Macoupin County, is sinking a new shaft designated as No. 3, at a point three miles southeast of Gillespie, on the line of its own road, the Macoupin County Railroad. The company expects to reach the coal (Mt. Olive seam) about September 1st next. The depth of the shaft will be 335 feet; the size of the main shaft is 9 by 17 feet; the air shaft is 9 x 15 feet.
      The equipment will be a hoisting engine 24 by 36 inches, with 7-foot straight drum; a brick boiler and engine house, with steel trusses and slate roof. The blacksmith and repair shop is 26 by 60 feet; the building the same as the power house. Two air compressors will be installed, capacity 1,840 cubic feet per minute; the engine to be placed will be of 1,200 horse power, with two tubular boilers 72 inches in diameter by 18 feet long; seventy 4-inch tubes in each boiler. the coal will be mined by machines, operated by compressed air; self-dumping cages and 2-ton mine cars will be used. A brick stack 125 in height has been built; the base is 13 feet 4 inches square and 8 feet 6 inches at the top, the internal diameter is 6 feet and is lined with fire brick. Two 70-foot track scales will be installed.
      The company now has twenty-five dwelling houses erected, and the Hillsboro Building and Loan Company is building twenty-five more houses. the location of the shaft is very good, as little grading for yard work will be required. The houses for the men and families are located where there is a very fine view of the surrounding country and a good location for a town.
 
1916 Annual Coal Report9
Improvements
      The Superior Coal Company at mine No. 3, two new steel cranks were put on the hoisting engine; a new belt coal conveyor for boiler room installed, all buildings on the surface painted, the shaft bottom reinforced with concrete arched piers; the motor haulage on the various entries extended about 6,000 feet; opened up some abandoned entries and made air courses out of some which adds greatly to the ventilation. Three new automatic doors were installed and motor roads straightened and retied. The hopper scales and the coal chutes and hoppers at all three mines and the washer have been remodeled.
 
 
Some of the fatalities of the local area for the years 1884 - 1984 are listed :         Mine Fatalities

 
Superior No. 4 Mine
Wilsonville, IL.
Superior Coal Company No. 4 Mine
Postcard furnished by : George Vincent
 
Superior Coal Company No. 4 Mine tipple
Photo from 1943 Annual Coal Report12
 
Number 4 Mine
Wilsonville, IL.
The legal description lists this as
      Macoupin County - Township 7 North, Range 7 West, Section 10, 30 FSL, 910 FWL, NW,
which encompasses the area to the southwest of Gillespie & Benld under Wilsonville, and was in Dorchester Township.
An underground mine with a depth of 307 - 314 feet and an average coal seam thickness of 6 - 8 feet,
Superior No. 4 Mine was at Wilsonville, and operated by the Superior Coal Company
It opened in 1916 and closed in 1954.
Coal production was reported from 1918 through May 1954
           though the mine was idle during 1933                                      [Source - No. 2, Index 188]
On Monday March 20, 1917, the sinking of this coal mine began under the direction of Guy Lyons
on the Joe Gahagan farm in Section 10 of Dorchester Township of Macoupin County, Illinois.
This location was decided after drilling a number of test holes.

 

1917 Annual Coal Report 7
Prospective Mine
      The Superior Coal Company in sinking a new mine to be know as No. 4, about seven miles south west of Gillespie, Macoupin County. It is expected that this mine will be the largest producer in the State. the main shaft will be 11 feet by 21 feet inside of the concrete and will have three compartments. The air shaft will be 11 feet by 17 feet inside measurement with a concrete stairway. The equipment of the plant will be up-to-date in every respect and the work is being rushed with all possible speed.
 

1 9 3 7
1937 Wilsonville sit-down strike
Photograph furnished by : George Vincent
Caption :
Miners involved in Wilsonville's "sit-down" strike while away the hours with a game of cards
 

 
1 9 3 7
Wilsonville sit-down strike 1937
Photograph furnished by : George Vincent
Caption :
Striking miners in Wilsonville's Mine No. 4 pose for a St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer.
 
 
 
Some of the fatalities of the local area for the years 1884 - 1984 are listed :         Mine Fatalities

 
White City, Illinois
      A town in the southeast portion of Macoupin County, Illinois in Mt. Olive Township and is
located at 39 4' 21 North & 89 45' 51 West.
White City had a population of 221 as listed in the 2000 United States Census.
      Buildings used at the St. Louis, Missouri World's Fair held in 1904, were taken down and the construction materials were shipped to White City for use as housing. The all white houses is where the name for the community came from.
      White City was incorporated as the "Village of White City" in 1907.
      Number 15 Coal Mine provided free electricity for White City's residents while in operation.
 
 
Bell & Zoller Number 15 Mine
The legal description lists this as Macoupin County - Township 7 North, Range 6 West, Section 9, NE, NW, NE, and was in Mt. Olive Township.

This was an underground mine with a depth of 387 feet and an average coal seam thickness of 7 - 7 feet.
Bell & Zoller Number 15 Mine History
Mine Name Operated By Years
Consolidated No. 15   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1905 - 1951
Bell & Zoller No. 15   Bell & Zoller Coal & Mining Company   1951 - 1951
The last reported production was in May 1951.                            [Source - No. 2, Index 68]
 
1904 Annual Coal Report 5
      The Consolidated Coal Co. of St. Louis. Mo., is sinking a new shaft two miles west of Mt. Olive. Macoupin County. This mine, when completed, will be known as No. 15. A spur will be run from the Wabash railroad to the mine.
 
1905 Annual Coal Report 6
      The Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis, Mo., has put in operation during the year a new mine, one and a half miles west of Mount Olive, in Macoupin County; a spur from the Wabash railroad, a distance of 13,200 feet runs to the mine; this mine will be known as No. 15. Coal was reached in both hoisting and air shaft Nov. 2, 1904. The size of both shafts is 8 feet 10 inches by 15 feet 6 inches, and timbered with 8 inch curbing. The depth to the top of the coal is 362 feet. the coal seam is seven feet eight inches thick. Entries are driven from the bottom of the main shaft a distance of 400 feet; both shafts are connected and a substantial stairway is constructed in the air shaft for escapement. An eight foot Murphy fan has been installed to furnish ventilation and a wooden tower is being constructed with self dumping cages and shaker screens. Four boilers have been installed, each 72 inches in diameter by 18 feet long, containing 70 four inch tubes. Each boiler is rated at 175-horse power. A straight Sullivan air compressor is installed to furnish power for the coal cutting machines; punching machines are to be used. The hoisting engines are 24 x 36 inches. The engine room, compressor room, tipple and boiler house are constructed with corrugated iron. A 30,000-gallon water tank, and a coal washer having a capacity of 100 tons per hour have been installed.
 

 
- - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -
 
Mt. Olive, IL. area mines - southeast of Gillespie, Illinois
Consolidated No. 8 Mine
Consolidated No. 9 Mine
Consolidated No. 10 Mine
Hoosier Mine

 
Consolidated No. 8 Mine
southeast of Gillespie, IL. at Mt. Olive, IL.
      The legal description lists this as Macoupin County, and was in Mt. Olive Township. -
Main Shaft located :Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 11, NW NE SW
The Air Shaft was located at : Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 2, SW SE SE
This was an underground mine with a depth of 400 - 440 feet and an average coal seam
thickness of 7 - 8 feet.
Consolidated No. 8 Mine History
Mine Name Operated By Years
South Mt. Olive Mine   South Mt. Olive Coal Company   1881-1883
Ellsworth No. 8 Mine   Ellsworth Coal & Mining Company   1883-1886
Consolidated No. 8 Mine   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1886-1914
The last reported production was March 31, 1914.                            [Source - No. 3, Index 761]

 
1904 Annual Coal Report 5
      At this company's [The Consolidated Coal Co. of St. Louis, Mo.] No. 8 mine. Mount Olive. Macoupin County, a new tower has been built, also a tipple-hoist with shaker screens and dump cages: three new boilers, each 72 inches in diameter by 18 feet long, rated at 157-horse power, have been put in. The mine tracks have been relaid with 30-pound rails: a l00 K. V. generator has been installed with two ten-ton electric motors for mine haulage.
 
1905 Annual Coal Report 6
Improvements In Mines
      At mine No. 8, located at Mt. Olve, Macoupin County, owned by the Consolidated Coal Co., a new wooden tipple has been constructed; self-dumping cages and shaker screens have also been introduced. Two John O'Brien boilers, 72 inches by 18 feet have been installed, each boiler having 70 four-inch tubes and rated at 157 horse-power. There have also been installed one 250 K. W. generator of the general electric type. The main east and west entries, also the 14th south on the east side have been laid with 30-pound steel rails. Two 10-ton general electric mine motors have also been put in operation; pneumatic signals have been put in are now in operation.
 

 
Note :
      The Air Shaft located in Section 2 of Mt. Olive Township was used as the Main Shaft for Consolidated No. 9 Mine, and was also used as the Air Shaft for Consolidated No. 10 Mine.
 
1885 Coal Report10
Collieries in Macoupin County, Illinois
Ellsworth Coal Company, No. 9 and 10 Colliery, Mt. Olive, Macoupin County, Illinois.
      These mines worked very steadily up to March 1, 1885, when the yearly contract of the miners expired. The mines were stopped until the 8th of June, 1885. The underground works have all been remodeled from single to double entry and the hauling tracks have been reconstructed. A considerable length of double track has been extended in main and lateral entries. The underground works are in very good shape for a rapid movement of coal. The furnace is still used for the ventilation of the mines, but it is the intention of the company, when Nos. 8 and 9 are connected with each other underground, to put in a large fan to ventilate all three of the shafts, Nos. 8, 9 and 10. The fan is to be located at No. 9, or the middle shaft as they now stand.
      F. R. Fisher, Superintendent.
      Wm. D. Golden, Mine Manager.
 

 
Consolidated No. 9 Mine
southeast of Gillespie, IL. at Mt. Olive, IL.
      The legal description lists this as Macoupin County, Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 2, and was in Mt. Olive Township.
This was an underground mine with a depth of 416 feet and an average coal seam
thickness of 8 feet.
Consolidated No. 9 Mine History
Mine Name Operated By Years
Unknown   Unknown   1874-1881
          In 1874, (according to History of Macoupin County1),
A. J. & C. J. Keiser, as owners of Mt. Olive Coal Company,
sunk a shaft that corresponds to this location.
      The 1875 Atlas of Macoupin County, Illinois2
shows a shaft at this location.
Mt. Olive Mine   Mt. Olive Coal & Mining Company   1881-1883
Ellsworth No. 9 Mine   Ellsworth Coal & Mining Company   1883-1886
Consolidated No. 9 Mine   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1886-1914
The last reported production was 1891, with production after 1884 included with Consolidated No. 10 Mine.                                                      [Source - No. 3, Index 2895]
 
1 History of Macoupin County, 1911, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois.
2 1875 Atlas of Macoupin County, Illinois and the State of Illinois,
      published by Warner & Beers, Chicago, Illinois

 
Consolidated No. 10 Mine
southeast of Gillespie, IL. at Mt. Olive, IL.
      The legal description lists this as Macoupin County, and was in Mt. Olive Township. -
Main Shaft located :Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 2, NE SE SE
The Air Shaft was located at : Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 2, SW SE SE
This was an underground mine with a depth of 420 - 431 feet and an average coal seam
thickness of 8 feet.
Consolidated No. 10 Mine History
Mine Name Operated By Years
Keiser   Keiser   1877-1879
          In 1877, (according to History of Macoupin County1),
A. J. & C. J. Keiser, as owners of Mt. Olive Coal Company,
sunk a shaft that corresponds to this location.
Mt. Olive Mine   Mt. Olive Coal Company   1881-1883
Ellsworth No. 10 Mine   Ellsworth Coal & Mining Company   1883-1886
Consolidated No. 8 Mine   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1886-1909
The last reported production was in 1909. Maps show this abandoned September 1, 1909.
                                                               [Source - No. 3, Index 2894]
 
1 History of Macoupin County, 1911, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois.

 
1904 Annual Coal Report 5
      At the [The Consolidated Coal Co. of St. Louis, Mo.] No. 10 mine. Mount Olive new boilers have been put in. each boiler is 72 inches in diameter by 18 feet long, rated at 150-horse power. A Sullivan air compressor has also been installed, a steam cylinder 34 inches in diameter, a high pressure cylinder 16 inches in diameter, and a lower pressure cylinder 26 inches in diameter.
 
1905 Annual Coal Report 6
Improvements In Mines
      At mine No. 10, also located at Mt. Olive, Macoupin County, owned by the Consolidated Coal Co., two John O'Brien boilers, 72 inches by 18 feet, with 70 four-inch tubes; they are rated at 157 horse-power. An overcast has been constructed in the west entry into the 6th, 11th, 15th north entries.
 

 
Hoosier Mine
southeast of Gillespie, IL. at Mt. Olive, IL.
      The legal description lists this as Macoupin County - Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 1, and was in Mt. Olive Township.

This was an underground mine with a depth of 420 - 435 feet and an average coal seam
thickness of 7 - 8.4 feet.
Hoosier Mine History
Mine Name Operated By Years
Mt. Olive Mine   Consolidated Coal & Coke Co. of Mt. Olive   1871-1889
Mt. Olive Mine   Mt. Olive Coal Company   1889-1894
Madison No. 5 Mine   Madison Coal Corporation   1894-1915
Mt. Olive No. 5 Mine   Mt. Olive Coal Company   1915-1920
Madison No. 5 Mine   Madison Coal Corporation   1920-1934
 This mine was idle during 1932 and 1933
Hoosier Mine   Mt. Olive Coal Company   1934-1940
The last reported production was December 1940.                            [Source - No. 3, Index 282]

 
1913 Annual Coal Report 8
Improvements
      The Madison Coal Corporation has made the following improvements at No. 5 mine, Mt. Olive.
      A rescue station has been built on the surface to take care of the injured and to keep rescue apparatus in; also installed, on the surface, one endless tail rope electric car-puller with 4,000 feet of rope connected and can now move the railroad cars, either empty or loaded, in winter as easily as in summer; a Nicholson automatic stop, with steam reverse, on hoisting engine, to prevent over-winding should anything happen to the engineer while hoisting men, has been installed; rebuilt track scales and used large "I" beams instead of timber for the main bearings; also installed twelve automatic mine doors, made by the American Mine Door Co., of Canton, Ohio; these doors open by the motor or mule trips and are a good door for ventilation and safety. They are so arranged that men traveling along the entries do not go through these doors but, instead, go through door erected on the side for that purpose. Above this traveling door is a white light on each side, which signifies safety, and above the haulage door is a red light on each side, which signifies danger.
      Considerable concreting around the bottom of the shaft for fire protection has been done.

 
 
- - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -
 
        Staunton, IL. area mines - south of Gillespie, Illinois
      - Macoupin County -
Anchor Mine
Consolidated No. 6 Mine
Consolidated No. 14 Mine
Staunton No. 5 Mine
Staunton No. 7 Mine
Voge Mine
 
      - Madison County -
Henry Voge Mine
Mt. Olive & Staunton No. 1 Mine
Mt. Olive & Staunton No. 2 Mine

 
Anchor Mine
south of Gillespie, IL. between Mt. Olive, IL. & Staunton, IL.
      The legal description lists this as Macoupin County, and was in Mt. Olive Township. -
Main Shaft located :Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 15, NW SW SE
The Air Shaft was located at : Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 15, SW NW SE
This was an underground mine with a depth of 380 - 382 feet and an average coal seam
thickness of 6 - 7 feet.
Anchor Mine History
Mine Name Operated By Years
Anchor Mine   Anchor Coal Company   1882-1886
Anchor Mine   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1886-1888
The last reported production was in March 1888
                                                               [Source - No. 3, Index 2896]

 
1885 Coal Report10
Collieries in Macoupin County, Illinois
Anchor Coal Company, Mt. Olive, Macoupin County, Illinois.
       This shaft has only worked about half the time during the year. The escapement shaft has been finished and ladders put in from bottom to top. There is an extensive plant here for mining coal by machinery. The coal cutting machines have not been used during the year; all mining has been done by hand. The colliery is now stopped with the strike in the Staunton district, and will not start up until fall.
       Wm. Giles, Superintendent.

 
Consolidated No. 6 Mine
south of Gillespie, IL. near Staunton, IL.
      The legal description lists this as Macoupin County, and was in Staunton Township. -
Main Shaft located :Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 32, NW NE SW
The Air Shaft was located at : Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 32, NW NE SW
The Escape Shaft was located at : Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 29, SE SW SE
      The Escape Shaft was formerly the Main Shaft for Staunton No. 5 Mine
This was an underground mine with a depth of 309 - 325 feet and an average coal seam
thickness of 6 - 7 feet.
Consolidated No. 6 Mine History
Mine Name Operated By Years
According to the History of Macoupin County1, Henry Voge sank this shaft in 1877 or 1880
Ridgely, Sutton & Daniels No. 6 Mine   Ridgely, Sutton & Daniels   1881-1882
Ellsworth No. 6 Mine   Ellsworth Coal Company   1882-1886
Consolidated No. 6 Mine   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1886-1896
Consolidated No. 6 Mine   T. E. Weisenbaum   1896-1897
Consolidated No. 6 Mine   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1897-1909
The last reported production was in 1909
                                                               [Source - No. 3, Index 762]

 
1 History of Macoupin County, 1911, S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, Chicago, Illinois.

1885 Coal Report10
Collieries in Macoupin County, Illinois
Ellsworth Coal Company, No. 6 Colliery, Staunton, Macoupin County, Illinois.
      This is the banne colliery of the Ellsworth Coal Co., but owing to the strike in the Staunton district the output fell considerably short this year. The mine is well ventilated by a six foot Murphy fan, having a split for each of the entries. Overcasts are put in for each set of entries, carrying the return air over the intake air. The manager has introduced water gauges on the two main splits at the bottom of the downcast to give the drag of the air in the mine. Everything above and below shows good management.
      J. D. Crabb, Superintendent.
      J. P. Hebensteit, Mine Manager.
 
1905 Annual Coal Report 6
Improvements In Mines
      At mine No. 6, Staunton, Macoupin County, owned by the Consolidated Coal Co., there has been installed one John O'Brien boiler, 6 x 18 feet with 70 four-inch tubes rated at 157-horse power. Pipes have been placed for pneumatic signals, but are not yet in operation on account of air chambers not being received.

 
Consolidated No. 14 Mine
south of Gillespie, IL. near Staunton, IL.
      The legal description lists this as Macoupin County, and was in Staunton Township. -
Main Shaft located :Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 30, SW NW SE
The Air Shaft was located at : Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 30, SW NW NE
This was an underground mine with a depth of 276 - 325 feet and an average coal seam
thickness of 6 - 7 feet.
Consolidated No. 14 Mine History
Mine Name Operated By Years
Consolidated No. 14 Mine   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1904-1923
The last reported production was in November 1923
                                                               [Source - No. 3, Index 762]

 
1904 Annual Coal Report 5
      The Consolidated Coal Co. of St. Louis. Mo., has opened out a new coal mine one and one-half miles west of Staunton. Macoupin County. This mine will be known as No. 14: connected with the mine will be a spur switch from the Wabash railroad. The main or hoisting shaft is 8 feet 10 inches by 15 feet 6 inches in the clear, and is 284 feet deep: the air shaft is of the same size, with five feet taken from one end for a stairway and escapement. The tower frames are of wood, covered with galvanized iron. The boiler, compressor, dynamo and engine houses are built of brick with fire proof roofing: there are four boilers, each 72 inches in diameter and 18 feet long. Each boiler is rated at 163 horse power. The hoisting engines are double first motion, each cylinder 24 inches in diameter with 36 inches stroke. An Ingersol- Sergeant compressor has been put in. steam cylinder 18x24 inches. Dump cages and shaker screens have been put in. A large washery has been built with a Smith box-car loader. The coal seam is No. 5 of the general section, and is seven feet thick. The underground works are laid out with a view of having a large output when the mine is fully developed.
 
1905 Annual Coal Report 6
Improvements In Mines
      The Consolidated Coal Co. at its mine No. 14, Staunton, Macoupin County, has made extensive improvements, A washery has been constructed, the capacity being near 100 tons per hour. A Smith gravity box-car loader has been introduced; one John O'Brien boiler has been put in, 72 inches by 18 feet, with 70 four-inch tubes, rated at 157 horse-power.. A 22-foot Duncan fan has been constructed; a 100 K. W. generator has been installed for the purpose of lighting the washery, pumping, etc. A stairway in the air shaft has been built to be used as an escapement.
 
Some of the fatalities of the local area for the years 1884 - 1984 are listed :         Mine Fatalities

Staunton No. 5 Mine
south of Gillespie, IL. near Staunton, IL.

One of the first Coal Mines in the Staunton, IL area.

      The legal description lists this as Macoupin County, and was in Staunton Township. -
Main Shaft located :Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 29, SE SW SE
The Air Shaft was located at : Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 29, NW SE SE
This was an underground mine with a depth of 325 feet and an average coal seam
thickness of 6 - 7 feet.
Staunton No. 5 Mine History
Mine Name Operated By Years
       According to the Atlas of Macoupin County1 of 1875,
this shaft is shown and labeled Panhorst & Voge
      According to the Staunton in Illinois2 and the Staunton Times of
February 26, 1897, this shaft was sunk in February of 1871, and was
later used as an air shaft, after Henry Voge sank another shaft.
Staunton Mine   Panhorst & Voge   1871-1878
  Operations prior to 1878 are unknown
Fuller & Young Mine   Fuller, Young & Company   1878-1879
No. 5 Mine   C. Ridgely, F. W. Sutton, & A. G. Daniels   1881-1882
Ellsworth No. 5 Mine   Ellsworth Coal Company   1882-1886
Staunton No. 5 Mine   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1886-1888
The last reported production was in 1888
                                                               [Source - No. 3, Index 2897]

1 1875 Atlas of Macoupin County, Illinois and the State of Illinois,
      published by Warner & Beers, Chicago, Illinois
2 Staunton in Illinois by: Kilduff, Mary Dorrell, 1988
1885 Coal Report10
Collieries in Macoupin County, Illinois
Ellsworth Coal Company, No. 5 Colliery, Staunton, Macoupin County, Illinois.
      There have been some improvements made here during the year. Two extra boilers have been put in with an improved heater. A brick smokestack has been built, a large reservoir has been constructed to collect surface water for boiler feed and general improvements were made during the miners' strike. The underground workings are in good shape. Ventilation is good. A friction gearing has been erected connecting with the engine that runs revolving screens for drawing the cars along the branches to the screens, doing away with mule power. The tail rope, or endless rope, could be economically used in this mine, as the working faces are a considerable distance from the shaft. The entries are all driven double to secure good ventilation and the better working of the coal, and every possible opportunity is taken to split the air. This mine is very successfully managed, and in amount of output is the second mine in the district.
      J. D. Crabb, Superintendent.
      W. R. Morris, Mine Manager.

Staunton No. 7 Mine
south of Gillespie, IL. near Staunton, IL.
      The legal description lists this as Macoupin County, and was in Staunton Township. -
Main Shaft located :Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 21, SW SW SE
The Air Shaft was located at : Township 7 North, Range 6 West, South, Section 21, SE SW SE
This was an underground mine with a depth of 350 - 355 feet and an average coal seam
thickness of 7 - 8 feet.
Staunton No. 7 Mine History
Mine Name Operated By Years
Williamson & Townsend Mine   Williamson, Townsend & Company   1881-1882
Ellsworth No. 7 Mine   Ellsworth Coal Company   1882-1886
Consolidated No. 7 Mine   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1896-1897
Consolidated No. 7 Mine   B. Hebenstreit   1882-1886
Consolidated No. 7 Mine   Consolidated Coal Company of St. Louis   1897-1951
 The mine was idle from 1911 to 1913 and 1931 to 1934
Bell & Zoller No. 7 Mine   Bell & Zolle Coal & Mining Company   1851-1951
Staunton No. 7 Mine   Staunton Mine Seven, Inc.   1851-1952
The last reported production was in February 1952
                                                               [Source - No. 3, Index 189]

1885 Coal Report10
Collieries in Macoupin County, Illinois
Ellsworth Coal Company, No. 7 Colliery, Staunton, Macoupin County, Illinois.
      This shaft has not much during the year owing to a crush in the mine. The crush closed both the hoisting and escapement shafts. The west side has been opened up and work begun by hand mining, the shaft being originally a machine mine.
      J. D. Crabb, Superintendent.
      John Reese, Mine Manager.
 
1904 Annual Coal Report 5
      The Consolidated Coal Co. of St. Louis, Mo. , has made several improvements at its No. 7 mine, at Staunton. Macoupin County. A new tower has been erected, also a tipple-house built, with self-dumping and shaker screens: a new fan 22 feet in diameter has been put in. The mine tracks have been relaid with 30-pound rails. It is intended to introduce mechanical haulage. Two ---horse power boilers have been installed.
 
1905 Annual Coal Report 6
Improvements In Mines
      At mine No. 7, Staunton, Macoupin County, owned by the Consolidated Coal Co., there has been constructed a new wooden tipple with self-dumping cages and shaker screens. The 8-foot Murphy fan has been removed, and a 32-foot Duncan fan put in its place. Two John O'Brien boilers, 6 x 18 feet, with 70 4-inch tubes have been installed. The mail haulage ways have been relaid with 30-pound steel rails, taking the place of the 12-pound rails; this improvement is made with a few of putting in electric haulage. the foundation of the hoisting engine has been renewed; an iron hoisting drum has been put in, replacing one made of wood. Pipes have been placed for pneumatic signals, and will be in operation in a short time.

 
Voge Mine
south of Gillespie, IL. near Staunton, IL. in Dorchester Township
      In 1869, Henry Voge sank this shaft, but operation of this mine is unknown.
The legal description lists this as Macoupin County, Township 7 North, Range 7 West, Section 25; which is in Dorchester Township just to the west of Consolidated No. 14 Mine's location in Section 30 of Staunton Township.
Voge Mine Shaft History
Mine Name Operated By Years
Voge Shaft   Henry Voge   1869-?
                                                               [Source - No. 3, Index 190]

- - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -       - - - - -

 
Virden, Illinois
Virden "Riot" of 1898
Virden, IL.

furnished by Littleton P. Bradley
      It seems that in 1898, a WANTED call went out to Alabama for "175 good colored miners for Virden, Illinois." The response resulted in a riot in Virden. Eight miners and five guards were killed.
 
      A book entitled "Remember Virden, 1898" was published.
Here is part of paragraph from that book:
quote:
Late last night the word was passed to every mining town in the (Chicago and Alton Railroad) district that a trainload of negroes had been sidetracked in Centralia and transferred from passenger coaches to boxcars. Three Gillespie miners walked all the way to Carlinville to warn the local men. Every man as he started to work this morning was approached by a member of the antification committee: "No work today---Negroes---Virden." was the warning. "All right be ready in a moment," came the instant response and in a short time, 40 Carlinville miners were on their way to Virden. Thus is all over the district. Mt. Olive sent 200 headed by General Bradley (no relation of mine LPB). Staunton sent 200. Over 150 from Gillespie...Chatham, Auburn, Girard, Green Ridge, Nilwood, and Litchfield sent large delegations, and every bit of track running into Virden is being patrolled north and south for miles.
--Macoupin County Enquirer 6 October 1898.

 
Battle of Virden
1898
Coal Miners Riot

Virden Coal Monument
Photograph by : Marie Hinton

Monument located in Virden, Illinois
See all monument photos : Virden Monuments
 


 
        The above sections are only a brief look at the coal industry in the Gillespie, IL. area. Further information, if available, will be added. Some of the above data was obtained from :
           Illinois State Geological Survey
           615 East Peabody Drive
           Champaign, IL. 61820
           1). Coal Mines in Illinois, Gillespie North Quadrangle
           2). Coal Mines in Illinois, Gillespie South Quadrangle
           3). Coal Mines in Illinois, Mt. Olive Quadrangle
 
4). Twenty-Sixth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of LABOR STATISTICS, 1907,
                also the Ninth Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                September 30, 1907, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield,
                Springfield, ILL.; Phillips Bros., State Printers, 1908

5). Twenty-Third Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of LABOR STATISTICS, 1904,
                also the Sixth Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                October 1, 1904, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield,
                Springfield: Illinois State Journal, State Printers, 1906

6). Twenty-Fourth Annual Coal Report of the Illinois Bureau of LABOR STATISTICS, 1905,
                also the Seventh Annual Report of the Illinois Free Employment Offices, for the Year Ended
                September 30, 1905, David Ross, Secretary; Springfield,
                Springfield: Illinois State Journal, State Printers, 1906

7). Twenty-Sixth Annual Coal Report of Illinois, 1917
                Department of Mines and Minerals
                Year Ended June 30, 1917
                Printed by authority of the State of Illinois
                Springfield: Illinois State Journal, State Printers, 1917

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

9). Thirty-Fifth Annual Coal Report of Illinois
                State Mining Board
                Printed by authority of the State of Illinois
                Springfield, ILL.: Illinois State Journal Co., State Printers, 1916

10). 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

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

12). Sixty Second Coal Report of Illinois, 1943
                Department of Mines and Minerals
                Printed by authority of the State of Illinois

13). Geological Survey of Illinois; A. H. Worthen, Director
                Volume VII, Geology & Paleontology, by A. H. Worthen, Orestes St. John and S. A. Miller
                with an addenda by Charles Wachsmuth and H. H. Harris
                Illustrated by Julius Mayer & Co., Boston, Mass.
                Published by the authority of the Legislature of Illinois, May 1883


Coal & Coal Mining in Central Illinois

 
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