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Montgomery County, Illinois
History and Genealogy

Featuring Coal Mining

Montgomery County is a county located in central Illinois.       39.23N    89.48W
The 2000 US census shows the population as 30,652.
The county seat is Hillsboro, Illinois.

Montgomery County was formed in 1821 out of Bond and Madison Counties.
      It was named in honor of Richard Montgomery, an American Revolutionary War general killed in 1775 while attempting to capture Quebec City, Canada.
      Perrin's 1882 History of Montgomery County relates that the County was named in honor of Gen. Montgomery, but goes on to say that "others are dubious as to whence it received its name."

Montgomery County has nineteen townships:
      Audubon, Bois d'Arc, Butler Grove, East Fork, Fillmore, Grisham, Harvel, Hillsboro, Irving, Nokomis, North Litchfield, Pitman, Raymond, Rountree, South Fillmore, South Litchfield, Walshville, Witt and Zanesville.

 

  Biographies
     Edward B. Hess
           Montgomery Coal Company
      William E. Newsome
           Hillsboro Coal Mine, Coffeen
     George William Paisley
           Montgomery Coal Company

 

Cemeteries
     Cress Hill Cemetery, Hillsboro
           Includes Tombstone Photo
     Irving Cemetery, Irving
           Includes Tombstone Photos
      McCord Cemetery, Irving - -    By : Jeanne Johnson / Irving Museum
           Includes History, Photos, Biographies, etc.
     Shiloh Cemetery, Coffeen
           Includes Tombstone Photo
     St. John's Cemetery, Coffeen
           Includes Tombstone Photo

 

Coal Mines

      List of Coal Mines in Montgomery County, Illinois.
           including Photographs, Histories and Fatalities

 

 

Coal Mining in Montgomery County, Illinois     1904
Source :
Past and Present of Montgomery County, Illinois
by Jacob L. Traylor, Chicago, S. J. Clarke Publishing Comapny, 1904

      The first coal mine operated within our county was at Litchfield, Illinois. The coal vein worked at that time was from three to four feet in thickness. The quality of the coal superior to that which has since been worked in the thicker vein lying somewhat below. The mine at Hillsboro has been in operation some fifteen years and produces a superior quality of coal. This has been the most successfully operated coal mine within the county. In the development of this mine the operators were very careful not to rob the pillars so as to occasion a "squeeze" in the work. The Kortkamp Brothers were in charge of this mine for a number of years and the character and credit of the work belongs to them. In strong contrast with the Hillsboro mine is that of the mine at Coffeen, where, I am told by expert miners, that all the advantages lay with the mine at Coffeen. A much softer fire clay beneath and less "clod" between the coal and the rock above, in other words, a better bottom and a better top. A vein of coal ranging from seven to eight feet in thickness, and superior in quality to any other coal in this section of the state. With all these advantages the management of this shaft, by a few farmer operators, almost wholly ruined the plant and bankrupted themselves. So anxious were the stockholders to secure early dividends upon their stock that immediate robbing of pillars commenced on the opening of the shaft. An observation would he apt in this connection that the "shoemaker would better stick to his last." The men who assumed the management of the Coffeen mine were farmers who had been more than ordinarily successful in their line. W. S. Barry and James B. McDavid were both men of ability and each had succeeded in gaining a competency as a farmer and stock-raiser, but in their management of the Coffeen mine, no more absolute failure could have been conceived. Not only did they bankrupt themselves, but many of their friends, who shared with them in the responsibility of their mining venture. The coal industry at Coffeen at the present writing is under the direction of successful coal men from Pennsylvania. These operators have been able not only to put the mine on a basis of meeting its expenditures, but must certainly have proven a paying venture, as the company are at the present time arranging to sink a new shaft at this place. The coal mine located at Paisley has been in a measure fairly successful. The coal is of good quality and the mine has been kept in good condition. Mr. George W. Paisley, the operator, has found that it pays well to employ superintendents who know what is best in operating and developing a mine. Thiss mine has the largest, output of any mine in our county. The new mine at Litchfield had somewhat of an experience in its earlier management like that at Coffeen, but fortunately for the mine and for the stockholders, the concern was thrown into the hands of a receiver and J. D. Crabbe, one of the most successful coal operators in Illinois, was made receiver. Under his management, it was soon put on a paying basis and I am informed that very recently it sold at figures considerably above the capital stock. At Raymond is a coal mine of small capacity. The quality of the coal is good, hut the vein is only about three feet in thickness, so that as a commercial mine, it can not hope to accomplish very great things. The per diem tonnage of the several mines of Montgomery county is in the neighborhood of three thousand tons, and the several mines employ in the neighborhood of seven hundred men. Much talk of a new mine at Nokomis and Donnellson is heard. Prospecting has been made at each place, and veins of from six to seven feet have been discovered. Quite a number of years ago. when the old Litchfield mine was in operation, the observance of the accumulation of oil in the "sump" led some parties at Litchfield to make investigations in regard to petroleum deposits. A very heavy black oil was discovered and several wells were sunk, for quite a number of years this oil was sold to the trade for lubricating purposes,

 

Coal & Coal Mining in Central Illinois

 

 

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