The Sand Mine at Lawton, Ky.
Donald and Everett Porter
"It was a big operation,around the 1930's: Tavern Rock Co. and Pittsburgh Plate & Glass Co."
"The Tavern Rock Sand Company of Toledo, Ohio was buying and leasing thousands of acres around Enterprise to open a large sand mine- July 17, 1930.
A larger story on Feb. 22, 1934 says LARGE SAND PLANT NOW IN OPERATION, and on Aug. 8, 1935: $5,000.00 Fire at Lawton Sand Plant.
Millard Porter worked in the Green Bag Cement Mine. Ross Porter also worked there. They would blast a layer off the ceiling. Then they would scab rock from the ceiling. Millard was on a scaffold using a crow bar prying rock off the ceiling when a piece fell on him. The men put him on a sled and brought him to Rabourn’s store. They planned to put him on the evening train to Ashland to the hospital, but he died before the train came. The Sand Mine was owned by Tavern Rock Co. A lot of Porters worked there. Harlan Porter worked there. Reese Porter was the mule driver. Art Rabourn has a picture of Reese Porter from the back driving mules. The Mine closed by 1940. There were so many men getting sick and some dying from pneumosilicosis. The company was afraid they would have a lot of claims. There was blasting at night. Men were throwing up from inhaling the dust. Virgil Phillips was the book keeper in 1935-36. He signed up 137 men for SS. In other words they had 137 employees. George Miller of Globe might still be living. He worked at the Sand Mine. Worker’s comp was around back then. Don’t know if any claims were filed. The Sand Mine started about 1928/29. Tavern Rock – Owens Illinois of Toledo. Art Rabourn has a photo of a sign over the entrance to the mine that said, “It is imperitive that you wear your mask.” He has other photos of men wearing masks, but Art says the masks were not very good. They looked good, but were not very effective. He has other pictures of the men working with no masks. Art has interviewed a lot of people about their mining jobs. The last one he interviewed was 3 or 4 years ago. He was in his late 80’s and smoking a cigarette while they talked.
Submitted by: JC Porter