A Brief History of Coal Mining in Jefferson Co. Ohio

From the book "20th Century History of Steubenville and Jefferson County, Ohio and Representative Citizens," (Doyle,Joseph B., 1910) Chapter XVI, Natural Resources and Development, Page 259:

The leading coal mines of the county, as given in the state mine inspectors report, are as follows:

The following information about the Bergholz coal mines comes from The Bergholz Story a histroy of Bergholz and the surrounding area 1805 - 1976 compiled by Marianne W. Featheringham published by The Bergholz Junior Women's Club.

"The development of the coal industry appears to be the single most important factor in the growth of Bergholz and the surrounding area and continues to be an important economic factor today. At the height of the mining industry, 130 mean reportedly left their homes each day in Bergholz and Amsterdam for work in the local mines.

Two of the earliest mines were the Eagle (also called the Oliver) and the Jumbo mine. Both mines were closed before 1910. The Eagle was located opposite Smokey Row at the extreme north of Washington Avenue. Many of the homes then located on Smokey Row were built by the mining company. The Jumbo, also known as the Deal Mine was a drift mine with no shaft located between here and Mechanicstown.

The Eastern Mine (also referred to as the West Pittsburg) was open bvetween 1900 - 1904 two miles south of Bergholz on the L.E.A. & W. Railroad.. . . and in 1909 employed approximately 200 men. At its height, the mine reportedly employed 400 men and was closed in 1937.

The Wolf Run Mine (also known as the Elizabeth) . . . opened in 1905. . .

The XL Mine . . . employed by 100 men and closed in 1925. . .

In 1915, the Goathill Mine, a cooperative was opened. This mine continued into the mid 30's employing approximately 120 men in its prime.

The Cloverleaf was a somewhat smaller mine, located slightly southe of Bergholz on the L.F.A. & W., which employed up to 40 men at one time. Near the Cloverleaf, James Strabley operated the Mapleshade Mine in the mid 20's and Hackathorn and Myers operated a similiar small mine on north 164 toward Salineville in the mid 30's.

The last substantial mine to begin operation in our area was the Jessie Mine opened in March 1950 at East Springfield. Still in operation today. . . The initial uderground development was in the northern portion of the 3,400 tract, adjacent to working so the company's Wolf Run Mine.

Many of the mines operatin in the Bergholz area were know as country mines or truck mines because they had no railroad facilities.

Among the other mines operating in this area were:

The Parsons Mine just East of the Bergholz Corporation limit
Amos Wells Mine 1/2 mine East of the Bergholz Corporation limit
Joe Beadnell 1 mile East of Bergholz at Calhoun Hollow
Orvile Leishman Mine on the John George Farm
Charles Jenkins Mine on the Scott Allen farm and Mordie Griffith farm
Ted Harris Mine on the Mordie Griffith
Centertown Coal Company at Mooretown by John H. Elliott and Waldon Walker
Two mines in Brimstone Hollow

J.D. George, the Baker Brothers, William Miller and Dale Hartong also operated mines in the area and further down Yellow Creek Hackathorn and Meyers opened their fourth mine six miles east of Bergholz in Sween Hollow. Charles Warrington and Dick George also operated a mine in the same area and a little further east John Ridzon operated a mine on the McConnell Farm. A mine was also in operation the Clarence Patten Farm known as the Haun Mine in the early 40's"

Extract from History of Jefferson County, Ohio by Doyle, Chapter XVI, Page 263:

Mines near Bergholz"

From the book "20th Century History of Steubenville and Jefferson County, Ohio and Representative Citizens," (Doyle,Joseph B., 1910) Chapter XVI, Natural Resources and Development, Page 252-253:

That the value of coal as a fuel was early appreciated is evident, for Bezaleel Wells operated a drift mine in 1810-11, and John Permar, James Odbert and others carried on the business in 1815-16. One Fetz Smith is said to have grubbed coal out of the hill at Rockville before these dates and if so he may be honored as the pioneer in this direction.

From this time the number of banks rapidly increased, and by 1845 river shipments became active, coal being shipped as far away as New Orleans in drifting flats, which became the immense tows of later days. As previously stated, the principal outcrop in the vicinity of Steubenville was the No. 8, or Pittsburgh, vein, which has played an important part during the last few years in the industrial development of the southern part of the county.

While the output of these banks was considerable in the aggregate, the time was approaching when larger and more systematic efforts were needed, and preparations were started to reach the lower veins, which could only be done by means of shafts.

There was a record that in 1829 Adam Wise, while drilling for water on the western side of the city, had perforated a vein of coal eleven feet thick.

So in 1856 a corporation was formed by James Wallace and others, under the name of Steubenville Coal & Mining Company, in order that there might be secured a constant supply for manufacturing and domestic purposes in Steubenville, not subject to interruption from bad roads and other causes. Previous to sinking a shaft a well was drilled at the rear of the Ashland woolen factory, on Liberty Street, and a vein reported eight feet thick. So a shaft was begun, and, after many interruptions due to inexperience, the vein was reached and found to be only three feet nine inches thick. This was the vein afterwards known as No. 6, sometimes claimed to be No. 7.

The managers were disgusted and out of funds and the shaft lay idle until February, 1858, when Louden Borland, H.K. Reynolds and Mr. Manful leased the mine for five years. The work still languished when Manful sold out to William Averick, an experienced English miner, when operations were resumed, this time with success.

In 1865 the original company bought back the lease, which had been extended ten years, and installed James H. Blinn as manager and William Smurthwaite as mine boss. They had 600 acres of coal land, and their domestic market, with shipments by rail and water, gave them a business of over 7,000 bushels per day, and the 100 coke ovens turned out 3,500 bushels of coke.

In 1871 an additional shaft was sunk at Stony Hollow about a mile north of the old shaft, reaching the coal at a depth of 187 feet, the old one being 221 feet 4 inches, the vein being higher at that point and the surface lower. This shaft is still in operation, and although the advent of natural gas has interfered considerably with the domestic market, yet seventy-five men are steadily employed, and the latest improvements have been made in the way of ventilating fans, electrical machinery, etc. The officers are Geo. W. McCook, president and manager; F.C. Chambers, secretary; Charles Peterson, bookkeeper, and William Smurthwaite, superintendent. William Smurthwaite, Sr., who has held this position for over 40 years has turned over the active management of the mine to his son, who has learned the business thoroughly under his fathers supervision.


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