MICHAEL GALLAGHER, president of the People's National Bank of Mt. Pleasant, O., and general manager of some of the largest coal mining interests in Ohio, is identified also with many other large enterprises and is the owner of rich coal and farm lands in several localities. He was born at Latrobe, Pa., September 3, 1870, and is a son of William and Mary (Welch) Gallagher.
William Gallagher and wife were both born in COunty Mayo, Ireland, and came to America prior to 1860. The father was a coal miner and followed that occupation until his death. He left a widow who still survives and they had a large family of children.
Michael Gallagher, under the above circumstances, had few initial advantages and these he provided largely for himself. The great business ability he has shown came to him as a natural gift, no circumstances in environment ever smoothing his way to success. He obtained his education in the public schools and prior to 1889, was variously engaged, being largely connected with mining interests. In that relation he came to Startle, Long Run, Jefferson County, where he took charge of the stores for a mining company and was made postmaster and served in that capacity for six years. Later he went on the road as a traveling salesman. In the spring of 1899 he embarked in the coal business and was purchasing agent for different companies throughout Jefferson, Belmont and Monroe Counties, his purchases aggregating some sixty thousand acres of coal land.
Mr. Gallagher secured a tract of 4,000 acres in Mt. Pleasant Township, purchasing it from the farmers and later disposed of it to Peter M. Hitchcock and W. D. Reese, of Cleveland. He afterwards sold, for these purchasers, the same land to the Lone Tree Coal Company, later repurchasing and selling it to the Upstill Coal Company, which he had organized and in which he was a director. Later he negotiated the sale of that company to the Morris Paston Coal Company, the present owners, who have established one of the best equipped mines in the country, one mile northwest of Mt. Pleasant.
Mr. Gallagher is a director in the Glenn Run Coal COmpany, which owns about 3,500 acres of coal land in Jefferson County, the plant for mining the same being established at Rush Run, on the Pennsylvania Railroad; also a mine on the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad, one and one-half miles northeast of Dillonvale. He is also vice-president of the St. Clair Coal Company which owns 2,600 acres, the mine at present having one opening two miles south of Flushing, in Belmont County; is largely interested in undeveloped coal lands in Belmont County located partly in Captina Valley, adjacent to the B. Z. & C. Railroad; and was active in the development of the O'Neal Coal Mining Company, located at Herrick, O., on the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad, but later sold the same to M. A. Hanna & Co., which mine is at present under his management. He negotiated also the deal for the coal that is owned and operater by the Provident Coal Company, of Belmont County, which is a large, modern plant located two miles north of St. Clairsville, around which a prosperous town has grown up. He also organized the E. N. Boggs Coal Company, located at Barton, on the C. L. & W. Railroad and later sold the same to the Y. & O. Coal Company, which company at the present time is operating this mine. He has been equally prominent in the organizing and furthering of other important enterprises which have been beneficial to a large number of his fellow citizens in many ways. He was one of the organizers of the Mt. Pleasant Telephone COmpany and was its president in 1904, serving two years, and then disposing of the property to its present owners. He was one of the first to recognize the need that is supplied by the People's National Bank, which he subsequently organized, and later gained control of the Mt. Pleasant National Bank and was president of that institution also until it liquidated. He is a director of the Security Trust Company, of Wheeling, W. Va.; is president of the Dillonvale Building COmpany and owns the largest building at Dillonvale, which is occupied by the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad Company as a passenger station and telegraph office; by the offices of the W. & L. E. Coal Mining Company; the First National Bank of Dillonvale; the drug store of Dr. J. C. Jones; the headquarters of the Dillonvale Heat and Power Company; a large clothing and gents' furnishing store, and the lodge rooms of the fraternal order of Red Men. The structure is of large proportions, two stories in height and is built of brick.
The mining companies of which Mr. Gallagher at present is manager are as follows: The Boomer Coal and COke COmpany, of Boomer, W. Va., which operates four large mines, producing a million tons a year; Pittsburgh and Eastern Coal Company at Cherry Valley, Pa., with three mines producing 700,00 tons annually; W. & L. E. Coal Mining Company, at Dillonvale, Connor and Herrick, O., producing 800,000 tons a year; the Mssillon Coal Mining Company, located in the vicinity of Massillon, O., with eight mines and an annual capacity of about 600,000 tons, the production being considered the best of its kind in existence for domestic use. The various mines give a vast army employment, aggregating about 5,000 men and the above is the largest independent concern in the country. The mining companies were formerly directed by the late Senator Hanna and his connection continued until his death. Mr. Gallagher has been active and interested in local measures as well as in the great outside business transactions which have been placed in his hands. Mt. Pleasant owes a great deal to his interest and public spirit for many of the comforts and conveniences enjoyed, as he was greatly concerned in securing the establishment of the various city utilities.
Mr. Gallagher married Miss Sarah Louise Humphreyville, of Mt. Pleasant, and they have had the following children: Pauline, who is a member of the graduating class of 1910, at the Laurell Private School, and exclusive establishment at Cleveland; William Alexander and Mary Theresa, both in school; Helen Virginia, who is an attractive little maid of four years; and Ruth Louise, who can claim but twenty-two months. The family home is one of the most attractive residences at Mt. Pleasant, a lrage brick structure which was formerly owned by Hon. J. T. Updegraff. Mr. Gallagher owns other valuable property including a tract at Brookside, near Bridgeport, O., a farm of 337 acres, underlaid with coal, in Harrison County; 190 acres in Jefferson County; 32 acres in Belmont County, and 268 acres in Monroe County, Ohio.
Mr. Gallagher is a pleasant man to meet, genial in manner and of agreeable personality but he impresses one immediately with a feeling of power, ability, forcefulness, and in his poise may be recognized that natural gift which has made his life more successful than that of nine-tenths of his fellow creatures.