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Clearfield, Indiana and Cambria Counties


"Cuban Itch," brought to the country by returning soldiers. There was nothing in that, we soon discovered. There were a number of deaths in three post houses that the Company built.

I should have stated last year that two men were much in evidence - Dan Thomas, a real Welshman, inside superintendent of all the mines; and John Garrett, holding similar position outside of the mines. They and I became close friends, and evenings we were not together were rare indeed. And Dave Fleming was one also in the coterie, we can assure you on that.

It was this year that James (Jim) Dunsmore became another member of the engineering department, looking after mine surveys. He was related to the Dunsmores at Barnesboro. He was a State College man and turned out to be just the man we wanted. We held Jim in high esteem and wished there were more like him.

Now back to Clearfield County. Reported on November 29th: "The purchase by the New York Central Railroad of the Pittsburgh and Eastern Railroad, extending from Mahaffey to Glen Campbell, has created such interest in Northern Cambria County."


Windber growing like a mushroom; houses, stores, hotels, livery stables (no autos those days) going up in all directions.

And two more mines, Nos. 38 and 39, near Foustwell and Stony Creek, four miles or so from Scalp Level. There was great activity in this line at other places in Somerset County, particularly in region of Jerome and Boswell.

The New York Central making surveys for a line from Dowler Junction on the Pittsburgh & Eastern to Cherrytree.

The Clearfield Bituminous Coal Co. acquired another block of coal of about 5,000 acres in northern Indiana County.


Berwind-White Coal Mining Company - Windber District.

No new mines this year, finishing up Nos. 38 and 39 at Foustwell.

During February eight mines produced 8,000 to 10,000 tons per day. Following were officers of the Berwind-White late this year: Administrative: Edward J. Berwind, President; John E. Berwind, Vice President; H. A. Berwind, Secretary; W. A. Grist, General Manager; Thomas Fisher, Gen'l. Superintendent; above in Philadelphia office. Those in Windber: Jas. S. Cunningham, the "Father of Windber," Superintendent; Dan A. Thomas and John Lochrie, Assistant Mine



Clearfield, Indiana and Cambria Counties


Superintendents; John N. Garrett, Asst. Outside Supt.; S. H. Jencks, Chief Mining and Civil Engineer; J. W. Campbell, Asst. Mining Engineer; Eugene Delaney, Asst. Civil Engineer; Herbert E. Stevens, Chief of Electrical Depart.; Clarence E. Watts. Chief Mechanical Engineer.

The Mine Foremans Eureka #30. John Hughes; #31-#32, Chas. E. Davis; #33, Milton Peddicord; #34, John Fyfe; #35. T. D. Forsythe; #36, David Watkins; and #37, John Baker.

During this year David Fleming resigned as Asst. Supt. to accept superintendency of a mine at Eleanora for the Rochester and Pittsburgh Coal Co. C. E. Sharpless was appointed in his place. David Fleming became general manager of the Ebensburg Coal Co., Colver, in 1916. Mr. Cunningham's time was taken up this year going back and forth to the coal fields in the Virginias. Looking up territory.

Windber growing to be a big town, miners encouraged to buy their homes on a monthly basis instead of paying rent.

From the "Windber Era," February 1. "The Coal mined in these regions in steam producing power is believed to be wholly unsurpassed. So much superior to the product of many other regions is it that even the little 'slack' to be found is readily utilized for steam producting purposes instead of being given away or employed as supply for coke ovens. The actual analysis shows: Water & Volitile matter 16.67%, Fixed Carbon 79.40%, Ash 3.42%, and Sulphur 0.51%.

Josiah T. Evans was State Mine Inspector in this district. His home was in Johnstown.

I was in Buffalo, N. Y. attending the Pan American Exposition when President McKinley died there, on Sept. 14th. He was assassinated on Sept. 6th. We got to view his body lying in state in the City Hall. And there we got to see Teddy Roosevelt for the first time.

On July 29th Frank Lowrey, Italian contractor, an early arrival in Windber, got the contract to pave Graham Avenue (the main street of Windber) and a block of 15th Street for $25,000. Frank did a lot of work for the Company, grading streets, laying water and sewer lines, and building foundations for buildings. Above was first paving done in Windber.

Robert Mahaffey, founder of Mahaffey, Clearfield County, Pa., died on Sept. 16th. He was born in Lycoming County May 4th, 1815.


Cambria, Clearf1eld, Indiana & Somerset Counties, Pa., & Virginia


Berwind-White Coal Mining Co., Windber, Pa., and Tazewell, Va.

Windber having got its stride and no new mines in prospect, on June 11th I was sent South to assist J. S. Cunningham take up coal lands in the Pocahontas coal fields in McDowell County, W. Va., with headquarters at Tazewell, Va. We had considerable prospecting to do on the headwaters of the Tug River, a tributary of the Big Sandy River, which empties into the Ohio at Kenova, west of Huntington, W. Va.

New York Central Railroad, "The River Line," a revision of the Beech Creek Extension of the N.Y.C., was opened on July 1st. The first train leaving Clearfield via this line (following the West Branch of the Susquehanna River) was made up of 75 cars of coal, which at that time was considered a very heavy train.

Grading was begun on the extension from Dowler Junction on the Pittsburgh & Eastern (NYC) - near Burnside - Clearfield County, to Cherrytree, Indiana County. "This road will mean much in the development of the bituminous coal mines of northern Camabr1a and Indiana Counties." At the time the Pennsylvania R.R. also were building a line to Cherrytree from Barnesboro. As both the NYC
and PRR had the same destination, eventually, and as both reached Cherrytree about the same time, they came to an agreement to make the Cherrytree Branch a joint railroad to the coal fields now known as the Clymer-Dixonv1lle-Heilwood field in Indiana County. The NYC broke ground near Burnside on November 14th.


Berwind-White Coal Mining Company, Penna., Va., and W. Va.

Windber Area - April 2, Dunlo is the scene of a strike of coal miners which is expected to have an important bearing on the fate of the new scale which went into effect in the district on April 1. About 800 miners, representing the working forces of the Berwind-White, Logan and Henrietta Coal Companies, are idle, while conferences with the operators are in progress. The employers insist on the day men working 10 hours, while the men insist on working on the new scale of 8 hours, but want more pay than the 22 cents an hour allowed by that agreement.

We down in the Virginia territory were plugging away in the mountains of McDowell County, W. Va., running crop lines of coal seams on the waters of Jacob's Fork and Dry Fork of the Tug River. We had a camp on both forks, old log houses we found abandoned. It took considerable patching to make them habitable, and fumigating to rid them of every variety of insects, fleas, roaches, ants, bedbugs and what have you predominating. Wasps and bees nests and bats and lizards, snakes under the floor, usually copperheads, and at evening tide swarms of gnats and mosquitoes. Our laborers were sons of mountaineers, generally moonshiners or "ridge runners," who, by the way, were all right people provided they were treated properly and they knew what your business was. Woe unto the man suspected of being a revenue officer.



Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia

1903 -Continued

Berwind-White Coal Mining Company.

On June 1st we were shifted to Fayette County, W. Va., to prospect for coal in the New River or Chesapeake & Ohio field - on the easterly side of the New River. Our Company referred to the Pocahontas as the Norfolk & Western field. My office and post office was at Crickmer, a jumping off place eleven miles from Meadow Creek, a station on the C & O. Crickmer was not even a hamlet, just a few houses in sight. We boarded with the post master, Mr. Harrah. Only in a few places did coal crop to the surface, for that reason we had drilling machines and operators sent down from Pennsylvania. The operators made us good company.

A result of the extensive mining operations in the Windber field, and
which gave the Company and the farmers considerable concern, was the destruction of many streams and flowing springs.

G. (Gus) J. Wasseen opened up a hotel at Foustwell, near the mines Nos. 38 and 39 and his bar was well patronized. The hotel called the Glen Inn. Later he took over the Central Hotel at Hooversville, Somerset County, Oct. 19, 1903. This is the same Wasseen who ran the Metropolitan Hotel at Ebensburg from 1916 to 1920. He was quite a politician in the early days of Windber.

The Pennsylvania Railroad Company - June 29 - The new Gallitzin tunnel nearly completed, only 92 feet of unmoved earth between the headings. The total distance through the mountain 2,612 feet.

July 8 - The grading of the Blacklick Extension of the Ebensburg Branch is practically completed, track soon to be laid. (This is the extension from Vintondale to Blacklick Station on the Indiana Branch. Vinton Colliery Co. at Vintondale started shipping coal in September, 1894){if the work on several bridges is not delayed trains will be running over the new road by Oct 1}

July 13 - There are 1,800 men employed on the new Portage Railroad. On the Duncansville end of the line 6 miles of the road has been graded and at the Gallitzin end two miles. There remains 5 miles.

The Lackawanna Coal & Coke Company at Wehrum. - W. E. Swartzentruver, mine foreman, formerly of South Fork, has resigned (July) to accept a position at New Washington, Clearfield County.

The Greenwich Coal & Coke Company, north of Barnesboro, near Garman's Mill, Cambria County, in August were building 75 houses around the two mines now in operation.{Sept}

The Stineman Coal & Coke Company's new mine was put in operation in October. It's the third of those put in to tap the Stineman coal under the South Fork dam site.

Benedict, near Carrolltown, building many houses, water plant in operation and two new slopes near town under construction. (Sept.)

J. L. Mitchell, former Gallitzin coal operator is now located in Ebensburg. He owned and lived on the Russell Edwards farm on the Carrolltown road. (October)


Cambria and Indiana Counties and Virginia


J. H. Weaver's interests: This year names appear of particular interest to those who had connection with the development and operation of Weaver's coal mines in Indiana County, and later in Cambria County. H. Frank Dorr, mining engineer, a native of Indiana, was a member of an engineer corps employed by Mr. Weaver is the year 1905. What follows, until the year 1909, is information we must credit Mr. Dorr, it's what transpired to his best recollection.

It was early this year that the Cherrytree & Dixonville R.R. (see 1902-03) reached Dixonville, 10 miles from Cherrytree. Coal mines were being opened right and left.

Before venturing into the coal mining business Mr. Weaver was a coal broker with offices at Williamsport and Philadelphia. Before opening up at Heilwood, Indiana County, he bought both the "B" and "D" seams of coal on lands owned by one Hines at Starford, a station on the C. & D. R.R. named after Mr. Weaver's superintendent, a Mr. Starford from Clearfield County. The Hines Coal Co. drove five headings, Hines Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, but all the coal dumped at two tipples.

It was about this time that Mr. Weaver also bought a mine in operation at Kingwood, Preston County, W. Va.

Blacklick Extension of the Pennsylvania R.R., extending from Wehrum to Blacklick (see 1903) has been turned over to the operating department. This road, which extends the division for a distance of 17 miles into a rich coal region, was built under the supervision of D. P. Pugh, the resident engineer. (June 3).

Coal Companies at Spangler. Spangler is now headquarters for the Spangler
Coal & Coke Co., the Madiera Hill Coal Mining Co., the West Branch Colliery Co., the Susquehanna Coal Co., Derringer Brothers Coal Co. and much business of
Peals, Peacock & Kerr Co. and the Pennsylvania Coal & Coke Co. is done here. (May)

The Blacklick & Yellow Creek R.R. was incorporated on June 15th. The Vinton Lumber Company, Clearfield County organization, built the Railroad during 1903
and March this year, 1904, were extending it into the Frances Brothers' tract, near the present town of Colver. The Lumber Company had a large mill at Rexis, near Vintondale, on the P.R.R. On March 21st Clark Edwards of Blacklick Township, Cambria County, got contract to cut 5,000 railroad ties.

Ashville Coal & Coke Company's charter was left for record on Jan. 8th with Recorder Strauss at Ebensburg.

W. H. Piper & Co. having extensive operations at Lilly and Benscreek, have placed an order for 100 freight cars. June 3.

The Stineman companies at South Fork for 700 cars of their own and The Webster Coal Co. about 600 ears, June 3.

Cambria County Commissioners are to substitute electric light for the illuminating gas now used in the Court House. (Jan. 21)


Cambria and Indiana Counties and Virginia

1904 - Continued

Berwind-White Coal Mining Company - All this year we were in Fayette County, West Virginia, prospecting for New River coal. At Tazewell, Va., several times to check up surveys in the Pocahontas region and made four trips to Philadelphia to report our findings and slipped off once to God's country (Rhode Island) to get in touch with the world and dig clams on Narragansett Bay. The Company built up a good house to live in and for an office, but for all that we felt out in touch with everybody and everything. Our drilling for coal and wherever we could drift for same turned out far from satisfactory. We discovered later that geologists had missed their cue is this region - that the high grade New River coal east of the New River diminished in thickness, finally running out.


J. H. Weaver's interests: Late this year H. Frank Dorr started to work under ______ Taylor of Indiana, Pa., who was chief engineer for both the Possom Glory Coal Co. (Mr. Weaver's) and Penn-Mary Coal Co. The companies had adjoining properties and mines in operation at Heilwood, Indiana Co., Pa. Here was Frank Dorr's first experience making surveys under ground. Harry P. Dowler, superintendent for the Penn-Mary people, was an acquaintance of mine in the days we were building the Pittsburgh & Eastern Railroad from Mahaffey to Glen Campbell. We ran through part of his father's land. Harry's home was one of our regular stopping places.

Berwind-White Coal Mining Company again: My last year with Company. Coal not coming up to expectations in the region east of the New River, as stated under 1904, I was called to Thurmond, where a C & O branch railroad ran to mines west of the New River - to Red Star, Oak Hill, Glen Jean, McDonald, Mt. Hope and other coal companies. At Thurmond I met my boss, Jas. S. Cunningham, the "Father of Windber", and Dan Thomas, mine superintendent at Windber, to assist in making inventories and estimates of cost of several properties on which Berwinds had options. It took us a couple of weeks. This was in January. Later the Berwinds took over the Hemlock Hollow Coal Company's plant. It was at the end of a 4-mile branch from Quinnimont, a station on the main line of the C & O. In July our old friend Frank Lowrey of Windber landed at Quinnimont with his band of Italian laborers to grade and make other improvements at Hemlock Hollow. They got through in August, 13th, and I departed also, returning to Tazewell, Va., to give the Pocahontas country another whirl.

After monkeying around McDowell County, W. Va., for about three years it was decided finally to open a mine on Dry Fork at a place we had a camp, now known as Berwind. And we were to build coke ovens. I was some busy man for a month making plans for the mine layout, coke ovens, shacks for miners, a boarding house and what not.

We broke ground late in August and like a flash of lightening in a clear sky, I got word in September from my old boss that he was to be replaced in the N & W field by one Mr. Wolfe, who had been manager of a mine at or

- Continued -


Cambria and Indiana Counties and Virginia

1905 - Continued

Berwind-White - Continued:

near Glen Jean in the New River country. Well, Wolfe came and brought with him a squirt named Epperly to be his right hand man. After my long association with a man like Cunningham I couldn't stand the change. Wolfe and Epperly made a team to make the angels weep. Got the ovens, mine layouts, buildings under way and on November 1st turned in my resignation to Philadelphia office, and struck for home in Rhode Island for Christmas.

Wolfe did not last long, within a year the Berwinds had to have him replaced and the reins again put is the hands of Cunningham.


J. H. Weaver's interests:

Lynn Moorhead, engineer from Indiana, Pa., was employed to make a complete survey of coal leads and other properties owned by both the Possom Glory and Penn-Mary Coal Companies. (Dorr) Moorhead was levelman during construction of the Pittsburgh & Eastern R.R. during 1894-95. (SHJ)

According to Frank Dorr: "It's my recollection that late this year Mr., Weaver sold all his holdings at Heilwood, Indiana Co., to the Penn-Mary Coal Company."

Thomas C. Beury, Charleston, W. Va., Coal Properties on New River.

Mr. Cunningham of the Berwind-White advised me to return to the work in W. Va. While thinking the matter over in Rhode Island, Thomas C. Beury and his brother Joseph made me a proposition which I accepted - better salary and headquarters in Charleston. Their father left an estate which included several mines on the main line of the Chesapeake & Ohio R.R. in the New River valley.

The plants were situated between the confluence of the Gauley and
New River and Thurmond, as follows: Stone Cliff, Elmo, Caperton, Firecreek, Beury and Sewell. All the mines were badly run down - tipples tottering, fans out of service, tracks on the bum, cave-ins and then some. I was fortunate in getting a very competent mining engineer to be my assistant, a Mr. Heatherman.

We got started in May and kept on the jump all year. The general officers were in the first "sky-scraper" built in Charleston, one room reserved for the engineering department.

At the close of the year everything looked rosy and the "goose hung high," an old saying that all was OK. But was it?


West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Virginia and Maryland


J. H. Weaver's interests: All this year H. Frank Dorr was an engineer for the Penn-Mary Coal Co. at Heilwood, Indiana Co., Pa. Of interest to all of Frank's friends, here he met Mrs. Dorr. She was from Windber and June this year she accepted a position in the Penn-Mary Company's office.

According to Dorr, it was early this year that Mr. Weaver bought out the Dixon Coal Company at Idamar, four miles or so north of Clymer on the Cherrytree and Dixonville Railroad. The first mining engineer in charge was John Hoover, from Burnside, Clearfield County.

(Dorr) late this year, or early next year, J. Edgar Long, a relative of Mr. Weaver, who replaced James Starford as manager of operations in this district, had a leg taken off in an accident at Hines #1 Mine at Starford.
A flimsy trestle near the tipple collapsed while he was pushing a mine car loaded with rock. He was found covered with coal and debris, more dead than alive. He had no one to blame but himself.

Thomas C. Beury, Charleston, W. Va. To make a long story short, I got my fill in February, pulled up stakes and took a train for Pittsburgh. Heatherman and I put in long hours and got nowhere. He was in the mines most of the time and we opened a field office over the Company store at Stone Cliff. We made plans and reports and estimates without number; but the Beury Brothers made no move
to improve conditions at the mines. We had no regular pay day and when broke would have to ask for a hand-out. It finally dawned upon us dumb-heads that they did not have what is required to do business; no capital to go ahead, being land and mine poor. But Tom and Joe knew how to strut and put up a bold front. In January Heatherman landed a good job up the New River. I had to hang around for a month to get money due me.

A Digression - for what it is worth, if any. I was thinking those days that some day I world be singled out as one who had no business around coal mines. I never saw one until my 22nd year, and then in a district where miners did not get the consideration given the mine mules. The poor devils lived in shacks which they had to keep in repair themselves; were paid just enough to keep body and soul together; had to pay extravagant prices for necessities in the company store, or be discharged; spotters worked among the miners to report remarks men might make regarding conditions that oppressed them, and so on and on. And the lord in authority lived in a well appointed residence overlooking all the rude cabins housing the unfortunates. We wondered if there were times, sitting out on their porch sipping high balls and smoking imported cigars, the places of abode of the miners spread before them, if there were times their conscience pricked them.

This was in West Virginia and Pennsylvania had places they could not brag about. The Berwinds when they started Windber, in 1897, were all set to build a town that would attract favorable attention, and they succeeded. Today Windber is an excellent town in which to live, a home town in every sense of the word.

- continued -


West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Virginia and Maryland

1907 - Continued

A Digression - Continued - Bringing this subject to a close the Unions now have the upper hand and breeding racketeers; the men in the pit, the run of the mine, forced to do their bidding or starve. The coal operators find themselves in a complicated situation, between John L. Lewis, who defies the U. S. Government in war time and gets away with it, and the New Deal at Washington. Strikes the order of the day an the poor operator takes his medicine. The operators were primarily to blame, when they had everything their way.

McClintic-Marshall Bridge & Construction Co., Pittsburgh, Penna. I left Charleston, W. Va., on Feb. 8th and the following morning I walked into the Monongahela House, Pittsburgh, Pa., determined I would have nothing more to do with coal mines.

Calling on both McClintic and Marshall, who, by the way, were classmates of mine at Lehigh University, McClintic my room mate, they put me temporarily in the estimating department of their plant at Rankin, near Braddock. Very shortly I was in St. Louis, Mo., making arrangements for a bridge gang who were to build a bridge across a stream south of St. Louis. During July and August I was engineer in charge of erection of a steel building at Vandergrift, Pa., for the United Engineering & Foundary Co.

On September 4th I was at Brookneal, Campbell County, Virginia, about 30 miles south of Lynchburg, on the Lynchburg & Durham Division of the Norfolk & Western. This job, which was partly completed, was erection of a long viaduct over N & W tracks for the Virginian Railway. Before this work was finished, on Nov. 10th, I was called to Cumberland, Maryland, to superintend the erection of a very large steel building for the Cumberland Iron Works. And here I was at the close of the year 1907.


J. H. Weaver's interests: To give my personal experiences a rest for the present, I return to Indiana and Cambria Counties, Pa., to record information obtained from H. Frank Dorr.

Frank resigned is November as an engineer for the Penn-Mary Coal Co., at Heilwood, to enter services of Mr. Weaver at Idamar, Indiana County, where John Hoover was chief engineer (see 1907).

Dr. ______ McHenry was the company doctor at Heilwood. He was a close friend of J. Edgar Long when I appeared on the scene is 1909. (See Edgar Long under 1907)

James Keenan was Mr. Weaver's superintendent of mines at Idamar and Starford. He got to the Colver field in 1910.

Jos. A. Wilkinson, Phila. office, Mr. Weaver's purchasing agent.

_______ Thomas, from Phila., Chief Clerk in Idamar office.

- continued -


Maryland, Pittsburgh, and Clearfield, Cambria and Indiana Counties, Pa.

1908 - Continued

McClintic-Marshall Bridge & Construction Co., Pittsburgh Pa.

Now back to the McClintic-Marshall's to relieve my chest and bore a few of my friends. The building for the Cumberland Iron Works was completed by May 1st. Then on an addition to McClintic-Marshall's plant at Rankin and finally on a building for the American Foundry Company at Alleghnay. While I was on this job I was booked for a point in the far West.

This line of work pleased me and I took a deep interest in it - here today and gone tomorrow was my life. Not so for Mrs. Jencks, I was to settle down or else.

Ever since our days with Berwinds at Windber, C. E. Sharpless and I corresponded quite regularly; he advised me to open up an engineering office at Mahaffey, Clearfield County, a center of considerable activity in the coal business; and to throw away the resolution I made in Pittsburgh on Feb. 9, 1907, that I would not have anything more to do with coal mines. Out the window it went.

I resigned and landed at Mahaffey, Mahaffey of Pittsburgh and Eastern Railroad days in the 90's.

S. H. Jencks, Civil and Mining Engineer, Mahaffey, Pa. I got a room over the Mahaffey National Bank and put out my shingle on August 15th. Coal lands were being bought right and left, and mines opened in western Clearfield, southern Jefferson and northern Indiana and Cambria Counties. Right off the bat acquaintances of mine at Windber got me to reopen an abandoned mine at Mahaffey, and I was never paid. Joe and Harry Clark were operating three mines near Glen Campbell, Indiana County. I did considerable work for them but a trial to get coin of the realm from them. In October Dr. Buckingham of Mahaffey and Con Burns of Burnside got me to get a mine in shape to ship coal over the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh Railroad at Richmond (Savan station), Indiana County. Lay out a town, make plans of buildings and what not. The end of the year finds me busy as you please.

W. A. Crist, on May 28th resigned as general manager, after 32 years with the Berwind-White Coal Mining Co. He had a reputation of being a hard task-master. He did not strike me that way, I could ask for no better treatment from anyone.

Retrospection: Thus far, it will be noted by readers, if any, at this summary of events of the days of yore, that the author covered a lot of territory to keep himself occupied. And I did not mention that my very first job was at Barrie, Simcoe County, Ontario, Canada, working for Mr. Henry Creswick, civil engineer.

He was a provincial land surveyor with contract to lay out the region towards Georgian Bay in concessions, 100 acres in each, the lines to be exactly north and south and east and west. My main job was to "shoot the stars" with a theodolite. I stuck it out for a year. My greatest ambition was to sail the seven seas as skipper of a four-master. And to this day I believe it's what I was cut out for. To date I resigned from every position I had save one, and that shut down - the Clinch Valley Coal & Iron Company, Richlands, Va.

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