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The Diary of S. H. Jencks

( NOTE: This introduction, by Charles Edwards, was published in "There Was A Time", The Journal, Nanty Glo, PA, January 6, 1999. It was followed with approximately 30 weekly articles on excerpts from the diary. Following this introduction is a complete transcription of the diary as recorded by S. H. Jencks.)

The "time" spoken of in this week's column is a time of 100 years ago. Sterry Henry Jencks lived in that time.

He was born in Argentina on March 25, 1867, but Rhode Island, where most of his family lived was his home. Jencks attended Lehigh University at Bethlehem, Pa., and began a long career as an industrial engineer. His work included that of steel bridge and building construction, opening of coal mines, building rail lines, and the laying out of new towns. Among his earliest jobs was that of working for the Norfolk and Western Railroad in the Pocahontas and Clinch Valley coal fields of Virginia.

He ended his work in Virginia in 1894 and came up to Pennsylvania on Oct. 2 to begin work with the Pittsburgh and Eastern Railroad as engineer in charge of construction. The line was to run from the Youghiogheny River in Westmoreland County to Mahaffey in Clearfield County.

On Oct 1, 1897, he left the P&E RR to take the job of chief engineer for the Berwind-White Coal Co. in the Windber district.

On June 11, 1902, Jencks was sent by Berwind to prospect their holdings in the Pocahontas and New River coal fields of Virginia and West Virginia. He was headquartered in Tazewell, Va., until Nov. 1, 1905, when he resigned his position and returned home to Rhode Island.

In May of 1906, he was contacted by the Beury Brothers of Charleston, W. Va., to improve their coal mines, but by Feb. 8, 1907, he recognized it as an impossible task for which he was seldom paid and resigned that position.

On Aug. 15, 1908, Jencks surfaced in Mahaffey, Pa., and opened up an engineering office, where he did jobs for the Pennsylvania Coal & Coke Co, J.H. Weaver Co., and others, before becoming chief engineer of the Cambria and Indiana Railroad in 1909. The C&I was the former Blacklick & Yellow Creek RR, which was incorporated on June 15, 1904.

He tells of what it was like in the early days of coal mining and railroad building, and of the hardships endured while in West Virginia. An account is given of the birth and development of Windber as well as many towns in northern Cambria County, such as Patton, Nanty Glo, Colver and Revloc, with the growth of the coal industry in those parts.

Many people are mentioned by name who were instrumental in the construction of the coal and railroad industry of our county. Men like B. Dawson Coleman and J.H. Weaver, who formed an association that resulted in the birth of Colver, which is named for the first and last parts of their names.

Jencks relates the expansion of the C&I RR to accommodate the new industries of coal, clay and timber. He tells of politics within the companies, labor disputes and competition with the PRR There are brief mentions of noteworthy events like the beginning of World War I, the assassination of President McKinley, the burning of the Old Trust building in Ebensburg, and the installation of electricity in the court house.

He philosophizes on the Great Depression of the early 30s, the election of FDR, and the repeal of Prohibition. His writings paint an excellent picture of the growth of Cambria County and provide many names and details for the eager historian from 1885 until his retirement on Sept 1, 1936.

I believe Jencks was one of those persons who was the right man in the right time; one of the builders of our country. He was a man of conviction with a steadying influence on those around him. His employers had a faith and trust in him that encouraged them to give him much responsibility to which he responded admirably.

Jencks was probably a rugged man as his experience in the West Virginia coal fields would require, but he was not without intellect. He had thoughtful observations on the times, exhibiting a good understanding of human nature and the actions of men due to the flaws therein.

He prized intelligent men and considered it a joy to work with such people. Jencks had no time for fools but found it very satisfying to relax from the days work and spend the evening in the company of one who enjoyed a good laugh and had the ability to intelligently converse on any subject.

He had much to say about the politicians' lack of integrity, government interference, and the corruption of labor unions. He would have greatly disdained the welfare state and the lack of initiative in so many people today.

One hundred years ago S.H. Jencks was busy with the building of railroads, coal mines, reservoirs and towns. Today, instead of laying tracks, we are tearing them up. The once-booming industrial towns that held such great promise are now quiet residential villages. Rather than forging the steel and digging the coal, we are inviting others to come and see where we once did those things. Things of which the current generation has little knowledge.

For those who forgot, and for those who never knew, S.H. Jencks has provided a looking glass. It is a special instrument that combines the sweeping panorama of the telescope with the detailed magnification of the microscope.

We can sweep across the years, noting the great changes from one era to another, while at the same time enlarging one year, or day, or just a few minutes of a special scene. For much of this year, we will be looking at the diary of S.H. Jencks. If any of our readers have photos of the period 1885 to 1936, we would be very glad to use them along with the weekly diary excerpts.

Jencks, who served as president of the Ebensburg Borough Council, died at his home on 318 East High St., Ebensburg, on the evening of Jan. 12, 1948. He was survived by his wife, the former Nellie A Mahaffey, and was buried at Mahaffey cemetery, leaving a few thousand dollars cash, some shares of stock and a 1940 Packard worth $800. Not much for a long life of hard work.

Charles Edwards



A HISTORY or RECORD or CHRONICLE

Of the

CAMBRIA AND INDIANA RAILROAD COMPANY

And

Connections

And

COAL COMPANIES

in

Cambria and adjoining Counties

Pennsylvania

With references to

Pocahontas and New River Coal Fields

West Virginia

_____________

 

 

S.H. Jencks
Ebensburg, Pa.
Nov. 1, 1944


 

PREFACE

After working on and off this Register of Events for couple of years we bring it to a conclusion.

We were in the employ of railroad companies in four states and with coal corporations in three. This record or chronicle is made up from notes in our diaries and clippings in scrapbooks, both of which we kept up since our boyhood days in Rhode Island. A very good performance, if we must say it ourselves, and for one who never had the reputation of being over diligent. Whenever possible we made it a point never to do anything in the labor line, physical or mental, that George could do.

We start this compilation in the year 1885, for the reason that was the year the New York Central started to push their Beech Creek Extension into the Clearfield County, Pa., coal fields from Philipsburg, Center County. By 1893 the Beech Creek reached Mahaffey, Pa., as did the Pennsylvania, from Cresson via Patton, Cambria County. And by 1903 both the NYC and PRR were at Cherrytree; thence to Clymer, Idamar and Heilwood in Indiana County. In 1894 the PRR had their Blacklick Creek Extension completed as far as Vintondale. All the above in preparation for coal mines in the best steam coal section in the country. Proof: Colver, Nanty-Glo and Revloc.

For those interested in the Berwind-White territory, Windber the hub or center, first coal was shipped from Eureka No. 30 at Scalp Level in 1897, when the PRR had a branch line extended from South Fork. In 1902 the Berwinds had 10 miles in operation in Somerset County, Pa.

And for those who have ties or bonds in the Pocahontas coal field on the Norfolk & Western, and in the New River country on the Chesapeake & Ohio, West Virginia, the years we spent there - 1902 to 1907 - were hell. Peruse under those years and be convinced. It was not until 1906 that Berwinds broke ground for a mine on the Dry Fork of the Tug River, McDowell County, W. Va.

Until 1922, when Mr. Coleman and Mr. Weaver dissolved partnership, we were kept in touch with the mines as well as the Cambria and Indiana Railroad. After '22 we were wedded to the C & I, and in 1936 came the parting of the ways.

To our friends who helped gather information for this record of bygone days: you have our grateful thanks for contributions to make this history fairly complete.

Given under my hand, this first day of November in the year of our Lord 1944 and the 168th year of American Independence.

 

S. H. Jencks
The Diary of S. H. Jencks


(1)

RAILROADS AND COAL MINES
Clearfield, Indiana and Cambria Counties
Pennsylvania Compiled by S. H. Jencks
Ebensburg, Pennsylvania

1885

The Beech Creek Extension of the New York Central Railroad was completed to Philipsburg, Centre County, on February 1st, and the passenger train which had been running between Williamsport and Beech Creek was run to Philipsburg.

The coal from the Hawk Run district which had been delivered to Bald Eagle Junction by the Pennsylvania Railroad was then brought directly over the Beech Creek.

Mines at Grassflats were opened and started delivering coal.

By September 1st the Beech Creek Railroad was completed to Gazzam, Clearfield County, where mines bad been opened.

November 17th - The Cresson and Coalport Railroad (P.R.R.) was completed to Fallen Timber, Cambria County.

 

1886

In March the Beech Creek Railroad was completed to Clearfield, and when the summer schedule was made out passenger trains were run to Clearfield.

BEECH CREEK RAILROAD - N.Y.C. & H.R.R.R., LESSEE

Organized: June 29, 1886

Directors: Cornelius Vanderbilt, New York; William K. Vanderbilt, New York; Marlin E. Olmstead, Harrisburg; Chauncy M. Depew, New York; Geo. F. Baer, Reading; W. D. Kelly, Philadelphia; and James Kerr, Clearfield, Pa. Date of expiration of term May 4, 1900.

Officers: Marlin E. Olmstead, President and General Counsel; Wllliam J. Wilgus, Engineer, New York; Augustus G. Palmer, Superintendent, Jersey Shore, Pa., where general office is located.

Operation: Jersey Shore to Mahaffey, Pa., 113.02 miles. Mahaffey to Patton, including Patton to mines, 29.49 miles, operated under trackage rights with the Pennsylvania Railroad.
{Taken from the Annual Report of the Secretary of Internal Affairs - Railroads, Canals, Telegraphs and Telephones, 1898-99}

_____________________

Jan. 23rd, the last spike on the Cresson and Clearfield Railroad (P.R.R.) was driven at a point between Wildwood and Dawson's Mill, Cambria County.


(2)

RAILROADS AND COAL MINES
Clearfield, Indiana and Cambria Counties

1887

Nov. 11 - The Bluebaker Coal Co. was chartered with a capital of $500,000. Robert Coleman, the Lebanon millionaire, and Adjutant General Hastings and his law partner J. L. Spangler, both of Bellefonte, have each taken 1550 shares of the stock, and Gilbert A. Beaver, son of Governor Beaver, 490 shares. The coal of the company is to be mined in the northern section of Cambria County, Pa.

1888

Jan. 21 - The coal lands at and in the vicinity at St. Boniface, owned by Governor Beaver, General Hastings and others are to be opened up and a large number of coke ovens built. Ample shipping facilities will be provided by a railroad that will be built through their tract.

Jan. 26 - The Ebensburg and Cresson Branch Railroad was a paying institution last year, the first in several years. In the days when the shipments of lumber were considerable the road did a booming business, when that source of traffic failed it ceased to pay until last year. (This Branch was built by local capital during the Civil War, in the early 60's.)

1889

May 31 - The Johnstown Flood.

Nov. 3 - The two experimental coke ovens being erected by the Vinton Coal Company at Vintondale, Cambria County, are near completion. (SHJ. The P.R.R. did not reach Vintondale until 1894.)

Tom Barnes and others started buying coal lands in the region of Barnesboro.

1890

Jan. 5 - The Pennsylvania Railroad Company have taken initial steps looking to the foreclosure of the mortgage on the Ebensburg & Cresson Branch Railroad.

1891

May 8 - The Ebensburg Branch was sold today at Ebensburg by the sheriff for $60,000 to George Kugar of Philadelphia.

July 23 - Some 500 men and 150 horses grading for new railroad from Kaylor's northward.

Sept. 29 - Work being pushed at both ends of the Carrolltown tunnel.


(3)

RAILROADS AND COAL MINES
Clearfield, Indiana and Cambria Counties

1892

Apr. 19 - A corps of P.R.R. engineers arrived in Ebensburg to survey a route for the long-talked-of railroad down the Blacklick Creek.

June 15 - The widely advertised sale of lots in the projected town of Spangler on the new railroad took place yesterday. 250 lots were sold at prices ranging from $200 to $250. "The town is expected to go right along with coal and coke works to back it." (SHJ. For first shipment of coal see Dec. 24)

Aug. 5 - The first train through Strittmatter tunnel, near Carrolltown was run yesterday.

Aug. 29 - Now that the track of the Clearfield & Cambria R.R. (P.R.R.) has been laid thru the tunnel at Carrolltown it will reach Spangler this week.

Aug. 29 - Charles McFadden, the railroad contractor and coal operator, is opening, or rather tunnelling the Ferguson Hill (SHJ. Near Twin Rocks) in Blacklick Township, Cambria County, for the development of the coal.

Sept. 2 - The coal and coke works owned and operated by the Cambria Iron Company at Bennington (near Gallitzin) for many years have been leased to J. L. Mitchell, coal operator of Tyrone. There are at present 100 coke ovens in good working order, with a force of about 300 men employed. The lease also includes 95 tenement houses located at Bennington.

Oct. 5 - "The latest evidence of the wonderful development of Northern Cambria County is the demand for 500 miners to operate the new mines." Dullness in the coal business was a serious matter for miners in many parts of the State during the past year.

Oct. 8 - The Pennsylvania Railroad Co. is erecting a station at Kaylor's (now Ebensburg Junction) on the Cambria & Clearfield Branch.

Dec. 5 - Large numbers of men are being added daily to the force in the coal mines on the River, in the vicinity at Carrolltown and Spangler. -Hastings Tribune

Dec. 5 - A Reade Township (Cambria County) correspondent writes: "Blandburg promises to be a second Johnstown in the near future. Hundreds of men are now at work mining coal and taking out fire clay."

Dec. 6 - The Pennsylvania R.R. Co. has opened telegraph offices on the Susquehanna Extension of the Cambria & Clearfield R.R. at Spangler where a passenger, baggage and first-class agency has been established with James A. McLain as agent.

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(4)

RAILROADS AND COAL MINES
Clearfield, Indiana and Cambria Counties

1892

Dec. 24 - The long-looked for event of coal shipment from Spangler finally took place of Tuesday and Colonel Campbell at the Cambria Coal Co. carries off the honor of making the first shipment. The greatest demand at Spangler just now is a place to board as every house is full to the roof and men coming in every day.

The town of Patton was laid out in August. (See 1893)

1893

Feb. 11 - At Bradley Junction; where the branch railroad to Hastings and Spangler separates, there is prospect of a boom. Indications are that shops are to be erected at that place.

Feb. 17 - The Club House at Dunlo, the new mining town a short distance out in the mountains from South Fork, was destroyed by fire.

Feb. 23 - Contract was awarded Charles McFadden to build the Ebensburg and Blacklick Railroad (P.R.R.) (SHJ. From Ebensburg down the Blacklick Creek to Vintondale)

Mar. 23 - A vast change is rapidly taking place in that section of the country. The oldest inhabitant does not remember a scene like the present for activity has taken the place of the long inanimate, lifeless condition of things in the old but famous and well-known Village of Beulah (west of Ebensburg). Every old house in this neighborhood, which has not had an occupant for many long years, is now filled with the foreign element, known as Ikes and Huns. The new railroad will cross the Beulah road nearly opposite the ruins of the old jail. There is no finer site for a town along the route than right here in Beulah. There is an abundance of water and coal - all natural advantages and right on the line of the new railroad.

Sept. - The New York Central R.R. was completed from Kerrmoor to Mahaffey, Clearfield County. At the same time the Pennsylvania R.R. completed the line between Patton and Mahaffey and trains were run from Jersey Shore to Patton. "It was only a short time after the opening up of this road that the N.Y.C. received six trains of coal per day."

Dec. 20 - Since the town of Patton was laid out in August, 1892, "the growth of the place has been marvelous." The town has a population at 1,537 and including a radius of two miles has 2,000 inhabitants.

Dec. 23 - The convention of miners of the north of the County (Cambria) which was to have been held on Jan. 1st at Hastings has been postponed until Thursday following. The miners of that section are requested by the committee to send delegates to this convention. (See The Knights of Labor under 1894)

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(5)

RAILROADS AND COAL MINES
Clearfield, Indiana and Cambria Counties

1893

SOMERSET COUNTY: J. S. Cunningham, the "Father at Windber," spent nearly all year purchasing coal lands in the Windber section for the Berw1nd-White Coal Mining Co. He discovered that this district was underlaid by the Valuable "B" seam - the Lower Kittanning, also known as the Miller seam of coal. No coal was shipped however, until in 1897 from Eureka #30 at Scalp Level.

1894

It was this year that I, S. H. Jencks, left Virginia for Pennsylvania. I was with the Clinch Valley Coal & Iron Company at Richlands, Tazewell County, Virginia. I was a resident engineer on the Norfolk & Western Railroad until September 1, 1890.

While stationed in Virginia I was in close touch with both the Pocahontas and Clinch Valley coal fields.

Through Mr. George McCall, General Manager at the Clinch Valley Company, I became engineer-in-charge of location and construction of a railroad to be known as the Pittsburgh & Eastern Railroad (New York Central interests).

We started at Mahaffey, Clearfield County, Pa., (New York Central connection) and located a line to West Newton on the Youghiogheny River, Westmoreland County. We paralleled the Pennsylvania R.R. to Glen Campbell, Indiana County; thence to Marion Center; kept north of Borough of Indiana to headwaters of Blacklegs Creek; crossed the Kiskiminetos River at Saltsburg, Indiana County; up the Loyal Hanna Creek to Latrobe; thence to West Newton to connection with the Pittsburgh & Youghinogheny R.R. (N.Y.C.)

There were three railroads going through Mahaffey in those days: The New York Central from Wllliamsport to Patton; The Pennsylvania from Cresson to Glen Campbell; and the Pennsylvania Northwestern (the Bell's Gap) from Bellwood, Blair County, to Punxsutawney, Jefferson County. The above survey was started on October 2nd.

At the time the Urey Mines, a fair sized operation a mile or so north of Glen Campbell, and a couple of small mines at Glen Campbell were shipping over the Pennsylvania R.R.

From Glen Campbell to Saltsburg the Pittsburgh & Eastern location got in touch with no other coal mines.

John Pitcarin, President Of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co., was president of the Pittsburgh & Eastern; and S. H. Hicks of Philadelphia was general manager. Main office in Bullitt Building, Philadelphia.

Blacklick Creek R.R. (P.R.R.) on January 10th was graded about 9 miles from Ebensburg, within 3 miles of Vintondale. {Jan 9 - "Almost 700 men at work". Jan 10. "A large force were put to work on Ebensburg and Blacklick R.R. cut through what is known as the Big Bend in the Blacklick Creek"}

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(6)


RAILROADS AND COAL MINES
Clearfield, Indiana and Cambria Counties

1894

On March 30th started laying tracks from Ebensburg and by September 19th at Vintondale and placed coal cars under the tipple of the Vinton Colliery Company. (See under 1903)

May 4 - The contract for the erection of a monument at Cherrytree or Canoe Place at the junction of Cambria, Indiana and Clearfield Counties was awarded to E. F. Carr & Co. of Mass. at $1,390. {May 9 - "The rails of the Blacklick Extension R.R. have been laid for a short distance below Beulah, a distance of over three miles from Ebensburg.}

Peter and Thomas Collins, formerly of Ebensburg, were awarded the contract to build the Laurel Rill Tunnel on the South Pennsylvania Railroad (Jan. 22).

The Knights of Labor of Patton have issued a circular to the miners of Central Pennsylvania appealing for aid in order that the struggle against the operators may be continued (March 16).

1895

Pittsburgh & Eastern Ra1lroad Co.

We broke ground to build the P & E on June 1st. Contractor: Pat McManus of Philadelphia; Superintendent for Contractor: H. S. Kerbaugh, later a big contractor himself; and A. L. Anderson was the "Walking Boss." The same Anderson who later (1911) built the Cambria & Indiana Railroad - "Our Railroad."

This fall Mr. S. H. Hicks, General Manager, had me and my crew go to Germantown, near Barnesboro on the Pennsylvania R.R., to run a survey for a railroad up Moss Creek. This we believe was the first survey for a railroad up this stream. We never built the line but the Pennsylvania did, to Marsteller where the Penna. Coal & Coke Corp. opened a mine.

The P & E was organized January 3, 1895. Directors: S. H. Hicks, E. F. Lukens, G. M. Brown, T. S. Shoemaker, Ralph Nelson and L. V. Biggs, all of Philadelphia.

According to Annual Report of the Secretary of Internal Affairs of Pennsylvania - 1898-99: C. C. Watt had replaced John Pitcarin as president; S. H. Hicks, Vice President and General Manager; L. V. Biggs, Secretary and Treasurer; C. M. Brown, General Counsel.

Assets: Cost of Railroad $538,014.64; cost of Equipment $187,836; Cash and Current Assets $12,664.56; Profit and Loss $19,593.72; a total of $762,109.13

Personnel of Engineering Department: J. C. Patterson, consulting engineer, Philadelphia; S. H. Jencks, engineer-in-charge of construction; Frank Weakland, assistant; James Ake of Hillsdale, Indiana County, right-of-way agent; Mr. Wright, chief draughtsman; and Mr. Shultz, Mr. Hick's clerk, both from Philadelphia; Lynn Morehead, Indiana, and Mr. Shelley, Philadelphia, both levelmen.

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(7)


RAIILROADS AND COAL MINES
Clearfield, Indiana and Cambria Counties

1895

Richie and Barnsley, topographers; R. B. Thorne and Beard, rodmen.

Wright, Shultz and myself were the last to drop out of the picture in 1897.

On January 25th - "Ebensburgers were gratified by seeing the first regular freight train pass over the Blacklick Railroad today. It was a coal train of 20 cars."

Ground was broken at Patton this week for the plant of the Patton Clay Manufacturing Company. The plant to cost $50,000 and employ 100 men (Oct. 18).

1896

The Pittsburgh & Eastern Railroad was in the hands of the operating department this summer. Construction work never got beyond Arcadia, a short distance from Glen Campbell, Indiana County.

Oct. 24 - A new post office will be established at Twin Rocks in Cambria County. Expedit is name selected for the new office.

It was last year (1895) that the Clearfield Bituminous Coal Corp. acquired about 2,000 acres of coal land at Spangler, Cambria Co., Pa. Its West Branch Mine was developed and operated.

S.H.J. was married on Sept. 24th, an event in all men's lives.

1897

Somerset County - Berwind-White Coal Mining Co., Windber District.

Resigned from the Pittsburgh & Eastern on Oct. 1 to take over position of assistant to Heber Denman, Berwind-White chief engineer.

I was recommended by H. S. Kerbaugh (see 1895) later one of the biggest contractors on the Pennsylvania R.R.

Our headquarters were at Scalp Level, where the town of Windber is today were farms and woodlands.

Not until March 3rd was the "Scalp Level R.R. Co." (P.R.R.) granted a charter to build a line to connect Scalp Level with the South Fork Branch R.R. at Lovett. The said Branch had been built to Beaverdale and Dunlo in Cambria County.

On Oct. 1st the tipple for the first mine, Eureka #30 at Scalp Level, was not completed but shipping about 10 cars daily over a temporary tipple.

On April 12th the Company gave a contract to build 20 double houses for the #30 miners - $800 per house. Also a store building.

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(8)

RAILROADS AND COAL MINES
Clearfield, Indiana and Cambria Counties

1897

W. T. Geddis, who lived at Mahaffey and did work for the Pittsburgh & Eastern R.R. for fortunate to get above contracts, including tipple and other work about the mines.

On Oct. 22nd contract awarded Keenan & Co., of Johnstown, Pa., to build a reservoir and lay several miles of pipeline for the new town of Windber for $11,000. I was inspector on the job.

The Wilmore Coal Co. is the Berwind-White's realty holding company.

Soon after my arrival at Scalp Level I discovered that Denman, the chief engineer, was planning to resign in the near future to become a coal operator himself, in the far west - ndian Territory, now Oklahoma, my recollection. He was an Englishman but a graduate at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa., my old school.

We had two A-I men on the engineering force, both natives of Scalp Level, good in field or office - Erastus Hoffman and his brother.

1898

Somerset County - Berwind-White Coal Mining Co., Windber District.

A very busy year for all of us - got four new mines in operation: Eurekas Nos. 31, 32, 33 and 34; laying out streets, building lots, sewers and water lines and building no end of company houses for employees.

On Jan. 12th our general office moved from Scalp Level to building nearly completed at Windber.

On March 3rd W. T. Geddes, Building Contractor, and I broke ground for the very first private residences in town.

Jan. 7th was a big day at #30 mine at Scalp Level - all the bigshots in the coal mining business in this part of the State assembled there to see a new type of mine fan, the Capell, go through a test.

All the distinguished guests were later entertained at our office, where certain liquids were on tap, including 'alf an 'alf for a few Britishers, the Capell being an English invention.

Mr. Kimball was the first superintendent in this district but J. S. Cunningham took charge early this year, having closed up most of the deals for coal properties. (see 1901 for Administrative Officers)

David Fleming early this year became Cunningham's assistant, and we will admit he was a live wire.

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(9)


RAILROADS AND COAL MINES
Clearfield, Indiana and Cambria Counties

1898

Heber Denman resigned this summer to go West (see 1897) and yours truly appointed in his place.

J. C. Henry Lubkin looked after mine surveys - more of him later.

We got Eugene Delaney, from the hard coal field, to do all the civil engineering.

And later this year John Campbell, also from the East, to work with Lubkin. They did not get along as loving couples do.

WAR with Spain declared April 25th.

The first passenger train over the Scalp Level Branch of the P.R.R.
arrived at Windber from South Fork on June 20th. W. M. Durbin was the conductor and Joe Gates the engineer. Both built homes in town and were good neighbors.

March 25th, The Babcock Lumber Co., main office Pittsburgh, pushing the construction of the Scalp Level Branch R.R. to its mills near Ashtola, and hope to be shipping in May.

Cambria County.

Feb. 19, Nanty-Glo promising to be an important town in the Blacklick coal region.

Barker Brothers of Ebensburg will erect 10 houses at Nanty-Glo as soon as spring opens.

In 1898 all the Clearfield Bituminous Coal Company mines became producers of "captive coal," all the output going for locomotive fuel for the New York Central Railroad Company.

1899

Somerset County - Berwind-White Coal Mining Co., Windber District.

Still getting new mines in operation, three more this year: Nos. 35, 36 and 37, eight all told. And planning two more.

Building lots being sold in Windber like hot cakes.

Amos Claar of Osterburg, Bedford County, started a weekly newspaper in April, "The Windber Era."

During April and May a smallpox epidemic kept us all on edge. Being soon after the Spanish War, the infectious disease was at first thought to be a


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