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Massillon History: Industry: Coal

The Coal Industry in Massillon
By Amanda Johnson (intern, Bowling Green State University)


Development of the Massillon Coal Industry

When fur traders and merchants moved into the Ohio territory in the mid-1700s, they discovered rich deposits of coal in the area that would later become Massillon. It was not until 100 years later that these deposits were utilized. As the country industrialized, the demand for coal grew. The Massillon coal vein, also known as the Sharon Seam, covers much of Stark County and runs into Tuscarawas, Holmes, Wayne, Medina and Summit Counties. It was found to be some of the highest quality coal in the Eastern United States, and was sought after for domestic and industrial use. Russell and Co., of Massillon and the Republic Steel Corporation made use of coal from the Massillon vein.

Pigeon Run Road Coal Mine, c.1900
Collection Massillon Museum (75.55.1)

The Massillon vein was mined as early as 1820 and shipped by canal; however, the industry took off after the Pennsylvania Railroad arrived in Massillon in 1852. Mines began to appear in larger numbers in Massillon and the surrounding area. According to the Stark County Historical Society’s publication The Stark County Story, by 1867, a thousand tons of desirable Massillon coal was shipped out daily. The growth of the railroad industry increased the demand for coal, as it powered steam engines, and allowed for the growth of coal mining and shipping operations in Massillon. Massillon coal was shipped by railroad to the Great Lakes, where it was used to power steam ships. It also fueled railroad equipment and plants which manufactured weapons and equipment during the Civil War.

Due to the quality of Massillon coal and the rising demand for fuel of such quality, in the late 19th century, many large coal mining and shipping companies were established in the Massillon area. Along with these large companies, small farms and businesses often produced coal as well, with many small mines operating during the winter months when farm families were unable to produce crops. At this time, the majority of coal mines were dug underground. By 1898, there were over 1,155 underground coal mines in Ohio. The potential for employment in the coal industry increased Massillon’s population and the purchase of land for mining increased the city’s area. Many men emigrating from Wales found work in Massillon vein coal mines. At its height, the coal industry in Massillon employed between 2,000-4,000 men. By 1902, over one million tons of coal was produced from the Massillon vein yearly. Many Massillonians made their fortune in the coal industry and went on to political careers in Ohio – most notably J.P. Burton, Anthony Howells, J.F. Pocock, and John G. Warwick.


Life of a Coal Miner

Pigeon Run Road Coal Mine, c.1905
Collection Massillon Museum (75.55.2)

Approximately 2,000-4,000 men in the Massillon area were employed in coal manufacturing at the industry’s peak. Primarily of Scottish and Welsh descent, these miners would have cut tons of coal from underground mines and loaded it by hand onto carts to be shipped on Ohio’s canal and railway systems. Animals such as mules, horses, oxen, and goats hauled coal from the mines to their shipping location. Miners and their families would have lived near the mine, often in housing controlled by the mining company. Miners were oftentimes paid in credits that could only be used at company-owned stores.

Working in mines was not a safe job, as there was very little regulation of working conditions or worker’s rights in the 19th century. In the mine, spaces were dark and cramped, with little fresh air and great risk of injury from falling rock. Strikes, though often organized, rarely had effect in improving the working conditions or wages for miners. Following the First World War, above ground strip mining became more prevalent, and more regulations for workers were instituted, making coal mining a safer and more profitable profession.


Conflict and Eventual Decline of Coal

Massillon Oak Hill Coal Co., c.1900
Collection Massillon Museum (91.34.3)

The growth of the coal industry did not come without issue. Strikes and accidents occurred frequently on the small scale, but in 1875, the Massillon coal industry faced total collapse. After the panic of 1873, miner’s pay was reduced from $1.00 per ton to just 65 cents per ton. Thousands of union coal miners working in mines on the Massillon vein staged a walk-out after the wage cuts. When strike breakers were brought in, miners protesting at the Warmington Mine in North Lawrence grew into an angry mob. The mob of workers attacked the Warmington Mine president and nearly beat him to death. The governor sent in the Ohio National Guard to break up the riot. The miners were brought to trial and defended in the court room by future president William McKinley. They were acquitted, and McKinley won support from the large population of miners, which helped his political career.

Large mining ventures in Massillon faded after the turn of the century, as the seam was depleted. The difficulty in finding coal to mine, along with World War I and the Great Depression, led to the steep decline of the coal industry in the Massillon area during  the 1920s and 30s. While some mining remained, much of it was done at above ground strip mines rather than in the underground shaft mines of the earlier coal boom. Though coal mining no longer plays a large part in the economy of Massillon, during the late 19th century it was responsible for the growth of the city and the economic success of many. Mining continues in Stark County today producing about 338,000 tons of coal annually according to the Ohio Coal Association.


Major Leaders of the Massillon Coal Industry


J.P. Burton

Businessman J.P. Burton made his fortune in part working in the Massillon coal industry– raised a Quaker in eastern Pennsylvania, after the Civil War, he moved to Massillon and opened the Burton Furnace Company, later known as the Massillon Furnace. He began manufacturing pig iron. Burton later founded the Ridgeway Burton Company in partnership with Thomas Ridgeway, and opened a number of coal mines in the Massillon area, primarily in North Lawrence. Later moving operations to Cleveland, Burton continued to mine, process and ship coal from the Massillon vein for a number of years, shipping it along the Massillon & Cleveland Railroad to be distributed throughout the region via shipment on the Great Lakes.

Image at left: J.P. Burton, c.1880, Collection Massillon Museum (76.68.1.1)


Anthony Howells (1832-1915)

Perhaps more widely known for his political career, eventual Ohio State Treasurer and Senator Anthony Howells was responsible for much of the growth of the Massillon coal industry. After coming to Ohio from Wales, Howells worked as a coal miner and eventually saved enough to open a dry goods store. Following his success in the mercantile business, Howells invested in Massillon coal mines, opening 12 across four decades. The Howells Coal Co. in Massillon eventually employed over 600 men.

For more information on Anthony Howells, click here.

Image at left: engraved by Western Biographical Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio - (1904) Old Landmarks of Canton and Stark County, Ohio, Logansport, Indiana: B F Brown, p. 396 OCLC: 79257924.


John G. Warwick (1830-1892)

Having already become a prominent Massillon businessman through his work in the mercantile, flour milling, and railroad businesses, Irishman John G. Warwick developed several coal mining operations in the 1870s. Some of Warwick’s mines turned out upwards of 500 tons of coal per day. He is noted for continuing to allow his mine employees to use credit in his stores even when they were on strike. Warwick later ran for political office, and was elected lieutenant Governor of Ohio in 1883 – many assert his victory came from the support of his workers.

For more information on John G. Warwick, click here.

Image at left: Engraved by Chapman Brothers - (1892) Portrait and Biographical Record of Stark County, Ohio, Chicago: Chapman Brothers, p. 116

 

 


Massillon Coal Company Highlights

Blaine Mine & Taggart Coal Co.

The Blaine mine, named after James G. Blaine, was the site of one of the earliest commercial mining operations in Massillon. It was established in 1869 by Benjamin Fulton of Canal Fulton. His son-in-law, I.M. Taggart, inherited his father-in-law’s coal interests, including the Blaine Mine, and from them established the Taggart Coal Company.

Image at left: Taggart Mine #2, collection Massillon Museum


Burton Coal Company/ Ridgeway-Burton Company

JP Burton was responsible for the operation of a number of coal mines as President of the Ridgeway-Burton Company, which used the coal it mined to operate blast furnaces and smelt iron. The company primarily mined Massillon vein coal from underground mines in North Lawrence. The company eventually moved to Cleveland, where easy access to Lake Erie allowed for the shipment of coal and other products.


Massillon Coal and Iron Company

The Massillon Coal and Iron Company was one of the earliest coal operators in the state.  Formed in 1873 with a capital investment of $50,000. With 10 furnaces, the company output 425 tons of iron and coal per month by 1880 and employed 120 men.


Massillon City Coal Company

Organized in 1873, the Massillon City Coal Company was managed by J.F. Pocock of Massillon, who operated several mines in the surrounding area in conjunction with his father-in-law, Henry Foltz.


M.A Hanna Company

Mark Hanna of Cleveland married into the Rhodes family, who owned and operated a number of mines along the Massillon coal vein. His company become one of the largest coal mining companies in the state of Ohio. The M.A Hanna Company also had mining operations in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. At the turn of the century, many of the larger coal operations in Ohio, including those owned by J.G. Warwick, were sold to Hanna.


Audio Interviews Regarding Coal Mining in Massillon

  Click here to visit our oral history archive, for hours of interviews with coal miners, researchers, and coal dealers.

 


Maps of Coal Mines

 

Gallery of coal mine maps and railroad maps with coal information
(coming soon)

For a full Google Map of all Massillon mines, click here.

 


Lists of Coal Mines by Mine Name and Owner Name

Below is a list of other coal organizations in the Massillon vein, alphabetized by mine name, and by owner.

Alphabetized by Mine Name:

Mine Name

Owner

Opened

Closed

 Anderson

 Howells

 1890

 1896

 Beaver Run

 JG Warwick

 1882

 1888

 Brookfield 1

 Massillon Mining Co

 1888

 1891

 Brookfield 2

 Massillon Mining Co

 1900

 

 Brush Hill

 

 1898

 1900

 Camp

 Howells Coal Co

 1888

 1894

 Camp Creek

 Camp Creek CC

 1877

 1899

 Central

 Warwick/Sonhalt

 1887

 1892

 Central 2

 Warwick, Fox

 1898

 

 Chestnut Ridge

 EG Krause Co

 1901

 

 Clover Hill

 O&P Coal Co

 1887

 1899

 Crawford Shaft

 Crawford Coal Co

 1869

 1875

 Crystal Spring

 Crystal Springs

 1896

 

 Dalton

 Howells Coal Co

 1893

 1898

 Drake

 Drake Coal CC

 1898

 1900

 Drake Slope

 Drake CC

 1888

 1892

 Dublin

 CM Russell

 1885

 1888

 Elm Run 1

 Elm Run CC

 1882

 1889

 Elm Run 2

 Elm Run CC

 1890

 1897

 Elm Run 3

 Elm Run CC

 1897

 1897

 Elm Run 4

 Elm Run CC

 1899

 

 Eureka

 Massillon & Cleveland Coal Co

 1898

 

 Forest

 W&LE RR Co

 1889

 1894

 Fox

 Fox CC

 1901

 

 Fox Lake

 O&P Coal Co

 1881

1887

 Garfield

 J. Zerbe

 1880

1888

 Geis

 Albright

 1901

 

 Gold Standard

 Howell

 1897

 

 Grove

 Charles Clark

 1872

 1878

 Grove

 Massillon & Cleveland Coal Co

 1898

 1899

 Hernbrook

 JP Burton

 1885

 1900

 Horst

 Mullins & Co

 1900

 

 Justus

 Pocock, Howells

 1883

 1889

 Klondike

 Mullins & Co

 1895

 

 Lutz

 JG Warwick & Co

 1888

 1891

 Lutz

 JG Warwick

 1888

 1891

 Manchester

 J. Zerbe

 1900

 

 Maple Grove

 Mullins & Co

 1870

 1879

 Massillon City 1

 Foltz & Pocock

 1874

 1882

 Massillon City 2

 Pocock & Beidler

 1888

 1896

 Miller

 Howells Mining Co

 1892

 1896

 Millport

 Warwick & Jacob

 1890

 1897

 Minglewood

 Mullins & Co

 1880

 1900

 Mountain

 Rhodes & Co

 1872

 1882

 Northwestern Ohio

 W&LE RR Co

 1893

 1897

 North Massillon

 JP Burton

 1892

 1897

 North Massillon

 JP Burton

 1898

 

 Nutwood

 Nutwood

 1893

 1899

 Oakwood

 Rhodes

 1901

 

 Palermo

 JP Burton

 1884

 1893

 Pigeon Run 1

 Warwick, Streato

 1875

 1883

 Pigeon Run 2

 Howells

 1886

 1892

 Rose Hill

 Howells

 1884

 1887

 Rudy

 Sonhalter

 1901

 

 South Massillon

 JP Burton

 1893

 

 Sandbank

 JB Warwick

 1892

 

 Shull

 JP Burton

 1874

 1885

 Silver Creek

 

 

 

 Sippo

 CM Russell

 1878

 1886

 Stanwood

 EG Krause & Co

 1897

 

 Stark

 Davis & Souers

 1900

 

 Taggart

 Hatch & Taggart

 1901

 

 Tally-Ho

 O&P Coal Co

 1900

 

 Upper Pigeon

 JB Warwick

 1899

 

 Vatmer

 Remark Bros

 1868

 1879

 Warmington

 JG Warwick

 1873

 1888

 Warwick 2 (Egg?)

 Drake Coal Co

 1900

 

 Waterloo

 EG Krause

 1894

 1896

 West Lebanon

 Mullins &  Co

 1900

 

 West Massillon 1

 EG Krause & Co

 1883

 1888

 West Massillon 2

 EG Krause & Co

 1884

 1894

 White Oak

 JP Burton

 1902

 

 Willow Bank

 Rhodes

 1883

 1888

 Woodland

 Massillon & Cleveland Coal Co

 1895

 

 Young 1

 Pocock Coal Co

 1896

 

 Young 2

 Pocock

 1901

 

 Hi-Heat

 Hi-Heat Coal Co

 

 1947

 Miller

 Harmon Miller

 

 1923

 Sherman Hill

 Sherman Hill Coal co

 

 1923

 Singer Shaft 3

 Jas. Mullins

 

 1900

 Warwick Shaft

 Warwick Coal Co

 

 1891

 Massillon or Krause 3

 EG Krause & Co

 

 1896

 Newman Creek

 Newman’s Creek & Coal Co

 

 1905

 Haring-Wilson

 Haring-Wilson Coal Co

 

 1908

 Pocock 3

 Pocock Coal Co

 

 1910

 New Pocock

 Pocock Coal Co

 

 1912

 

Organized by Owner

Mine Name

Owner

Opened

Closed

 Brush Hill

 

 1898

 1900

 Silver Creek

 

 

 

 Geis

 Albright

 1901

 

 Camp Creek

 Camp Creek CC

 1877

 1899

 Grove

 Charles Clark

 1872

 1878

 Dublin

 CM Russell

 1885

 1888

 Sippo

 CM Russell

 1878

 1886

 Crawford Shaft

 Crawford Coal Co

 1869

 1875

 Crystal Spring

 Crystal Springs

 1896

 

 Stark

 Davis & Souers

 1900

 

 Drake Slope

 Drake CC

 1888

 1892

 Drake

 Drake Coal CC

 1898

 1900

 Warwick 2 (Egg?)

 Drake Coal Co

 1900

 

 Waterloo

 EG Krause

 1894

 1896

 Stanwood

 EG Krause & Co

 1897

 

 West Massillon 1

 EG Krause & Co

 1883

 1888

 West Massillon 2

 EG Krause & Co

 1884

 1894

 Massillon or Krause 3

 EG Krause & Co

 

 1896

 Chestnut Ridge

 EG Krause Co

 1901

 

 Elm Run 1

 Elm Run CC

 1882

 1889

 Elm Run 2

 Elm Run CC

 1890

 1897

 Elm Run 3

 Elm Run CC

 1897

 1897

 Elm Run 4

 Elm Run CC

 1899

 

 Massillon City 1

 Foltz & Pocock

 1874

 1882

 Fox

 Fox CC

 1901

 

 Haring-Wilson

 Haring-Wilson Coal Co

 

 1908

 Miller

 Harmon Miller

 

 1923

 Taggart

 Hatch & Taggart

 1901

 

 Hi-Heat

 Hi-Heat Coal Co

 

 1947

 Gold Standard

 Howell

 1897

 

 Anderson

 Howells

 1890

 1896

 Pigeon Run 2

 Howells

 1886

 1892

 Rose Hill

 Howells

 1884

 1887

 Camp

 Howells Coal Co

 1888

 1894

 Dalton

 Howells Coal Co

 1893

 1898

 Miller

 Howells Mining Co

 1892

 1896

 Garfield

 J. Zerbe

 1880

 1888

 Manchester

 J. Zerbe

 1900

 

 Singer Shaft 3

 Jas. Mullins

 

 1900

 Sandbank

 JB Warwick

 1892

 

 Upper Pigeon

 JB Warwick

 1899

 

 Beaver Run

 JG Warwick

 1882

 1888

 Lutz

 JG Warwick

 1888

 1891

 Warmington

 JG Warwick

 1873

 1888

 Lutz

 JG Warwick & Co

 1888

 1891

 Hernbrook

 JP Burton

 1885

 1900

 North Massillon

 JP Burton

 1892

 1897

 North Massillon

 JP Burton

 1898

 

 Palermo

 JP Burton

 1884

 1893

 South Massillon

 JP Burton

 1893

 

 Shull

 JP Burton

 1874

 1885

 White Oak

 JP Burton

 1902

 

 Brookfield 1

 Mass. Mining Co

 1888

 1891

 Brookfield 2

 Mass. Mining Co

 1900

 

 Eureka

 Massillon & Cleveland Coal Co

 1898

 

 Grove

 Massillon & Cleveland Coal Co

 1898

 1899

 Woodland

 Massillon & Cleveland Coal Co

 1895

 

 West Lebanon

 Mullins &  Co

 1900

 

 Horst

 Mullins & Co

 1900

 

 Klondike

 Mullins & Co

 1895

 

 Maple Grove

 Mullins & Co

 1870

 1879

 Minglewood

 Mullins & Co

 1880

 1900

 Newman Creek

 Newman’s Creek & Coal Co

 

 1905

 Nutwood

 Nutwood

 1893

 1899

 Clover Hill

 O&P Coal Co

 1887

 1899

 Fox Lake

 O&P Coal Co

 1881

 1887

 Tally-Ho

 O&P Coal Co

 1900

 

 Young 2

 Pocock

 1901

 

 Massillon City 2

 Pocock & Beidler

 1888

 1896

 Young 1

 Pocock Coal Co

 1896

 

 Pocock 3

 Pocock Coal Co

 

 1910

 New Pocock

 Pocock Coal Co

 

 1912

 Justus

 Pocock, Howells

 1883

 1889

 Vatmer

 Remark Bros

 1868

 1879

 Oakwood

 Rhodes

 1901

 

 Willow Bank

 Rhodes

 1883

 1888

 Mountain

 Rhodes & Co

 1872

 1882

 Sherman Hill

 Sherman Hill Coal co

 

 1923

 Rudy

 Sonhalter

 1901

 

 Forest

 W&LE RR Co

 1889

 1894

 Northwestern Ohio

 W&LE RR Co

 1893

 1897

 Millport

 Warwick & Jacob

 1890

 1897

 Warwick Shaft

 Warwick Coal Co

 

 1891

 Central 2

 Warwick, Fox

 1898

 

 Pigeon Run 1

 Warwick, Streato

 1875

 1883

 Central

 Warwick/Sonhalt

 1887

 1892

 

Sources:

Heald, E.T., The Stark County Story, Vol. 1-3, Canton, Ohio: Stark County Historical Society. 1940s-1950s.

Perrin, William Henry, History of Stark County, 1881

Vogt, Margy, Towpath to Towpath, 2002

http://www.ohiocoal.com/learning-center/history-coal-mining.php

http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/w/Coal_Mining

 
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