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Nigger Hollow Mine No. 2

The St. Louis and O'Fallon mines (unofficially the Nigger Hollow mines) were two coal mines located in St. Clair County, Illinois operated by the St. Louis & O'Fallon Coal Co.[1] Workers at the Nigger Hollow Mines helped start the United Mine Workers Strike in 1919.[2]

NameEdit

The official name of the mines were the St. Louis and O'Fallon mines; however, they were commonly called the Nigger Hollow mines.[3] There are a number of competing theories of how the Nigger Hollow mines received their names. One theory relates the naming of the mines to the East St. Louis Riot of 1917.[3] Another posits that miners were turned black by dust and the lack of a washhouse prior to 1915.[3] A third theory is that the name "Nigger Hollow" preceded the mine and referred to an African American community living outside of Belleville.[3] An 1899 coal report announced the sinking of shafts 1.5 miles northeast of Birkner, describing the location as Nigger Hollow.[3]

St. Louis and O'Fallon Mine No. 1Edit

St. Louis and O'Fallon mine operated from 1901 to October 1928.[4] From 1914–1916 and in 1925 the mine was idle.[4] The mine was an underground shaft mine with a depth of 127 feet (39 m).[4] The average coal seam was 6.2 feet (1.9 m) thick.[4]

St. Louis and O'Fallon Mine No. 2Edit

The shaft for St. Louis and O'Fallon mine No. 2 was sunk 2 miles East of the first mine and 4 miles east of French Village, Illinois.[5] The mine operated from 1905 to June 1954.[4] In addition to the official name of "St. Louis and O'Fallon Coal Mine No. 2", the mine was referred to as "Black Eagle mine".[3] The mine was an underground shaft mine with a depths ranging from 193 feet (59 m) to 212 feet (65 m).[4] The average coal seam was 6.5 feet (2.0 m) thick.[4]

On November 7, 1913, St. Louis and O'Fallon Mine No. 2 broke an Illinois coal-hoisting record.[6] On that day, the mine hoisted 4400 tons of coal in 7.75 hours.[6] The previous Illinois record was held by a Benld, Illinois mine that had hoisted 4356 tons in 8 hours.[6]

In 1916, over 600 people worked at this mine.[3]

StrikeEdit

During the week of July 4, 1919, countrywide strikes occurred to protest the incarceration of Thomas Mooney.[2] Thousands of miners near Belleville participated in the strike and had their pay docked due to stipulations in the union contract.[2] Workers at mine no. 2 initially requested that the fines for striking be returned; however, the operators of the mine refused.[2] A spontaneous meeting was held between the workers of that mine who drafted a petition for the local union chairman, which he refused, asking him to call a meeting of the local.[2]

DeathsEdit

Mining near the end of the 19th century and in the early 20th century was a very dangerous occupation. An average of 2,658 coal miners in the United States died every year between 1906 and 1910.[7] At least 28 people died in the St. Louis and O'Fallon mines:[1]

Name Date Age Mine Residence Occupation Cause of death Ref
Joseph Lesher November 5, 1902 18 1 Belleville Miner While drilling a misfired explosive charge, Lesher's drill contacted sulfer in the coal, which ignited the powder. He died from the impact of flying coal and burns.
Jos. Beattie May 20, 1903 32 1 Belleville Shooter Premature detonation of shot
Charles Shanual March 1, 1905 56 2 Belleville Miner Falling slate [8]: 326–27 
William Weiss March 28, 1905 32 1 Lenzburg Miner Falling slate [8]: 326–27 
James Harrison July 17, 1905 50 1 Belleville Miner Died 13 hours after being hit by falling slate. [9]: 315 
George Strebel September 17, 1905 45 1 Caseyville Miner Injuries received from falling rock on August 7, 1905 [9]: 315, 318 
Otto Heitman ca. May 1906 17 2 Belleville Driver Blood poisoning, three weeks after having his left leg broken by falling slate on April 17, 1906 [9]: 316, 318 
Louis Hartman April 28, 1906 28 Belleville Miner Falling coal [9]: 316 
Albert Herman November 5, 1906 18 1 Belleville Miner Falling clod [10]: 309 
Anton Tournelle[Note 1] January 26, 1907 35 2 Belleville Machine helper Falling slate [10]: 310–11 
Fred Raeber October 10, 1907 27 1 Belleville Miner Falling coal [11]: 327, 331 
John Rickert December 14, 1907 34 1 Belleville Miner Falling slate [11]: 328, 331 
George Ehret May 13, 1908 34 2 Belleville Miner Premature blast. Ehret was charging a hole which exploded early, flying shot from that charge severely bruised him. Nearby cartridges exploded severely burning him [11]: 328, 331 
Joseph Macke July 22, 1908 35 2 Belleville Miner Flying coal. Macke was working with Ehret on May 13, 1908. Coal flying from that blast hit Macke who died later of his injuries. [11]: 328–29, 331 
Wm. Lewis October 9, 1908 34 1 Caseyville Shot firer Had lit a shot in a cross cut which was being driven from room No. 20 to room No. 21; when walking up room 21 and when opposite the cross cut coming from room No. 20 the shot blew through the pillar killing him instantly. [12]: 348, 351 
Geo. Kelly January 8, 1909 36 2 Gillespie Machine Helper Crushed by 15 tons of coal in a room cave in [12]: 349, 351 
Philip Young April 5, 1909 58 2 Bellevillie Mine carpenter Falling slate. Young was knocking down cross bars in an abandoned room with Philip Herrman. Despite a warning from his partner not to knock the leg of one of the bars, Young proceeded thinking there was no danger. As the crossbar fell, loose slate fell. [12]: 350–51 
Fredrick Kunkel June 25, 1909 55 [Note 2] Belleville Miner Falling slate broke his neck while he was setting up support timber [12]: 350–51 
Henry D. Anderson December 27, 1910 65 1 Belleville Switchman Hit by empty cars [13]: 334 
Emil Miller March 6, 1912 30 1 French Village Miner Falling slate [14]: 346 
Louis Eichorn July 19, 1916 29 1 Belleville Miner Falling slate [15]: 225 
James Sullivan January 23, 1922 44 2 Machine Man Falling coal [16]: 187 

Geo. Kelly, a 36-year-old machine helper, was crushed by 15 tons of coal in a room cave in on January 8, 1909.[1] Charles T. Glasener, a 22-year-old driver from Tilden, was killed by pit cars on February 2, 1912.[1] Evan J. Edwards, a 50-year-old Belleville resident, was killed by falling coal on February 23, 1912.[1] He had three children. Joseph Bianjo, a 38-year-old Belleville resident, died on June 21, 1912 when he was hit by falling slate.[1] He was married and had three children.[1] John Mullitt, a Belleville resident, was killed by falling slate while loading a car on September 28, 1914.[1] He was married and had three children.[1] Frank DeLorme, a 39-year-old trip rider from Caseyville, died on March 5, 1915.[1] He had been riding in the front of a series of empty cars when he fell out; four cars passed over top of him.[1] William Bodman, a 53-year-old Belleville resident, was killed on October 27, 1915 by falling coal.[1] John Charlwood, a 27-year-old Belleville resident, was killed on December 29, 1915 by falling slate.[1] Frank Galbreath, a 33-year-old Belleville resident, was killed by falling slate on April 18, 1916.[1] He was married and had five children.[1] Henry Brod, a 45-year-old O'Fallon resident, was killed by falling clod on June 13, 1917.[1] He was married.[1] Frank Croch, a 40-year-old timberman from French Village, was killed by falling slate on January 24, 1918 while taking props out of an abandoned room.[1] He was married and had one child.[1] J William F. Albrecht, a 43-year-old resident of Collinsville, was killed on October 22, 1921 by flying coal from an exploded charge.[1] He was married and had one child.[1] Karadji, a 35-year-old East St. Louis resident, was killed by falling slate on January 18, 1924.[1] Henry Meyer, a 38-year-old machine man from Belleville, died when falling coal broke his neck on November 4, 1925.[1] He was single, but left a dependent mother.[1] James Lebruska, a 56-year-old East St. Louis resident, was killed by a falling clod on February 26, 1927.[1] He was married and had five children.[1] Matthew Falcetti, a 50-year-old Belleville resident, was killed by falling slate on February 7, 1928.[1] George Hacich, a 37-year-old East St. Louis resident, was killed on November 23, 1928 by falling coal.[1]

ReclamationEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Last name also listed as Fournelle
  2. ^ The source lists the death as occurring at St. Louis and O'Fallon No. 10 mine, which doesn't exist.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab Hinton, Wayne. "St. Clair County, Illinois Coal Mine Fatalities". Wayne's World of History and Genealogy. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d e Jeremy Brecher (1997). Strike!: Revised and Updated Edition. South End Press. pp. 146–152. ISBN 978-0-89608-569-5. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Carl R. Weinberg (April 28, 2005). Labor, Loyalty, & Rebellion: Southwestern Illinois Coal Miners And World War I. SIU Press. pp. 13–14, 92. ISBN 978-0-8093-2635-8. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Hinton, Wayne. "St. Clair County, Illinois Coal Mines". Wayne's World of History and Genealogy. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  5. ^ Annual Coal Report of Illinois 2004. Vol. 23. Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics. 1905.
  6. ^ a b c Coal Age. Vol. IV. McGraw-Hill. 1913. p. 750. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  7. ^ Adams, William W. (1929). "Coal Mining Fatalaties in the United States" (PDF). U.S. Department of Commerce. p. 2. Retrieved November 9, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Annual Coal Report of Illinois 1905. Vol. 24. Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics. 1906. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c d Annual Coal Report of Illinois 1906. Vol. 25. Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics. 1907. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  10. ^ a b Annual Coal Report of Illinois 1907. Vol. 26. Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics. 1908. Retrieved November 13, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d Anual Coal Report of Illinois 1908. Vol. 27. Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics. 1909. {{cite book}}: Text "accessdatNovember 13, 2012" ignored (help)
  12. ^ a b c d Annual Coal Report of Illinois 1909. Vol. 28. Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics. 1910. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  13. ^ Annual Coal Report of Illinois 1911. Vol. 30. State Mining Board. 1912. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  14. ^ Annual Coal Report of Illinois 1912. Vol. 31. State Mining Board. 1913. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  15. ^ Annual Coal Report of Illinois 1917. Vol. 36. Department of Mines and Minerals. 1917. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
  16. ^ Annual Coal Report of Illinois 1922. Vol. 41. Department of Mines and Minerals. 1922. Retrieved November 13, 2012.