Decatur Quadrangle


Mining in the Decatur Quadrangle

The Springfield Coal was mined in Decatur. Because of the depth (approximately 600 feet), mining began there later than in many other large towns in central Illinois. Western Coal Mining Company drilled for coal in 1874-75, but abandoned the attempt at 507 feet. The Citizens Association of Decatur organized and hired J. Edward Bering to make a second attempt, but unfortunately “quicksand” caused this boring to fail as well. A third bore hole was drilled a short distance from the first hole, north of the Wabash Railroad, and in January 1876, a minable seam was found 608 feet down. Two or three years later, the Decatur Coal Company sank a shaft immediately south of the second hole.

All three mines in Decatur worked in the early (pre-1960) longwall method, where all of the coal was removed and wooden cribs were constructed to support the roof behind the mining. Small portions were mined with the room and pillar method. Typical of the Springfield Coal, clay veins and horsebacks were common, but the coal balls found in the roof in the Decatur mines are not a regional feature. These attributes sometimes made mining the seam more expensive than in other areas. Shortly after World War II, mining in this area ceased.

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Coal Mines In Illinois Decatur Quadrangle

Mines that Appear on the Decatur Quadrangle

Unlocated Mines

Macon County

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