Mining in the Kewanee North Quadrangle
Coal has been mined near the town of Kewanee since prior to 1865, mostly in the Herrin seam. The Herrin Coal is about four feet thick in this area, and is exposed at the surface in many of the stream valleys. Many mining companies took advantage of the coal’s proximity to the surface and drove slope and drift mines into the coal from the surface. Most of the mines were small and operated only a few years. The Herrin coal in this area had many clay dikes (also known as “horsebacks”), sometimes in such profusion that mining was difficult or not profitable. Some mines also had water problems. P. F. Auer, the mining engineer who authored the Land Bank Report for Henry County, noted that many of the small mines were not operated during the summer and consequently filled with water, which caused the mine to be abandoned since it was less costly at the time to sink a new shaft than to repair the old workings in the fall when the time came to reopen the mine.
Factors such as these were impediments in attempting to trace the history of the mine ownership and production in the area around the town of Kewanee. Mine production figures may includes data from two or more actual mine locations, since the Annual Report of the Department of Mines and Minerals (source of production figures) did not always note that a new location was utilized. Few mine maps were available for this area.
The 1911 Atlas of Henry County showed the location of a few mines, but these locations are all we know of them. The first large mining company known is the Lathrop Coal and Mining Company, organized in 1869, and active in the northeast portion of Kewanee. The last of these mines, Mine No. 7, was reported abandoned in 1891 after the miners refused to work for the offered wages, but was re-opened as Kewanee Coal Company Shaft No. 7, the “Old Lathrop Mine”, until the coal was all “worked out” in 1898.
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Mines that Appear on the Kewanee North Quadrangle
Pages in category "Kewanee North Quadrangle"
The following 65 pages are in this category, out of 65 total.