Mining in the Lacon Quadrangle
Most of the mines in Marshall County were small drift mines driven into the Danville Coal off the bluffs along the Illinois River. These were room and pillar mines that were often mined only in winter, and served local needs. Most of the mines worked the Danville Coal, which was generally between 3 and 4 feet thick. Depths ranged from as little as 10 feet to over 80 feet, depending on the distance into the hillside the mine extended.
Mining began in the Lacon Quadrangle in the 1850s, with small drifts for local use. Some of the coal was used to fire Colonel McClannahan’s tile factory, which operated from 1855 to 1857. A company was formed in the 1860s to mine and ship coal to Chicago, but a year’s trial showed that the company could not compete with the Streator shafts and closed down. Twice more, in the 1860s and 1870s, companies tried to open large mines to ship coal, even setting up a town named Grantville 2.5 miles south of Sparland, but they couldn’t sell the coal and were forced to close down. Even in the 1920s, the Hy Tek Brick Company found they could buy better coal from elsewhere more cheaply than they could mine local coal. Few mines operated here after 1940, until the last coal mines closed in 1951 (mine index 6057, the Wilson Brothers underground mine, and mine index 2746, Lopeman & Nighswonger).
There were over 160 mines listed in the Coal Reports that have unknown locations. Most of these were small drift mines that operated for a few years and produced only a few tons, but some were of significant size, and others operated for several years. Tracing the ownership of these mines was hindered by the Coal Report not listing mines producing less than 1,000 tons per year from 1930 to 1933, and not reporting change of ownership of local mines through most of the reporting years.
Map and Directory PDF Download
Mines that Appear on the Lacon Quadrangle
Pages in category "Lacon Quadrangle"
The following 49 pages are in this category, out of 49 total.