Mining in the Minooka Quadrangle
Most of the Minooka Quadrangle is beyond the extent of the coal-bearing Pennsylvanian rocks. And the few mines in the quadrangle are confined to its southwestern corner. Two surface mines in the Lisbon Quadrangle to the west and only extend about 200 feet into the Minooka Quadrangle. The most recent surface mining in the Minooka Quadrangle ended in 1954.
The underground mining occurred earlier, all abandoned before 1934. According to Richard Patrick Joyce in Miners of the Prairie: Life & Labor in the Wilmington, Illinois Coal Field, 1866-1897 (1980), Micajah Adams dug two loads of coal at Aux Sable in 1839-1840, and took coal to Chicago. By 1857, at least six mines were said to have been operating in the Dresden and Morris areas, which were small local mines that stripped 7 to 15 feet of topsoil to reach the coal. The next known mine was shown on the 1874 Atlas of Grundy County, and two others were abandoned before 1919. The Colchester Coal was mined in this area, and was between 2 and 3 feet thick.