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a most excellent opportunity for a still further advance. Twenty-two mines are being operated, of which five are shafts, six are slopes and 11 are strip-pits ; steam-power is used at six of the mines, horse-power at two, and hand-power at three.
The mines are ventilated by six fans and one furnace, and four have natural ventilation. The room and pillar system is exclusively practiced. The powder consumed the past year amounted to 16,523 kege, costing $32,769. The average number of men employed winter and summer was 550 miners and 186 other employes. There were three fatal and one non-fatal accidents.
The tonnage for the past year was 297,599, with an average price of 1.11 per ton, amounting to $330, 342. The Mo. Pac., M. K. & T. and K. C., Ft. S. & M. railroads, passing through the coal field, furnish good shipping facilities for the coal. Following is a description of the larger mines, with a statement showing their condition as they were found on dates of inspection.
CARBON CENTRE POSTOFFICE.
Very little mining is done at Carbon Centre at present.
Geo. Hugleton opened a drift from the bottom of a strip-pit, and the coal was brought out with mules and shipped to Kansas City over the K. C., Ft. S. & M. railroad. All work was confined to drawing pillars, at date of inspection. The mine is now abandoned.
Andy Scott is operating a drift mine, in fall and winter, to supply local trade.
Clay Lyons.—Drift opening. Mine located west of Carbon Centre. A few men are employed, to supply home trade. There are several other parties stripping coal in this locality for hoine consumption.
There are several mines operated in the vicinity of Mound ville, supplying the home demand. The coal is about 26 inches in thickness, worked on the room and pillar plan. The pay for mining is 75 cents per ton for clean coal.
Phil. W. Jones.-Shaft 30 feet deep; horse-power. Three men employed, and the product is consumed in the surrounding country.
W. D. Robinson.-Shaft 32 feet deep; horse:power. Six men em. ployed, and the mine only operated in the fall and winter. This is the most productive mine in this locality. The coal is consumed in the immediate vicinity.
Gil. Clark operates a mine ; shaft 15 feet deep, Two men employed. Coal consumed at Moundville.
Dave Perkins opened a new slope last fall, and has three men employed to supply home consumption.
Cooper & Son are operating some strip-pits north of Moundville, and hauling the coal to Nevada, where it is consumed.
There are other parties operating mines on a small scale at Bellamy Bronaugh, Ketterman, Milo, Sheldon, Schell City and Walker, by min. ing and stripping, to supply the home demand.
RICH HILL POSTOFFICE.
Arthur Coal Co.-S. J. Hudson, president, Frank Williams, superintendent. Mine situated 5 miles south of Rich Hill, near Arthur station. The covering overlying the coal at this mine is very shallow, which makes underground mining impractical, and the coal is obtained by stripping. Coal runs from 5 to 6 feet in thickness, and is hauled on a tram-road for over a mile, loaded on cars and shipped to market over the Mo. Pac. railroad.
Bedford Coal Co, Thos. McCombs, supt.-Mine located near Bedford, four miles south of Rich Hill. Shaft 45 feet deep and equipped
. with good machinery. Ventilation is produced by a 10-foot fan, which was causing a sufficient amount of air to circulate around the workings. This is a new mine, sunk in the summer of 1893; shipments began in September of the same year. The machinery and equipment is new. An escape-shaft has been sunk and partitioned off into two compartments, one for the air to travel and a stairway built in the other for the men to travel in and out of the mine. Coal varies from 34 to 4 feet in thickness, and is worked on the pillar and room plan, and 50 cents per ton is paid for mining unscreened coal. Employment is given to about 50 men. A switch has been built to the mine, by the Mo. Pac. R. R. company, giving it a shipping connection over that railroad.
Central Coal and Coke Co., John Perry, general manager, and David Mackie, general superintendent.—This company owns two mines in this county ; but only one of them has of late been operated.
Mine No. 7.-J. H. Williams, foreman. Mine located about three and one-half miles south of Rich Hill and about a mile west of Bedford ; connected with the Missouri Pacific railroad by a switch. Shaft 140 feet deep; equipped with firstclass machinery. This mine is one of the large coal producers of the state, and its output is exceeded only by Mine No. 15 of the Rich Hill Coal Co. Three inspections have been made of this mine during the past year. First inspection was made October 6, and mine found in very good condition ; the fan was making 76 revolutions per minute, and was removing 34,800 cubic feet of air in same time. This volume of air is circulating through the workings in one undivided current, which method, in view of the much improved modern methods employed in ventilating mines, may be classed as out of date and behind the times. The amount of air traveling through the mine was found above the requirements of law, and at no place was any deficiency found. Yet, when the air bas to travel through airways for thousands of feet, where the decay of material is constantly going on, and the air coming in contact with the organic matter thus thrown off, renders it unfit to inhale. I cannot too strongly condemn the method of ventilating large and extensive mines with the one current of air.
Second inspection was made January 10th, and the mine found in good condition. All of the work on the north side was confined to drawing back pillars, and that part of the mine will soon be abandoned. Third inspection was made May 10th, and the ventilation was found above the requirements of the law, and the safety appliances in good repair. A careful examination was made of all of the abandoned workings on each inspection, and the mine was found clear of any gas, and a current of air found traveling through all the old workings. Shot-firers are employed by the company, and no shot is allowed to be tired until all the miners have retired from the mine. Gas men are also employed to go around the workings every morning to see that the mine is safe for the miners to enter. The coal varies from 3 to 5 feet in thickness, and is worked on the pillar and room plan, the company paying 50 cents per ton for mining unscreened coal. The mine gives employment to 175 men, and has an output of 1000 tons daily. The coal is consumed at Kansas City and points north and west.
Mine No. 8, John Mackie, foreman.—This mine is located about a mile south of No. 7, and is equipped with first-class machinery, but unfortunately the shaft was sunk where the coal was faulty and irregular, and very little mining has been done at this mine during the past year. During the month of February the mine closed down temporarily.
Rich Hill Coal Company.—This company operates two mines in this county, under the same management as that of the mines of Bates county. Both are new mines, and are working the same seam of coal as that worked in the other mines of this company, in the same locality.
Mine No. 16.-Joe Davidson, foreman; mine located four miles south of Rich Hill, near Bedford station; slope opening, and the product is brought to the surface by steam power. On my first visit to this mine, October 10, I found it idle, owing to the plant having been burned down a few days before ; hence no inspection was made. I again visited and made an inspection of the mine January 8, and found it in good condition ; ventilation was produced by a 10-foot fan, which
was making 95 revolutions per minute, and removing 35,915 cubic feet of air in same time. This entire volume of air was traveling around the workings in one undivided current, but preparations were being made to erect overcasts, and split it into separate divisions.
The coal runs from 3} to 5 feet in thickness, and more regular than found on former inspections; it also runs level and the mine may be considered a good one. It is worked on the room and pillar plan, and 50 cents per ton is paid for mining unscreened coal. The mine gives employment to about 100 men and boys. The product is shipped to market over the Mo. Pac. R. R.
Mine No. 17, Alex McKippan, foreman.—This is a shaft 125 feet deep, equipped with good machinery. First inspection of this mine was made October 6, and was found in good condition, with the reqnirements of the law closely observed. On this inspection the fan was located on top of an air-chamber, partitioned off at one end of hoisting-shaft. It was giving satisfaction, as the air was circulating through the workings in adequate quantity. An escapement-shaft was found in process of construction. January 15, I again inspected the mine, at which time I found the escapement shaft completed, with a partition in it, dividing it into two compartments, in one of which a stairway had been built for the ingress and egress of the miners; while the other compartment was reserved for the air, to which point the fan had been removed. The fan is 15 feet in diameter, and at the time of my visit was making 60 revolutions per minute and was removing 41,385 cubic feet of air in same time. This volume of air is divided into 3 splits; the main current travels the east and west entries, and divide to the north and south, returning to the fan over an air-crossing.
May 11 I made another inspection, and found the mine in first-class condition, with the machinery, ropes, cages and safety-catches in good repair. This is a well-equipped mine, opened out practically, and cal. culated to be a large producer, and in fact, has a large outpit now for a new mine, but unfortunately for the miners as well as the company, the coal is faulty and irregular, which rather limits the capacity of the mine. Coal runs from 3 to 6 feet in thickness, and is worked on the room and pillar plan. Employment is given to 125 men and boys. The product is shipped over the Mo. Pac. railroad to Kansas City and points west and northwest.
Vernon County Coal Co.-H. Wise, superintendent. Mine situated 3} miles south of Rich Hill, and connected by a switch with the Mo. Pac. railroad. Siope opening, and operated by steam-power. Ventilation is produced by a 10-foot fan, and the mine is well ventilated.
First inspection was made October 7, and the mine found in very fair condition.
January 8 another inspection was made, when the ventilation was found up to the requirements of the law.
Another inspection was made May 10, when the fan was found running 90 revolutions per minute, and removing 23,540 cnbic feet of air in same length of time. This volume of air was circulated around the workings, in one undivided current, which system is as old as the coal itself, and cannot be too strongly condemned as impractical in the light of modern methods, and unworthy of any mine boss or superin. tendent to practice. Some gas is thrown off in the north entry, and the company has been notified to employ gasmen to go around the mine every morning and see tbat the same is safe before the miners be allowed to enter it; also, that it must employ shot-firers, to fire all shots after the miners retire from the mine. The company has also been notified to provide a safer way for the men to travel in and out of the mine. Coal from four to five feet in thickness, and worked on the double-entry room and pillar plan. Employment is given to about 90 men, and 50 cents per ton is paid for unscreened coal.