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The mines at Stahl are drift openings, and ventilation is furnished by the aid of furnaces at each mine. No. 1 is the most extensive mine, and is fairly ventilated ; but there is too much economy practiced here to consider the mines practically worked. The coal is from three to four feet thick, and worked on the room and pillar plan ; it is underlaid with good slate roof; mining is done by pick work, as no powder is used. The 'mines are dry and the coal runs level. It is worked double-room, about 40 feet wide, and road on each side, two men to each room. The price for mining is $1 a ton in winter and 80 cents in
A new air-shaft has been sunk on the north side of west entry, and is used as a downcast, which will give the men fresher air to breathe. The furnace will be moved and enlarged and the air will be divided into two parts—one current going around the north part of the work and another current to the south, and thence to the furnace. First inspection was made December 4; second, April 25, when there were about 60 and 30 men at work, respectively, on these dates.
Mine No. 2 was inspected on same dates. The thickness of the coal, mode of working and price paid for mining is the same as that of the other mine. The ventilation was found deficient in this mine on second inspection, but an air-course was nearly through at the time, which would improve it. This is a new mine opened out in the same hill the Ledford mine was located in, and the same seam worked. The coal is of a very fine quality, and is the same as that so extensively worked in Patman county, and throughout southern Iowa. The pro. duct of the mines is consumed by the railroad company at local towns along the line, and a large amount is shipped to Quincy. The same company was putting down a trial shaft at Stahl, at date of my last visit, and if coal is found in paying quantity, a shaft will be sunk at once and equipped with machinery. A new tipple has been built here and four new chutes to coal trains, and ten new houses for use of miners.
The Straup Bros. are sinking a shaft at Novinger, expecting to strike the same seam of coal as that at Danforth. The mine will be equipped with machinery. There are other mines in operation on Hazel creek, operating in the fall and winter to supply local demand. The coal at these mines is about four feet in thickness and of good quality, and will some day in the near future be worked more extensively than at present. The product is bauled now in wagons about eight miles, and consumed at Kirksville.
Production 43 910 tons.
Audrain is one of the few counties which xhow an increase in the outpat of coal during the past year. The county is all underlaid with the coal measures, and mining is carried on extensively at Farber, Laddonia, Martinsburg, Mexico and Vandalia. The same seam of coal is worked throughout the county, with the exception of the mine at Mexico, which is a pocket of coal recently found. It is 4feet in thick. ness and of very good quality for domestic purposes. Twelve mines were operated during the past year, descriptions of which are as follows:
FARBER POSTOFFICE. Farber Coal Company.-W. Bethel, superintendent; mine located at Farber; shaft 104 feet deep; steam plant; and connected with the main line of the C. & A. R. R. The mine was formeriy known as Sherman, Bethel & Smith; but in January, 1894, they reorganized into a joint-stock company under the above name. Two inspections have been made during the year; the first was on November 21, 1893, and second inspection was made March 29, 1894. On our second inspection we found that considerable improvement had been made since first visit. All of the entries had been made higher and widened out, and the airways cleaned. Ventilation is produced by a furnace, which was giving good results. Coal runs from 24 to 30 inches in thickness, overlaid with a good, strong, black slate, well adapted for the long.wall method of working, which is used; very little timber is required. Ropes, cages, safety-catches and gates in good repair; the product is consumed at local towns along the line of the railroad; from 15 to 25 men employed.
LADDONIA POSTOFFICE. Laddonia Coal Company.--0. Tarpin, superintendent; mine lo. cated at Laddonia; shaft 45 feet deep; horse power; coal 26 inches thick, and worked on the long-wall plan, employing from four to eight men in fall and winter, to supply local demand. The coal from this mine is consumed at Laddonia and the immediate surroundings.
C. P. Eastham operates a mine southeast of Laddonia; shaft 32 feet deep; horse-power; mine only operated in fall and winter, giving employment to a few men to supply the home trade.
A. Weber opened a new mine in the fall of 1893, shaft 40 feet deep; horse-power; coal 26 inches thick, and worked on the long-wall plan, giving employment to three men in fall and winter to supply the local demand. There are several others operating mines on a small scale in the surroundings of Laddonia to supply the local trade.
W. T. Taylor & Co. successors to Martinsburg Coal Co. since June 13, 1894.
Martinsburg Coal Company.-John Catlize, superintendent. Mine located } mile east of Martinsburg, and connected with the Wabash railroad; shaft 107 feet deep and equipped with very fair machinery for hoisting. Two inspections of this mine were made during the fiscal year. First inspection was made November 15, and the mine found in very fair condition, with ventilation up to the requirements of the law; but the cages were found without catches or covers, nor were there any gates around the shaft openings. The-escapement shaft, the sinking of which was commenced in August, 1893, was down 40 feet and stopped. Instructions were given to the company to resume work on the escape-shaft at once, and also to comply with other requirements of the law in the safety appliances.
March 26th I visited the mine again, and found that the cages had been supplied with safety-catches, but no bonnets had been put on and no work had been done on the escape-shaft since my former visit. I notified the company that the escape-shaft must be completed within sixty days, and other requirements of the law complied with or I would close the mine. June 14th, W. T. Taylor bought the mine, and notified tbis Department that the escape-shaft would be sunk at once. Ventilation was being produced by a little fire near the bottom of hoistingshaft and which would be dignified too much by calling it a furnace. Very little air was found in the mine and the airways too small in places. Instructions were given to have the airways cleaned and enlarged. Coal runs from 24 to 32 inches in thickness, and is worked on the longwall plan; from 25 to 40 men employed; coal consumed at local towns along the line of the railroad.
A very extensive pocket of coal was discovered one mile east of Mexico, in the summer of 1893, on the land of C. C. Davies. A shaft was sunk and struck coal at a depth of 42 feet. The coal is of a very good quality, clear of sulphur or pyrites, and an excellent coal for domestic purposes.
It will average 4 feet in thickness. The coal is underlaid with clay mining; proving, according to the theory of geology, that it is a native of its present location. The roof is a soapstone, rather soft, but easily secured by timber. I made a close observation of this coal deposit, and all the indications go to show that it is a very extensive pocket of coal.
The mine is only operated in a small way at present, but preparations ar: being made to work on a larger scale. From 10 to 15 men have been employed through the fall and winter, and the product finds a ready market at home, in Mexico and the immediate vicinity.
MT. CARMEL POSTOFFICE.
Omer Detienne is operating a mine at Mt. Carmel; shaft 32 feet deep; horse-power. This is the same seam of coal as that worked at Vandalia and other parts of the county, and is worked after the same method. Mine only operated in fall and winter to supply home trade.
Vandalia Coal company, Wm. Bevan, president.-Mine located one mile west of Vandalia, and connected with the Chicago & Alton railroad. Shaft 75 feet deep, and equipped with very good machinery. Ventilation produced by a 10-foot fan, which was giving good results. First inspection was made Nov. 18, and mine found in good condition, with a good current of air passing along the face of the workings. Second inspection was made March 28th, and I found that the require. ments of the law were closely observed and obeyed. Coal 30 inches thick, overlaid with strong black slate roof; well adapted for the longwall method of mining, which is used here. The mine is dry with good high roadways, and in good condition.
The product is consumed by the railroad company, which is taken out of the chutes erected at the mine to coal engines. From 50 to 60 men and boys employed; mining is paid for at the rate of 86 cents per top. Thos. Morgan, superintendent.
Audrain Manufacturing and Coal Company, C. Dixon, superinten. dent.--Mine located at Vandalia ; shaft 65 feet deep; steam power used for hoisting. Formerly this mine was owned and operated by the Audrain Brick and Manufacturing Company, but in July 1893, it was purchased by the Vandalia Coal Company, which company is operating the mine at present. Considerable improvement has been made inside and out at this mine since the present owners took charge; the old engine was taken out and a larger one put in its place; the old pithead was taken down and a new one erected, and a new engine house has also been built. All the entries have been made higher, timbered and cleaned, and the mine is in much better condition than formerly. The coal is 30 inches in thickness, overlaid with a good slate roof and worked on the long-wall-plan; 86 cents per ton paid for mining. The clay is worked in another part of the mine on the room and pillar system, leaving the coal for roof. Both coal and clay mines are ventilated by the same furnace, which was giving good results at both dates of inspection, November 18 and March 28. The coal is consumed at the mine for the manufacture of brick and other articles, and to supply the home trade. This 'plant gives employment to about 50 men and boys. Jacob Williams is superintendent of the mine.
Production, 55,767 tons. Coal is mined in nearly every township in this county, but only on a limited scale. The most extensive mines are located at Liberal, Minden and Vernon station. A very large portion of the coal mined in this county is obtained by stripping, underground mining being impractical owing to the shallowness of the covering. The output shows a decrease of 5534 tons as compared with the previous year, which is due to the recent strike of the miners. Fourteen mines were operated during the year, but most of them are small and only operated during the fall and winter to supply home demand. The product of the large mines is taken to market over the Missouri Pacific and Kansas City, Fort Smith & Memphis railway. Following is a description of the principal mines, with their sanitary condition, as found on dates of inspection:
LIBERAL POSTOFFICE. Betz Bros. are operating a mine at Liberal, connected with the K. C., Ft. S. & M. R. R. Drift opening and worked on the pillar and room plan. Coal 30 inches thick. The product is shipped to points north and consumed at towns along the line.
D. Cox, drift opening; operated in fall and winter to supply home demand.
Larry Bros. operate a mine near Liberal, on the Boulware land, to supply winter trade.
Hefton & Brown, drift opening; operated in fall and winter to supply home demand.
Fuller Coal Co. has opened a mine north of Liberal. Drift opening. The coal is hauled in wagons and loaded on cars at Liberal. Mine not running at date of my visit; hence, no inspection made.
Liberal Coal Co., J. G. Loddel manager. Mine located half mile south of Liberal and connected with the Missouri Pacific railway by a switch. Drift opening. What little air was in the mine was produced by the natural current, as no mechanical appliances have been put in here to assist ventilation. The mine was also wet, muddy, and in bad condition. The mine is entered in the side of a hill, and the coal deposit is small, and before the present report reaches the hands of its readers it will be worked out and abandoned.