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State Line shaft-S. H. Lanyon, owner. This is the mine which was formerly operated by C. H. Morgan. It is located one mile southwest of Minden, and connected with the Kansas City, Fort Smith & Memphis railroad. Shaft 45 feet deep, and operated by steam-power. Ventilation is furnished by a 10-foot fan, which was expending con siderable power and giving very poor results, owing to the poor construction of the fan, and the small contracted airways. On first visit to the mine, October 10th, it was full of water. May 14th I visited the mine again, and made a careful examination, and found deficiency in the ventilation, in all parts; in fact, there was no air in the mine. Roadways wet and muddy, and the mine in poor condition. Instructions were given to the company to sink another air-shaft, at face of workings, or clean up the airways. The mine was operated on this date by Miller Bros., who had leased it from the owner.
Coal about 3 feet thick, and worked on the pillar and room plan. Fifty (50) cents per ton is paid for mining run, of mine. Employment is given to about 25 men. Coal shipped to points north and south.
The Sunshine mine is located near Minden, connected with the K. C., Ft. S. & M. railroad. Shaft 45 feet deep; steam-power. This mine was formerly operated by the Wear Coal Co., but in the summer of 1893 they moved the machinery and abandoned the mines, but in November of the same year another party took charge of the mine, built a pit-head, put in machinery, and is operating the same at present. Ventilation is produced by a fire-basket, which was inadequate to properly ventilate the mine, and a furnace will be built. Coal is 3 feet thick, worked on the room and pillar method. About 15 men employed. Coal shipped to Kansas City and points south.
Wear Coal Co.-A. B. Kirkwood, superintendent. Mine located at Vernon station, 3 miles north of Minden, connected with the K. C., Ft. S & M. railroad. Shaft 45 feet deep; equipped with good machinery for hoisting, draining and ventilation. This is a new mine, sunk in September, 1893. The machinery, pit-head and houses were moved from the Sunshine mine, west of Minden, and put up at this mine. A careful inspection was made of the mine May 15, and it was found in good condition. The ventilation, which is produced by a 10-foot fan: is split at shaft bottom to east and west sides, and is conducted to the north and south entries, circulating a good current of air to all the working places. An escapement-shaft has been sunk and partitioned into two compartments, one for the air to travel and a stairway erected in the other for the men to travel in and out of the mine, as no one is allowed to ride on the cages. Coal about 3 feet thick; worked on the room and pillar plan. Fifty (50) cents per ton is paid for mining un. screened coal. Shot-firers are employed here to fire all shots after the miners retire from the mine. Employment is given to about 75 men. Coal shipped to Kansas City and other points.
Jake Arnel is stripping coal near Minden to supply the local demand.
Frank Gray operates a strip-pit in same locality.
M. Short is operating a mine near Minden. Shaft 30 feet deep; horse-power. Coal consumed in the vicinity.
As the covering over the coal is so shallow, it is not practical to mine the same, and during the fall and winter the farmers turn in and scrape off the dirt and take out the coal and ship it to market.
BA L'ES COUNTY.
Production, 291,271 tons. The causes leading to the large falling off of the coal product in this State in the aggregate, while directly traceable in most of the coal producing counties to the strikes and general stagnation of business, cannot be attributed as the sole cause of the large decrease in Bates county. The causes referred to had their influence, but the main cause in this county is attributable more largely to the fact that two of the largest coal companies in the State, having exhausted the coal on the land located within the limits of the county, have opened new mines in the same coal-field, in the immediate vicinity of Rich Hill; but, unfortunately for Bates county, just far enough away to cross the line and locate the new mines in Vernon county. This county, during the year ending Jane 30, 1886, produced 729,633 tons of coal, and held the lead of all the counties until 1892, in which year Macon county took the lead and continues to hold it. As may be seen from the tables in this report, Bates county mined during the year 1893 (ending June 30), 627,514 tons, and for the year 1894, ending as above, only 291,271 tons were mined, showing a decrease or falling off in production amounting to 336,243 tons. As showing the relative decrease of this county, compared with the balance of the State, it will be found that the total decrease of the coal production amounts to 807,120 tons, and that the falling off in Bates county alone equals nearly 42 per cent of this large decrease. During the year 43 mines have been operated, of which 5 are shafts, 10 slopes, 3 drifts, and 25 are strip-pits. These mines are operated by the use of 6 steam plants, 11 horse-powers and 1 handpower. In all underground work the pillar and room system is universally practiced. Powder during the past year cost the miners $23,934, there having been 12,330 keg3 consumed. The number of men employed on an average winter and summer, was 550 miners and 238 other employes. The casualties of the past year were three fatal and three non-fatal accidents.
The coal product of this county is taken to market over the Missouri Pacific railroad, which passes through the center of the coal field.
Following is a description of the mines and a statement as to their conditions, as found at dates of inspection :
The coal in the vicinity of Amoret varies from 2 to 3 feet in thickness, and is overlaid with a soapstone roof. The shallowness of the covering over ihe coal makes impracticable any system of underground mining in this locality. At present, nearly all of the mines of this section in operation have been abandoned, and that, too, before one-tenth of the field was exhausted; however, stripping bas been resorted to by many of the former operators.
Black Diamond Coal Company operates a raine about half-way be. tween Amoret and Worland. The mine is entered through a drift; the coal is over 3 feet in thickness and is worked on the room and pillar plan. The product is hauled in wagons and loaded on cars, and shipped over the K. C., Ft. S. & M. railroad.
The coal in the vicinity of Foster is the same seam as that worked at Amoret, and is about 3 feet in thick.ess, with a very shallow covering, making underground mining impracticable as well as unprofitable. The coal is obtained by stripping off the overlying surface first, and then quarrying the coal ; it is then hauled in wagons to the railroad and shipped to market over the Mo. Pac. railroad.
There are between 15 and 20 strip-pits operated in the vicinity of Foster, and the name and output of each and every mine will be found in the statistical table of this county.
Thos. Manchester & Son.-Mine located at Hume, and connected with the K. C., Ft. S. & M. railroad. Shaft 70 feet deep; horse-power. This is a new mine, sunk in the fall of 1893, and very little work had been done up to date of my visit, January 13th. Coal about 28 inches thick, worked on the room and pillar plan; and from 6 to 10 men employed.
The following named parties operate strip-pits north of Hame, and haul the coal to the railroad, and ship it to Kansas City and other points : E. H. Thurman, Deering & Johnson, Horton & Davies and W. S. Shaw. Each of the above named parties are operating the same seam of coal.
RICH HILL POSTOFFICE.
Rich Hill is located near the southwest line of Bates county, and is noted for its large and valuable coal deposits. While coal has been mined for local purposes throughout Bates county for a great number of years, yet, about the year 1880, when capitalists entered the field and opened out extensive mines, and from that year to the 30th of June, 1894, my estimate of the product of the mines will justify me in the statement that 10,000,000 tons of coal have been taken from the bowels of tbe earth within a radius of 5 miles of Rich Hill. Her mines within the radius mentioned are as productive today as ever, and the coal field is almost inexhaustible.
Three inspections have been made of all the mines in the surroundings of Rich Hill during the past fiscal year, and the location and con. dition of each mine was found as follows:
Bruce and Mandville mine, located about four miles north of Rich Hill, and south of Gulf No. 5. Drift opening from the bottom of a strip-pit; ventilation is furnished by a small furnace, which is located on the outside of the mine, and exhausting through an 18-inch circular pipe. The ventilation was found deficient, and instructions were given to the company to sink another air-shaft and build another furnace. This mine is driven toward an old abandoned mine which is full of water, and the company were instructed to keep bore holes 20 feet ahead of all the other workings. Coal from four to four and one-half feet in thickness, and worked on the pillar and room plan. The ontput being hauled on a tram-road to a switch having connection with the K. C. Ft. S. & M. R. R., over which it is shipped and consumed at Kangas City: and points north and south.
S. W. Hopkins is operating a drift and a strip-pit, near Rich Hill. The coal is from 5 to 6 feet thick, and is hauled in wagons to railroad switch and is shipped to market over the Mo. Pac. R. R.
Martin, Gee & Ferguson mine, located northeast of Rich Hill, on the Spencer land, has a shipping connection with the Mo. Pac. R R. Coal is brought out through a drift, and mine ventilated by a small furnace. Coal about four and one half feet, and worked on the pillar and room plan. The mine is surrounded by old abandoned strip-pits, and has several outlets to same, and after every heavy rain the mine
fills with water and stops operations; employment is given to about 25 men.
Peter Pearson operates a strip-pit near Rich Hill; the coal is hauled to railroad switch in wagons, and shipped to market over the Mo. Pac. R. R.
Contract mine, operated by D. Rees, located 4 miles north of Rich Hill; slope opening, and the product is brought to the surface by steampower. Ventilation is produced by a 10-foot fan, which was giving good results. Coal about 4 feet thick, and worked on the pillar and room plan; from 40 to 50 men employed.
Rich Hill Coal and Mining company, Major R. M. Reavley, general manager, and J. T. Reavley, general superintendent. This is one of the largest coal companies in the State ; the output of its mines constitute one.sixth of the coal production of the State. All of its mines are worked on the double entry room and pillar method, and the coal is mined by blasting it off the solid. The coal varies in thickness froin 34 to 5 feet, and 50 cents per ton is paid for mining unscreened coal. Ventilation is produced by fans, and the mines are well ventilated and well managed. Three inspections were made of each mine during the past year, and their condition found as follows:
Mine No. 4 is located 3 miles northwest of Rich Hill; slope opening; the work during the past year has been confined to drawing pillars, and on my third visit to the mine, I found men taking out the track, and the mine is now abandoned.
Mine No. 13 has been worked out, and the houses and equipment of the same moved to the company's mines south of Rich Hill.
Mine No. 15, E. Allison, foreman.- Mine located 2 miles south of Rich Hill, and connected with the Mo. Pac. R. R. by a switch; shaft 106 feet deep, and equipped with first-class machinery for hoisting and ventilating. This is the largest coal producer as well as the best equipped mine in the State; in fact the output of this mine exceeds the coal productions of 20 counties, and the output would have been considerably larger if the demand for coal would have justified the mine being run to its full capacity. A 15-foot fan is furnishing the ventilation, which was making 75 revolutions per minute, and removing 56,350 cubic feet of air in same time, which was conducted around the working in 5 separate currents, and each current ventilating a different part of the mine; thence returning to the upcast over air-crossings. I made a careful examination of all the abandoned workings and found them clear of gas, and a good current of air traveling through. There were 245 men and boys employed at date of this visit, October 5th, and the mine had a daily output of 1400 tons of coal.