MORGAN COUNTY, TENNESSEE
MINES, MINE DISASTERS AND OIL WELLS
Information gleaned from past issues of the
MORGAN COUNTY PRESS AND MORGAN COUNTY NEWS
A LINK to HISTORY OF THE COAL CREEK WATERSHED
a page with a lot of information about different mines and mine disasters
also some photos of various places in the area
Twelve miners were killed in an explosion of mine #3 of the Dar Dour Coal & Coke Co.
at Catoosa. Seventy Five men were in the mines. All escaped except those killed outright.
A new coal mine enterprise has been launched at Coalfield. H. B. Bowling & Co. have
leased the J. B. Webster mines and will begin operations as soon as weather permits.
James T. BUCHANAN, a miner about 30 years of age from Dayton was killed in the
Conger Mines Wednesday by falling slate. He had worked here only two days. The bosy
was prepared for burial and sent to Dayton for interment. He leaves a wife and two
Mr. R. A. DAVIS, Clerk and Master of the Chancery Court went over to Petros
Saturday and sold the property of the Petros Coal & Mining Co. under a decree issued
by the court. The property brought $5000 and was purchased by James E. RHODES,
trustee. One fifth of the purchase price was paid into court at the close of the sale. This is
a new mine with fine steam coal.
The Fodder Stack and Coal Company was organized at Petros Monday for the
purpose of taking over the property of the Petros Coal Mining Company, purchased bat
the Court sale last week by J.E. RHODES, Trustee. The company was organized with
J.E. RHODES President, and general manager, J. M. DAVIS vice president, Frank
SCHUBERT treasurer and C.H. DAVIS secretary. The mine will be operated under the
management of J. E. RHODES with A. W. EVANS as mine supt. This is practically a new
mine and some fine rich veins have been opened. The present output is seven cars per day
which will be materially increased in the near future.
October 12, 1916
Squire ADCOCK’S court was the scene Tuesday of a very exciting lawsuit, which as to
nature is perhaps not duplicated in the court procedure of the county. Harry GOUGE,
who lives near here, was arraigned on the charge of a very grave statutory offence. The
alleged victim and accuser was little miss Gertrude McDANIEL, age 13 years. The crime
is said to have been committed Saturday evening week near the Prudential Mines.
Gouge was arrested by Constable W.H. WARD and brought before Equires ADCOCK
and WEBSTER who after hearing the evidence of the little girl and Gouge’s father,
committed the accused to jail until the next term of Circuit Court at Wartburg. The State
was represented by Harvey Ward and the defendent by J.M. DAVIS and C.C.JACKSON
December 11th term of Criminal and Law Court:
State vs. HarveyGouch, rape, acquitted of rape and jung jury on age of consent.
(Morgan County Press, 12/21/1916)
October 16, 1916
The strike of the miners at the Coalfield Coal Co. Mines was settled satisfactorily top
the miners, all their demands being granted. They now get 45 and 50 cents per ton instead
of 40 cents as hertofore.
October 19, 1916
The Barbour Coal & Coke Co. are opening three new mines between here and Nemo.
They are also building two new camps to accomodate the miners. The mines are off the
line of the M & F RR and the Railroad company have quite a large crew at work grading
branch lines out to the mines.
November 2, 1916
Petition in bankruptcy was filed in the United States District Court at Knoxville,
October 26, 1916, by the Petros Coal Company. The unsecured indebtedness was
reported at $36,230.85, with assets orf $31,377. Of the indebtedness, $32,000 is reported
as due. Henry M WINSLOW, treasurer, said to represent money loaned. The company’s
plant is located at Petros.
W.H. Anderson of the 6th District of Morgan County was in Sunbright on Monday of
the week and informed your correspondent that he had located a large lake of oil
underlying his farm and adjoining property. He asserts the lake is from four to six feet
deep and over half a mile square and lies only 417 feet below the surface. This property
joins the Boyl (Boyle?) farm recently purchased by Judge Bales and others of Jefferson
City and lays about five miles from Sunbright.
A MINE DISASTER
ALMOST AT OUR DOOR
Eleven Miners Killed at Catoosa
As we go to press a report has reached us of one of the most horrible
calamities that has ever happened in Morgan County at Catoosa.
An explosion in the Coal mines at that place occured at 4 o’clock Wednesday
evening in which eleven miners were killed instantly. From what we can learn the
explosion was caused by a blast, causing a dust explosion.
The following is a list of those killed:
We were unable to learn the names of the other four.Dr. Byrd was summoned to
(Editor’s note: The following information has been submitted by Hugh Hyde: )
Information listing those killed in a Catoosa coal mine explosion in December of 1917.
The list only contained 7 names. I believe I have found the complete list of 11 miners
killed. I obtained the list from the Tennessee Death Index for 1914 - 1917.
W. W. Bryant............................age 52 ......Death Index Record # 557
O. J. Buttram .............................age 35.......Death Index Record # 562
Will Carter..................................age 47.......Death Index Record # 560
(My Maternal Grandfather)
Clarence Cecil Daugherty .......age 21..... Death Index Recor # 569
Ed East........................................age 26......Death Index Record # 564
Joe Hester..................................age 38......Death Index Record # 561
Mat Hester................................age 40.......Death Index Record # 567
Alex Mann.................................age not given....Death Index Record # 410
Chas Monday............................age 30.....Death Index Record # 563
Robert Moore............................age 30......Death Index Record # 440
Matt Mullins..............................age 30.....Death Index Record # 558
(comments and additions welcome)
According to Mr. Edgar Cheeley, Mine Supt., the Mallan-Ellison Coal Corp. will
suspend operation Dec. 31, 1954.
This is Morgan County’s largest industry and according to Mr. Cheeley, no plans to
continue operation have been made. At peak employment , the mine worked around 157
men and had an annual payroll of about $750,000.00. The mines are located at the head
of Emory River in the Ninth Civil District of Morgan County. Mr. Cheeley stated that if
they could just get fifty cents more on the ton, they could still operate.
[Morgan County News dated, 12/23/1954]
June 29, 1961
TWO MORGAN COUNTY MINERS INJURED
IN CAVE-IN OF FORK MOUNTAIN MINE
1 MINER STILL EMTOMBED
RESCUE WORK CONTINUES
Three of the eight man crew, THURMAN CARROLL, BILL ROSE and GEO. E. ERWIN who with his father, RAYMOND ERWIN, operated the mine, escaped with only minor injuries, and two, CLAUDE WOODS and his son, ROBERT WOODS, were rescued.
CLAUDE WOODS, 46 received a pelvic injury and his son ROBERT, age 19, could be rescued only after his right arm had been amputated.
The bodies of Charles Kennedy, 28 and Herley Carroll, 18 were later recovered. The body of Charles Seiber was recovered about 8 days later.
A link to a complete book-on line
SEVENTY YEARS IN THE COAL MINES
By Phillip Francis
An autobiography about my great grandfather's life in and around Jellico, LaFollette, and Knoxville and includes a description of entering the Fraterville Mine following the disastrous explosion of 1902. I would love to hear from people who find that one or more of their ancestors is mentioned in the book.
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