Sunday, April 21, 2019

1962 Rich Hill Mining Review (Frank E. Ralston History Not Taught in School )

1962 Rich Hill Mining Review  (Frank E. Ralston History Not Taught in School )

Rich Hill was founded on the discovery of a great  coal field in southern Bates County. For a number of years this county ranked number 1 in the production of coal within the state.The Digging of the Coal was hazardous occupation and hardly a went went by but what some sort of mining accident was reported over the Rich Hill field,from a service injury to death, so we list a few of the accidents of record . August 2, 1891, a Negro boy 14 years of age was killed by a fall of slate in Gulf mine no. 5 October 7, 1890.Thomas Colburtu and Rufus Whitten lost their lives by a blast at Pacific shaft No.2.In the 1881-1890 period each miner did their own shooting down of the coal.The noon hour was the usual time until the regular shot firers began doing the same work at night. Usually two miners constituted a team of shot firers.The Blast was lighted about the noon hour and the two miners started for high ground when the smoke became so dense that they lost their way and headed back to their room when the second shot went off. Mr. Whiten died shortly after being taken out of the mine and Mr. Colburt lived until late in the day, dying at his home on West Maple street.

A waterspout "hit"Rich Hill directly after midnight,July 20th, 1892.The accepted rainfall in 3 hours was 6 inches. It caught the two shots fires,Charles Miller and Carl Bowers in Hines Brothers slope behind a wall of water.The entombed miners were in the mine for  36 hours before being rescued. They found a dry room they had a light all the while and spread their midnight lunch out so that they were not starved. The Hines Brothers slope was sold to Martin & Gee about 1893, who operated it for a number of years, and was located on the Spencer land just south of the Brick and Tile Plant was located. At lest 500 men and boys worked around the clock with buckets in order to lower  the water enough so they could be reached by the rescue parties. On the afternoon of the 21st with men being crowed around the air shaft, an "Old Time" coal miner from the Sprague coal field, George Bowman, jumped down the air shaft, 25 feet to 5 feet of water. He had told the crowd,"I an not afraid to go down and get them"He was overpowered by other miners,brought  back and taken to town and put in jail until he sobered up. When the rescue party reached the men there was a great of joy from the people on top, including DR. W.H. Allen, who "stood by."  He had a quart of whiskey and several wool blankets. After giving them " a stiff drink."he wrapped in the blankets and they where taken home.

Hill coal fields of when the Pacific mine No. 15 located a mile and a half south of Town, began operation.For 15 years this was the greatest coal producer in the State employing at its peak 550 miners and the records still stands of producing 72 Cars of coals in 8 hour period taken from a shaft.To answer this question we have before us a record showing as follows : { The contact for the new switch from the Missouri Pacific railroad to the new fields of the Rich Hill Coal Mining Company,south of town has been let to, Meers, Hopkins and Harrison.They started work on the switch November  14,1890.The switch will be a little short of 2 miles in length. It leaves the main line about a quarter mile south of the Pacific depot and runs southwest across the lands of W.K. Royce and Robert Massie to the new shaft.}