A.D. Robertson, Albert F. Holden, Amherst Coal Company, Appalachia, Big Creek Coal Company, Blair Mountain, Boone County Coal Company, Buffalo Creek, Buffalo Creek Coal and Coke Company, Buskirk Hotel, Clothier, coal, Cole and Crane Company, Cora Coal Company, Dobra, Draper Coal Company, engineer, G.W. Robertson, Gay Coal and Coke Company, Gay Coal Company, George M. Jones, Guyan Valley Coal Operators Association, Harry S. Gay, Herbert Jones, history, Holden, Huddleston Coal Company, Illinois, Island Creek Coal Company, John B. Wilkinson, John Laing, Logan County, Logan County Coal Operators Association, Madison, Main Island Creek Coal Company, Monclo Corporation, Monitor Coal Company, Moses Mounts, Mounts-White Fisher Company, Omar, Omar Mining Company, Pennsylvania, Peru, Princess Coal Company, Shamokin, Sharples, Stone Branch Coal Company, U.S. Coal and Oil Company, Vicie Nighbert, Virginia-Buffalo Company, West Virginia, West Virginia Coal and Coke, Wheeling-Pittsburgh Coal Company, Wilkinson, William H. Coolidge, William J. Clothier, Yuma Coal and Coke Company
What follows are brief notes from a forgotten source regarding early coal mines in Logan County, WV. Each of these companies and their communities have storied histories.
Gay Coal and Coke (organized in 1903)
Soon after 1900, Harry S. Gay, a mining engineer, came from Shamokin, PA, to observe the Logan coal fields. He stayed at the Buskirk Hotel. With money from friends A.D. and G.W. Robertson, he leased 800 acres from Moses Mounts of the Mounts-White Fisher Company for $20,000. G.W. Robertson was president of Gay Coal and Coke, while Gay was its secretary-treasurer. The company opened the Number One mine in the spring of 1903.
Monitor Coal Company (organized in 1904)
Monitor Coal Co. was organized in 1904 on the land of John B. Wilkinson. The accompanying town was named Wilkinson. Monitor merged with Yuma Coal and Coke Co. in 1935. In 1942, Wilkinson consisted of 166 company-owned houses. The mines eventually played out and real estate was sold through Monclo Corporation.
In 1905, seven coal companies existed in Logan County: Big Creek, Cora, Draper, Gay, Monitor, Stone Branch, and U.S. Coal and Oil Co. (Island Creek).
Island Creek Coal
Island Creek Coal also came to Logan during that time and created Holden. About 1902, William H. Coolidge and Albert F. Holden bought land from Vicie Nighbert. In early 1905, they established Island Creek Coal Sales Co. Holden was built by 1912.
Yuma Coal and Coke Company
Organized in 1905 by the same Pennsylvania interests behind Monitor Coal and Coke Co., Yuma Coal merged with Monitor in 1935.
In 1910, seventeen coal companies existed in Logan County.
Boone County Coal Company (organized in 1911)
Organized in 1911, the Boone County Coal Co. was headquartered at Clothier. William J. Clothier served as its first president. Its buildings burned and new buildings were erected at Sharples. The company held 30,000 acres just above Madison and about 2000 of it came into Logan to the top of Blair Mountain. The company had stores at Clothier, Sharples, Monclo, and Dobra.
Amherst Coal Company
In 1911, George M. Jones and his brother Herbert became interested in the Logan field. They leased 1300 acres on Buffalo Creek and organized Amherst Coal Company in January of 1912. In 1916, the company purchased the Virginia-Buffalo Company and the Huddleston Coal Company. It later purchased Buffalo Creek Coal and Coke Company.
Main Island Creek
In 1913, John Laing leased 30,000 acres in Omar from Cole and Crane Company of Peru, Illinois. Mr. Laing was the first president of the company. Later, West Virginia Coal and Coke, the Omar Mining Company, and Wheeling-Pittsburgh Coal Company mined this land.
In 1913, the Guyan Valley Coal Operators Association organized. In 1918, it became known as the Logan County Coal Operators Association. (For more on the association, follow this link: http://www.wvculture.org/history/ms90-82.html.)
In 1920, over seventy coal companies existed in Logan County (most were small and few survived).
By 1960, there were about fifty coal companies in Logan County; four coal companies accounted for about eighty percent of production. The four companies were Island Creek, Amherst, Omar, and Princess.