Appalachia, Boston, Cincinnati, coal, F.W. Batcheler, history, Holden, Huntington, Island Creek, Island Creek Coal Company, James D. Francis, Kentucky, Logan, Logan Banner, New York, Norfolk and Western Railroad, Ohio, Pine Creek, Pond Creek, R.S. McVey, Thomas B. Davis, West Virginia
From the Logan Banner of Logan, WV, comes this story titled “Boston Coal Men Pleased with Island Creek Development–New Town of Pine Creek Planned For,” published on October 25, 1927:
BOSTON COAL MEN PLEASED WITH ISLAND CREEK DEVELOPMENT–NEW TOWN OF PINE CREEK PLANNED FOR
Wish that more of the men at Boston, who talk about “mining camps” could come to West Virginia and see the flourishing cities and towns which dot the coal fields and ride over the hard roads which connect them was expressed Friday by F.W. Batcheler of Boston, treasurer of the Island Creek Coal Company. Mr. Batcheler, for 25 years in his present capacity, had just arrived in Huntington after his first visit to his company’s properties in Logan county and on Pond Creek in Kentucky. He said frankly that the experience had been a revelation to him, familiar as he already was in theory with the activities of his and other companies in these fields, reports the Herald-Dispatch.
Thomas B. Davis of New York, the Island Creek president, who has observed personally the development of the coal fields, was no less enthusiastic than Mr. Batcheler in his comment off the changes which have been wrought since his first visit to Island Creek.
“At first,” he said, “we had to go up the Norfolk & Western, using an accommodation train, and go across the mountains on horseback. Now we can inspect both Pond Creek and Island Creek properties in less time than it took them to get into the field.”
His enthusiasm and that of his fellow travelers was heightened by the fact that the party came to Huntington from Holden, by automobile, in two hours and twenty minutes.
With the president and Mr. Batcheler were R.S. McVey of Cincinnati, vice president in charge of sales, and James D. Francis of Huntington, vice president. Other members of the sales force took part in the inspection visit to the fields.
President Davis spoke in an optimistic strain of business conditions, which he feels are going to continue good despite a “let down” tendency now manifest.
“We can’t go at top speed all the time,” was his comment.
One of the chief points of interest to the inspection party while in Logan was operation No. 22, a new shaft mine which is being opened by the Island Creek company at an outlay of several million dollars.
15-Foot Seam at No. 22
“The shafts are down,” Mr. Davis said, “and we have found a 15-foot seam of coal as good as any found anywhere. The hoists are being raised and the first houses are being built.”
The preliminary housing in the new town of Pine Creek will include about forty buildings. The complete program, the officials explain, includes 600 houses to care for a population of 3,500. To reach this operation a railroad extension was built and a hard road, running for much of the seven-mile distance, was built by the company to connect Pine Creek with Holden.