A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by staff and students at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas.

1905 History of Crawford County Kansas



(By Fred Henney, Mining Editor of the Pittsburg Headlight.)

The mining history of Crawford county is really the history of Pittsburg, for with the sinking of the first coal shaft in the county, on the townsite of Pittsburg, in the spring of 1877, began the growth of the town, and with the growth of the mining industry in this county has likewise grown the center of the coal industry and the metropolis of the Missouri-Kansas coal district, Pittsburg.

But the coal industry of Crawford county dates back farther than the sinking of the first mine. For years before the first coal shaft was sunk coal was taken from the surface of the earth in this county. Before the Civil war coal was taken from strip and slope workings in the southeastern part of the county. At that time the nearest settlements were Fort Scott and Carthage, Missouri. Teamsters dug the coal from the outcroppings on the surface, and made a livelihood by hauling it across the prairies to Carthage or Fort Scott. One of these early coal drifts was opened up in the ravine east of the present location of the vitrified brick works in Pittsburg. Coal was also stripped from the surface in a crude manner by teamsters along the old military trail which ran along the state line south from Fort Scott through this county. The pioneer settlers who made a sparse living in this section before the war took coal from the outcroppings and traded it at Fort Scott and Carthage for groceries and supplies. When the Civil war broke out a good deal of coal was hauled by teamsters to the fort at Fort Scott for army use. Most of this was obtained from coal banks along Drywood and Bone creeks in the northern edge of the county.

A. J. Georgia, who was one of the first settlers on the townsite of Pittsburg, located here in 1867, and is still a resident of Pittsburg. "When I first came here," said he, "I saw coal cropping out on both sides of a draw where the Granby switch of the Frisco now turns to enter the vitrified brick works. I was told that the settlers had been engaged for several years taking out coal and hauling to Carthage. Among those who were thus engaged were Frank Dosser, one of the first county commissioners, Marion Medlin, and a man named Daniels."

But so little attention was paid to the coal prospects in the county and so little did capitalists realize that there was a fortune awaiting development, that when the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad was built through the county, in the memorable race from Fort Scott south to the Indian lands, the railroad company really disregarded the coal. Although the railroad company owned nearly all of the land which later became the coal belt of the county, they did not appreciate what riches underlaid the land. It was true that they knew coal cropped out of the surface and had been removed from the surface for years, but an agent who was sent here to look into the mineral prospects, reported that the coal existed merely on the surface, and that there was no probability of mining ever being profitable. And the railroad company actually sold much of the land for a song to settlers, land which the successors of the railroad company were glad to buy back for $75 and $100 an acre, being then offered for sale for less than $5 an acre.

It was not long after the construction of the Gulf railroad through the county before a number of small coal companies were formed for the purpose of prospecting and mining coal from strip and slope banks along the railroad. It was not at first supposed that it would pay to sink a shaft. The coal could be taken from the surface too readily to make it profitable to go to the expense of sinking shafts. Girard had been laid out on the railroad survey, and it soon become the center of mining operations. Several coal companies opened headquarters in Girard, and coal was taken from the surface in strip and slope workings both north and south of Girard, along the railroad. Coal was also hauled to the railroad from the southeastern part of the county and loaded for shipment. At where Litchfield now stands strip and slope workings were opened up and quite a bit of coal removed and hauled to Girard, Cherokee, or elsewhere on the railroad for shipment.

The branch of Cow creek which flows along the south edge of Litchfield early became the scene of active coal operations, and on account of the coal which cropped out along the stream was early named Carbon creek.

Here was opened up the first mining camp of the county. No shafts were sunk at first, but several strip pits were opened, and from the strip pits slopes were run along the veins, and coal operations opened on a small scale. By 1877 perhaps one hundred miners were working along Carbon creek, getting out coal. One of the early strip pits was opened by the firm of Piper & Sawyer, the latter, P. H. Sawyer, still being a resident of Pittsburg. They ran a slope in from their strip pit. Another strip pit was opened up by Tom Fields of Joplin. A Girard man named Anderson also opened a strip pit, and an Irishman named Dugan opened a slope about 1876. P. H. Sawyer was the first to operate a drift.

It was Joplin men who started the coal mining industry in Crawford county. The mining boom had opened in and around Joplin, with the discovery of zinc and lead, and thousands of prospectors and mining men had flocked to the Joplin district. With the production of lead and zinc came a demand for fuel, and when the Joplin men began to hear that coal outcropped along the surface in this county, prospectors began to drop in here to investigate. Among the first to appreciate the importance of the coal which underlaid this section were Messrs. Moffatt and Sergeant, of Joplin, and when Colonel Edwin E. Brown, of Girard, laid before them his scheme to build a railroad southeast from a junction with the Gulf road at Girard to the zinc mines, passing through the coal fields, they put up the capital and built the road and bought hundreds of acres of land, comprising the townsite of Pittsburg, which was built up later.

Work started at once on the railroad, construction being commenced at Girard, under Colonel Brown's personal supervision. The farmers and settlers of Baker township were especially anxious to see the railroad built through, although there was much antagonism to railroads in general, resulting from the old Joy controversy. R. E. Carlton, now a prominent real estate dealer of Pittsburg, was one of the settlers here then, and he used his best efforts to get the right of way for the road. Moffatt & Sergeant leased some land along the railroad in Pittsburg to the Coyle brothers, Peter and Matt, of Joplin, and in the spring of 1877 they commenced putting down a shaft on the east side of Pine street, south of where the Standard Ice Company ice plant is located, a negro church standing almost on the spot of the old shaft.

There is some disagreement among pioneer miners as to whether or not this was the first shaft sunk in the county. James Vincent, who now lives at Tenth and Walnut, in Pittsburg, and who was one of the first pit bosses of the old Coyle shaft, declares that work was started on it in the spring of 1877, and that it was the first shaft to be sunk. Probate Judge T. R. Jones, who was also here at that time, declares that it was not the first shaft put down, but that the gin shaft sunk by himself at Litchfield for George W. Anderson, work on which was started on July 24, 1877, was sunk before the Coyle shaft. Some pioneer miners agree with Jones, others with Vincent, but all agree that the Coyle shaft was the first steam shaft sunk and the first to amount to anything. Peter Coyle was better known among the pioneer miners as "Pat" Coyle. He and his brother dug the first shovelful of dirt from the shaft, according to Judge Jones. At any rate, work was started on the shaft in 1877, and a man named Carson was the first pit boss.

Vincent, who had been working in the Piper & Sawyer slope at Carbon creek, was soon appointed foreman of the mine by the Coyles, and in August, 1877, he came to Pittsburg and took charge. He timbered up the shaft, which had caved in twice before and was in bad condition, and completed the mine.

"The shaft was a double entry shaft, with a double cage, and operated with steam hoisting apparatus," remarked Mr. Vincent. "It was almost as well equipped as any of the shafts of to-day. The coal was loaded in cars and shipped to Girard, from where it was billed to the Gulf road and shipped to Fort Scott and to Kansas City."

The Moffatt & Sergeant road was not yet built into Joplin when the mine was put in operation. The south end of the road was then about two and a half miles from Joplin. Coyle Brothers at once commenced to build up a camp around the mine. Pittsburg prior to that had consisted of a cross roads country store at the crossing of the roads now called Fourth and Broadway, and about half a dozen houses. Coyle Brothers built a number of houses around the mine.

The Anderson gin shaft, which Judge Jones declares is entitled to the distinction of being the first shaft to be sunk, was put down about one hundred yards north of where the bridge is now located at Litchfield T. R. Jones, who is at present (1904) probate judge of Crawford county, and Jacob Morgan, who is now dead, sank the shaft for George W. Anderson, of Joplin. Judge Jones later worked in the Coyle shaft and has ever since been actively identified with the mining industry of this county, having until recently been mine foreman at Midway for the Pittsburg & Midway Coal Company.

Six months after the Coyle shaft was started in Pittsburg, Moffatt & Sergeant sank a shaft for themselves on their land, a short distance west of the Coyle shaft. This shaft was put down east of Olive street and south of the present site of the Pittsburg Boiler Works, south of the railroad. This shaft was soon abandoned, not being a success.

Fields & Chapman, another Joplin firm, were the next to enter the field, sinking a shaft about five months after the sinking of the Anderson shaft, about four hundred yards south of it. Six months later E. R. Moffatt, Jr., and a man whose proper name has been forgotten, but who was generally known as "Brigham Young," came here from Joplin and put down a slope north of the Anderson shaft.

In the meantime the Joplin railroad company built a spur north to the mining camp which had sprung up on Carbon creek. This spur left the main track at what was known for years as Litchfield Junction, and was later called the Litchfield spur. The camp was named Edwin, in honor of Col. Edwin Brown, and in 1879 the postoffice was established there, and Jeff Bedford, who had come in from Joplin that spring, and engaged in mining operations, was appointed postmaster. With Bedford came Jim Whitfield, of Oronogo. They sunk a shaft about 100 yards north of the bridge near the Anderson shaft. The old dump is still there. Edwin and Pittsburg were now the two camps, and one was about as large as the other. In fact Edwin was the more important mining camp, as there were mining operations being conducted all along the creek, while Pittsburg had but the one shaft.

But Pittsburg just about this time was visited by a Wisconsin man, who changed the course of affairs, and definitely assured the permanency of Pittsburg. This man was Robert Lanyon, or "Bobbie" Lanyon, as he was best known. Mr. Lanyon had come west from Mineral Point, Wisconsin, to see what he could make in the Joplin district. There he heard of the coal prospects here, and one day he came to Pittsburg, and visited James Vincent at the Coyle shaft.

After a careful inspection of the coal prospects, Lanyon returned to Joplin, quietly acquired extensive zinc land holdings, and within a few weeks he had commenced building a block of zinc smelters here. The coal for this smelter was hauled in wagons from the Coyle shaft. At that time slack coal had no value to the operator. It was as worthless as the ashes from a smelter, and before the erection of the smelter the Coyle brothers had found it necessary to pay men to haul away the slack which accumulated at the mine. This can be best appreciated when it is stated that last winter (1903-04) slack coal was sold at the mines here for $1.75 per ton. This smelter was the beginning of the great zinc industry which firmly established Pittsburg, and which resulted in the growth of the mining camp to a city with today a population of 16,000.

But to return to Edwin, the rival town. Col. Edwin Brown was early interested in the new camp on Carbon creek, which had been named after him. He brought Jack Armel, a railroad contractor, who had been engaged in the construction of the railroad from Girard to Joplin, to Carbon creek with him, and Armel leased the land where Jeff Bedford had put down his shaft, and then he sent to Ohio for a couple of young men who have ever since been actively identified with business affairs in this county. They were James A. Patmor and brother Charles. The former is now president of the Pittsburg First State Bank, and the latter is superintendent of the gas and electric light plant.

The Patmor brothers brought with them from Ohio a steam shovel outfit, and commenced active operations stripping by steam north of Edwin. Charles Patmor opened the first coal pits at Midway about this time. In the meantime an important change had taken place at Pittsburg. Peter Coyle, the active manager of the Coyle coal business, took sick and died, and his brother, Matt, sold the business to some Oswego, Kansas, capitalists, who had formed the Oswego Coal Company. At the head of this company was B. F. Hobart, who later became prominently identified with coal interests in the county, and especially in Pittsburg, as the head of the Kansas & Texas Coal Company, and large real estate interests in Pittsburg. With Mr. Hobart in the Oswego Coal Company was C. M. Condon, a wealthy capitalist of Oswego.

The Oswego Coal Company acquired the land of the Coyle brothers, and in the spring of 1880 sunk a second shaft, known as No. 2. This shaft was put down on what is now known as the Hull & Dillon farm, northeast of Pittsburg, about three-quarters of a mile this side of Litchfield.

Before this, however, the name of the camp on Carbon creek had been changed from Edwin to Carbon, on account of another postoffice of the name of Edwin being in existence at that time in the state. The Patmor brothers were getting out a large quantity of coal with their steam shovel, and had associated with them in the enterprise Mel Snow, who later became prominent in affairs in Pittsburg, and was one of the town's early mayors. It was just about this time that William Hamilton, now at the head of the Hamilton Coal Company, of Weir, bought the old "Brigham Young" slope, and converted it into a shaft, sinking a shaft and putting in a steam hoist.

The Oswego Coal Company commenced extensive operations at Carbon in 1880, and that winter Bill Weaver took a contract to build twenty-eight company houses in the camp for the Oswego Coal Company. These were the first "company houses" built there. A. M. Watson, now of Pittsburg, aided in constucting the houses. A company store was also built, the first in the county, and T. P. Waskey, now at the head of the Waskey-Kassebaum Commission Company, in Pittsburg, was, if the writer's information is correct, the first manager of the store. This old company store was the school which graduated many of the prominent business men of Pittsburg. Among the men who were connected with this old store were W. C. Seymour, of the Seymour Dry Goods Company, Ed Nevius, superintendent of the Nevius Coal Company, John Tracey, city clerk of Pittsburg, and other prominent Pittsburg men were identified with the store as managers.

In 1880 T. R. Jones and David Arnott sunk a gin shaft at Carbon, which Arnott "bossed." Arnott was one of the pioneer coal men of the county, and until recent years was at the head of the Arnott Coal Company. He is now superintendent of the Dickey & Mullholland shaft near Mulberry. This shaft was first known as No. 5, and when steam was used it was later called No. 10.

When the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad Company acquired the Moffat & Sergeant railroad, the railroad company also acquired the coal property of the Oswego Coal Company, and this was the entrance of the Frisco into the coal industry in this county, and it has ever since been an important factor in the mining industry.

When this change occurred in 1882 the Rogers Coal Company was formed to control the coal interests, the company being named after General Superintendent Rogers, of the railroad. The company soon sunk No. 3 mine near Playter's Lake. About the same time No. 4 mine, a slope, was opened south of the present fine residence of J. B. Smith. The Rogers Coal Company now practically controlled the coal industry of the county. The Frisco was the only railroad tapping the coal district, and every ton of coal shipped by other operators was compelled to pay a high tribute in the way of exorbitant freight rates. Mining operations were practically suspended by independent operators.

In 1882 Charles Wood Davis, or "Cottonwood" Davis, as he was known, who had been superintendent for the Oswego Coal Company, Major Rombauer, who had also been identified with that company, and Charles Patmor purchased the Michilds one hundred and twenty acres, in the south and east part of Pittsburg, the tract now comprising the residence section east of Broadway and south of First street. They formed the Pittsburg Coal Company, and sunk and equipped a first-class shaft, which was located east of the building now called the Southern Hotel. This company experienced the same trouble that the other independent operators did, not being able to get cars from the Frisco, and finally the independents and other interests of the town arose, and headed by "Cottonwood" Davis succeeded in getting the Gulf road to build down from Minden, through Pittsburg, this being now the Arcadia-Cherryvale branch of the Frisco.

This gave the companies an outlet besides the Frisco, and with the opening of this road came a revival of coal operations on the part of the independent operators.

The shaft of the Pittsburg Coal Company was known as shaft "A." It was sunk by the late John R. Braidwood, who at the time of his recent tragic death, was connected with his father-in-law, William Hamilton, in the Hamilton & Braidwood Coal Company. Mr. Braidwood was superintendent of the mine until the winter of 1883, when he left to become underground superintendent for the Rogers Coal Company. John Kilholland was pit boss of the shaft.

In the meantime the Rogers Coal Company had not been idle. The company had expanded its territory, and put down three shafts at Weir, Nos. 5, 6 and 7. The next shaft in this county was No. 8, which was put down near No. 4 at the site of the Smith residence at Fairview. Before, this, however, the name of the coal town on Carbon creek had again been changed from Carbon to Litchfield on account of the name conflicting with Carbondale, another Kansas postoffice. The Rogers Company opened up its ninth mine at Litchfield in 1884, near the junction of the Memphis road with the Litchfield spur. Two other shafts, Nos. 10 and 11, were put down at Litchfield soon after.

In 1885 the Rogers Coal Company again changed its name. The state legislature had passed a law providing that railroad companies should not own coal lands or do a coal business, and in order to evade this law, it is claimed, the Rogers Coal Company was dissolved, and the Kansas & Texas Coal Company was formed. The company was very intimately related to the Frisco railroad, however. After the Kansas & Texas Coal Company commenced business, it put down seven more mines in this county, all but two of them being sunk in Pittsburg. No. 12 was put down at the foot of Sixth street in the Goff addition, in 1885; No. 13 at what is now about Broadway and Twenty-third street, in 1885; No. 15 at the present site of the Hull & Dillon packing house, in 1886; No. 20 west of Cow creek on the Playter farm, in 1888; and No. 28 near the north smelters, in 1889. All of these mines are now abandoned, and the places where they were located are covered with handsome homes, or business houses. There are barely traces of the old dumps left. Two more shafts were put down about this time at Litchfield, Nos. 17 and 22.

The years 1885 and 1886 marked the beginning of the boom in the coal district. In those two years no less than ten or twelve new coal concerns commenced operations in the district. It was in May, 1885, that Colonel Edwin Brown, who had been so prominently identified with the development of the coal district, commenced active operations. He interested the Chick brothers, W. H. and James, of Kansas City, and they, with the late J. T. Morrison, formed the Pittsburg & Midway Coal Company, and commenced stripping operations north of Litchfield, at the place where, in the earlier days of the county, had been located a station on the old stage route, and which had been known in the early days before the war as "Holes-in-the-Prairie," but which had later acquired the name of Midway, being midway between Fort Scott and Baxter Springs, on the stage road. Shortly after they had commenced operations, the Pittsburg Coal Company, after a spell of hard luck, became bankrupt. "Cottonwood" Davis got as his share of the wreckage a lawsuit against the Frisco, Patmor got a house, and Major Rombauer got the shaft. Colonel Brown and Mr. Morrison purchased the remains of the coal property, and the company was re-organized as the Pittsburg & Midway Coal Company, and the shaft on South Broadway was moved to Midway and became No. 1 of the new company. This company soon abandoned the shaft at Pittsburg, and commenced operations exclusively at Midway. Bennett Brown went to Midway with the company, and became the first superintendent of the company. This company is still in existence, and still operates mines at Midway, which has become an important coal camp, but both Colonel Brown and Mr. Morrison are dead, both having passed away without fully realizing the financial benefits of their investments and undertakings. The latter died recently in Pittsburg, comparatively a poor man.

It was about this time, in 1886, that Guss Johnston came to the county from Topeka. He secured the land northwest of Pittsburg on the other side of Cow creek, and there he sunk a shaft, which was called Lone Oak shaft. A small camp was built up around the mine. The shaft was not a success, however, not because of poor coal, because the coal was rated as fine as there was in the district, but because of faulty construction of the mine. Pillars had been left too small in opening up the works, and before long the mine commenced to "squeeze," the roof settling in, and work had to be abandoned.

Johnston gave it up and went to Osage county, where he engaged in mining, and he is still located there, being one of the leading operators of the Osage field. Later a man named Beadell endeavored to operate the shaft, but he gave it up soon, and the Hamilton brothers, Matthew and Andrew, then leased the property, and tried to operate the mine. They owned farms near Pittsburg, and the mine nearly cost them their farms, for they became involved in litigation with the Frisco Railroad Company, and the result was that the railroad secured judgments, which cleaned up the brothers. The railroad company then pulled up the switches, and the mine was abandoned, and from that date to this there have been no mining operations at Lone Oak. The houses were gradually moved away, until today the only trace of the old camp is a black spot in the soil where vegetation will not grow, which marks the site of the old dump. The first mine explosion to occur in the county was at the Lone Oak mine. Four miners were caught in the explosion, and two or three of them killed.

In 1885 the Gould interests entered the field, and the Nevada & Minden railroad, now the Missouri Pacific, was constructed into Pittsburg and through the county. That same year mining operations were commenced by the Western Coal & Mining Company, which was at that time, as it is now, closely identified with the Missouri Pacific and Gould interests. The first mine was put down in 1885 at Minden, and was called No. 1. The mines were numbered in order as they were sunk. Ira Fleming, who is now president of the Fleming Coal Company, in Cherokee county, was the first superintendent of the company. In a few months the camp of Fleming was laid out south of Pittsburg, and mine No. 2 was sunk. The camp was named after Superintendent Fleming. In 1887 two more mines were sunk, No. 3 at Fleming, and No. 4 at Yale, another new camp which was laid out north of Litchfield, and which, for some unknown reason, was named after the famous eastern college. Mr. Fleming was succeeded as superintendent soon by Josiah Lane, who came here from Rich Hill, where he had been connected with the same company. Mr. Lane is still in the service of the Western Coal & Mining Company as assistant cashier in the Pittsburg offices, and has up to this time been connected with the company for twenty-two years. He was succeeded in 1891 by James Gardner, who had come here in 1890 to be mine foreman at Fleming. Mr. Gardner has been connected with the company in that capacity ever since, and is now general superintendent of the company's interests in this and Cherokee counties. The company has put down in this county eleven shafts, and is now laying out a twelfth shaft, northwest of Yale, which, however, will be called No. 13, as No. 12 had been sunk in Cherokee county, at Folsom.

In 1886 a number of Topeka capitalists who were interested in the Southern Kansas railroad, which later became the Santa Fe, formed a company which they called the Cherokee & Pittsburg Coal & Mining Company, leased coal land north of Pittsburg, and at once commenced mining operations. Mine No. 1 was sunk and a camp which was called Frontenac was established. Today Frontenac is a busy mining town of about three thousand population. Robert Craig, of Topeka, came down and was made superintendent of the mine, and later became general manager of the company.

The Southern Kansas railroad, which had been built to Girard from Chanute, was extended to the mine and the new camp from Girard, but it was not until later that it was constructed on into Pittsburg. No. 2 mine was sunk in a few months at Frontenac, and shortly after No. 3 was put down east of Frontenac, east of the present No. 9 shaft. Alex Watson, of Pittsburg, set the timbers for the first shafts. The Cherokee & Pittsburg Company soon acquired more coal land south of Pittsburg, and another camp, named Chicopee, was established, and mine No. 4 was sunk there. The railroad was built on to the new camp from Pittsburg, and that was made the terminus of the railroad, passenger trains from Pittsburg running to Chicopee to carry the miners out. This train service was maintained until the electric railway was built a few years ago. It was at this time that the merchants of Pittsburg raised a fund of $7,000, which was given the company in consideration of their agreement not to maintain company stores in Frontenac and Chicopee. This agreement was kept until the successor of the company, the Mount Carmel Coal Company was formed, when stores were established, and are now operated.

The Mount Carmel Coal Company was formed when C. J. Devlin, formerly a bookkeeper in a coal company office at Spring Valley, Ill., entered the field. Mr. Devlin had rapidly acquired a fortune by clever manipulation, and he made arrangements with the Santa Fe railroad by which he became the head of the fuel department of that system, and the Mount Carmel Coal Company resulted. Mr. Devlin is now a resident of Topeka, Kansas, and is reputed to be worth several millions of dollars. The Mount Carmel Coal Company has confined its operations in this county to the coal lands around Frontenac and Chicopee, maintaining its headquarters in Frontenac. The company has, however, coal interests in Osage county, and Mr. Craig, former general manager of the company, is now superintendent in Osage county. Joseph Fletcher has been superintendent of the interests here for several years. The company has opened up nine mines in this county, six at Frontenac and three at Chicopee.

The Kansas & Texas Coal Company enjoyed the height of its prosperity in this county during the ten years following 1882. David Ramsey was local superintendent during this period, Bennett Brown, now arbitration commissioner for the Operators' Association, was underground superintendent, and F. E. Doubleday, later general superintendent of the company, and at present superintendent of the Central Coal & Coke Company, at Bevier, Missouri, was superintendent of the mines at Litchfield. Labor troubles with its employees which resulted in a prolonged strike weakened the company, and it is believed brought about the decline. The end came about three years ago, when the Central Coal & Coke Company absorbed the old Kansas & Texas Coal Company and supplanted its general officers and superintendents with its own men. This consolidation made the Central the largest and most important coal company in the district and today the Central operates in Crawford county eleven mines, located both north and south of Pittsburg.

In the spring of 1891 Archie Kirkwood, now the general superintendent of the Wear Coal Company, and Frank Wear, now the president of that concern, opened the "Sunshine" mine at Minden. About the same time John Anderson opened a gin shaft southeast of Pittsburg. In 1892 Wear and Kirkwood purchased the Anderson shaft below Pittsburg, and on August 1, of that year, commenced operation, calling it No. 2. The camp which was built up was named Kirkwood in honor of Archie Kirkwood. The Wear Coal Company was then organized and commenced operations, and up to the present this company has opened and operated twelve shafts, all around Pittsburg, and work has already commenced on three additional large shafts, northwest of Pittsburg.

The history of the coal industry of the county for the past fifteen years is a story of rapid development. Not only has the coal field immediately around Pittsburg been wonderfully developed in that time, but the coal belt has expanded, the "known" territory has been widened, and coal shafts are now in operation on land which as recently as five years ago was declared to be out of the coal belt. There are today in operation in Crawford county forty-four mining concerns, operating sixty-two coal shafts, and which last year (1903) employed nearly 7,000 men, and produced over four million tons of coal, or more than four-fifths of the entire output of the state of Kansas.