1. Smokeless coal, or Pocahontas-New River coal as it is also known, can be found in five southern West Virginia counties: Fayette, Raleigh, Mercer, Wyoming, and McDowell; and in the two Virginia counties of Tazewell and Upper Buchanan. There is a wide range of volatile material in different coals. "Hard" or anthracite coal contains six to eight percent volatile matter. "Soft" or bituminous coal which contains 30 percent or more volatile matter is considered high, 24 to 30 percent is medium volatile, and 16 to 24 volatile is considered low. Low-volatile coal salesmen invented the commercial term "smokeless" to combat bituminous coal's bad image in the minds of urban consumers. Jerry Bruce Thomas, "Coal Country: The Rise of the Southern Smokeless Coal Industry and Its Effect on Area Development, 1872-1910" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Carolina, 1971), pp. 8, 10-11.
4. Otis K. Rice, West Virginia: A History (Lexington, The University Press of Kentucky, 1985), p. 183; David Alan Corbin, Life, Work, and Rebellion in the Coal Fields The Southern West Virginia Miners 1880-1922 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1981), p. 1.
5. Jefferson is quoted in Corbin, Life, p. 2. Two-thirds of West Virginia is underlain with mineable coal seams. The major fields include, in addition to New River, the Kanawha, Winding Gulf, Flat Top-Pocahontas, Logan, Williamson, Fairmont, Elkins, Northern Panhandle, and Greenbrier.
6. Fisk and Hatch, Bankers, The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad (New York: 1873), pp. 48-49, quoted in William McKinley Merrill, "Economics of the Southern Smokeless Coals" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Illinois, 1953), p. 43.
8. Ibid., p. 3. For further information on the legacy of hatred and mistrust, and indeed the legacy of Appalachian poverty due in part to this lack of local ownership of land, see Harry M. Caudill, Night Comes to the Cumberlands: A Biography of a Depressed Area (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1962), pp. 70-76. Caudill uses eastern Kentucky as the focus of his study. Appalachia has undergone intense scrutiny to determine causes and possible solutions for its poverty. For a definition of Appalachia, which includes West Virginia. and discussions of a legacy of environmental abuse and mistreatment of people, see, in addition to Caudill's text: John Gaventa, Power and Powerlessness Quiescence and Rebellion in an Appalachian Valley (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1980); Thomas R. Ford, ed., The Southern Appalachian Region: A Survey (Lexington University of Kentucky Press, 1962); Helen Matthews Lewis, Linda Johnson, and Donald Askins, eds., Colonialism in Modern America: The Appalachian Case (Boone, North Carolina The Appalachian Consortium Press, 1978); Karl B. Raitz and Richard Ulack, Appalachia: A Regional Geography (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1984); Jack E. Weller, Yesterday's People: Life in Contemporary Appalachia (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1965); Harry W. Ernst and Charles H. Drake, "Poor, Proud and Primitive," The Nation 188 (1959): 490-493; Richard Ulack and Karl Raitz, "Perceptions of Appalachia," Environment and Behavior 14 no. 6 (November 1982): 725-752; David S. Walis and Dwight B. Billings, "The Sociology of Southern Appalachia," Appalachian Journal 5 (1977): 131-144; John Calhoun Wells Jr., "Poverty Amidst Riches: Why People are Poor in Appalachia," (Ph. D. dissertation, Rutgers University, The State University of New Jersey, 1977).
9. David Alan Corbin provided the following examples: Baltimore banking house John A. Hubleton and Company bought 25,000 acres of Loup Creek in Fayette County; the Norfolk and Western Railroad of Virginia purchased four-fifths of the Pocahontas coal field; by 1919 U.S. Steel had acquired 32,600 acres in Logan and Mingo counties and 50,000 acres in McDowell County. Corbin, Life, p. 4.
16. In the first few months of 1916 coal was shipped from Hampton Roads, Virginia (Lambert's Point, Sewall's Point, and Newport News), to the following destinations: Argentine Republic; Azores; Brazil; British West Indies; Canal Zone; Chile; Columbia; Cuba; Danish West Indies; French West Indies; Georgetown or Demerara, British Guiana; Gibraltar; Greece; Italy; Mexico; Porto Rico; Santo Domingo; Sweden; Teneriffe, Canary Islands; Uruguay; and Venezuela. "Hampton Roads 1916 Exports." Black Diamond 56 no. 23 (June 3, 1916): 467.
21. Rice, West Virginia, p. 185; Merrill, "Economics," p. 35; Thomas, "Coal Country," pp. 60-62; Lou Athey, Kaymoor: A New River Community (n.p.: Eastern National Park & Monument Association, 1986), p. 2. (This book is available for purchase through Eastern National Park and Monument Association, P.O. Box 1189, Oak Hill, WV 25901); Charles W. Turner, Chessie's Road (Richmond, Virginia: Garrett & Massie, Incorporated, 1956), p. 107. Collis Potter Huntington (1821-1900), born in Connecticut. was a storekeeper in New York before emigrating to California in 1849. He established a merchandising business in miners' supplies in Sacramento which was very prosperous. In 1860 Huntington was one of the "Big Four," the other three being Charles Crocker, Mark Hopkins, and Leland Stanford, who promoted the construction of the transcontinental Central Pacific Railroad in 1869. He remained in railroad work for the rest of his life, being involved with the Southern Pacific, the C&O and others. Dictionary of American Biography, vol. V, 1933 ed., s.v. "Huntington, Collis Potter," by Stuart Daggett.
25. Thomas, "Coal Country," p. 101. Abiel Abbott Low (1811-1893) was born in Salem, Massachusetts. Educated in public school, he became a clerk in the house of Joseph Howard & Company. In 1829 Low's father moved from Salem to Brooklyn and opened an import business, where Low gained mercantile experience. In 1833 he sailed for China and became a clerk with Russell & Company. He returned to New York and opened A.A. Low & Brothers, a firm successful in the China and Japanese trade. In connection with Collis P. Huntington, Low helped found Newport News, Virginia, and Huntington, West Virginia. During the Civil War he served as president of the Union Defence Committee of New York, also serving as president of the New York Chamber of Commerce for several years. He died in Brooklyn. Dictionary of American Biography, vol. VI, 1933 ed., s.v. "Low, Abiel Abbot," by Richard B. Morris.
28. Matthew P. Marowitz et al., "Guide, The Low Moor Iron Company Papers #662 in the Manuscripts Department of the University of Virginia Library," p. 3, typescript collection guide. Copy available from Manuscripts Department, Alderman Library, University of Virginia.
31. "Low Moor Coal Company," Book H, p. 100, Corporations Division, Secretary of State Office. Charleston, West Virginia. The other shareholders in addition to Abiel Abbot Low, were: E.H.R. Lyman, Brooklyn; Samuel E. Huntington, Brooklyn; C. Adolphe Low, New York; A. Augustus Low, Brooklyn; Frank Lyman, Brooklyn; and H.M. Bell, Staunton, Virginia.
43. Marowitz, "Guide," pp. 10-12. Box 204 of the Low Moor Iron Company records at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, contains letters discussing disposition of equipment, brick from the Covington furnace and cranes, cars and rails. See: Papers of the Low Moor Iron Company #662 (LMIC), Manuscripts Division, Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library (UVAC).
48. John Wehrle to Low Moor Iron Co., December 4, 1924, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 16, Folder: 1924 Kay Moor Titles John Wehrle A.W. Hamilton, UVAC; Wehrle to New River & Pocahontas Cons. Coal Co., July 8, 1924, Ibid.; Wehrle to A.W. Hamilton, September 16, 1924, Ibid. On March 13, 1924, presumably in preparation for the sale, J. W. Monteith, manager of mines, reported to F.U. Humbert, general manager in Low Moor, several statistics concerning the Kay Moor mine. Coal recovery was 1,802 tons per foot acre, with the coal being 39 inches in thickness. Monteith believed there was still 21,551,264.94 tons of coal in the solid left on the West Virginia property. Monteith to Humbert, March 13, 1924, Ibid. Also in anticipation of the sale. Low Moor management supplied New River and Pocahontas with all of the insurance policies covering Kay Moor. These policies were with a variety of insurance companies including Fidelity and Casualty Company of New York, Colonial Fire Underwriters of Hartford, and the Boston Insurance Company. General Manager to D.A. Newhall, February 20, 1925, LMIC, Box 219, Folder: 1925 Letters #4, UVAC; General Manager to D.A. Newhall, February 25, 1925, Ibid.
52. Peters and Carden, History, p. 272; Athey, Kaymoor, p. 49. The New River and Pocahontas mines in Fayette County included, in addition to Kay Moor, Minden No. 2, No. 3, and No. 4; and Layland No. 1, No. 2, and No. 3. Phil Conley, History of the West Virginia Coal Industry (Charleston, West Virginia: Education Foundation, Inc., 1960), p. 214. It is not known when the company dropped the word "Coke" from its name.
55. H.M. Bertolet to Low Moor Iron Company, November 20, 1925, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 202, folder: Business Correspondence Misc B&U, #6, UVAC; The Low Moor Iron Company of Virginia to Berwind-White Coal Mining Co., December 1, 1925, Ibid.
58. Thomas, "Coal Country," pp. 311-312. For sample articles which, in fact, advertised the quality of smokeless coal and high living conditions in the towns, see: "Story of West Virginia's Famous Smokeless Coal Fields," The West Virginia Review (June 1926): 290-299; and S.C. Higgins, "The New River Coal Fields The Pioneer Semi-Bituminous Fields of the State," The West Virginia Review (October 1927): 26.
59. Thomas, "Coal Country," p. 123. This characterization of the "New South," a region which produces raw material, dominated by absentee owners, and located on the edge of industrialization, is an economic model analyzed by C. Vann Woodward in Origins of the New South, 1877-1913 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1951).
63. As recently as the 1950s there continued to be four major traffic flows of coal from the southern West Virginia smokeless fields: to the tidewater or Virginia, all-rail to the Southeast, all-rail to the West, and to the Great Lakes. For a thorough discussion of the structure of freight rates applicable to these flows, see Merrill, "Economics," beginning on p. 133.
1. Ray V. Hennen, West Virginia Geological Survey, (Wheeling. West Virginia: Wheeling News Litho., 1919), p. 707. The geologists believed the mine to be "over 30 years old" in 1919. Ibid.; Robinson, Kanawha and New River Coal Fields, p. 14. Coal mining consisted of three general types: deep or underground, surface or strip, and punch mining. Punch mining operations occurred in deep mines which are nearly exhausted. The workers blasted out the coal left untouched. All of the coal was loaded and hauled by hand. Underground mines were opened in three different ways, depending upon terrain. Drift mines were opened by digging horizontally into the coal seam; such mines, like Kay Moor, were located on hillsides. Slope mines were opened by tunnels into a hillside, and shaft mines were opened through vertical descents to reach the coal vein. Strip mining is common where the coal vein is close to the surface. The overlying earth is removed with earth-moving equipment, including bulldozers, draglines, and power shovels. Morton S. Baratz, The Union and the Coal Industry (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1955; reprint ed., Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, Publishers, 1983), pp. 2-3. 11-12.
8. Slack coal was a grade of coal which passed through small screens, sized 9/16 inches and 5/8 inches. Lump coal consisted of larger sizes: 1/2 inch x 5/6 inch pea, 5/6 inch x 1 and 3/4 inches nut, 1 and 1/4 inch x 3 inch stove, and 3 inch by 3 and 3/4 inch egg coal.
21. Merrill, "Economics," n.p. The best coking coals were found not only in the New River and Flat Top fields, but in the Connellsville section of western Pennsylvania and at George's Creek, Maryland.
25. "Report on Kaymoor Mine," n.d., LMIC, Acc. 662. Box 147, Folder: 1920-1927 Misc U-W Low Moor #7, UVAC. It is not known how many ovens these men were tending, as the numbers utilized in the 1920s varied.
26. A. Janutolo & Company to The Low Moor Iron Co., of Va., (March 1917, penciled notation), LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 10A, Folder: 1917 Kay Low Moor, UVAC; Fayette Tribune, June 14, 1917. References to all of the coke oven construction were obviously not correct since the three known constructions, of 120 ovens in 1901, 159 and 20 ovens in 1917 do not add up to 202, the total number of ovens at Kay Moor.
29. For a history of beehive cokemaking in the New River Gorge, see: Louis L. Athey, "A Kind of Pittsburgh: Beehive Coke Making in the New River Gorge" in Proceedings New River Symposium, Beckley, West Virginia, May 6-8, 1982. Copy available at NERI.
32. Kenneth R. Bailey, "A Judicious Mixture: Negroes and Immigrants in the West Virginia Mines, 1880-1917," in Blacks in Appalachia ed. by William H. Turner and Edward J. Cabbell (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1985), p. 118; Thomas, "Coal Country," p. 191.
40. Ibid., p. 197. The United States Coal and Coke Company, with mines in McDowell County, West Virginia, adopted the moving picture as a way of instructing its employees, native and immigrant, in the techniques of mining. See Frank H. Kneeland, "The Moving Picture in Coal Mining," Coal Age 5, no. 26, (June 27, 1914): 1036-1040.
42, Ibid., p. 199. Art excellent study of immigrant labor in the Pennsylvania anthracite fields may be found in Donald L. Miller and Richard E. Sharpless, The Kingdom of Coal Work: Enterprise, and Ethnic Communities in the Mine Fields (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985). This study may be used in comparing conditions in the West Virginia bituminous fields.
46. James T. Laing, "The Negro Miner in West Virginia," Social Forces 14 (1936): 417; Bailey, "Judicious," p. 117; Thomas, "Coal Country," pp. 178-179. Thomas believed the history of blacks in the smokeless fields was difficult to relate, as very little primary source material produced by the blacks themselves existed. Contemporary white sources were usually coated with the white supremacist attitudes of the time period. A black newspaper began publication in 1904 at Elkhorn, in McDowell County. By 1913 the McDowell Times had 5,000 subscribers. Ibid., pp. 182-184.
68. Geo. W. Rison to The Low Moor Iron Co. of Virginia, March 14, 1902, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 244, Folder: Rison George W., Correspondence and Business Card re his black Real Estate Agency and Employment bureau, UVAC. Box 34 was listed in the Low Moor collection guide as containing information concerning the George W. Rison employment agency, but at the time of the author's visit in 1986 it did not. The papers were apparently missing.
70. Corbin, Miners, p. 10; In 1923 the U.S. Coal Commission stated that, according to insurance rates in Ohio and Pennsylvania. only 10 percent of all occupations had a higher accident rate than bituminous mining. These occupations included: steel erection, concrete working, railroad operation, junk dealing and window cleaning. Edward Eyre Hunt, F.G. Tryon, and Joseph H. Willits, eds., What the Coal Commission Found (Baltimore: The Williams & Wilkins Company, 1925), p. 162.
71. Rice, West Virginia, p. 236; Corbin, Life, p. 16. In 1923 the U.S. Coal Commission advised: "Inability to read and understand printed and written instructions, and lack of sufficient knowledge of English to understand even the spoken language, has been among the indirect causes of accidents; and insistence on ability at least to understand spoken English should be made a condition of employment in so dangerous an industry as coal mining; or the employees should work under the direction of a foreman who speaks their language." U.S. Senate. 68th Congress, 2d Session. Report of the United States Coal Commission (Doc. 195, Part I). Washington: Government Printing Office, 1925. (Serial Set 8402, pt. 1), p. 152.
79. Ibid., p. 223; Rice, West Virginia, pp. 236-237. An excellent study of the issues involved with coal mine safety and the effectiveness of safety legislation is William Graebner, Coal-Mining Safety in the Progressive Period The Political Economy of Reform (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 1976.)
81. Corbin, Life, pp. 16-17. In 1923 the U.S. Coal Commission remarked: "Persons not directly engaged in the coal-mining industry do not realize the importance of properly conducted State inspection of mines in influencing operating methods and working conditions. The mining codes of the principal coal-mining States vary widely in severity and completeness, and this fact often influences competitive conditions in adjoining states. There is too much politics in some of the state departments. The safety of a miner does not concern politics." Senate, Report, (Part I), p. 150.
83. For a detailed discussion of the West Virginia compensation law, see U.S. Senate, 68th Congress, 2d Session, Report of the United States Coal Commission (Doc. 195, Part III), Washington Government Printing Office, 1925, (Serial Set 8402, pt. III). Appendix II, Hugh Maupin Wolflin, "The Effects of Compensation Laws and Differential Compensation Insurance Rates on Coal-Mine Safety Conditions," pp. 1747-1754. In the case of death, reasonable funeral expenses were to be paid, not to exceed $150. Widows and invalid widowers received $30.00 per month and $5.00 per month for each child under 16 years. Orphan children received $10.00 per month until 16 years of age. Ibid., p. 1748.
86. Miller and Sharpless, Kingdom, p. 116; Rice, West Virginia, p. 237; Senate, Report, Part I, p. 150. In 1923 the United States Coal Commission remarked: "There is no positive evidence that bituminous miners are subject to special and marked occupational diseases. In other words, if accidents could be reduced the average bituminous miner would live the normal life span." Ibid., p. 149.
94. Athey, Kaymoor, p. 20. Several former Kay Moor miners told of starting work in the mine at age 14. William W. Toney worked the trap doors for air circulation at age 14 while Dometrius Woodson also started at age 14. See Interview with William W. Toney by James Worsham, Ansted, West Virginia. August 9, 1984, typed transcript, pp. 74.10-84.11; Interview with Dometrius Woodson by Paul J. Nyden, Beckley, West Virginia, November 7, 1980. typed transcript, p. 20.11. A West Virginia child labor law was passed in mid-1919, stating no coal operator or factory owner could employ a child under 16 years. Coal operators were also not allowed to let children on the mining premises. Fayette Tribune, June 5, 1919. Nevertheless, this law was flagrantly violated.
98. Kay Moor employee Dometrius Woodson performed many different tasks in the mine. He remembered, "Oh, I've done just about everything in the mine. I've loaded coal, I've helped to lay track, I've worked on the machine, I've run motor, I have broke, I've run, I worked on the jack hammer, I've done just about everything in the mine that you can do but boss. Worked on supply crew and all that." Interview with Dometrius Woodson, p. 20.11.
101. Athey, Kaymoor, p. 21. This "freedom" was threatened by union attempts to set hours. For a discussion of the meaning of "miner's freedom" and how unionization and mechanization would affect it, see Carter Goodrich, The Miner's Freedom (New York: Arno Press & The New York Times, 1977.)
104. Ibid. For further information on miners' duties as well as those of the fire boss, electrician, blacksmith, motorman, spragger, engineer, tipple men, car trimmers, slate dumpers, pumpmen, pipemen and bratticemen, see Hunt, Tryon, Willits, What the Coal Commission Found, pp. 56-60. There were approximately 30 crafts employed in coal mining. Ibid., p. 60.
108. Ibid., June 6, 1918. This article stated that black soldiers reported to training camp at Camp Sherman in Ohio, while the white soldiers attended Camp Lee in Virginia. However, Low Moor correspondence stated that the black soldiers were in a "Colored Service Battalion" at Camp Lee while the white solders were scattered in different camps. Cabell to Monteith, December 12, 1917, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 224, Folder: 1918 Material on L.M. employees in WW I Military Service, #3, UVAC.
109. Cabell to Monteith, December 12, 1917, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 224, Folder: 1918 Material on L.M. employees in World War I Military Service, #3, UVAC; Pennington to The Lowmoor Iron Co of Va., December 20, 1917, Ibid. The list of Kay Moor employees in the service in 1917 and their location included: E.F. Brown on the U.S.S. Adams; Herbert Pennington at Camp Greene; D.B. McDaniels at Camp Ross at Great Lakes, Illinois; H.A. Cottrell on leave at Kay Moor; W.J. McGraw at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg. Mississippi; G.T. McGraw at Camp Lee, Virginia; Joe Accepezzatto at Camp Lee; Sam Peraldo, also at Camp Shelby; B.B. Legg at Camp Lee; J.W. Pennington on a receiving ship in Guantanamo Bay; Ballard Pennington on U.S.S. Castine; and Preston Calloway, William Robinson, Jack Steward and John Lawson, all in the Colored Service Battalion at Camp Lee. Cabell to Monteith, December 12, 1917, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 224, Folder: 1918 Material on L.M. employees in World War I Military Service, #3, UVAC; Cabell to Monteith, December 21, 1917, Ibid.
113. According to David Alan Corbin, the study of why West Virginia did not organize has been overlooked. He stated: "The failure to study why workers do not organize leaves a void in American labor historiography. A knowledge of why some workers do not unionize is as crucial to the study of labor as a knowledge of why others join unions and radical labor parties. An examination of the southern West Virginia mining force between 1890 and 1912 reveals that the miners remained outside the UMWA, not out of apathy or cowardice, but because the issues and goals of the miners union did not represent their wants and needs. Furthermore, an exploration of the miners' indifference to the UMWA during these years is a first step in understanding the development of the labor movement in southern West Virginia and the later evolution of its working-class culture." Corbin, Life, p. 26.
118. As an example: Thomas L. Lewis, vice-president, then president, of the national UMWA, later became secretary of the New River District Operators Association, to which the Low Moor management belonged. Athey, Kaymoor, p. 29.
121. Ibid., p. 33. For a discussion of both union policy and its objectives throughout the years of unionization attempts in the southern West Virginia coal fields, see Baratz, The Union and the Coal Industry.
123. The operators used six major tools in their fight against the union: 1. injunctions; 2. martial law; 3. suzerainty over county government; 4. elaborate espionage and spy system; 5. coercion and intimidation of workers by the use of mine guards; and 6. blacklisting all miners who favored the union. The injunctions, martial law and espionage violated no laws, but were subversive of the public welfare. The use of company-paid sheriffs, or mine guards, was in violation of the law, and resulted in wholesale killing. H.B. Lee, as quoted in Dix, Analysis, p. 15. Lee was a West Virginia attorney general.
124. Corbin, Life, pp. 46-48; Sheldon H. Harris, "Letters from West Virginia: Management's Version of the 1902 Coal Strike," Labor History 10 (Spring 1969): 228-230. This article provides an excellent inside look at management's viewpoints and control of the state judiciary and police. Primary source letters used in the article are from William Nelson Page at Ansted, West Virginia, to his boss, Abram S. Hewitt in New York.
125. "Wheeling, W. Va. June 4, 1902," Black Diamond 28. no. 23 (June 7, 1902): 812. Mary Harris Jones was one of the most forceful and dynamic union organizers in American labor history. Through her efforts in 1902 the Central Kanawha mines were organized; the only union success in West Virginia. In her autobiography she described her activities in the New River field: "At the close of the anthracite strike in October, 1902, I went into the unorganized sections of West Virginia with John H. Walker of Illinois. Up and down along both sides of the New River we held meetings and organized Smithersfield, Long Acre, Canilton, Boomer. The work was not easy or safe and I was lucky to have so fearless a co-worker. Men who joined the union were blacklisted throughout the entire section. Their families were thrown out on the highways. Men were shot. They were beaten. Numbers disappeared and no trace of them found. Store keepers were ordered not to sell to union men or their families. Meetings had to be held in the woods at night, in abandoned mines, in barns." She also held a meeting in Mount Hope, went into Laurel Creek and Thayer, and visited the camp at Caperton Mountain. Mary Harris Jones, Autobiography of Mother Jones (Chicago: Charles H. Kerr & Company, 1925; reprint ed., New York: Arno & The New York Times, 1969), pp. 63-65. In 1912 Mother Jones was back in West Virginia, this time delivering a speech at Glen Jean in an effort to organize Loup Creek. Fayette Sun, August 6, 1912. For more information on the colorful, yet controversial Mother Jones and her activities in West Virginia, consult her autobiography and Dale Fetherling, Mother Jones: The Miners Angel (Carbondale, Illinois: Southern Illinois University Press, 1974). Priscella Long's Mother Jones, Woman Organizer and Her Relations with Miners; Wives, Working Women, and the Suffrage Movement (Boston: South End Press, 1976) deals specifically with Mother Jones' attitudes towards women.
127. "Wheeling, W. Va. June 11, 1902," Black Diamond (June 14, 1902): 850. The Black Diamond predicted the strike's outcome: "There is no reason . . . to change earlier opinions that the strike will fail to be general and therefore be a losing venture for the coal diggers, although there is no mistaking the fact that a fight is in prospect." "Wheeling, W. Va. June 18, 1902," Black Diamond 28, no. 25 (June 21, 1902): 886.
132. Fayette Journal, June 12, 1902; Athey, Kaymoor, p. 25. A brief history of the Baldwin-Felts agency can be found in Richard M. Hadsell and William E. Coffey, "From Law and Order to Class Warfare: Baldwin-Felts Detectives in the Southern West Virginia Coal Fields," West Virginia History XL, no. 3 (Spring 1979), pp. 268-286. The Baldwin-Felts detectives played an important, publicized role in the history of the southern West Virginia coal industry. The agency's employees served as a stabilizing influence in the absence of adequate public law enforcement, but they also were responsible for brutal repression which incited violent conflicts in the coal fields. William G. Baldwin and Thomas L. Felts began their detective agency in the early 1890s. Their general office was located in Roanoke, Virginia, but a second office, headed by Felts, was established in Bluefield, West Virginia. Field offices were also located in Thurmond. West Virginia, in Richmond. Virginia, and in Denver, Colorado. Several railroads began contracting with the agency to protect theft from freight cars. Baldwin and Felts then extended their services to the coal industry, whose mines the railroads served. At first the detectives served as visible police protection, but coal operators soon used them to not only prevent disorderly conduct and law violations, but to "collect rents, guard the payroll, prevent 'undesirables' from entering their camps. Undesirables included a wide range of the unsavory such as known criminals, professional gamblers, prostitutes, moonshiners, slackers, and active union sympathizers." Ibid., p. 269. Justus Collins was the first to use the Baldwin-Felts guards to break a UMWA sponsored miner's strike in 1902. The agency's subsequent history involves numerous atrocities, investigations and the eventual break-up of the agency in the 1930s.
150. George T. Wickes to Means, March 10, 1906, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 87, Folder: 1906, #2, George T. Wickes, UVAC; Wickes to Lyman, April 21, 1906, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 87, Folder: 1905-1906, #2, George T. Wickes, UVAC; Wickes to Lyman, April 29, 1906, Ibid.; Ed, D. Wickes to Geo. T. Wickes, May 9, 1906, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 87, Folder: 1906, #1. George T. Wickes, UVAC.
151. Cabell to E.C. Means, October 26, 1906, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 243, Folder: Low Moor Iron Co. Correspondence, #8, UVAC. For a different viewpoint of the 1906 situation see L.C. Anderson's letter to the editor of The Outlook. An excerpt: "The coal production of West Virginia has increased from five million tons (in round numbers) in 1890, to thirty-eight million tons in 1905. This remarkable increase is due, not to any 'exploitation of labor,' but to the natural conditions so favorable to mining, and to the superior quality of the coal, which insures it a ready market wherever introduced. The United Mine Workers of America have never been able to control to any great extent in West Virginia, for the reason that the miners do not feel the need of the organization, but are able and content to get along without it. So a strike of the Mine Workers does not seriously affect the production of West Virginia coal." L.C. Anderson, "Mine Labor Conditions in West Virginia," The Outlook 82, no. 16 (1906): 862.
153. Ibid., p. 448. For a brief history of this fight and its ramifications, see pp. 224-227 of Rice, West Virginia. The Paint Creek disturbances included the killing of miners by mine guards riding on the "Bull Moose Special," an armored car which steamed through miners' settlements. Mother Jones was also involved in this conflict. For more information on the 1912-1913 conflict, see: Edwin V. Gartin, "The West Virginia Mine War of 1912-1913: The Progressive Response," North Dakota Quarterly 41 (Autumn 1973): 13-27.
155. United Mine Workers' Journal XXV, no. 48 (April 8, 1915): 5, photocopy, no author, no title. One W.O. Smith wrote of the changes occurring in the New River field as a result of the UMWA contracts. The writer's description offers an insight into the promise of the union: "Two years ago you could not go into the New River field or into the Winding Gulf with an assurance that you would not be assaulted or possibly murdered by a Baldwin thug; today there are no guards in the New River field. Two years ago the miners were not allowed to place a check weighman on the tipple anywhere in the New River field; under the new agreement every local union in District 29 can elect a check weighman. Two years ago the miners of the New River field were compelled to trade in company stores. The new agreement provides that they may trade where they please. Two years ago the miners were not permitted to hold meetings on the company's property. The new agreement provides that they may meet on the company's property. Two years ago the company could dock a miner 250, 500, 1,000, 1,500 pounds, or even a whole car; under the new agreement from 250 to 500 pounds can be docked. Two years ago there was a closed shop in the New River field and the closed shop was crowded with non-union miners; not a union miner was allowed to enter the shop. Under the new agreement an open shop is established and every miner in the New River field, if he has the courage to do so, can join the United Mine Workers of America, and the agreement provides that he shall not be discriminated against for so doing. While the agreement also provides that the miner shall not be discriminated against for not belonging to a union it leaves the matter absolutely with the individual, which must ever be the case. We can have no effective organization in the New River field or anywhere until the individual members do their duty, until the individual members become sufficiently interested in their own welfare to take the initiative in the work of organization. Under the proposed agreement in the New River field the miners of District 29 can have a 100 per cent organization if they want it, . . ." W.O. Smith. "New River Contract," United Mine Workers' Journal XXV, no. 48 (April 8, 1915): 7.
159, Athey, Kaymoor, p. 57. A strike is defined as "a temporary stoppage of work by a group of employees to express a grievance or enforce a demand." A lockout is defined as "a temporary withholding of work by an employer (or group of employers) to enforce terms of employment upon a group of employees." Since 1922 the Bureau of Labor Statistics has not distinguished between strikes and lockouts in its statistics, and both types are classified as "work stoppages." Dix, Analysis, p. 5.
160. Monteith to Humbert, December 10, 1918. LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 106, Folder: 1916 Aug-1920 Jan, J.W. Monteith, Manager of Mines, UVAC; Athey, Kaymoor, p. 29. A strike did occur at Kay Moor No. 2 for two weeks in April 1919. Work was halted over demands for a checkoff and dissatisfaction over the dismissal of two carpenters. The union did not support the strike and the men returned to work without concessions. Fayette Tribune, April 24, 1919.
161. The Black Diamond raved: "John L. Lewis, the acting president of the United Mine Workers of America, has openly defied the President of the United States. He has defied Congress. He has defied the people[.] He has defied the Government itself and openly boasted that neither law or army can force him to change his mind, or ask the men to remain in the mines, pending negotiations. Lewis has called a strike, which had neither reason nor defense. He has permitted the selfish ambition of an avowed candidacy to overshadow and disregard the cries of a suffering and distressed people. Lewis is not a leader. He has proven himself unsafe for his own people." "The Defiance of Mr. Lewis," Black Diamond 63, no. 18 (November 1, 1919), p. 414. For further information on John L. Lewis, see: Cecil Canes, John L. Lewis Leader of Labor (New York: Robert Speller Publishing Corporation, 1936); McAlister Coleman, Men and Coal (New York: Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., 1943; reprint ed., New York: Arno & The New York Times, 1969; and Saul Alinsky, John L. Lewis (New York: Vintage Books, 1970).
165. Approximately 466 mines, employing around 40,000 miners, were shut down during the strike. In the New River fields, 130 mines closed, affecting 12,000 men. "Pocahontas Mines Operate; Some Union Mines Resume; Army Cowes 'Red' Element," Black Diamond 63. no. 19 (November 8, 1919): 426.
167. Rice, West Virginia, pp. 228-229, McAlister Coleman stated Keeney was the head of the West Virginia district of the UMWA with a stronghold in Fairmont, West Virginia. Keeney headed 40,000 organized miners. Coleman, Men and Coal, p. 199.
169. "Miners Angered by 14% Increase," Black Diamond 63, no. 23 (December 6, 1919): 526. Dr. Harry A. Garfield was head of the U.S. Fuel Administration, and the eldest son of President James A. Garfield.
172, T.L. Lewis to Operating Coal Companies and Mine Managers, November 30, 1921, Ibid.; "Bulletin, Idle Coal Mines New River District Cause of Idleness Explained." [December 12, 1921], LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 106A, Folder, 1921 Jan - 1922 Jan, New River Coal Operators Association, UVAC.
175. M.B. Hammond. "The Coal Commission Reports and the Coal Situation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics 38 (August 1924): 543-544; "Commission Finds Extreme Destitution Among Miners of New River Coal Fields," United Mine Workers' Journal XXXIII, no. 14 (July 15, 1922), p. 8-9.
177. "Commission Finds Destitution," p. 9. The commission, named by Dr. Stein S. Wise, rabbi of the Free Synagogue, New York, consisted of: Father R.A. McGowan, National Catholic Welfare Council, Washington; Dr. Sidney E. Goldstein, associate rabbi of the Free Synagogue, New York; and Winthrop D. Lane, journalist and author, Ibid.
179. A seventh commissioner was appointed. but when he could not be excused from his federal judgeship duties he resigned and his position was not filled. None of the six appointees were miners or coal operators, and only two had some knowledge of the coal industry. The appointees were: John Hays Hammond, a mining engineer; George Otis Smith, director of the U.S. Geological Survey; Edward T. Devine, a writer and teacher of social economy; former U.S. vice-president Thomas R. Marshall; Clark Howell, editor of the Atlanta Constitution; and Charles P. Nell, a former U.S. commissioner of labor. Ibid., pp. 548-549.
180. U.S. Coal Commission investigators examined coal towns in West Virginia, providing detailed descriptions of living conditions, For the commission investigator's description of Kay Moor in 1922-1923, see chapter III.
189. Rice, West Virginia, p. 234. For the Text of the 1934 Appalachian Agreement, see "Stoppages Mark Adoption of Shorter Day; Smokeless Agreement Signed." Coal Age 39, no, 5, (May 1934): 199-205. For the text of the 1943 Appalachian Agreement, see Coleman, Men and Coal, pp. 312-335. These agreements covered not only wages, but vacations, hours, union checkoff, set 17 as the minimum age for working in the mines, and grievance committee setup.
2. Ibid., p. 162, For an analysis of social and physical conditions in another southern West Virginia town, the coal camp of Wad, see: Thomas J. Morris, "The Coal Camp: A Pattern of Limited Community Life" (M.A. Thesis, West Virginia University, 1950).
7. Robert F. Munn, "The Development of Model Towns in the Bituminous Coal Fields," West Virginia History XL, no, 3 (Spring 1979), pp. 243-244. Munn discussed the growth of "model towns," wherein living conditions were improved m an effort to attract a "better class of miners," This class would work harder, be sober and stable, and resist the union. All aspects of the miners' environment would be planned and controlled by the "benevolent and prudent employer." After 1920 interest in model towns disappeared because of economic depression, an abundance of labor, the near collapse of the UMWA, and less belief in the view that company benevolence insured labor peace. Most of the model towns survived physically until the Great Depression. Expensive social welfare activities, such as efforts to provide education and improve morals, disappeared while inexpensive programs such as promoting gardens and efficient first aid teams continued. Ibid., pp. 245, 248, 251-253. There is evidence of some of these programs at Kay Moor, regardless if planned by management in the interest of providing a "model town." Examples are the costs for Kay Moor's schools and minister, borne by the Low Moor Iron Company, documented by the U.S. Coal Commission investigator in 1923.
9. For instance consider the words of West Virginia coal operator W.P. Tams Jr.: "The company town and the company store have long been favorite target of critics of the coal industry. Many appear to have believed that both were imposed on helpless miners by rapacious operators. However, such a view reveals a complete misunderstanding of the situation." W.P. Tams Jr., The Smokeless Coal Fields of West Virginia (Morgantown: West Virginia University Library, 1963), p. 51.
11. U.S. Department of Labor, Women's Bureau, Home Environment and Employment Opportunities of Women in Coal-Mine Workers' Families, Bulletin of the Women's Bureau, No. 45 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1925), p. 29.
12. For a sample interview, read the remarks of Virgil Burgess concerning Kay Moor. He remembered, Kaymoor was a mixture. They had white, black, some foreign and all, but there was no particular area where they [the coal company] were drawing from. People that lived down there liked it. They had the store and had the office and the Post Office, and a school. And the ones that got down there liked to socialize among themselves. They liked living down there." Interview with Virgil Burgess, p. 47.11, NERI.
13. Reverend Dial's viewpoint reveals his feelings concerning the union in his description of Kay Moor miners' relationship with Low Moor management: "Kay Moor is a mining town two miles above Fayette Station on New River, and is the property of the Low Moor Iron Company of Virginia, E.M. Cabell is the superintendent. The town is built on the rocky hillside on the west side of the river and one is astonished to see the conveniences the company has provided at great cost. One would not think that such conveniences could be provided in such a rugged place but they are there and I have enjoyed them, . . . The homes where I visited and where I was hospitably entertained had all the necessaries and many of the luxuries of life. And the people; I went there to preach, and first met Mr. Cabell, at his office and incidentally Mr. Cabell said: "We have good people here Mr. Dial," but when I saw the splendid audiences and discerned the culture and refinement manifest by the women and the manly deportment in evidence among the men I thought Mr. Cabell had made a ver [sic] conservative statement when he said, "We have good people here." I have preached all over this city [Huntington] and I don't think I ever preached to a more dignified audience than was assembled in that little theatre that night at Kay Moor. Why is this? You know this is not the case in all the mining towns. I have been thinking and drawn the contrast between Kay Moor and some other mining camps that I have visited and it is great. It certainly is not because of any natural advantages posessed [sic] by Kay Moor for its natural advantages are inferior to many other mining towns. . . . But to go back to Kay Moor, I don't think they will pay any better wages there than elsewhere but the men are not only living well but are laying up money, and they seem to love their homes and I did not hear an unkind word by the workmen about their employers, or vice versa. There seemed to be such a splendid fraternal feeling existing between the men of the company. It seemed that their interests were mutual. Mr. Cabell seems to love the men and the men to love him. Each has the others interest at heart. Fayette Tribune, December 18, 1919.
14. RG-68, United States Coal Commission (U.S.C.C,), Records of the Division of Investigation of Labor Facts, Living Conditions Section, Completed Mining Community "A" Schedules, (Form LC-12), with Camp Ratings 1922-23. (Logan District, W.Va. New River District W.VA.). Entry 62, Box 31, National Archives, Suitland, Maryland (NA Suitland).
17. Ibid., p. 1489. Each factor carried weight in the final rating. These were: housing 19; water 25; sewage 19; community layout and general upkeep 8; food and merchandise supply 10; medical and health 6; and religion and recreation 5. These factors carried different weights because coal operators did not have total control over such things as location; the camp had to be located where the coal seams were deposited. Ibid., p. 1482.
20. 1904 West Virginia Gazetteer, p. 416; 1906 West Virginia Gazetteer, p. 497; 1908 West Virginia Gazetteer, p. 404; 1914 West Virginia Gazetteer, p. 382; 1916 West Virginia Gazetteer, pp. 391-392; 1918 West Virginia Gazetteer, p. 415; 1923 West Virginia Gazetteer, p. 546.
23. R.T. Hill, "Line Villages in Southern West Virginia: Examples in the New River Gorge," Proceedings New River Symposium Pipestem, West Virginia, April 11-13, 1985; pp. 121-124. For more information on coal mining and settlement morphologies, see: Mack H. Gillenwater, "Cultural and Historical Geography of Mining Settlements in the Pocahontas Coal Field of Southern West Virginia, 1880 to 1930" (Ph. D. dissertation, University of Tennessee, 1972), pp. 47-61. Gillenwater also presented an article on the subject of New River demographics at a New River Symposium. See: Mack H. Gillenwater, "A Geographical Analysis of the Demographic Changes in the New River Basin, 1900-1980," pp. 203-217, in Proceedings New River Symposium, Blacksburg, Virginia, April 14-16, 1983.
24. Ed D. Wickes to E.C. Means, May 29, 1903, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 28, Folder: 1903 Jan-May., E.C. Means Low Moor, UVAC. The U.S. coal commission provided the dates of construction, but Low Moor correspondence reveals other construction dates, specifically 1906.
30. Cabell to Monteith, February 13, 1919, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 17, Folder: 1918 Dec 1919 April, UVAC; Cabell to Monteith, February 19, 1919, Ibid; Cabell to Monteith, March 12, 1919, Ibid; Cabell to Monteith, March 19, 1919, Ibid; Cabell to Monteith, May 1, 1919, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 17, Folder: 1919 May July, UVAC; Cabell to Monteith, May 15, 1919, Ibid; Cabell to Monteith, May 7, 1919, Ibid. The carpenters not only repaired houses, but added extra features: house #15 received a new room or pantry addition, and a wash room was added to house #13.
36. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Houses for Mining Towns, by Joseph H. White, Bulletin 87 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1916), p. 6. An interesting analysis of Kay Moor and other New River Gorge Towns could be made using the 1923 U.S. Coal Commission descriptions of coal towns in comparison with this 1916 ideal model town.
43. Wickes to Means, June 3, 1903, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 28. Folder: 1903 June-Aug 11, E.C. Means, Low Moor, UVAC; Wickes to Means, May 20, 1903, LMIC, Acc. 662. Ibid.; Raven to Means, September 7, 1903, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 68A, Folder July-Sept. 1903, #1, Kay Moor Low Moor, UVAC.
45. RG-68, U.S.C.C., Records of the Division of Investigation of Labor Facts, Living Conditions Section, Completed Mining Community "A" Schedules, Entry 62, Box 31, NA Suitland. No leases for Kay Moor housing were found in the Low Moor Iron Company records. For sample leases prevalent in West Virginia and other coal mining regions, see Senate, Report, Part Ill, Appendix III, "Copies of Leases Covering Occupancy of Mine-Workers' Houses and of Schedules Used in Collection of Field Data," pp. 1579-1602.
51. RG-68, U.S.C.C., Records of the Division of Investigation of Labor Facts, Living Conditions Section, Completed Mining Community "A" Schedules, Entry 62, Box 31, NA Suitland. Coal sheds or houses were usually rectangular in shape, 6 ft. x 4 ft. x 4 ft., and held one ton of coal. They were usually built of brick or a strong wood, such as oak. Gillenwater, Cultural, p. 99. When the community at Kay Moor No. 2 was built in 1903 a mining engineer wrote to the superintendent about the house foundations and revealed how the houses at Kay Moor Top were built "I think your suggestion regarding the foundation for houses is wrong. I believe it would be better to put in rock pedestals, the same as we are now doing in the new houses at No. 1." Mining Engineer to Hubert Raven, August 14, 1903, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 68A, Folder: July-Sept 1903, #1, Kay Moor, Low Moor, UVAC.
74. Thomas, "Coal Country," p. 294. For sample newspaper articles concerning violence, especially murders, at Kay Moor see the following: Fayette Journal, March 3, 1904; Ibid., October 4, 1906; Fayette Sun, August 10, 1911; Fayette Tribune, January 27, 1910. In May 1920 C.E. Smith, store manager at Kay Moor No. 1, was shot and killed. Fayette Tribune, May 27, 1920; Ibid., March 31, 1921; Ibid., May 19, 1921; Ibid., February 28, 1934; Ibid., July 25, 1934; Ibid., September 5, 1934; Ibid., December 20, 1934; Ibid., September 12, 1935; Ibid., September 19, 1935; Ibid., March 12, 1936; Ibid., April 16, 1936; Ibid., March 3, 1939.
78. Thomas, "Coal Country," pp. 284-285. Further information on scrip issued by the Low Moor Iron Company may be obtained from Gordon Dodrill, 20,000 Coal Company Stores in the United States, Mexico and Canada (n.p.: Duquesne Lithographing Company, 1971).
86. RG-68, U.S.C.C., Records of the Division of Investigation of Labor Facts, Cost of Living and Retail Price Section, Completed "Store Schedules" and Field Notes, 1923, Entry 86, Box 50, Envelope: 66c (1) Low Moor Iron Co. (Store #9) Kaymoor, NA Suitland.
87, Ibid., Sales for individual items were: food $23,539.15; clothing and dry goods $77,500; house furniture and furnishings $2,600; mining supplies and hardware $3,625; tobacco, candy and drinks $2,600; and miscellaneous $3,737.60. Ibid.
88. RG-68, U.S.C.C., Records of the Division of Investigation of Labor Facts, Cost of Living and Retail Price Section, Completed "Store Schedules" and Field Notes, 1923, Entry 86, Box 50, Envelope: 73c Low Moor Iron Co., Kaymoor, NA Suitland. Sales of individual items were: food $21,815.16; clothing and dry goods $77,500; drugs and toilet articles $3,000; house furniture and furnishings $3,900; and miscellaneous $5,444.40. Ibid.
95. U.S. Department of Labor, Children's Bureau, The Welfare of Children in Bituminous Coal Mining Communities in West Virginia, by Nettie McGill, Children's Bureau Publication No. 117 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1923), p. 18. This report was written about children's school, work, and living conditions in Raleigh County, West Virginia.
98. Four of the five school teachers in 1923 were Vivian Duncan, Senorita Pierce, Mrs. A.H. King and Opal Crouse. In 1917 Catherine Hanna taught the Kay Moor white students while Alex Henderson taught black students, Fayette Tribune, September 6, 1917.
113. RG-68, U.S.C.C., Records of the Division of Investigation of Labor Facts, Living Conditions Section, Completed Mining Community "A" Schedules, Entry 62, Box 31, NA Suitland; RG-28, Records of the Post Office Department, Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832 September 30, 1971, Microcopy 841, Roll 138 West Virginia, Barbour-Greenbrier Counties, vol. 99, ca. 1904-1930, NA; Ibid., vol. 77 ca. 1930 September 30, 1971, NA.
116. Cabell to Hibbert, November 27, 1915, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 22, Folder: 1915 Kay Moor Mines, UVAC. In 1917 the theatre was showing Paramount, Universal, and Pathe films. Fayette Tribune, May 3, 1917. The films were shown on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Ibid. September 6, 1917.
117. Harold Frazer, Representative Mgr. Continental Lyceum Bureau to Messrs. Cabell, Davis & Cottrell, March 1, 1920, Low Moor Iron Company Records, Acc. 662, Folder: 1920 Jan-March Kay Moor Low Moor, UVAC. Continental Lyceum was located in Louisville, Kentucky.
118. Fox Film Corporation to J. Hibbard, October 12, 1923, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 204, Folder: Business Letters, #1, UVAC; Fox Film Corporation to J. Hibbard, December 9, 1923, Ibid.; JA. Hibbard to Fox Film Corporation, June 25, 1924, Ibid.; J.A. Hibbard to Fox Film Corporation, January 14, 1924, Ibid.
135, Wickes to Means, May 25, 1903, LMIC, Acc. 662, Box 28, Folder: 1903 Jan-May, E.C. Means, Low Moor, UVAC; Wickes to Means, May 22, 1903, Ibid. Wickes also told Means about an employee's drug habit: "He drank anywhere from two to eight ounces of laudanum every day...." Wickes to Means, May 26, 1903, Ibid.
138. Interview with Dometrius Woodson, p. 20.21, NERI. For a discussion on how to control the alcohol consumption in the coal camps, see Charles R. Towson, "Replacing the Saloon in Mining Communities," Coal Age 8, no. 7 (August 14, 1915), pp. 264-266.
144. Notice that all women are considered wives in the Women's Bureau study, while all unmarried women are counted as daughters. No provision was made for grown, unmarried women on their own; there possibly was no opportunity for unmarried women to be economically independent outside of their parents' house.
149. Fayette State Sentinel, April 27, 1960; Virgil Burgess believed the fire was fueled by the dense vegetation which had grown up among the houses. He remembered 54 houses being burned. Interview with Virgil Burgess, p. 47.15, NERI. Former Kay Moor resident Dometrius Woodson recalled that "somebody set the houses on, set a house on fire down there, and they were so close together, they just kept going till they burned them all up but two." Interview with Dometrius Woodson, p. 20.3, NERI.
Last Updated: 30-Jan-2009