Coal Mining In Williamson and Franklin Counties

Dr. Allan Patton - #1

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Ziegler  author and historian, Dr. Allan Patton ,  spoke about  coal mining in Williamson and Franklin Counties for the Herrin Area Historical Society on Friday, March 13th, at the Herrin  City Library.Dr. Patton - explains miners' paycheck

Dr. Patton presented  this payroll card indicating that the miner earned $56.00 during the pay period.  However, deductions must be applied before the check is issued. Social Security Tax  .56, Rent  $5.00,  Company Store Purchases  30.00, Union Dues  .51,  Special Union Assessment  $1.20,  Hospital Dues  $5.00,  Withholding Tax  $1.75,  War Saving Bond  $1.25  = $45.27  Balance Due $10.73   Dr. Patton wondered how did a family survive?Train - Dr. Patton

He showed a remarkable slide presentation & explained that this single car train traveled from Beardstown to Metropolis on a daily basis, except Sunday.  The service began in 1928 & ran until 1957. The train traveled on a route that included Zeigler, W. Frankfort, Herrin &  other cities.  The car was composed of a three section unit, engine compartment, postal service, and railway express, freight, and passenger service for two dozen patrons.

The train was successful until the 1950’s when many of the local mines began closing.  Finally, the Burlington Railroad Company lost the mail contract and they soon sought permission to discontinue the train.

 

 

Flats

The miners and their families needed housing as they migrated here from Europe. They lived in  Flats which were constructed by the Leiter builders in 1904 and 1905.  These two story wooden frame structures housed 23 families each.  Mr. Levi Zeigler Leiter had five Flats built on the mine site, Flat A, B, C, D E.  Generally, as miners migrated from Europe they migrated to a Flat that housed citizens from their home land.  Thus, Poles lived in a flat, Italians lived in a second Flat, etc.  These flats survived for about 50 years when they finally were no longer repairable and they were dismantled.

Zeigler Hospital - Dr. Patton

Dr. Patton explained that Chicago businessman , Levi Zeigler Leiter, had been informed that mining was a very dangerous job and on a regular basis the workers would need medical support.  At the time there were no hospitals in Franklin County, and the doctors were limited in knowledge.  Thus, Mr. Leiter directed his builder L.V. Rice to construct a large modern hospital to care for the health needs of miners and their families.  Looking at the picture, the right side indicates the doctor’s office for wounds and other less severe needs.  On the left is the doorway to the hospital.  In addition, if one looks at the second story the living quarters for the staff, nurses, can be seen.  This building stood until it burned one evening in the early 1980 era.  Dr. B.A. Moskoff was the doctor who served the greatest number of years at this facility. In the early years, Leiter had an ambulance that provided transportation to the hospital, a white covered wagon, drawn by two horses.