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    HOME > TIMELINE > 1900-1920
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timeline 1900-1920

Saturday, March 31, 1900
The Moweaqua miners celebrate the 80hour day law with a parade, speeches and dance.

April 1, 1900
Lump coal at Moweaqua is selling for $2.25 per ton.

July 5, 1900
German coal miner Charles Karloski was killed in the Moweaqua mine by falling slate.

November 14, 1900
The local paper announced that the Illinois Central Rail Road had agreed to purchase a large amount of coal daily from the mine. A coaling station was set up by February 1901 to allow trains to make stops.

April 1, 1901
The miner 8-hour day celebration this year included a parade with floats.

Saturday, August 17, 1901
Mine superintendent John Cairns was killed in a rail accident while new boilers were being taken to the mine. An elaborate funeral was held for him on Monday, August 19 that included the Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, miners union and Moweaqua band. 
(The Knight of Pythias had over 308,000 members in Illinois by 1891 with hundreds of chapters. The records of the Moweaqua chapter are now at the Moweaqua Historical Museum.)

August 21, 1901
Miners Ed Roberts and his father were badly burned in a mine accident and took several weeks to recover.

September 18, 1901
The local paper reported that James Heriot of Spring Valley, IL was selected to replace the late John Cairns as mine superintendent. Heriot served until his sudden death the week of June 7, 1905 and was succeeded by Charles Ahl.

Coal is mined in Blue Mound until 1913 in Section 32 of Township 15 North and Range 1 East of the 3rd Principal Meridian.

April 3, 1905
47 miners were killed in an explosion and three died from asphyxiation while conducting rescue operations at Zeigler Coal Company in Southern Illinois.

Tuesday, June 27, 1905
Miner Blankenship had his foot crushed in the mine and the next day Thomas Chadwick McCray was crushed to death while driving his coal cars with a mule.  McCray’s father won a $4500 judgment against the mine in Shelby County Court in March 1908 but this was overturned by the Illinois Appellate Court in May 1909.

August 9, 1905
The Moweaqua News reported that a “talking tube to connect the underground workers with the surface” was installed this week “as a matter of convenience and safety.”

Wednesday, August 23, 1905
According to the local paper, Miner James Albert Graham was slightly injured while Joe Norcas had his right arm crushed by falling rocks in two separate mine accidents this week.

September 20, 1905
Illinois mining law requires daily inspection of each mine by mine examiners

October 6, 1905
Bert Long was hurt when a blast shot blew up too soon.

Thirty percent of all coal mined in Illinois was by machine.

August 24, 1909
An electrical fire killed eight mine mules. The mine was closed for a month while repairs were done to timbers.

November 5, 1909
Stephen Potsick, age 21 was killed by falling slate.

November 13, 1909
At the St. Paul Coal Company, Mine #2 (Commonly known as the Cherry Mine Disaster) 259 miners died in the mine fire while 21 men were rescued making this the largest mine disaster in Illinois history. The Moweaqua news carried a long list of people who contributed to the relief fund.

Legislation was passed that provided for the creation of mine rescue stations.This act was in response to the mine fire at the St. Paul Coal Company, Mine #2 the year before.

November 19, 1910
Tony LeCounts, age 17 died of powder burns in the Moweaqua mine.

The first state operated mine rescue stations were opened in LaSalle, Springfield and Benton. Three mine rescue railroad cars furnished and equipped to respond to a mine emergency were commissioned for use at the rescue stations
Also, the Illinois Workmen's Compensation Act passed.

The fist self-contained breathing apparatus for mine rescue operations is used.

March 6, 1912
The cost of nut and pea coal in New York runs from $4.75 to $7.00 a ton.

December 1, 1912
Joe Nanni was crushed by falling slate in the Moweaqua mine.

October 27, 1914
52 miners died in a gas explosion in Franklin Coal & Coke Mine #1in Southern Illinois.
The new Illinois Civil Administrative Code established the Department of Mines and
Minerals, which had the powers to regulate the state’s growing coal industry.

July 1917
With the U.S. now in World War I, the railroads hauled 23% more coal than they did the year earlier.

November 13, 1917
Many Moweaqua miners attend a YMCA fund drive for soldier camps held at the Ribelin Auditorium. On December 5 the Moweaqua News reported that the miners donated well beyond their fair share. “As a large per cent are of foreign extraction, the outcome shows that they are equal to any in loyalty and patriotic feelings and in desire to support the government.”

January 31, 1918
The mine is producing about 500 tons of coal daily. 

December 17, 1919
There are 135 miners employed in Moweaqua.

John L. Lewis became president of the UMWA.