Page contributed by Karen Mitchell. NOTICE All data and photos on this website are Copyrighted by Karen Mitchell. Duplication of this data or photos is strictly forbidden without legal written permission by the Copyright holder.
One of the main industries in Huerfano County was the coal mines. Men from all over the world
came to Huerfano County to work, and sometimes die, in the mines. The nativity of the 3500 miners employed on April 1,
1915, was reported as follows: U. S. A. White 506 Roumanian 24 Slavic
83 Belgian 2 U. S. A. Colored 248 Swedish 12 German 56 Cretan 2 Italian 896 Irish 7 Russian 56 Jewish 2 Mexican 602 Bohemian 5 Japanese
41 Danish 1 Austrian 429 Croatian 5 Polish
40 Macedonian 1 Greek 270 Serbian 4 Bulgarian
36 Norwegian 1 Hungarian 101 French 3 Welsh
34 Swiss 1 Scotch 31
In 1884 Colorado passed
legislation that all mine accidents must be reported, hence this list of Huerfano County mining
fatalities. Although there are 560 mining fatalities listed here, there were many more that were not reported to the state. Listed below is the mines that were in Huerfano County and their approximate location. This listing was graciously contributed by Louise Adams. Following that is the alphabetical index of the fatalities.
HUERFANO COUNTY COAL MINES
Mine: AARON Location: On Old House Road, about five miles from Pryor. Owner: Emil Richter Operation: 1939 – 1942 Production: 1,234 tons
Mine:ABIDAIR SLOPE Location: Northwest of the Caddell mines on the hogback north of Walsenburg Owner: Worked by Oscar Joiner, Dillard Sefton, and Dr. A. U. Hanna in the old Johnny JonesMineof the 1890s Operation: 1902 Production: No statistics
Mine:ADAMSON or INDIAN CREEK Location: Indian Creek Canon southwest of La Veta Owner: W. H. Adamson Operation: 1888 – 1892, known as Indian Creek1892 – 1895, known as Adamson Production: 4,200 tons
Mine:ALAMO # 1 Location: Northeast of the Black Hills and southwest of Tioga Owner: Oakdale Coal Company Operation: 1922 – 1936, dismantled in 1941 Production: 1,038,952 tons Fatalities: March 1923, first fatalities when a runaway mine car struck two men and killed them.
Mine:ALAMO #2, a.k.a. BARBOUR, a.k.a. BUTTE VALLEY Location: Just north of Alamo Owner: Oakdale Coal Company Superintendent: John Calderhead, Barbour's first Superintendent; William Getchell was made Superintendent of Alamo, Barbour and Oakdale in 1927. Operation: 1926 – 1927 as Barbour1928 – 1935 as Alamo #21937 – 1952 as Butte Valley Production: 1,211,331 tons
Mine:ALLIANCE, see also Ojo Location: Ojo District Owner: Alliance Coal Company, leased from owners John Stranger and A. A. Foote Operation: 1911 – March 1914; June 1914 - July 1916. Alliance Coal Company sold to Vance Sickman and Associates. Production: Unknown
Mine:BAKER, a.k.a. Frankenberry, or Middle Creek Location: McCormick Canyon near Middle Creek Owner: George Baker. He sold to Fruth and Autrey and this became a part of the Oakdale workings. Operation: Late 1890s and early 1900s. Production: None available.
Mine:BARBOUR, a.k.a. ALAMO #2, a.k.a. BUTTE VALLEY Location: Just north of Alamo Owner: Oakdale Coal Company Operation: 1926 – 1927 as Barbour1928 – 1935 as Alamo #21937 – 1952 as Butte Valley Production: 1,211,331 tons
Mine:BEACON, see Larrimore
Mine:BERT'S #1, see Blue Blaze
Mine:BERT'S #2, see Black Hawk
Mine:BEST, see Black Hawk
Mine:BIG FOUR, see also Tioga
Mine:BIG SIX, see Black Hills
Mine:BIG TURNER, see Calumet
Mine:BLACK BEAUTY, see also Sampson nearby. Location: Two and one-half miles northwest of Walsenburg between Maitland and Pictou. Owner: Unknown Operation: 1934 – 1943
1950s – 1964, operated by Mike Giordano, Sr. and sons Joseph, Mike, Jr., and Eugene. Production: 110,538 tons for Black Beauty and Sampson
Mine:BLACK CANYON Location: North of Walsenburg Owner: Dick Brothers then in December 1909 sold to William H. Van Mater Operation: 1905 – 1909 as Black Canyon1909 – 1913 as Black Canyon – William H. Van Mater 1913 – 1916 Black Canyon Fuel Company, President John Q. Royce
1917 as Hickory Canon1918 – 1919 as New Maitland Production: 130,540 tons
Mine:BLACK HAWK, a.k.a. BERT'S #2, a.k.a. BEST Location: Southwest of Pryor Operator: Dale Smith. Philip Ferkovich was another operator Operation: 1930 – 1941 as Black Hawk
1956 as Best Coal1958 – 1962 as Black Hawk Nos. 1 and 21963 – 1967 as Bert's # 2 Production: 79,089 tons
Mine:BLACK HILLS Location: A mile and a half west of the Kebler Mine at Tioga. Operator: Black Hills Coal Company Operation: 1921 – 1930
1938 as Big Six Production: 5,317 tons
Mine:BLUE BIRD Location: North of Rouse Owner: Sam Taylor Operator: Mario Alberici, Matt Ferrero, Albert Noga Operation: 1934 – 1935 Production: 677 tons
Mine:BLUE BLAZE Location: Near Rouse, though closer to Lester Owner: Albert Amiday and his son were partners with Clyde M. Johnson, but the Amidays bought out the Johnson's interest. The partners had moved to Blue Blaze after closing down their Big Six mine near Alamo in 1939 which they had operated for several years previously. A fire destroyed much of the mine in 1940. In 1943 four men were employed. Nearby the Amidays also worked Bert's No. 1 from 1951 – 1953. Operation: 1939 – 1943 Production: 67,929 tons between Blue Blaze and Bert's No. 1
Mine:BREEN Location: About a mile from downtown Walsenburg on the south side of the hogback near McNally. Owner: John P. Breen, half-owner Operation: 1911 – 1920 Production: 172,000 tons
Mine:BUNKER HILL Location: East of Rouse and practically on the Las Animas County line. Operator: Steve Mattivi and Sons Operation: 1898 – 1901
1909 – 1936
1929 – 1936 Bunker Hill Nos. 2 and 3 Production: 6,115 tons from the three openings
Mine:BUTTE VALLEY, see Alamo #2
Mine:CADDELL, a.k.a. OLD CADELL, NO. 2 (UPPER), NO. 3 (REIS) Location: Just across the hogback from Walsenburg on the old road to Toltec and Pictou. Owner: There were several Caddell brothers, but Ed opened numerous mines, developed and sold them, and these are probably named for him. Operator: Black Canon Coal Company, Pacific Coal Company, and Sweet Brothers Operation: 1909 – 1934 Production: 302,017 tons Fatalities: 1927 three men were killed when their drill hit an unexploded shot.
Mine:CADDELL NO. 3, a.k.a. Reis Operator: Sweet Brothers Operation: 1931 – 1951 Production: 908 tons in 1931 Note: In 1961 the tipple burned down after the mine had been closed about 10 years.
Mine:CALUMET NO. 1, a.k.a. Turner or Big Turner Location: North of Delcarbon Operator: James Turner; he sold to Turner Coal Company; they sold to Utah Fuel in 1927; Calumet Coal Company were operators in 1931. Operation: 1911-1933 Production: 2,668,885 tons
Mine:CALUMET NO. 2, a.k.a. Delcarbon, Brennan, and Little Turner Location: Several miles southeast of Delcarbon Camp Owner: George Turner; Henry Kaiser bought the mine in April 1950, but began dismantlement in November 1951. After the company sold some of the machinery, the eight Sudar brothers bought the mine from Kaiser Steel. Operation: 1918 – 1923 as Brennan1924 – 1971 as Calumet No. 2 Production: 2,916,273 tons
Mine:CAMERON, CAMERON NO. 2 Location: One mile south of Walsenburg on Bear Creek Road Owner: Cameron Coal Mine Company Around 1907 Colorado Fuel and Iron Operation: 1883 – 1946 Production: 4,000,000 tons
Mine:CAMP SHUMWAY, see Rocky Mountain Mine, and Consolidated Mine Location: Between Delcarbon and Gordon on Highway 69 northwest of Walsenburg Owner: Dr. C. M. McGuire Operator: Rocky Mountain Fuel Company Note: Camp Shumway was located between Delcarbon and Gordon on Highway 69 northwest of Walsenburg.
Rocky Mountain Fuel Company opens this mine in 1902, where they found veins of coal from five to 10 feet thick. It bought 800 acres from Ed Caddell, who located the mine and began some improvements, for development in 1904.
The first fatality was William Whiles, father of the mine superintendent, E. H. Whiles, in July 1905 in the Rocky Mountain Mine.
There was also good news that July. The company gave the children of camp free tickets to the Floto circus in Walsenburg and Mr. And Mrs. John Juhas won $50 from the Denver Post for having triplets.
The fuel company operated both the Rocky Mountain and Consolidated mines. In November 1905 the Consolidated Coal Company leased the two mines from Dr. C. M. McGuire, owner, for $3,000 per year and ten cents a ton royalty.
The Consolidated mine was then leased to Cuchara Coal Company, organized in 1905 by Fred O. Roof and William, George and James B. Dick who incorporated the company two years later.
Consolidated post office was established in 1905 but that December the name was changed to McGuire for the landowner. Some residents wanted it to be named Shumway and on April 13, 1911 it became officially the Camp Shumway post office. It stayed that way until it was closed July 1, 1924. It was named for E.E. Shumway, president of Rocky Mountain Fuel Company.
The post office was located in the Pinon Supply Company's store. John Kirkpatrick was store manager and postmaster in 1905.
The school was in District No. 17 and was always named Rocky Mountain. In 1911 enrollment was 53, but dropped to 32 by 1920.
Rocky Mountain camp remained after the mines closed in the 1920's, but served Gordon mine nearby.
The old frame school was "reconditioned" by Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers in 1939 into a modern building. Part of the so-called "modernization" included replacing the outhouses!
Outside of the school there must not have been much activity in camp, judging from the report that someone stole a four-room house one night in 1937.
There are no statistics on the production of Consolidated and Rocky Mountain Mines and one would assume the tonnages were included with Gordon's total output.
Mine:CAPROCK Location: Between Ideal and Old Rouse Operation: 1917 – 1922 Production: 31,350 tons Niggerhead (high quality) coal
Mine:CARBON, see Murrell
Mine:CARBONADO, see Morning Glory
Mine:CHAMPION, a.k.a. Monkey Mine Location: Near Maitland Operator: Peter Foley dug some shafts in June 1900. Charles Beauchat of the Union Coal and Coke Company opened the mine for production in September 1900. Operation: 1900 – 1910 Production: 214,598 tons were shipped
Mine:CHAPARRAL CANON, a.k.a. San Isabel Location: Unknown, but it's pretty likely it was in Chaparral Canon south of La Veta. And, if it was, it very likely was also known as the San Isabel mine that produced 111 tons in 1931. This mine was just a few miles up Chaparral from the Cucharas River crossing on Highway 12.
Mine:CLAIR PROFFITT, see Murrell
Mine:C.O.D., a.k.a. Kearin Location: Oak Creek Area west of La Veta and south of Oakview Operation: 1933 – 1941 Production: 2,068 tons
Mine:CONSOLIDATED, see Camp Shumway, see Cuchara Canon
Mine:CUCHARA CANON Location: The Colorado Geologic Survey places this mine at Pictou, which is doubtful since it is no where near the Cucharas River or canyon. If it is the Cuchara Coal Company Mine, it is Consolidated. Operation: 1917 – 1925 Production: 19,727 tons
Mine:DEER CANYON, see Goemmer
Mine:DELCARBON (Del Carbon), see Calumet No. 2
Mine:FARR, see Cameron
Mine:FARR AND THOMPSON Location: Northwest of Walsenburg Operation: 1921 Production: No tonnage listed.
Mine:FERN, a.k.a. Klikus Location: Near the Oak Creek mine of 1950, near the Klikus ranch west of La Veta. Owner: Peter Fern operated it in a limited fashion in the early 1920s. Operator: In 1923, 1924 Oakdale Coal Company purchased the property but quickly gave up on it. In 1932 it became the Klikus Mine. Production: 7,208 tons
Mine:FRANKENBERRY, see Baker
Mine:GEORGE NO. 1, 2, 3, 4 Location: These mines were worked in the former Occidental, Oakdale, and Ojo areas. Owner: Sam George Operation: 1930 – 1954 Production: 14,622
Mine:GLOBE, a.k.a. New Globe Location: About a mile south of Farr, but its opening later became an airshaft for the sprawling Cameron Mine. Operator: Colorado and Western Coal Company incorporated by W.C. Strohm, James F. Benedict and J.P. Kearns, it was soon closed. Operation: 1900, closed and reopened in 1910 as the New Globe, closed within a year. Production: 24,070 tons Note: CF&I laid a track to the mine in 1937 with an eye to reopening the shaft in conjunction with the Cameron.
Mine:GOEMMER Note: What La Vetans know as the Goemmer coal mines were evidently Brown's, worked in 1935 and 1936 and Deer Canyon, operated in 1952 – 1953. Production is shown as 510 tons.
Mine:GORDON Location: In or near the Rocky Mountain Mine Operator: Gordon Coal Company, then in 1927 it was owned by the Huerfano Agency, in 1930s the Dick Brothers took over the mine. Operation: 1907 – 1965 Production: 2,239,763 tons Note: Dick Brothers signed a work contract with United Mine Workers of America in July 1947, one of the first independent mines to do so.
Mine:HARP'S OPENING, and HAZLIT and are listed as operating in Huerfano County by the Department of Natural Resources. Their locations, dates of operation and tonnages are unknown.
Mine:HEZRON Location: About seven miles south of Walsenburg, midway between Old Rouse and New Rouse. Operator: Colorado Fuel and Iron Company Operation: 1902 – 1912; 1917 – 1918; then leased it out to independent operators off and on until 1925 when it closed permanently. Production: 899,683 tons Fatalities: The first fatality occurred in January 1902, when a man was killed by a fall of rock.
Mine:HICKORY CANON, see Black Canon
Mine:HUERFANO is listed as operating in Huerfano County by the Department of Natural Resources. Its location, date of operation and tonnage is unknown.
Mine:IDEAL Location: South of Walsenburg off Ideal Canyon Road Operator: Colorado Fuel and Iron Operation: 1909 –1927 New Ideal opened in 1939, closed 1941 Production: 2,507,301 tons; New Ideal 12,740 tons
Mine:INDIAN CREEK, see Adamson
Mine:JACKSON, see Larrimore
Mine:JOBAL, a.k.a. Joe Ball Location: Near Pictou Operator: Colorado Fuel and Iron Operation: 1918 – 1927 Production: 202,070 tons
Mine:JOHNNY JONES Location: Just across the hogback from Walsenburg toward Toltec. Owner: John Jones Operators: Snavey Brothers and J. N. Andrews worked the mine in 1898 Operation: 1893 – 1898
1902 as the Abidair Slope
Mine:KEARIN, see C.O.D.
Mine:KEBLER, see Tioga
Mine:KLIKUS, see Fern
Mine:KORTE, a.k.a. ROUND OAK Location: About four miles south of Walsenburg near the Winchell siding on the C&S Railroad. Owner: G. F. Korte Operator: Canon and McDowell in 1907, twenty-five year lease. Operation: 1901 – 1935 Production: 210,971 tons
Mine:LARRIMORE, a.k.a. JACKSON, and BEACON (the original name). Location: Near Strong Operator: Commercial Coal and Coke Company, then Monument Valley Coal Company Operation: 1909 – 1910 as Jackson
1912 – 1919 as Larrimore Production: 145,547 tons Fatalities: The mine was operating in 1916 when Jose Ramos and Abel Espinosa were murdered inside, possibly for breaking union rules by working during a strike. Monument Valley Coal Company was operating it and employed 40 at the time.
Mine:LEADER, NO. 1, NO. 2, NO. 3, and NO. 4Location: Fourteen miles south of Walsenburg in the Rouse district. Operator: Mickey Judiscak in 1941 Operation: 1920 – 1933 No. 1 & No. 4
1932 – 1946 No. 2
1946 – 1960 No. 3 Production: 171,791 tons most of which cane from Nos. 2 and 3
Mine:LENNOX, see Pictou
Mine:LESTER Location: I-25 south of Walsenburg about midway between Rouse and Pryor Operator: Colorado Fuel & Iron Operation: 1911 – 1929 Production: 2,480,208 tons
Mine:LINSCOTT, a.k.a. Rogers Location: East of Sulphur Springs on Indian Creek Operator: Rogers brothers, assisted by a nephew, George Oliphant leased the mine. Operation: 1936 – 1940 Production: 1,722 tons
Mine:LITTLE TURNER, see Delcarbon
Mine:LOMA, NO. 1, NO. 2, and NO. 3 Location: Located due west of Walsenburg and north of Walsen and Robinson. Operation: 1888 – 1918 Production: 146,295 tons Note: A Loma Park strip mine was operational five miles west of Walsenburg in 1948.
Mine:LONE PINE, see Murrell
Mine:MC NALLY Location: West of Walsenburg and due east of Walsen Crag Owner: George McNally Operator: Huerfano Coal Company Operation: 1902 – 1914 Production: 20,027 tons
Mine:MAITLAND Location: Northwest of Walsenburg and just north of Pictou Operator: Victor Coal Company, a.k.a., Victor American
Caliente Coal Company
Red Ash Coal Company Operation: 1897 – 1962 Production: 1,823,238 tons Fatalities: Actually, with one notable exception, the Maitland was a relatively safe mine. A tragedy occurred in August 1903 when the company stable caught fire and 15 mules and five horses were killed. In February 1906, 16 men were killed in a gas explosion in the old Sunshine mine workings " reached through the Maitland entry." This was Huerfano County's worst mining disaster to that date, and was only surpassed when 18 were killed in Oakdale in 1919.
Mine:MAITLAND NO. 2 Operators: Frank Fink, Jr., Clarence Clair, and Pete Grgich Operation: 1952 – 1972 Production: 185,930 tons
Mine:MAJOR NO. 1 Location: About seven miles northwest of Walsenburg and just north of Gordon on Highway 69. Operation: 1931 - 1941 Production: 86,214 tons
Mine:MARVEL Location: Section 9, Township 27 South, Range 67 West Operation: 1937 Production: Unknown
Mine:MIDNIGHT, see Premium
Mine:MIDWAY, NICHOLS, and NICKOLLS Location: Between Pryor and New Rouse, just north of Lester Operator: H.C. Nichols Coal Company Operation: 1899 - 1910 Production: 377,676
Mine;MONKEY, see Champion
Mine:MORNING GLORY, a.k.a. Vesta, Carbonado Location: Between Maitland and Gordon, near the old Camp Shumway site and possibly on it. Operator: Minnequa Fuel Company
George Turner, Nick Lalich, and Sam Galassini Operation: 1912 – 1966 Production: 1,641,688 tons
Mine:MURRELL, CARBON MINE, LONE PINE, and CLAIR PROFFITT Location: Northwest of Ojo Operation: 1933 – 1943 as Murrell1946 – 1947 as Carbon Mine1950 – 1951 as Lone Pine1953 as Clair ProffittProduction: 3,700 tons
Mine:MUTUAL Location: A short distance east of Solar. Operator: Mutual Coal Company Operation: 1913 - 1932 Production: 1,496,728 tons Fatalities: An explosion in May 1915 killed two men and injured two more.
Mine:NEW MAITLAND, see Black Canon
Mine:NICHOLS, NICKOLLS, see Midway
Mine:NIGGERHEAD Location: West of Solar and Mutual Owners: George Fruth and James Autrey Operator: Niggerhead Coal Company
Walsenburg Coal Mining Company
Victor American Operation: 1912 -? Production: No records
Mine:NIGGERHEAD NO. 2 Location: Old workings at Oakview Operation: 1932 - 1939 Production: No Records
Mine:NUN ASH Location: Rugby area Operation: 1920s Production: 4,767 tons
Mine:OAK CREEK Location: Near the Klikus ranch west of La Veta Operation: 1950 Production: Unknown
OTHER IMPORTANT COMPANIES:
While Colorado Fuel and iron Company was the largest company operating in Huerfano County, it was by no means the only one. Numerous other companies, plus partnerships and individuals, had additional coal properties. Some of these controlled several mines, others were limited operations with perhaps no more than three or four employees. These latter were basically digging coal for the local market. They were called wagon mines in the early days and later, truck mines. One of the more important was Oakdale Coal Company that operated Oakdale, Alamo, and Barbour mines.
Mine:OAKDALE, NO. 1, and NO. 2 Location: West of La Veta Operator: At the site of the later Oakdale mine, several men had wagon mines to supply the local market. These included B.L. Smith who in 1906 sold his mine to George Fruth and James Autrey who had a few other mining interests as well as a large ranch north of Walsenburg. In September 1910 Fruth and Autrey sold the mine to some New York stockholders for over $300,000. The South Canon Coal Company was the new owner, and John D. Jones was superintendent. By January 1911 the owner was Oakdale Coal Company of New York. Operation: 1906 – 1932 Production: 3,340,073 tons Fatalities:
On Monday morning, August 18, 1919, a gas explosion killed 18 of the 150 men then working in the mine. Most of the others at work were able to flee through various exits while others were assisted out.
Local legend has it that many Japanese were also killed but their names were not released. Back then Japanese were not highly regarded and, in fact, made up the only nationality not allowed to join the UMW.
Literally dozens of people were buried in the Oakview Cemetery, but only a couple of graves remain marked.
Mine:OCCIDENTAL Location: Near Oakview west of La Veta Operator: Occidental Development Company. The mine was leased to Max Bird of Walsenburg in January 1909. The National Cooperative Commonwealth Mercantile Company was organized and elected Bird, president; Adams Young, vice president; John Klikus, treasurer; and William Koeger, secretary and recorder. Operation: 1900 – 1910 Production: 43,193 tons
Mine:OJO, a.k.a. Pitch Vein, Sparling, Ojo Canon, and Tompkins Location: Owners: John Stranger and A.A. Foote Operator: Alliance Coal Company. The company was sold to Vance Sickman and Associates in July 1916. In May 1919 the mine was leased to Canon-Reliance Coal Company. Canon-Reliance Fuel Company took over the lease in March 1925, but soon abandoned its operations. Pete Cameron of Trinidad subleased it and he, R.H. Crabb and about eight other men began working it. In June 1925 Puritan Coal Company took over. In December 1926 Utah Fuel Company opened another coal mine a mile and a half north, but this too was referred to as an Ojo mine. Puritan sold to Dick Coal Company in March 1928. The mine was operated on a limited basis. The Dicks gave up also, probably because of water in the mine. In 1930 Sam George, John Tompkins, and Rudolph Nava were working some veins in the vicinity and supplying the local market with coal. In May, William and Arthur Peachey and James Gregory incorporated the Peachey Coal Company. George, Tompkins, and Peachey leased at one time or another the workings at Ojo, Oakview, and Occidental right up into the 1950s. Operation: 1911 – 1950 Production: 784,929 tons
Mine:ORMAN, a.k.a. Orman and Crook Mine, see TOLTEC Location: Pictou Operator: Colorado Fuel and Iron in the early developmental days. Operation: 1894 it is possible that CF&I opened the mine as a new slope for the Pictou. It became the Toltec.
Mine:PACIFIC Location: Almost due west of Pictou Operator: Pacific Coal Company Operation: 1927 - 1930 Production: 32,726
Mine:PEAKS Location: Southwest of Walsenburg near Round Oak. Operation: 1935 and again from 1939 – 1957 Production: 21,595
Mine:PEANUT Location: About a mile north of Walsenburg Notes: There are no statistical records for this mine.
Mine:PICTOU, a.k.a. Sulphur Springs, Rock Island Mines, Lennox, and Maitland Location: North of Walsenburg, along Highway 69 West. Operator: John and Bob Price claimed to be the first to dig coal at the later site of Pictou, about 1887. At first the mines were known as the Sulphur Springs for the nearby medicinal springs. It was also known as the Rock Island Mines when the Rock Island Railroad leased the rails from Denver and Rio Grande to ship the coal for its own use. Southern Colorado Fuel Company quickly obtained the mines and began producing at Pictou in mid-1888. Colorado Fuel Company took over in 1890. Sulphur Springs No. 1 mine was called Lennox; No. 2 was Maitland. After Thomas Lawther became the first CF&I superintendent in 1889, the name Pictou was used. Lawther gave the mine its name for his hometown of Pictou, Nova Scotia. Operation: 1887 – 1953 Production: 4,971,359 tons
Mine:PIKES PEAK Location: Near Oakview Operation: 1900 – 1903 Production: No listing
Mine:PINON NO. 1, NO.2, and NO.3 Location: Five miles beyond Maitland Operator: Pinon Coal Company Operation: 1900 – 1912 No. 1 and No. 2
No dates for No. 3 Production: 568,420 tons, No.1, and No. 2
19,554 tons, No. 3
Mine:PIONEER Location: Just north of Tioga Operation: 1959 – 1962 Production: 2,935 tons
Mine:PITCH VEIN, see Ojo
Mine:PREMIUM, a.k.a. Midnight Location: West of Ideal Operation: 1936 – 1937 as Midnight
1938 as Premium
Mine:PRIMROSE Location: Just on the boundary between Huerfano and Las Animas Counties. Some of the openings were in one county, some in the other. Operation: 1880s A Pueblo group incorporated the Primrose Coal Company in 1899 to reopen the mine. The Dick brothers later bought the mine. After the county line was surveyed and relocated, Primrose found itself in Las Animas County.
Mine:PRYOR, NO. 1 and NO. 2, NEW PRYOR MINE Location: The Pryor community is located a short distance west of I-25 at the Rouse exit where houses still stand. The mines were north of the camp. Operator: Union Coal and Coke, the company went bankrupt in 1943. A public auction for the mine was August 16, 1943. E.E. Bowen of Trinidad bought it for $11,500. Bowen could not make a go of the mine, and Alex Shields and Max Vezzani leased it in 1949. They operated as the New Pryor Mine but closed it down after a few years. Operation: 1897 – 1901 No. 1
1901 – 1949 No. 2 Production: 3,124,846 tons
Mine:RAVENWOOD, a.k.a. CAMERON, ROBINSON, NEW ROBINSON, and NO. 3 Location: About a mile south-southeast of downtown Farr and the Cameron Mine. Operator: Victor American Fuel Company. Caliente Coal Company, owners of the Maitland, obtained the property in the 1920s. Caliente leased the property to Mike Giordano in April 1940. He and his sons worked the mine for several years before abandoning it. In January 1949 the Park Coal Company announced it would reopen the workings for strip mining. The Park Company discontinued its work in August 1949 and in September Colorado and Southern Railroad announced the removal of the tracks. Operation: 1908 – 1949 Production: 1,625,223 tons
Mine:REDWOOD Location: Southwest of New Rouse Operation: 1935 – 1939 Production: 751 tons
Mine:ROUSE, OLD AND NEW Named for: S. F. Rouse of the Colorado Coal and Iron Company Location: Six miles south of Walsenburg Operator: Colorado Fuel and Iron. Rouse was the No. 4 mine of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. It opened in 1888 as the biggest coal mine in the state, and in 1889 was the leading producer in Huerfano County, averaging 70 rail cars a day. Operation: 1888 – 1899 Old Rouse Five hundred feet of water entered the Rouse mine in just 10 hours in May 1897, and this water would continue to plague operations. By the spring of 1899 it had become obvious that all the pumps in the world could not make Rouse a profitable operation any longer. Pumps were removing some 1,500 gallons of water per minute, and it was not enough. The company made the decision to close the mine and move the camp and equipment to its Santa Clara mines several miles south of Rouse. Old Rouse was abandoned and a New Rouse arose in 1899. The old Santa Clara mine had been opened by Colorado Coal and Iron in 1889 but had been abandoned in 1893, so there was much work to be done.
1889 – 1920 New Rouse Production: 2,095,239 tons Old Rouse
3,461,932 tons New Rouse Fatalities: When John Mullitz was killed by a fall of rock in October 1892, it was said that he was the fourth of six sons to die in the coal mines. More sadness came when some sort of epidemic struck in December and carried off a number of small children. July 1893 brought a cholera epidemic that laid many low.
March 1895 was the "Italian Massacre." It did not occur in Rouse, but it started there.
As the story goes, one Abner J. Hixon, 36, stopped to have a drink with some nine Italians. Trouble somehow ensued and Hixon was found the next morning, badly beaten and soon dead. A bloodhound was brought in and tracked some Italians into a saloon north of camp. Others were found hiding nearby and one or two were apprehended as they fled.
The Italians said that Hixon had shot at them, causing the commotion, but the authorities claimed to have found no gun on the dying man. Well, deputies were sent from Walsenburg to bring the Italians in to jail. Just south of Walsenburg, at the old Bear Creek bridge, the wagon bearing the prisoners was attached by masked men, and several were killed, including innocent Joseph Wellsby, 19 (or 21, accounts differ), who was holding the horses after the masked men demanded they halt.
In the tumult, several Italians escaped. One wandered around the prairie for several days and turned up in old Cucharas with frostbitten feet. He was turned over to the authorities and later lost his feet to amputation.
So two surviving Italians were thrown into the old Walsenburg city jail, which was a mere shack with bars. One night as two men were guarding the inmates, more of those masked men broke into the jail and started shooting. Result – more dead Italians. The guards and a man in another cell were uninjured.
The dead included Lorenzo Danimo, Francisco Rochetto, Stanislaus Vittone, Antonio Zapetta, Pietro Giacabino, Wellsby and possibly others whose names were never learned. They were buried in St. Mary Cemetery and quickly forgotten.
The Italian Consul in Denver took offense. He began an investigation immediately and had a local lady, Mrs. Bunker, take photographs of the dead as they lay near the bridge. If the Consul ever learned the identity of the killers, he did not get the satisfaction of having them punished. In the eyes of Huerfanos, the case was closed. Eventually, Congress paid Italy $10,000 in damages, since some of the dead were Italian citizens.
Note from Louise: According to the Inflation Calculator, an equivalent amount of $10,000 in 1895 dollars would be $186,876.54 in 1999 dollars. However, $10,000 in 1999 would have been worth $535.11 in 1895.
Mine:RUGBY Location: Rugby was another mine which straddled the county lines. Rugby Nos. 1 and 5 are thought to be in Huerfano County. Operator: Rugby Fuel Company Operation: 1898 – 1924 and 1945 – 1954 Rugby No. 1
1935 – 1966 Rugby Nos. 2-5 Production: 1,225,900 tons, Rugby No. 1
51,829 tons, Rugby Nos. 2-5
Mine: RYUS Location: On the approach to La Veta Pass. Operator: David D. Ryus Operation: 1883 – 1932 Production: 2,126 tons
Mine:SAMPSON, see also Black Beauty Location: Three or four miles northwest of Walsenburg on the Maitland ridge. Operator: Angelo F. Mosco began a new development of the mine in early 1941. Operation: 1940 – 1941 Production: 110,538 tons including that of Black Beauty
Mine:SAN ISABEL, see Chapparell
Mine:SANTA CLARA, see New Rouse
Mine:SHAMROCK Location: Near Spanish Peaks mine at Strong. Operation: 1934 – 1941 Production: 57,795 tons for Shamrock and Spanish Peaks
Mine:SHUMWAY, see Camp Shumway
Mine:SIMPSON Location: Where the Simpson mine was is not recorded, but 11 houses were built in 1910, and a 20 by 48-foot store went up in 1909. There are no available production figures for it.
Mine:SOLAR Location: Just this side of Martin Lakes on the south side of the hogback, about one mile west of Walsen camp on the road to La Veta. Operator: Solar Mine Company, an affiliate of Union Coal Company. The Solar shaft ceased production in 1898 under Union Coal Company and the property was leased to LaBelle Company and Brodhead Brothers. Henry Snedden sold the land to J.P. LaBelle for
$9,000 in 1901. La Belle in turn sold to Huerfano Coal Company, but it moved on in
1902. Meanwhile, just above the old shaft, Brodhead Brothers of Aguilar sunk a shaft in the Fall of 1901. In 1904 production ceased, but the mine was reopened in 1909. Operation: 1893 –1898
1898 – 1916 Production: 143,265 tons
Mine:SPANISH PEAKS Location: Near Strong, north of Tioga Operation: 1933 – 1937 as Spanish Peaks
1938 – 1939 as New Sunnyside
1940 – 1941 as Pioneer
Mine:SPARLING, see Ojo
Mine:SPRING CANON Location: It was probably located in the Spring Valley area, southwest of New Rouse. Operation: 1933 – 1937 Production: 4,430 tons
Mine:STELLA MAE Location: Southwest of Old Rouse and Ideal Operation: 1922 Production: 610 tons
Mine:STRAWBERRY Location: Northeast of Calumet at Delcarbon sitting all by itself on the east side of Highway 69. Operation: 1933 – 1943 Production: 11,971 tons from two openings
Mine:STRONG, originally Sunnyside Location: Between Major No. 2 and Spanish Peaks Owner: Milo Strong purchased the mine in 1904 from the Caddell family. Operation: 1904 – 1909 The mine closed for a while in 1909 for repairs on the machinery. Then
the name Strong drops out of the news, and Sunnyside returns. Production: No record, see Sunnyside.
Mine:SUNNYSIDE, a.k.a. Strong, and Elkhart Location: Between Major No. 2 and Spanish Peaks Operation: 1904 – 1932 Production: 1,383,837 tons as Sunnyside, Strong and Elkhart
Mine:SUNSHINE Location: Three miles northwest of Walsenburg between Pictou and Maitland, on a ridge. Operator: Victor-American Fuel Company. Operation: 1895 – 1903 Production: 190,835 tons
Mine:SWEET Location: Near the Stella Mae, southeast of Old Rouse. Owners: Sam and Fred Sweet Operation: 1904 – 1909 Production: 105,453 tons
Mine:TIOGA, a.k.a. Big Four, Kebler No. 1, Kebler No. 2 Location: Tioga means, "where it forks" in some Native American tongue. It must refer to the
road that forks here, where now Highway 69 continues west to Gardner and the county road heads south to the site of Alamo. Operator: Big Four Coal Company. In 1910 the mine was leased or sold to Minnequa Fuel Company. In 1919 Colorado Fuel and Iron bought the mine. Big Four was now known
as Kebler No. 2, and soon closed. A new slope was driven and called Tioga, or
confusingly, Kebler No. 2. Another new opening was called Kebler No. 1. Operation: 1907 – 1953 Production: 5,000,000 + tons
Mine:TOLTEC, a.k.a. Orman and Crook Mine Location: Although the Toltec is not associated with CF&I, it is possible that company opened the mine in 1894 as a new slope for the Pictou. Jammed as it was between Pictou and Walsenburg, Toltec shared many of the services offered by those larger towns. Operator: In April 1898 Toltec was "consolidated" with Pictou and the Toltec office moved to Pictou under Supt. Rod T. Lawther. In 1899 Northern Coal Company of James S. Autrey and George Fruth took over. Just when Fruth and Autrey sold the mine is unknown, but Aztec Coal Company was in charge in 1916. From 1941 to 1944 the Benassi family mined at the site. Operation: 1894 – 1944 Like many other coal mines, the Toltec had periods of low or no production during the 1930s, when money and employment were scarce. The mine did not open for the 1938 season. Production: 1,856,837 tons
Mine:TURNER, see Calumet No. 1 and No. 2
Mine:VESTA, see Morning Glory
Mine:WALSEN, a.k.a. Robinson Location: Highway 160 south of Walsenburg Owner: Fred Walsen Operator: Colorado Fuel and Iron Operation: 1876 –1931 The axe fell in April 1931 when the company announced the closure of the mine. The reason, flooding. It was said that for every ton of coal removed, 12 tons of water were pumped. Production: 6,000,000 + tons Notes: Colorado Fuel and Iron officially closed Walsen camp November 9, 1965. Eleven families still lived there and were forced to leave their homes, some after decades of occupancy. They were the Gus Augusts, Tom Sneddens, Albert Nogas, Claude Neals, Mrs. Victoria Alberici, Mike Conders, Glenn Davises, Joe Kovachs, Dorothy Langosh, Alex Maldonados and the Fred Biondis. All but the Augusts moved into Walsenburg.
Today, nothing is left of the once lively camp but slag piles and the old powerhouse, which is itself becoming just a memory.
Mine:WONDER Location: The Colorado Geological Survey places it at the site of the Klikus mine west of La Veta. Operation: 1950 – 1951 Production: 508 tons
The following tables give the name, date of death, age, nationality, marital status, surviving children,
mine name, and cause of death.