xt7b2r3nw90r https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7b2r3nw90r/data/mets.xml Tipton, J. C. 1905  books b92-136-29327380 English Pinnacle Printery, : [Middlesborough, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Coal mines and mining Kentucky.Hayes, C. W. (Charles Willard), 1859-1916. Ashley, Geo. H. (George Hall), b. 1866. Cumberland coal field and its creators  / by J. C. Tipton. text Cumberland coal field and its creators  / by J. C. Tipton. 1905 2002 true xt7b2r3nw90r section xt7b2r3nw90r 




           BY J. C. TIPTON

      Mr. Tipton. came to his death April
   20, 1905,by being run over by the
   Straight Creek Train.







             AND ITS CREATORS

                     BY J. C. TIPTON


   Kentucky led the van in the movement of populating the great west
and emigrants were passing through Cumberland Gap to the fertile
plains beyond while western Pennsylvania and New York were yet
uninhabited, save by the aborigines and wild animals that roamed
through the unbroken forests. The Gap was discovered and named by


                                                        Dr. Thomas
                                               Walker in 1750, who
                       Apassed through it and as far
                                 west as the Cumberland river. He
                             gave the name to the Cumberland mount  
                         ains, Cumberland Gap and Cumberland river
                     in honor of the Duke of Cumberland. The first
                  prospective settlers that came into the borders of the
                state were in 1767. being principally explorers whose
              families came later.  Daniel Boone came through the
            gap in 1770 on a tour of exploration, returning to his
         family the next year.  He made several trips to the state
       and in 1775 he brought his own and several other families and
     located on the present site of Boonesboro. Cumberland Gap is
   nature's gayeway into Kerntiucky from the southeast and through this
 gate, over the Wilderness road, there streamed a mighty host during the
 latter wart of the eighteenth century.
    This is the cradle ot the history of Kentucky. Boone and the fol-
lowers that came aftter bins found their way into the state by this route,
and from the top of these mountain ranges they obtained the first pan-
oramic view of the section, that in after years, gave Kentucky the sob-
riquet of the "Dark and Bloody Ground". Many rich historical remi-
niscences cluster around these parts both in early and modern times.
The pioneers' trail or Boone's road across the basin, later became known


as the Wilderness Road, over which most of the settlers of the central
part of the state passed in reaching their destination. There are
stretches of this road yet that knows but little of the devastating touch
of man's destroying axe, and from these views one may form some idea
of the grandeur as well as the gloomy aspect of that historical highway
a century and a quarter ago.
     Centuries of erosion from the mountains made these valleys very
fertile and the timber grew to great size. Nature here-abouts presents
a rough exterior in places, the climax appearing at Cumberland Gap
where the road enters the state from Virginia, and at the Narrows, at
Pineville, through which the Cumberland river escapes from the basin.
The mountains tower in some places almost perpendicular to a height of
over two thousand feet. From the summit of these heights the pano-
rama that bursts on the vision is as charming to the sight as it is awe-
inspiring to the mind. It is one of surpassing loveliness either from the
Pinnacle at Cumberland Gap or from the summit of Pine mountains at
Pineville. No pen is facile enough to describe it, tongue is inadequate
to tell it and the painter's art cannot portray it. It must be seen to be
appreciated. yThe student of history is carried back to the ensanguined
period of the early settlers when the picturesque and and peaceful view
before him was the stage of a different scene, in which the bloody tom-
ahawk and the scalping knife of the treacherous savages bore a conspic-
uous part, and later on when the hills vibrated with the roll of the drum
and the resounding
roar of the cannon
told of the dreadful
carnage of war,
when brother was
engaged against
brother i n battle
array in the great-
est conflict of mod-

landmarks of those
days are plainly
apparent all around
Cumberland Gap,
grass grown and
peaceful today, but      PRINCESS THEATER. MIDDLESBOROUGc4


every stone has a history. The
lover of nature will gain an im-
pression and an inspiration
that will be retained as long as
memory lasts.
   While Daniel Boone was
not the first white man who
went into the territory
which now comprises
the State of Kentucky,
he was the first to point
out the advantages of the
Cumberland Gap door-
way, the first to pilot
settlers into the state;,
the Boone road which r
crossed the Cumber-
land river at the old
Pineville ford was the
first regular roadway t
established, and the
fort at Boonesboro               BELL COUNTY COURT HOUSE
was the first mili-                      PINEVILLE
tary fortification inside the limits of what now comprises the State of
    Thomas Speed in his history of the Wilderness Road says concern -
ing the travel over this route:
    "From  Virginia and the Carolinas all the immigrants naturally
entered Kentucky by Cumberland Gap. The -remarkable fact is that
those also from Maryland and Pennsylvania went by the same route to
a very large extent: the cause doubtless being the delays, difficulties,
and perils of the voyage down the river.
    "For many years this 'overland' route through the great wilderness
was the only practicable way of return. The canoe or flat -boat or keel -
boat could make its way down the river from Redstone, Old Fort, or
from Pittsburgh, but to take any kind of craft up stream was far too
tedious for ordinary travel. There are some accounts of carrying freight
up stream with great difficulty and delay, many months being consumed
on the trip, amid constant danger from Indians, but passengers were not
    "From no point on the Ohio was there any way of travel directly


across the country eastward. The reason of this was the Indian occu-
pation north of the Ohio, and the difficulty of crossing the mountains
and streams along any course than that which led through Cumberland
     "An extract from the memorandum of a trip by Captain Van Cleve,
 published in the American Pioneer, vol. 2, page 220, contains a military
 order signed by Samuel G. Hodgson, Quartermaster, dated Fort Wash-
 ington (afterward Cincinnati), May 10, 1792. The order directs Van
 Cleve to proceed with all dispatch from that point to Philadelphia by the
 most direct route, which the order specifies to be by way of Lexington,
 the Crab Orchard, etc.
     "The editor of the Pioneer adds:
     " 'The details of the journey are omitted; the most direct route from
Cincinnati to Philadelphia, it will be perceived, was by way of Lexing-
ton and Crab Orchard; hence the route was by Cumberland Mountain,
Powell Valley, Abingdon, Botetourt, Lexington, and Staunton, Va.;
Martinsburg, and Hagerstown, Md; York and Lancaster, Pa.'
     "There were traces across the mountains from the valley of Vir-
ginia into northeastern Kentucky. Dr. Thomas Walker passed over one
of these traces on his return in 1750.  He probably went along the
upper waters of the Kanawha River, Other explorers went through the
same country, but no traveled way led across it."
     For many years this road was nothing more than a bridle path
through the wilderness. In 1779 Boone was authorized by the Virginia
legislature to prepare a better road, and with a force of laborers and fifty
guards, a roadway was cleared that permitted of easy passage for pack-
horses, but a wagon road was not constructed until 1795, when it was
made by an act of the state legislature.
    In closing his history of the Wilderness Road, Capt. Thomas Speed
pays the following tribute to the people of Kentucky and the early set-
tlers who passed over this road:
    "By the routes and methods of travel described, a people came to
the land of Kentucky, in a movement which has no parallel in the his-
tory of immigration. The movement was not started by lust for gold,
nor to escape persecution. The chief attraction was the fertile land of
Kentucky. A land like the land of promise lay in the bosom of the far
West. It was rich in soil, covered with stately timber, and watered by
sparkling rivers, brooks, and springs. It belonged to those who would
go in and possess it. Nerved by a dauntless courage the hunters and
explorers marked the way, and their families became the advance
guards of the aftercoming hosts. Then groups of families combining for
mutual protection sought the Western country. The accounts of the
desolate, inhospitable regions through which the journey lay did not
deter them. The stories of Indian massacre did not terrify them. They
toiled along the wilderness trace until the trace became a road. They


braved the terrible savage until they in turn became a terror to the sav-
age. They reared their forts, and stations, and blockhouses along Ken-
tucky River, Licking River, Green River, Salt River, and along all their
tributaries from headwaters, to the Ohio, until their settlements became
a state.
    "Bound together by ties of common interest, dangers, hopes, and
privations, they strengthened the bonds by intermarriage.  A widely
diffused kinship and endless interlacing of family connection is one of
the features of Kentucky society. A natural inheritance from an ances-
try which endured the hardships of immigration over the Wilderness
Road, and braved the dangers of wilderness life, was a martial spirit
which displayed itself in the subsequent wars of our country. Natu-
rally, too, the ties of consanguinity which so generally united the fam-
ilies of the State fostered a social disposition and friendly liberality in
living, which has become proverbial in the expression 'Kentucky hos-
      Nor were the effects of the great immigration of 1775-1795, con-
fined to Kentucky alone. It was a movement of population. It suddenly
established the power of the white man in the Western country. It
pierced and broke the center of the barriers which had barred the West
against occupation. It divided the Indians North from those in the
South. It operated as a flank movement upon the powerful tribes which
occupied the choicest parts of New York and Pennsylvania, and caused
them to give way before the advance of civilization. It made the vast
territory of the Northwest, then including Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois
vulnerable to settlement. It opened the way to Tennessee and Ala-
bama, and so crowded the Cherokee Indians in the mountain fastnesses
of Northern Georgia, that they eventually accepted removal beyond the
    "Therefore it is not the Kentucky people alone who have reason to
                                                 study with grateful
      "THE FOURTH" IN MIDDLESBOROUGH         interest the history
         _____________________________________  of t h e Wilderness
                                                 Road. The d ir ec t
                                                 benefit of the move  
                                                 ment which marked
                                                 out the wilderness
                                                 trace and trod it into
                                                 a road, did not stop
                                                 at Boonesboro or the
                                                 Falls of the Ohio. It
                                                 extended northward,
                                                 southward, and
                                                 westward.   It sent
                                                 its reflex influence
                                                 back to the sea -coast


        States and led them forward to possess the great empire of
        the West".
             Boone and other early settlers coming into the state from
        the east passed the wealth hidden beneath the rough surface
        of this section for the lower and flatter land beyond.  In
        the years that followed, the tillable portions of the district
        were settled by agriculturalists, but as much of the area was
        not adapted to farming, the population was sparse until the
        advent of the railroad made way for the development of its
        mineral resources.  With the opening of steamboat naviga-
        tion on the Ohio travel diverted from this route and the mount-
        ain section became, in a measure, isolated from the outside
        world.  On the opening of the Civil war the advantage of
possessing the Cumberland Gap was perceived by both sides, and it
alternately passed into the possession of either side until the final
retirement of the Confederates from East Tennessee. Several import-
ant engagements took place in this vicinity, but as this is not intended
for a chronological history, we will make no effort to describe them here.
    For twenty-five years after the close of the Civil war nothing tran-
spired in this section to mark an era or to vary the routine pursuits of a
sparsely settled farming country. The broken and mountainous surface
would not support a greater population and the country showed no great
increase until after the discovery of rich mineral deposits in the latter
part of the decade between 1880-1890. Then the increase in wealth
and population came like a mighty rushing torrent; towns sprang up, if
not in a day, at least in a year, of several thousand population, with
paved streets, water and light plants, street cars and other accessories
of the modern city. The ball was started rolling at

                     MI DDLESBOROUGH.

This town is the logical result of the purchase of some sixty thousand
acres of the best mineral lands in this sectioR by the American Associa-
tion, a Kentucky incorporation but almost entirely English shareholders.
They invested millions here, just how much was put into the various
subsidiary companies, would require a vast amount of research to ascer-
tain. Some light is thrown on that part of the town history in their
sketch which appears elsewhere.
    A Town Company was formed and the embryo city was given the
name of Middlesborough, after the great manufacturing city of the same


name in England. The town was incorporated in 1890 and before the
close of the next year had a population of over 6000, a well laid out
town with street car line, an electric light plant, water works, the finest
hotel between Louisville and Knoxville, numerous office buildings and
business houses that would credit any city of 50,000 population. The
undoubted success of the first business enterprises here led to over
capitalization and over production, and the Baring failure in England
and great financial collapse in this country in 1893, following in the
wake of this new enterprise, caused a reaction and the enormous shrink-
age in values that swept everything before it except those that had the
elements of stability behind them. It is worthy of note that none of
the coal companies or any of the traders failed or went into the hands
of receivers.
    Pineville had a somewhat similar experience but fared much better
in the panic of 1893 than her sister town of Middlesborough. There
the town was developed after a more conservative course, and while the
reaction affected the growth of the town, it was only temporary. The
town has good business houses, a fine hotel, electric light plant, water
system with a gravity pressure of over one hundred pounds, all of which
are in prosperous condition and were not put in until the growth of the
population justified them.
    Cumberland Gap is on the east side of the mountains, and while
outside the cool
basin is a prosper-
ous and growing
town, the railroad
lines from the south
and east converge
there and it is sur-
rounded on all sides
by rich deposits of           
iron ore; it has the  
elements of growth
and prosperity and
will have a steady
and permanentI
growth. With the_________
return of prosperity              "THE BELLEVUE"
to the country at          A MIDDLESBOROUGH APARTMENT HOUSE


large, the development of this section which had been checked, began a
resumption on a normal and rational basis of demand and supply. Since
1896 the coal output of the Middlesborough district has increased from
an annual output of two hundred thousand tons to over a million tons,
and the quality of the coal is such that the demand for it is far ahead of
the producing capacity. The resources of this section are only touched.
The coal area here is enormous. These mountains are underlaid with
from three to five seams of coal equal to the best produced in America,
and it is all above water and susceptible of drift mining on a rapid and
economic scale. There are several varieties of iron ore here which ana-
lyzes from fifty-one to fifty-eight per cent iron and numerous other com-
mercial minerals which in time will be utilized. Nature has endowed
this section richly and the time is not far distant when these vast natural
store houses will bring a great increase in both the wealth and popula-
tion of this section.
    That the minerals are here and of great value there is no doubt,
that their location is unsurpassed a glance at the political geography
will demonstrate. On every side there are populous cities and it is
nearer the geographical center of the country and the center of popula-
tion than any other great mineral producing center of America. Time
and the natural demands of trade will establish the commercial value of
this section to the entire country. The primal mistake made here was
in an effort to force these products on the market before their value was
established or the time was ripe for the country to take them.
    The high grade of the coal products here and the cheapness with
which they can be loaded on the cars has broken down all barriers and
their place is permanently fixed. Just as soon as the transportation
question is equalized over the country and they are adequate here to
handle the products, the other minerals so abundantly found here will
find a market just on the same principle as water seeks its level.

             :s               l             



               EAi                        Fl ELD

                                    CHARLES WILLARD HAYES

                               GEOGRAPHICAL RELATIONS

                               The Appalachian coal field extends from
                          a point near the northern boundary of Penn-
                          sylvania southwestward to near the center
                    l    of Alabama. For the purposes of the pres-
                          ent report it has been divided approximately
                          along the line of the thirty-seventh parallel
                          into the Northern and Southern Appalachian
                          fields. While this subdivision is somewhat
                          arbitrary, since the field is essentially a
                          unit throughout its entire extent, it is desir-
                          able, both for convenience of treatment
                          and because the character of the coal -bear -
                          ing formations and of the coals themselves
                          and the conditions of development undergo
                          a more or less decided change along this
                          line. One important difference is that from
                          the Northern field the coal goes east and
                          northeast to the seaboard, while from the
                          Southern it goes southeast and south.
    EIGHT POUND BASS       The boundaries of the Southern field
    FROM FERN LAKE     includes portions of Kentucky, Tennessee,
Georgia, and Alabama. It coincides practically with the Cumberland
Plateau and its outliers, Walden Ridge, Sand Mountain, Lookout Mount-
ain, Blount Mountain, etc. Its eastern boundary is generally a straight
line, for the most part a regular escarpment facing upon the Appalachian
Valley, while its western boundary is an extremely irregular line coin-
ciding with the deeply dissected sinuous western margin of the Cum-
berland Plateau. Its northern boundary is just north of the southern
row of counties of Kentucky. Its southern margin is irregular and



indefinite, being a line along which the coal-bearing formations pass
under the attenuated northern edge of the mesozoic and later formations
of the Gulf coastal plain.
    From a breadth of about fifty miles at the Kentucky-Tennessee
line, the field tapers gradually southward to its narrowest point, opposite
Chattanooga, where it has been deeply dissected by the Tennessee
River and its tributaries, and has a breadth of less than thirty miles.
From this point southward it increases in width to eighty-five miles at
its southern edge in north-central Alabama.
                   SUBDIVISIONS OF THE FIELD
    The Southern Appalachian coal field is subdivided into three main
districts. This subdivision is due ultimateL; o structural causes, but
as these have resulted in certain centers of development, the immedi-
ate subdivision is based upon the commercial development of coal.
These three districts are the Jellico, Chattanooga, and Birmingham,
each named from its most important town.
    The Jellico district includes the northern portion of the field from
the Emory River northward to a short distance beyond the Kentucky
line. It is subdivided into the Jellico basin, the Wartburg or Brushy
Mountain basin, and the Middlesborough basin. The Chattanooga


district includes the territory from the Emory River southward a short
distance into northern Georgia and Alabama. It includes the Sewanee
basin, which is a portion of the Cumberland Plateau, the Walden
basin, separated from the Cumberland Plateau on the west by Sequat-
chie Valley, and the Lookout basin, which occupies the northern portion
of the Lookout Mountain syncline. The Birmingham district extends
from a line connecting the southern point of Lookout Mountain and the
great bend of the Tennessee River southwest to the southern limit of
the coal field. It includes the Warrior basin, which is the southern
portion of the Cumberland Plateau, the Blount Mountain basin, the
Cahaba basin, and the Coosa basin. The Blount Mountain basin is a
synclinal spur, connected at the north with the Walden syncline, and
separated trom the Warrior basin on the west by Murfrees Valley.
The Cahaba and Coosa basins are long, nariow synclines, entirely iso-
lated from the larger areas of coal-bearing formations to the west by
still narrower anticlinal and fault valleys.








    In recent years there has been no more important industrial move-
ment than that involved in the commercial conquest of the old slave-
holding states. Especially in the last two decades has the new South
developed so enormously that we are wont to forget there are still large
areas of practically untouched territory awaiting the coming of capital
and transportation facilities. The growing manufacturing interests of
the region, the increasing railway mileage and freight tonnage are
making heavy demands upon the local coal-fields. -In addition the
steadily increasing seaboard coal trade and the growing prospect of
foreign shipments render the undeveloped southern coal-fields a very
inviting field for investment.
    To many people the Appalachian coal-fields are synonymous with
Pennsylvania coal-fields. That there are to the south as many, as thick
and as good coal beds as those worked in the premier coal state is only
beginning to be recognized by the public at large. Men in the coal trade
long since discovered, with large profit to themselves and to the com-
munity at large, something of the value of the WestVirginia and the
Alabama fields, and now are beginning to turn attention to the long neg-
lected area between. The great tide of immigration which in the last
century swept westward across the northern Appalachian and south-


westward around them was turned aside in the intervening territory
by the Great Smoky Mountains and the high and almost unbroken
ridges and plateaus of the Cumberland.
    While, accordingly, the territory to the north and the south was
early known and has been in some measure opened up, in the region of
the headwaters of the Cumberland a large and important coal-field has
so far been neglected. Hedged in here by high mountain ridges is a
basin ninety miles long by fifteen to twenty wide, containing numerous
coal beds from five to seven feet thick of high grade and in workable
situation. To the west is Pine Mountain, so steep that for miles not
even a wagon road crosses it; to the east and north are the Cumberland
and the Black Mountains in an unbroken chain, while to the southwest
closing in the area is Fork Mountain. For a quarter of a century after
the Civil war these mountains shut off the basin like a Chinese wall.
The first attempt to open the region was that which centered around the
city of Middlesborough.
    In the heart of this region and just below the historic Cumberland
Gap is an open plain well adapted to city building. Mountain passes
are ever the focusing points of railway systems, and with coal, iron and
                                   limestone available it was argued
                            777   that a great manufacturing city
                                   must result. With the faith which
                                   tunnels if it does not move mount-
                                   ains, the projectors proceeded to the
                                   building of the city in advance of
                                   the establishment of the industries
                                   which were needed to support it,
                                   and the completion of the railways,
                                   which alone make a great city pos-
                                   sible. As a result the Middlesbor-
                                   ough boom "busted", and it is only
                                   within the past two or three years
                                   that the slow growth which followed
                                   has begun to give the place import-
                                   ance. New branches of railway are
                                   now building up Stony Fork of Yel-
                       - -----   low Creek and up Clear Fork of
        LIBRARY HALL"'            Cumberland, which is now almost
mOW PUBLIC SCHOOL. MIDDLESBOROUGH  ready for active development, and


up through Big Creek Gap. Surveys have been made and the right
of way is being obtained up Cumberland River into Harlan county. New
mines have started up on Bennett Fork and Stony Fork and the old
mines have opened up additional seams. The coal output has grown
until in 1902 it was estimated at six hundred thousand tons and it was
expected that 1903 would see an increase to one million tons as the new
mines came in.
    Though the southern end of this field is in Campbell county, Ten-
nessee, and Bell and Harlan counties, Kentucky, extending along the
southeastern border of the latter state. The sketch map shows its
position as well as its relations to other fields and markets.  As

already mentioned, it is an
almost enclosed b a s i n, but
within the bounding ranges
the Black and Log Mountains
rise to elevations of over three
thousand feet in narrow
crested and irregular ridges.
In shape the valleys just about
duplicate the ridges, though in
reversed position, being usu-
ally two thousand feet deep
and narrowly V-shaped. Only
the Cumberland and its main
tributaries have any bottom
lands, and these are usually
limited. East of Middlesbor-
ough they have easy grades
and the other conditions are

Market Areas: A, Competing with Jellico. Wart-
burg and Chattanooga Fields; Be With Northern
Coals: C, With Birmingham Fields.

favorable for the building of railroads.  The rocks lie in the form of
a nearly flat-bottomed syncline or trough, with the sides turned up at
high angles. The axis or lowest line of the trough lies well to the
northwest of the center line of the basin, and from this axis the rocks
rise toward the sides at about an average rate of one hundred feet to
the mile. When within one-half to two miles of the edge of the basin
the rocks are up-turned sharply at angles of from thirty to ninety
degrees. As the lowest part of the basin lies close to the main drainage
line and the slope of many of the streams just keeps pace with the dip
of the rocks, the lower coals are exposed along much longer lines of



outcrop than would otherwise be the case, while nearly all of the coals
lie well for draining. In most cases the dip is such that easy haulage
will be toward a point most easily reached by a railroad switch. The
upturning on the northwestern edge of the field is associated with a
great fault running in a northeast-southwest direction. Fork Mountain
across the southwestern end of the basin is due to the upturning of the
same rocks by a fault similar to the Pine Mountain fault, except that it
is transverse in direction. The upturning in Cumberland Mountain
marks part of the northwest limb of the Powell Valley anticline, the axis
of which lies near Powell River in the Great Valley.
    The coal bearing rocks of the field consist of sandstones and shales,
having a total thickness of about four thousand feet. According to the
evidence of the fossils, all of these rocks are of the same age as the
Pottsville rocks of Pennsylvania. The lower third of the series are


                 predominately sandy, containing many massive sand-
       _  Red sp  stones and conglomerate beds. While this part of the
                 section contains some coals, one or two of which may
                 be of workable thickness, under all of the central part
                 of the field where the strata lie well for mining these
                 rocks and their coals are well below drainage. On the
gyro edges where they are above drainage, they are dip-
                 ping at high angles and the coals, as far as seen, are
   As k         usually more or less crushed. While of less value than
   dam'- g     H't4 the other coals of the basin, they constitute an import-
                 ant reserve supply. The upper two-thirds of the sec-
    L2 _        tion contain about equal amounts of shale and sand-
                 stone. The accompanying columnar section shows the
    27OO' _    coals and cliff-making sandstones in a typical region
                 (Bryson and Mingo Mountains).
    4; _  ptavU,-k  The Log Mountain section shows about fifty coals,
                 of which about seven are now being worked commer-
                 cially along Bennett Fork of Yellow Creek. Of the
                 others at least five are workable over all or part of the
       4 i4SnE field. The beds being worked will carry on the aver-
                 age from four to six feet of workable coal, but as all of
                 the coals are more or less broken up by partings, the
                 total thickness of the seams is often quite a little more.
   6Z  'a"    While these partings make the coal easier to mine,
                 they also increase the percentage of ash in the coal as
                 shipped. In some cases the partings are quite vari-
                 able, ranging from zero to four feet