By Marilyn D. Rhinehart
The coal mine represented even more than a manner of creating a dwelling to the miners of Thurber, Texas, within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries-it represented a lifestyle. Coal mining ruled Thurber's paintings existence, and miners ruled its social existence. the big immigrant inhabitants that stuffed the mines in Thurber represented greater than a dozen international locations, which lent a specialty to this Texas city. In 1888 Robert D. Hunter and the Texas & Pacific Coal corporation based Thurber at the web site of Johnson Mines, a small coal-mining village at the western fringe of North important Texas the place Palo Pinto, Erath, and Eastland counties converged. for nearly 40 years the corporate mined coal and owned and operated a city that through 1910 served as domestic to greater than 3 thousand citizens. Marilyn Rhinehart examines the tradition of the miners' paintings, the demographics and social lifetime of the neighborhood, and the advantages and constraints of existence in a firm city.
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Additional resources for A Way of Work and a Way of Life: Coal Mining in Thurber, Texas, 1888-1926 (Texas A&M Southwestern Studies)
All pits are idle to day and we were only able to get in parts of days during the past week. "18 Ongoing correspondence suggested that the problem remained a chronic one even after unionization, and as bold a response as refusing to work after a car shortage that continued too long reflected the miners' strong feelings on the issue. Since any reduction in a miner's individual output directly affected the company's total production as well, particularly in a period of high demand, management also complained about the delays caused by haulage inadequacies.
Almost of necessity," Carter Goodrich wrote, "the working arrangements place[d] a quite old-fashioned reliance . . '"15 Despite the relative independence miners enjoyed in their work, the underground workers found themselves increasingly dependent on other mine employees as greater job specialization invaded the pits by the turn of the century. They could not remove the coal and dispatch it to the surface without direction and assistance from the pit boss and his assistant, who coordinated the multitude of interrelated activities Page 23 taking place underground.
Although complete coal production figures for Erath County in the 1880s are not available, the yearly USGS reports indicate the growing importance of coal removal in Texas by the end of that ten-year period. The USGS listed no coal production (outside of local and colliery consumption) for Texas before 1883, but for that and the following year the agency estimated production at 100,000 tons. 5 Production levels temporarily fell in 1887, but by then the Texas legislature, reflecting the growing interest in exploitation of the raw material, had instructed every county collector to submit complete reports on all mining and minerals in their counties to the next legislative session.
A Way of Work and a Way of Life: Coal Mining in Thurber, Texas, 1888-1926 (Texas A&M Southwestern Studies) by Marilyn D. Rhinehart