John Holt (1870-1918), a coal miner in Murray City, OH, kept a journal of his daily life.
April 1907- “The miners here geting 57 cts per ton for screened coal and two dollars and fifty six cents per day for day work inside of mine 236 for outside work 8 hours to be one days work. I went to work day work in mine no 2 but onely work a short time when I got contract of picking up coal at mines no 1, 2, and 3 had to furnish my own horse bought one from the coal company Paid $60 dollars for him and he was well worth it as he is a vary good horse but old.
“Also bought a cow a young one first calf for $30 dollars. She is vary good. Later in September I think, I bought a two seated surray for one horse or I paid $50 dollars for it later I bought a one horse wagon and buggy or runabout of John ???? for $25 dollars 2 get 90 cts per ton that being Pick price for picking up coal and cleaning tracks. I made $70 dollars the last half of July.
“That being my first start and the month of August we made $203 dollar s with my son Clifford working with me till school started in September. Then he went to school. There is 8 months school. Since then I have not made less than 120 dollars per month till month of March we had hardly any work and of course that throwed me out too. I onely Made about $45 for the whole month and I don’ t think I will get vary mutch this month either as work is poor we all have had fair health the past year. ”
April 14, 1907- “the flood commenced about 7 o’clock on the 13th of March and thundered and lightnening’d like summer time and the rain fell fast until the streams and rivers were running wild. Several houses and part of the trestle washed away at the mine. Some mines were filled up with water and towns along the Hocking River were flooded bad. Buildings washed away and people drowned.
“Towns that suffered the most were Nelsonville, Athens and Logan. It took peoples furniture and caused lots of suffering and would have been worse except for the warm weather. The railroad was damaged something like $100,000 dollars. Mail was unable to be delivered for a week.”
source: www.ohgen.net/ohathens/johnholtjournal.htm [diary & Holt photo]