Tag Archives: coal mining

Meeting her was the reason he drove all the way down there

The mines started laying off workers. Julia Varga had two boarders that had to leave because they were laid off. They left crying, owed money, and with promise to pay they left. Her husband Paul was laid off too; money in the bank was going down fast. Julia and Paul decided to invest in a […]

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Dey didn’ pay me nothin’ fer gittin’ my legs cut off

“I went to West Virginia to work in de coal mines. I made eight dollars and one penny er day er drivin’ er mule in dem mines. Later on, I made ten er twelve dollars er day loading coal. ‘At wus hard work but de more you worked de more money you made. Awe, I […]

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The mule I drove was called Old Red

You hear young folk singers today sing happy work songs about mule drivers and mule-skinners. I sometimes wonder if any of them know what driving a mule is really like, and if they’d still sing so merrily if they knew. My first job was carrying water on the Interstate Railroad grade at Josephine, about a […]

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Had to furnish my own horse; bought one from the coal company

John Holt (1870-1918), a coal miner in Murray City, OH, kept a journal of his daily life. John Holt and the coal miners he worked with outside of the mine in Murray City. April 1907- “The miners here geting 57 cts per ton for screened coal and two dollars and fifty six cents per day […]

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Joe Ozanic’s AFL challenges John Lewis’ CIO

In this excerpt from interviews of coal miner Joseph Ozanic, Sr. (1895-1978), Ozanic discusses the conflict between the Progressive Miners of America (of which he was president) and John L. Lewis’ United Mine Workers of America. Interviews conducted by Rex Rhodes, 1972; Barbara Herndon and Nick Cherniavsky, 1974, and now in the collection of Norris […]

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