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 past due 19th and early 20th centuries-it represented a life-style. Coal mining ruled Thurber's paintings existence, and miners ruled its social lifestyles. the massive immigrant inhabitants that crammed the mines in Thurber represented greater than a dozen countries, which lent a forte 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 vital 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 by way of 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 an organization 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)
The United States commissioner of labor included in his summary of labor difficulties in the nation for 1884 a 186-day-long strike at Gordon by 450 coal miners and laborers. 4 If the latter is accurate, particularly in the number of miners employed in Gordon, considerable mining activity must have preceded the Johnson enterprise. The report also suggests that a significant number of skilled and union-organized miners already populated Palo Pinto County when the Johnson company began operations, and that they played a central role in the industrial development and shaping of employee-employer relations there throughout the last decade of the nineteenth century.
Whatever competitive impulses, racial, ethnic, or religious prejudices, or individualistic behavior separated miners by the turn of the century, they all emerged from the mines so blackened by coal dust that even the obvious distinctions among them disappeared. 2 This special occupational community quickly appeared in shaft mines that both the Johnson Coal Mining Company and its successor, the Page 19 Texas & Pacific Coal Company, developed in the Thurber Field. Sunk from the surface to the coal bed below, these mines operated on the longwall method, with diggers working along an extended coal face.
Marston, a New York financier, Hunter's son-in-law, and a future major stockholder and officer in the Texas & Pacific Coal Company, received a copy of the assay report performed for the Johnsons on the coal reserves that the brothers had purchased the previous month. In August, 1887, Hunter himself inspected the mine shaft, apparently at the behest of a Johnson associate, to assess the value of the property and to assist the struggling entrepreneurs in their effort to obtain a fifty thousand-dollar loan.