Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


June 8, 2006

Mining in Mystic by Eva Quist


Coal miners were often the sons of coal miners. The son whose life I will follow was James A. Seddon, one of the first to subdivide lots for houses in Mystic and also to serve as one of the first mayors of this town.

Ralph and Mary (Armstrong) Seddon were natives of England who married in the county of Lancashire in about 1831. The former was born in 1807 and died in 1859.

The latter was born in 1810 and died in 1874. They spent their entire lives in the country of their birth and Mr. Seddon was employed as a coal digger up to age 22 when he became a manager of mines. They were the parents of 15 children, three of whom came to America:

One of these three emigrants was James A. Seddon. James was born in Lancaster, England in 1851 and began working in the mines at the age of 8. He came to the United States in 1869 and obtained employment as a coal miner in Boone County From 1870 until 1886, he traveled all over America, always engaged in some capacity of mining. He spent time in Wyoming, Pennsylvania, several towns in Iowa and even returned to England, but he returned and settled in Mystic where he became prominent in the mining industry. Mr. Seddon and his brother Thomas opened the second mine in Mystic, which was knows as the Seddon Bros. Coal Co.

The Seddon Bros. Coal Co. had a number of different mines in the area at different times including a truck mine west of Brazil and about a half mile south of the Milwaukee tracks which was in operation from 1934 to 1942. James Seddon was engaged in building many houses for the miners in Mystic and had about 225 men in his employ. In 1899 he also opened a general store in the west end of town. When Mr. Seddon returned to England for the first time, he married Anna Morris there. She died in 1892 and James then married Hannah E. Hughes. There are still many living descendants of James A. Seddon in the Mystic area.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
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