Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Correspondents

June 22, 2006

The Lodwick Mine in Mystic

One of the best-known mines in Mystic was the Lodwick Mine. It was drilled in 1889 three years after the Milwaukee Railroad came through Mystic and two years after the town was platted.

David Lodwick was born in Wales in 1864 (spelled Loddewyk there) where he married Margery Griffiths. They came to Appanoose County, and he became one of the pioneer coal operators. The Lodwick Brothers, David and Llewlyn, established their large Lodwick Bros. Coal Co. in the N.E. part of town. There was also a third brother, Gwelyn S. Lodwick who was an engineer and invented much of the equipment for the mines, such as the mining machine. In 1905 the mine became Diamond Block Coal Co. Mine No. 12 and in 1907 the Mystic Block Coal Co., Mine No. 12. It closed in 1920 after 123 acres of coal had been removed.

The mine suffered a fatality in 1896 when Robert Jones, age 60, was buried by a fall of several tons of black bat. Also in 1915 Desire Periott, age 16, was an oiler who died when he got caught between the cage and the shaft, normally a space of 4 inches, and was dragged up the shaft for 15 feet.

Joe Coates showed me the exact location where the mine had been. We started at the west edge of the school and walked south across a grassy area of about 300 feet. Joe said the mine had been in the wooded area just south of the fence. Since 1920 it has become heavily overgrown with trees.

We walked down a bulldozed path just to the east and saw a huge concrete block. Joe explained that it had been used as an anchor for a pulley to pull the empty railroad cars up the steep slope to be in readiness to be loaded with coal.

David Lodwick became one of the most constructive factors in the development of the coal operations in Mystic showing a continuous interest in civic affairs. In 1934 he wrote an article for the Iowegian regarding Mystic and its growth and industry. He related that when he came in 1889 the town was rather topsy-turvy with very few businesses or dwelling houses.

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