Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


August 3, 2006

Liberty Coal Co., Drum and Monkey Mine


There was a truck mine in Section 30, southeast of Brazil and about a mile east of the Liberty Mine called Seddon Bros. Coal Co. This was originally the Fred Kauzlarich Mine for the Sunny Slope Coal Co. It operated from 1934 to 1942. James Seddon was involved in several mines around Mystic as well as in the civic affairs of Mystic. I have described his family in a previous article. James “Zack” Seddon Sr. of Mystic was a third generation coal miner.

When interviewed about the dangers in the mine Zack Seddon related the need for extreme care to prevent the roof from falling in. Even the solid rock over the miners‚ heads would sometimes begin to bow. Some of the excavated dirt would be packed in the center as a brace. Still, pieces would fall.

In a story that recalled the dangers of the job as well as the hardiness of the workers, Seddon related how Cat Buban from Brazil was hit on the head by a piece of falling slate. Buban was said to have been unconscious for three days in the hospital. The first thing he did when gaining consciousness was to sit up and spit out a piece of chew he’d had in his mouth for the entire time.

There were two truck mines one mile east of the railroad crossing of Highway No. 2. The one on the north side of No. 2 was Corby Coal Co., later called K & K Coal Co. It operated from 1937 to 1958 and covered 10 acres. K & K stands for Judive and Troy Kauzlarich. There were two fatalities in this mine. In 1937 Joe Corby was killed when the mine cart got out of control and cornered Corby, throwing coal in his face. In 1941 Charles Owens, age 63, was killed by a fall of coal.

The other mine on the south side of No. 2 was Big Five Coal Co. It was in operation from 1933 to 1963. It had a 127 foot shaft and undermined 23 acres. This is one of the few mines that I remember seeing the tipple before the mine was sealed.

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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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