Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


October 5, 2006

Prairie Block Coal Co. Mine


Apparently a large rock also came down with the shale and might have had something to do with his death. At any rate his chest was practically crushed, the breast bone and ribs having been broken, sometime during the fall.

The hand holding the stick of dynamite was lacerated, but the dynamite did not explode. Tom Kirby stood guard to warn any trespassers or workmen away, as it was thought that the heat of the shale or rolling fragments might set off the dynamite at any time. Johnson was quickly taken out of the debris of dirt and shale and carried to the mine tipple. However, he breathed but a few times before doctors arrived. Mr. Johnson was a 59 year old bachelor and had been a resident of Streepy for 20 years. There was a mine cave-in in the late 1920‚s. This may have been the beginning of the end of the mine. There was also a spectacular fire of uncertain date in the mine. The billowing black smoke rose to the sky and could be seen for miles. Some of the material for the fire might be the wood in the tipple and in the guides for the hoist, but I believe the extremely black smoke must have come from burning coal in the cars and scattered around in the mine and tipple.

The mine closed down in about 1929 after undermining 270 acres and Streepyville began to disappear. A few of the houses still remain today. Highway No. 60 was later relocated to the east and became Highway No. 5. The old road south through Streepy later became the road to the city dump.

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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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