Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


November 2, 2006

The Diamond Mine of west Numa

The first coal used in the Numa was secured from the Joe Hall mine slope. The first coal mine was the Hueston Mine, northwest of Bellair. The first railway mine was sunk by Al Jones and B.F. Bradley near the west edge of Numa, later known as the Diamond Mine. It had a vertical entrance shaft of 145 feet.

The Diamond Coal Co. No. 2 was dug in 1893. It was located just inside the west of city limits of Numa on the north side of the old railroad right of way. In 1895 it was purchased by Centerville Block and became their Mine No. 2. It had a 145 foot shaft and utilized the longwall method of mining. At one time William Allen was Mining Superintendent in charge of 75 employees.

Later A. Dargavel was superintendent, William Allen pit boss, Bert Arbogast top boss and Walter Davis engineer. This mine turned out 250 tons of coal a day and employed about 160 men at that time. The haulage was done by the tail rope and mule process.

In May of 1923, there was a tragic and spectacular accident in connection with the Numa west mine. A small boy, Freddie Lacabue, age 9, was playing on top of the dirt dump. With boyish curiosity he had made his way to the dizzy top of the pyramid where Fred Hockman, age 21, was at work. The cable rope that pulls the dirt cars up the dump was at rest. Little Freddie took hold of the rope in spite of having been warned not to. The rope began to move. In an instant, Hockman saw the danger. In a frantic effort to save the boy from having his hands ground through the pulley, the young man grabbed the boy, trying to extricate his hands from the pulley and was himself caught.

Man and boy were thrown together over the dump, both with hands crushed and bleeding. The boy went tumbling down, all the way to the bottom and got up wringing his lacerated hands. Hockman was hurried to Centerville and had his hand dressed. It was found that a portion of the right thumb was gone, also one of the second fingers, and the first finger was badly mashed. An effort was made to save it and he was taken to his home in Numa, to be nursed by his mother. The boy was taken to his own home and given medical attention.

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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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