Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


January 4, 2007

Mines on the Interurban to Mystic

In the last couple of weeks, I have described the route of the Interurban Railroad to Mystic in detail. Several large coal companies took advantage of this railroad and dug their mines along the route. They were Sunshine Mine No. 2 (1917-42), McConville Mine No. 2 (1920-46) and Sunshine Mine No. 3 (1931-57). They were all very large mines. All these mines were along the railroad, exactly 1 1/2 miles north of Hwy. No. 2.

I have previously told you about Sunshine No. 1 (1906-45) at the Pale Moon corner. Sunshine Mine No. 2 was first called the Sterling mine. It was just east of Brazil, one mile west of the Mystic road T-14. It was a shaft mine, nearly 100 feet deep and was built in 1917, and 195 acres were mined. At various times both mining machines and pick work were used. The tipple was equipped with screens to size the coal. In 1925 the royalty was five cents for the first 60,000 tons and six cents for the excess.

In 1919 Frank Atchinson, age 55, died of heart trouble in Sunshine No. 2 mine while walking in the undergound system. John “Cap” Buban was hit on the head by a piece of falling slate in the Sterling mine and was unconscious in the hospital for three days. Upon awakening, his first act was to spit our a piece of tobacco chew which he had in his mouth the entire time. The mine was closed in 1942.

Sunshine No. 3 was one mile due east of Sunshine No. 2 or one mile east of Hwy. T-14 on Bill Van Zante land. It was called the New Sterling Mine. It was in operation from 1931 to 1957. It had a 125 foot shaft and mined a huge area of 400 acres. J.R. Hamm was the President of the Sunshine Coal Co. At one time, some 125 miners worked underground, and they extracted and hoisted 700 tons of coal daily from this mine.

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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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