Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


January 11, 2007

McConville Midway Mine No. 2

Besides the Roosbrook Mine, there were three other McConville mines in operation between the years 1913 and 1946, the North Mine (No. 1), the Midway Mine (No, 2) and the Laneville Mine (No. 3). In 1931 McConville North Mine set the coal mining production record of 895 tons of coal in one day. On that same day, Midway produced 661 tons and Laneville West Mine produced 369 tons for a total of 1,925 tons in one day. At that time the McConville brothers employed 475 men in the mining business.

McConville Mine No. 2 was the first mine on the Interurban on the way to Mystic. It started out to be the Midway Coal Co. in 1920. It was located on 497th St., one mile west of 200th Ave. It was purchased by the McConvilles in 1926 and became the New Midway Coal Co. in 1940. It was a large mine of 108 acres and had a 141 foot shaft. In 1931 the Midway mine procuced 661 tons of coal.

There was a huge cave-in one night at the Midway Mine, but aside from the picture, very little is known about it. Lyle Kesterson has told me that his father, William Noah Kesterson had once worked in the Midway Mine. When the mine closed down in 1946, Mr. Kesterson went into the mine to get his tools and took young Lyle down into the mine with him. That is more than I can say for myself, having never been in a mine.

I have told you, in a previous article, about the rich coal mining heritage of the McConville family, dating back to John McConville in Ireland and Scotland, and how Edward and Nancy McConville and seven children arrived in Mystic in 1888. The story continues as follows:

The McConvilles worked in coal mines owned by others until 1897 when the miners went out on strike. Since most miners were out of work, Edward McConville, Sr. opened a small mine in 1897 that he named “Irish Settlement” in the Mystic area (exact location unknown), which they ran until 1912.

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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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