Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA


January 11, 2007

McConville Midway Mine No. 2


In 1907 the company name was changed to McConville and Sons Coal Co. Edward’s six sons, James, John, Owen Joseph, Ben and Edward were given jobs in different capacities, and production continued to increase. Owen was appointed as General Superintendent. The McConvilles acquired the Rosebrook Mine near Darby in 1908 and ran it for a time. Then they ran their North Mine No. 1 from 1913-45, the Midway Mine No. 2 from 1920-38 and the Laneville Mine No. 3 from 1923 -33.

Edward McConville’s seven children produced many offspring and left a legacy of many descendents in Appanoose county. One of the older boys of particular interest was Edward McConville, Jr. Edward married Edith Birk in 1903. They had thirteen children, nine sons and four daughters. One son, James Patrick McConville, was born in Mystic in 1814 and lived in Centerville. He married Marjorie Bradley and they had three children, Joyce, Patricia and Dr. Brad McConville. Dr. Brad is a scholar in Civil War history pertaining to Appanoose County.

The Midway mine continued until 1942 at which time the Mc Convilles had moved to Knoxville to continue their tradition of coal mining in strip mines instead of shaft mines in the Bussey area.

Passenger service on the interurban line to Mystic was discontinued in 1933. By that time, enough people owned automobiles to make the venture unprofitable. Freight service was continued. The interurban track had been laid with very few tie plates. Rails had been spiked directly to the ties and the ties tended to wear out quite rapidly. During World War II, manpower shortages caused there to be virtually no maintenance of the track.

On July 1, 1944 the west 2.63 miles of trackage serving Brazil and Mystic were abandoned. Service was still maintained to Sunshine No. 3 and the McConville Midway coal mines so that coal could be delivered by hopper cars to the Centerville powerplant, its largest cunsumer of coal.

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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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