Stonega Coke and Coal Company.
Records, 1902-1974.
The Stonega Coke & Coal Company was a typical large southern Appalacian bituminous coal producer with mines in Virginia and West Virginia.
The Stonega Coke & Coal Company was incorporated in New Jersey on April 19, 1902, and reincorporated in Delaware on May 4, 1910. It was formed for the purpose of operating and further developing the coal properties of the Virginia Coal & Iron Company, which had opened its first mine at Stonega in Wise County, Va., in 1896. The company was controlled by Dr. John Shriver Wentz, a prominent Philadelphia anthracite and bituminous coal operator, who was also president of the Virginia Coal & Iron Company. The two firms had many stockholders and officers in common, and VC&I received a large minority interest in Stonega in 1922 to represent the value of pre-1902 facilities transferred to the new firm.
The Stonega Coke & Coal Company underwent rapid expansion, particularly in the decade beginning in 1915. In 1910 it absorbed the neighboring Keokee Consolidated Coke Company, and in 1923 it purchased the New River Collieries Company of West Virginia from the Guggenheim interests. By 1925 it was operating mines at nine company towns in Virginia and two (Sun and Eccles) in West Virginia. Output peaked in 1929 at 3.25 million tons, a figure that was not exceeded until 1964. At first, Stonega primarily shipped coke to industrial consumers and utilities in the Southeast. The work force consisted of an equal mixture of native whites, blacks from the Cotton South and European immigrants. The last two groups began to leave the region as production collapsed in the Depression.
The Stonega Coke & Coal Company created two local subsidiaries, the Virginia Wholesale Company (1910-1971) to act as a wholesaler supplying the company stores, and the Central Supply Company (1920-date), which deals in mine supplies and construction materials.
In 1929, Stonega was amalgamated but not merged with the Westmoreland Coal Company (Pa.), in which Wentz family had a substantial interest since 1917. The economics thus achieved, coupled with a severe cutback in operations, permitted both companies to weather the Depression and remain competitive by increasing mechanization. Stonega disposed of its West Virginia properties, selling a 51% interest in the Eccles mine to the Chicago, Wilmington & Franklin Coal Company in 1929 and abandoning the Sun Mine in 1932. The Eccles property was sold to Eastern Gas & Fuel Associates in 1946. Both groups of mines were organized by the United Mine Workers in 1933-34.
The Stonega Coke & Coal Company and the Westmoreland Coal Company were merged on April 30, 1964. The successor, Westmoreland Coal Company (Del.) retains Stonega's Delaware charter with the older Westmoreland name.
The records of the Stonega Coke & Coal Company are fragmentary between 1902 and 1910, but substantially complete after 1930. All major business, technical and labor issues are exceptionally well-documented.
Among the more useful series are the annual reports of the operating departments (1915-1957). These include thorough reports of most of the company's field activities, including information on construction, output, prices, wages, recruitment of labor, accidents and medical statistics. Photographs, maps, plans and drawings of all types of buildings and equipment are included. There are also several series of internal accounting statements computing unit costs for manual and mechanized mining, income, store sales, house rents and capital improvements.
Insurance records include descriptions and inventories of company buildings and equipment, along with a 1907 list of occupants of company houses.
The Philadelphia office files are generally limited to legal and corporate matters and to the development of certain mine properties in the 1950s. The Virginia office files are much more extensive and document such subjects as the transition from manual to mechanized mining, the growth of regulation, the unionization of the mines after 1933, industrial safety and welfare work, community services and company housing, and the impact of the Depression and World War II on the local community.
The records also contain maps and photos of company towns, plans of mining equipment, a short-lived employees' magazine, trade brochures, technical papers, notices, posters, union and "yellow dog" contracts, safety handbooks and hospital rules. A company-sponsored public opinion survey from the 1950s gives a unique sociological profile of both employees and the community at large as the era of the company town was ending.
Literary rights retained by depositor.
Unpublished finding aid available at the repository.
Forms part of: Westmoreland Coal Company Records.
Knode, Ralph H. (Ralph Howard), 1893-1963.
Leisenring, E. B. (Edward Barnes), 1895-1952.
Leisenring, E. B. (Edward Barnes), 1926-2011.
Mouser, Otis, 1868-1929.
Perin, Charles Page, 1861-1937.
Rogers, John D. (John Dwight), d. 1944.
Taggart, Ralph E. (Ralph Enos), 1887-1951.
Wentz, Daniel B. (Daniel Bertsch), 1872-1926.
Admiralty Coal Corporation.
Appalachian Coals, Inc.
Bituminous Coal Operators' Association.
Blackwood Coal and Coke Company.
Central Supply Company of Virginia.
Chicago, Wilmington and Franklin Coal Company.
Crab Orchard Improvement Company.
Goodman Manufacturing Company.
Harlan County Coal Operators' Association.
Imboden Coal and Coke Company.
Imboden Coal Company.
Imboden Coke Company.
Jeffrey Manufacturing Company (Columbus, Ohio)
Joy Manufacturing Company.
Keokee Coal and Coke Company.
Keokee Consolidated Coke Company.
Link-Belt Company.
Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company.
Morrow Manufacturing Company.
New River Collieries Company.
Southern Coal Producers' Association.
Southern Railway (U.S.).
Southern States Industrial Council.
Stonega Coke and Coal Company.
Stonega Veterans Association.
Stonegap Colliery Company.
Tennessee Valley Authority.
United Mine Workers of America.
United States. National Recovery Administration.
United States Coal and Coke Company.
Virginia Coal and Iron Company.
Virginia Coal Operators' Association.
Virginia Iron, Coal and Coke Company.
Virginia Manufacturers' Association.
Virginia Wholesale Company.
Vulcan Iron Works.
Jamestown Ter-centennial Exposition (1907).
Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904 : Saint Louis, Mo.).
African American coal miners -- Virginia.
Coal-handling machinery.
Coal miners.
Coal mines and mining -- Virginia.
Coal mines and mining -- West Virginia.
Coal-mining machinery.
Coal preparation.
Collective bargaining -- Coal mining industry.
Company stores.
Company towns.
Company unions.
Employee attitude surveys.
First aid in illness and injury.
Grievance arbitration.
Industrial housing.
Industrial relations.
Industrial safety.
Industrial welfare.
Medicine, Industrial.
Mine accidents.
Mine rescue work.
Mine roof control.
Sawmills -- Virginia.
Strikes and lockouts -- Coal mining.
Strip mining -- Virginia.
Wages -- Coal miners.
Working class -- Virginia.
Yellow dog contract.
Philadelphia Area Center for History of Science
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