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Coal Miners Memorial Warden Mine, Douglas Hollow, Douglas, Blythedale, Elizabeth Twp., Allegheny Co., PA


Coal Mines of Allegheny Co., PA MAIN INDEX

Warden Mine,
Douglas Hollow,
Douglas,
Blythedale,
Elizabeth Twp.,
Allegheny County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

A Tribute to the Coal Miners that mined the Bituminous Coal seams of the Warden Mine, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Compiled & Edited by
Raymond A. Washlaski

Raymond A. Washlaski, Historian, Editor,
Ryan P. Washlaski, Technical Editor,

Updated Sept. 12, 2010

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Warden Mine (ca.1900- July, 1954),
Located on the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad, on the Youghiogeny River across from Sutersville, just downstream from the  Sutersville Bridge, Douglas Hollow, Douglas, Blythedale, Elizabeth Twp., Allegheny Co., PA
[The Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad bed is now a part of the Great Allegheny Passage rails-to-trails bike trail.]
Owners: (ca.1900-     ?    ),

             (                  ?    ), Pittsburg Coal Company,
             (      ?    -ca.1954), Pittsburgh Consolidated Coal Company

A portion of the USGS 15min. quad. map, Brownsville, PA ca.1906, showing the Douglas and Douglas Hollow area of Elzabeth Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
(Map courtesy of the US Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.)

This portion of the Elizabeth Township topo map is from a 1/50,000 USGS Geological Survey Map of Allegheny County dated 1983.

HISTORY:

from the "New Castle News," New Castle, PA, July 28, 1925

$2,000,000 Mine Improvement Begun

Pittsburgh, PA, July 28, 1925

Work is under way at the Warden Mine of the Pittsburgh Coal Company in Douglas Hollow, about a mile and a half from Douglas Station, on the construction of a concrete wall, steel tipple and railroad, to cost approximately $2,000,000.  The apparent objective is the centralization of about a half dozen mines if the coal company.

The contractors who are handling a portion of the operations are Allen & Garcia, of Chicago, and the work is to be completed by November 1, according to their field superintendent G. O. Patton.

The railroad will run through Douglas Hollow to the Pittsburgh, McKeesport & Youghiogheny branch of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie railroad.  The construction of the lione will apparently include two bridges and a large amount of excavation.

This work is being done by James Scanlon, of New Castle, and it is understood that the cost will be borne by the railroad.  It is reported the Pittsburgh Coal Company is planning a similar centralization of the mines at Library.
[from the "New Castle News," New Castle, PA, July 28, 1925.]

from "The Charleroi Mail," Charleroi, PA, Oct. 3, 1925

Non-Union Miners of Pittsburgh Coal Company Attacked
Union Sympathizers Attack Fifty Non-Union Miners While On Way To Work

West Newton, PA, Oct. 3, 1925

Fifty non-union miners employed at the Warden tipple of the Pittsburgh Coal Company were reported attacked today several miles west of here by a crowd of union sympathizers, who hurled stones and other missiles.  The men were enroute to the Warden Mine in automobiles.

George Haggarty, non-union miner, was struck in the facem he reported, when a member of the crowd climbed aboard the car in which he was riding and attacked him with his fists.  Haggarty suffered no serious injuries.

Actual production of coal has not been started at the Warden Mine, but it is being reconditioned preparatory to reopening.
[from "The Charleroi Mail," Charleroi, PA, Oct. 3, 1925.]
[from the "New Castle News," New Castle, PA, Oct. 3, 1925.]

from the "Lebanon Daily News," Lebanon, PA, Feb. 29, 192

Elizabeth, PA., Startled By Explosion

Pittsburgh, PA

A bomb explosion wrecked the fronts of a dozen buildings in Elizabeth, PA., near here, early today, hurling members of nine families from their beds and slightly injuring one man.  Damage was estimated at between $50,000 and $75,000.

Police said the bomb had been placed near the barber shop of Alfred Scott, negro, above which were the lodge rooms of Maple View Lodge of Negro Elks.  They believed the outrage was an attempt to terrorize members of the lodge who are working in the Warden Mine of the Pittsburgh Coal Company.

For several blocks around the barber shop, store fronts were demolished.  All persons thrown from their beds escaped with only slight bruises from showers of plaster.  George Van Fossan, proprietor of a grocery store was cut by broken glass and was the only person to require medical treatment.

According to reports, several men ran from the doorway of the barber shop shortly before the explosion occurred.  They entered two automobiles parked nearby and drove away.

Sructures damaged included the Kessler pool room, Tortois barber shop, A and P chain store, the state Bank of Elizabeth and other small shops and restaurants.

State troopers, on duty at the Warden Mine, soon reached the scene and started a search for the bombers.

The force of the blast was felt in Clairton, West Newton and Suterville, six miles away.

A score of guests in the old Elizabeth hotel, a block away were thrown from their beds but escaped injury.
[from the "Lebanon Daily News," Lebanon, PA, Feb. 29, 1928.]

from "The Charleroi Mail," Charleroi, PA, April 17, 1929

GALLATIN MINE CLOSED
Gallatin Workings Opened Through to Warden,
Results in Closing the Valley Diggings

"Several" Reasons for Present Step

Gallatin Mine of the Pittsburgh Coal Company was closed yesterday and the abandonment of the diggings may resuilt.

Gallatin coal is being taken out on the Youghiogheny River and has been for some time.

Warden Mine, at Douglas, was recently cut thru to the Gallatin workings, and since that time practically all this coal has been removed through the Warden Shaft.

Supt. William Diemond, of Warden Mine, today said that "There are several reasons." for this.  The Pittsburgh Coal Companmy has its new cleaning and preparation plant on the Yough river near Warden Mine.  This is a primary reason for sending Gallatin coal through to the Sutersville terminal.

Other reasons were not given by mine officials.

Several reasons are said to be obvious.

During the coal strike, a number of union miners' petitions were passed about in Gallatin and the district most of these denouning non-union operations.  Observers, with an insight in the coal business, say that this is one reflection in coal companies condemned unfairly during the strike, removing their center of operations from points were agitation was stirred against them during the strike.

One very important point, concerning the Gallatin Mine closing, is the puzzled situation which it presents, in that both river and rail shipping accommodations are offered from Gallatin Mine, while the Warden terminal provides only one railroad.

It has been noted that all Pittsburgh Coal Co. operations in the valley district have been far below normal, while other districts report satisfactory schedules.

Pittsburgh, PA April 17.

The unfavorable coal market existing now may result in the closing temporarily of the Gallatin Mine of the Pittsburgh Coal Company, it was learned from the production department of the company here today.  Gallatin Mine is located across the river from Monongahela, PA.

Although operations at the Dallatin Mine were continuing today, the production department refused to state how much longer it would remain active.

"If the mine should be closed, it will not be abandoned,: one official of the company said.  It also was said by this official that the company had no intention of leaving the Black Diamond Mine, also located at Monongahela, remain idle longer than necessary.

It will be some time, however before the Black Diamond Mine is reopened.  The coal market was one of the reasons advanced as to why no definite date had been set for the resumption of operations.  Another, hinging on the first, was that until the demand for coal would warrant, the tipple, burned several weeks ago, would bot be repaired.

"There is coal in both those mines," the official continued, "which must be gotten out, when the time is ripe.
[from "The Charleroi Mail," Charleroi, PA, April 17, 1929.]

from "The Charleroi Mail," Charleroi, PA, June 12, 1931.

MINERS BEATEN   HEAVILY GUARDED  TROUBLE BREAKSOUT
Reports of Parade Late This Afternoon Declared Unfounded  -
Pickets Continue To March Between Gallatin And Warden
Three Miners Are Beaten Along Road

Trouble broke anew in the Gallatin stike sector, near East Monongahela last night with the result that one mine strike sympathizer is in the Monongahela Memorial hospital with bullet wounds through the right leg and three strike breakers were badly beaten.

Warden Mine is located on the Yough river, two miles from West Newton.  It was formerly known as the Gallatin Mine, when the entry was located on the Monongahela river, between Webster and East Monongahela.

Most of the miners live at Gallatin but commute by bus between the entry at Warden and their homes.

Reports that a demonstration and march was planned for 4 o'clock this afternoon at Gallatin were not confirmed.  Pickets however will line the highway tonight in an attempt to recruit men who are still working in the Pittsburgh Coal Company mine at Warden.

Lawrence Shaw, 50, strike sympathizer, was shot last night at the Warden mine lamp house by Charles Lutz, 38, deputy sheriff.  Shaw unwent an operation this morning in the Monongahela hospital when shot was removed from his right leg.

Lutz was arrested by E. H. Evey, in charge of the coal mine police and deputies and turned over to Sheriff Robert Cain of Allegheny County.

In a statement which he gave his superiors, Lutz said he was guarding the lamp house, five miles from Gallatin when Shaw and three others approached him.  He ordered them off the mine property by they advanced crying.

"We're going to beat ------ out of you."

Lutz stood his ground, he said and when the men were within 25 feet he opened fire with a sawed off shotgun.  This story did not tally with that told by the miners.

Twelve eye witnesses said that Shaw and others were walkig along the road questioning strike-breakers.  As Shaw approached one, Lutz ordered him back.  He failed to comply immediately and the shooting resulted.  Shaw was shot while walking in the public highway, witnesses said.

Last night sympathizers seized three homeward bound miners and beat them with sticks and clubs in the Ella Hollow road.  They required medical attention and were taken home after being found by mine police.

For several days, because of attempts to stop the mine buses which haul the men back and forth from the mine entry, the buses have been guarded by armed deputies.   The officers carry riot guns and occupy commanding positions in the buses.

At present there are seven deputies, a force of industrial police and three state police stationed at Gallatin.  No trouble developed until this week.

Lutz, before being taken to Pittsburgh where he was to surrender to Sheriff Cain declared that he shouted twice to the men to stand back before he fired.

Company officials said that Lutz, earlier this week, arrested a friend of Shaw's for trespassing.  The man was later released.  Since then there has been bad feeking toward Lutz and officers said that it was the intention of the group to trounce Lutz that induced them to accost him.

Shaw is expected to recover.
[from "The Charleroi Mail," Charleroi, PA, June 12, 1931.]

from "The Monessen Daily Independent," Monessen, PA, Aug. 6, 1931

Two Fatal Accidents in Warden Coal Mine
Two Killed within Five Hours at Mine of Pittsburgh Coal Co.

Pittsburgh, PA., Aug. 6, 1931.

Death of two men in the Warden Mine of the Pittsburgh Coal Company, near West Newton yesterday were being investigated today by Deputy Coroner Albert G. Banendell, Allegheny County.

Although first reports to the Coroner's office indicated both men were killed in the same fall of slate it was later learned they were killed in separate accidents.

Banendell's preliminary report is expected to be completed tomorow.  The men John R. McCall, 42, Gallatin, near Monongahela and W. D. Martin, 35, Negro of Blythesdale were killled in separate falls of slate, attaches at the J. W. McCauley ubdertaking established, West Newton, said.  Both bodies were taken there.

McCall was crushed when caught under a fall of rock as he was taking a kight battery motor into the mine about 5:45 p.m. yesterday.  His head was crushed, it was said.

Martin was killed about 9;30 p.m. when a rood caved in as he was working in a heading.  His body was recovered about an hour later.

Officials of the Pittsburgh Coal Co. confirmed this account of the accident.

McCall who is survuved by his widow and eight children wll be buried from his late home Saturday.  Interment will be in Avonmore Cemetery, near Greensburg.

Martin's body will be sent to Alabama.
[from "The Monessen Daily Independent," Monessen, PA, Aug. 6, 1931.]

from "The Charleroi Mail," Charleroi, PA, Dec. 26, 1941

All-Time Company Safety Record at Warden Mine
Pittsburgh, Dec. 26, 1941.
An all time company safety record for 12 months, in which only two compensable accidents occurred in the mining of nearly 700,000 tons of coal, long as the chief ornument on the Christmas tree around which employes of the Warden Mine of the Pittsburgh Coal Company celebrated yesterday.

R. E. Charlier, Industrial relations manager of the company, awarded $585.00 in cash prizes to employes and announced that this added to previous awards made a total of $2,100 won by Warden mine employes for safe operations during the past year.  In addition, officials of the United Mine Workers of America distributed 800 boxes of candy to the miners and their families.

The Warden mine and other mines of the Pittsburgh Coal Company operate on a safety plan in which cash prizes for employes mount as accidents decrease.  Under the plan, more that $21,000 has been paid out to employes the past year.  Mr. Charlier stated for establishing high safety records.

He mad known that the safety record of the Warden mine was five times as good in 1941 as in 1940 and that safety awards had been muktipkied five times in four months of thie year when no accident were recorded.
[from "The Charleroi Mail," Charleroi, PA, Dec. 26, 1941.]

from "The Charleroi Mail," Charleroi, PA, July 12, 1954

Warden Mine is closed

Last Pay At Warden Harsh Blow

A pall of gloom hangs heavy over the upper Youghiogheny River Valley today because many of its men have drawn their last pay in their own backyard.

They lost their jobs early last week when the entry of Warden Mine was "Sealed,"  probably never to open again.

Hardest hit by the sudden mine shutdown was the little community of Blythedale in Elizabeth Township.

Some 1040 souls in this small Youghiogheny River Valley town depended almost entirely on Warden Colliery for economic existence.

Other river communities that will feel the sting from the mine close-down include West Newton, Collinsburg, Gratztown, Lowber and Suterville.

Although Sutersville is neater to the Warden Mine than the other area communities, it will suffer less because most of its miner-residents are employed at Ocean Mine No. 5 in Smithdale.

There are a few miners, however, who still hold to a shred of optimism and believe that the slope will open again.

But, according to Pittsburgh Consolidated Coal Company, only the greatest of fuel shortages could force the firm into considering reopening the "sealed" pit mouth.

Even tough the firm's some 190 workers knew that the end at the Warden Colliery was near, the closing came as a shock.

Can't Believe It

They just refused to believe that the mine, once the world's greatest producer of coal, could play out.

Mining is the only job they knew.  Most of them are in the twilight age as workers, too old to be hired by other industries and two young to qualify for a miner's pension.

Stephen Ason, 62. of Blythedale, is one of the few more fortunate miners in the older group.

"I never was a person to wish my life away, but this is one time that I am happy about my age," he said.

Instead of looking for another job as a mine motorman, Steve was up bright and early today to make application for the pension fopr which his age make him eligible.

Others less fortunate than Steve plan to sign up for unwmployment compensation and in the meantime look for another job in a district mine.

However, that outlook is not bright, said officials of Local 6478, United Mine Workers of America.

They claim most of the mines have cut production deeply and that many of the pit crews have been furloughed.

Some of the larger mines in the area include Hubbard Mine at Versailles, Banning Mine in Rostraver Township, Mathies Mine at New Eagle, and Hutchinson, in Sewickley Township.
[from "The Charleroi Mail," Charleroi, PA, July 12, 1954.]

On the Back Porch …in Allegheny County

Douglas Hollow Remembered

By Geno Lawrenzi

Over half a century has passed since those days when my family lived in "the patch." Officially, the place was Douglas Hollow, a company-owned town just across the bridge from Sutersville, Pa. From the time I was born until I reached my freshman year in high school, we lived in a house owned by the coal mine where my father worked.

Our rent, payable to the Warden Mine, was $15 a month. We had a company doctor who charged $3 per visit. We bought our groceries and other necessities from the company store.

Dad had a lunch bucket that Mom always packed for him to take into the mine. She usually gave him a sandwich with peanut butter and jelly, and another with scrambled eggs or lettuce and bacon. She would throw in a pear or an apple and add a thermos of hot coffee.

My Uncle Ott Migitsch was a German who was proud of being a Socialist. He worked at the Ocean Mine and was married to my Aunt Annie, my mother's older sister. They lived in a two-story house along the Youghiogheny River on the outskirts of West Newton.

Uncle Ott and my dad belonged to the Sutersville Moose Club, and my uncle also had a membership in a West Newton club that had a bigger dance floor. He and my aunt loved to go dancing. My uncle was known for being a good dresser and for his fancy footwork. My mother used to say that Uncle Ott was the best "twirler" she ever met.

We had no running water in those days. We kids had to fetch our water from a community pump a couple of hundred yards from our home. On washday, which I hated, my brothers and I had to fill three large galvanized tubs with pump water and carry them into our house. Since we lived on the second story, it meant lugging the heavy tub up the steps into the living room while being careful not to spill any water on the floor. Mom would heat the water on the iron stove and wash our clothes. What was left we would use for drinking or bathing.

When Aunt Annie was 39, she came down with leukemia and was taken to the hospital in McKeesport. She died, leaving my mother so stricken with grief that for years Mom couldn't talk about my aunt without crying. Uncle Ott never remarried.

One day a cave-in at Ocean Mine trapped Uncle Ott. If his partner hadn't seen his fingertips reaching out from under the rubble, he would have died. Fearing an explosion from the methane gas, the other miners frantically dug the rocks away and carried my badly injured uncle out. He suffered a crushed pelvis, broken arm and other injuries, but he survived. He never returned to the mines; instead he took a job as a security guard in Cleveland.

When I was six, my father left the mines. He had hitched a ride, which was prohibited, on a coal wagon into the mine. When he hopped off the wagon, he rubbed his eyes. A supervisor spotted him and accused him of sleeping on the job. He was fired on the spot.

It was probably the best thing that ever happened to him. The next day he applied for a job at U.S. Steel Corp.'s Irvin Works in nearby Dravosburg and got it. He worked there 32 years.

Though Dad no longer worked in the mines, we continued to live in the company-owned house until my parents decided it was time that we had our own home.

Dad found out that the Sutersville Moose planned to tear down its building and put up a new facility. So he bid $200 for the lumber. He won the bid and we had the lumber we needed to construct a home on the half-acre lot that Uncle Ott sold us.

It took three months for all of us, including my mother, to dig the 10-foot deep foundation. Dad, who never built anything larger than a doghouse before, somehow constructed the three-bedroom house. It had a basement, an attic and a large dining room, and it was wonderful. Even with the help of relatives and friends, who did the plastering and electrical work, it took Dad two years to finish the job.

We moved out of the patch in June 1950. Although I had many friends among the other kids and adults, I never regretted moving. Our new house was just a mile away, but it seemed as though we had moved to another universe.

Author: By Geno Lawrenzi

Coal Miners Memorial Warden Mine,
Douglas Hollow, Douglas, Blythedale, Elizabeth Twp., Allegheny Co., PA

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