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Coal Miners Memorial, Edna No. 1 Mine, Edna No. 1, Hempfield Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA


Coal Mines of Westmoreland Co., PA INDEX
Township Map of Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania
Map of R.R. Transportation System Westmoreland Co.
Edna No. 1 Mine,
Edna No. 1,
Hempfield Township,
Westmoreland County,
Pennsylvania

A Tribute to the Coal Miners that mined the Bituminous Coal seams of the Edna No. 1 Mine, Edna No.1, Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

Compiled & Edited by
Raymond A. Washlaski

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

Updated June 10, 2010

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Edna No. 1 Mine (ca.1900-1945),
Located 1 mile south of Adamsburg, on the Edna Mine spur of the Hempfield Branch of the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad, on PA SR 3069 (Wendell Road) at Hickory Street, Edna No. 1, Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
Owners: (ca.1900-1913?), Pittsburgh & Baltimore Coal Company, Pittsburgh, PA
                                        Company Store: Edna Supply Company
              (ca.1913?-1921), United Coal Company, Pittsburgh, PA
                                          [A subsidiary of the Hillman Coal & Coke Company]
              (ca.1919-   ?   ), Leased to Hillman Coal & Coke Company, Pittsburgh , PA
              (ca.1921-1929), Hillman Coal & Coke Company, Pittsburgh , PA
              (ca.1929-1945), Leased to independent operators by Hillman Coal & Coke Company, Pittsburgh, PA

Edna No. 1
Edna No. 1, Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, PA from the U.S.G.S. 15 min. Greensburg Quad., 1904 Topographic Survey.
(Map courtesy of U.S.G.S. Topographic Survey, Washington, D.C.)

DESCRIPTION:
The town of Edna No. 1 consists of three parallel streets with double houses, and one  row of single-family houses on a hillside above a tributary of Little Sewickley Creek.  A total of about fifty company-built houses survive.  The double houses are typical of those found in the region's coal mining towns: each is a two-story wood-frame dwelling with a gable roof and double brick chimneys. The single-family houses are also two-story wood-frame buildings with central brick chimneys.

No other coal company buildings are extant in the town.  The entire mining complex of Edna No. 1 Mine was recently, ca.1994, demolished by a coal strip-mining operation.

Single family miners houses in the coal company patch town of Edna No. 1, showing the various additions and changes made since the coal company houses were sold to private owners.   The Edna No. 1 Mine boney dump is in the background. (Photo by Ray Washlaski.)

HISTORY:
The Pittsburgh & Baltimore Coal Company, of Pittsburgh, PA opened the slope-entry Edna No. 1 Mine in ca.1900. Exploiting the 72 inch thick Pittsburgh Coal Seam, the mine was located southwest of Adamsburg, in Hempfield Township and was served by the Hempfield Branch of the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad.  W. L. Coulson served as general superintendent for the company which opened a second mine, the shaft-entry Edna No. 2 Mine, in nearby North Huntingdon Township in ca.1902.  The following year Edna No.1 Mine employed 276 men and boys and produced nearly 304,000 tons of coal. The Edna No. 1 Mine was electrified with the coal miners using six electric-powered cutting machines.  (About 214,000 tons of coal were extracted with the cutting machines, the remainder was extracted with pick and shovel.)  No coke ovens were built at either of the Edna Mines, as the coal was shipped to market.  Most of the coal miners at Edna No. 1 lived in the shadow of the mine in the coal company patch town called Edna No. 1.  Miners and their families patronized the company store which was run by the Edna Supply Company.

By 1910 the Pittsburgh & Baltimore Coal Company had fallen into receivership and was in the hands of James D. O'Neil, R. P.Watt, and William K. Johnson, all of Pittsburgh.  That year also marked a coal strike in the Irwin gas coal field, with the coal miners attempting to organize with the United Mine Workers of America.  The company operated Edna No. 1 Mine for just ninty-seven days in 1910.   The coal companies beat down the striking miners and the United Mine Workers called an end to the unsuccessful sixteen month-long coal strike in 1911.

During the 1910's annual coal production at Edna No. 1 Mine ranged from as much as 276,000 tons of coal in 1914, to as little as 147,000 tons of coal in 1915.  During the First World War the United Coal Corporation, a subsidiary of the Hillman Coal & Coke Company, assumed ownership of the Pittsburgh & Baltimore Coal Company. Led by Edwin H. Coxe of Pittsburgh, this company improved the slope mine and tipple in 1917-18. These improvements included the construction of new concrete stoppings inside the mine along with the installation of heavier gauge track in the mine.

By ca.1921 the Edna No. 1 Mine and Edna No. 2 Mine were operating under the Hillman Coal & Coke Company name, a large Pittsburgh-based concern with extensive coal holdings in several western Pennsylvania counties, including Allegheny County (the Oakmont Mine), Washington County (the Gibson Mine and Monessen Mine), Fayette County (the Naomi Mine and the Pike Mine), and Somerset County (the Jerome Mine).

In 1921 the Edna No. 1 Mine employed 204 men but operated only 143 days.  More than 119,000 tons of coal were produced in 1921.  The following year 1922, during a nationwide coal strike, miners produced over 146,000 tons of coal. J.W. Cornelius of Adamsburg served as mine superintendent at Edna No. 1 Mine through most of the 1920's.  Edna No. 1 Mine consistently produced over 220,000 tons of coal each year from 1932 through 1939.

Hillman Coal & Coke Company leased the Edna No. 1 Mine and Edna No. 2 Mine to an independent coal operator beginning in the late 1930's.  Edna No. 1 Mine was abandoned in ca.1945.
(History and description of the Edna No. 1 Mine, with additional data and pictures adapted from "Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania: An Inventory of Historic Engineering and Industrial Sites, 1994,"  America's Industrial Heitage Project, National Park Service, Historic American Buildings Survey / Historic American Engineering Record, U.S. Department of the Interior, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.)

Score Arrested In Mine Rioting Near Greensburg
Man and Young Girl Injured As Rioting Between Miners Breaks Out
Greensburg, PA, Feb. 18, 1931

Rioting in which one man was injured broke out today when striking miners of the Edna No. 2 Mine of the HillmanCoal Company, near Adamsburg, clashed with employed miners of the Edna No. 1 Mine of the Carr Coal Company.

George Shelter, 50, of Greensburg, employed at Edna No. 1 mine was struck on the head with a stone when the rioting begun.

State police were rushed to the scene and dispersed the crowd with difficulty.  More than a score of srrests were made.

First reports were that 26 men and four women had been taken into custody.

Miss Dorothy Altman, 14, daughter of a miner employed at Edna No. 1 was attacked by a party of several men and women.  She was beaten and thrown into a roadside ditch.

The riot climaxed determined efforts by the striking coal workers to prevent employed men from entering the workings of Edna no. 1.  As the force attempted to move into the workings, more than 100 strikers rushed them.

Stones, sticks and other missiles flew freely.

About 65 of the 150 miners employed at Edna No. 1 entered the mine after State police dispersed the rioters.  Edna No. 1 resumed operations Monday after a shutdown several days ago when a walkout at Edna No. 2 occurred.

[from the "New Castle News," New Castle, PA, Feb. 18, 1931.]

Memories of Edna No. 1:

The web site on Edna No. 1 Mine in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, Pa., brought back a lot of memories as I grew up in this coal mining town from the age of about 4 or 5 until I got married in 1953 and moved away. I am now 74 years of age and my name is Olga Macrania Reott. What I remember most is that after the mine closed in 1945 my father made a deal with whomever owned the mine at that time to tear the tipple down for them if he could keep the lumber for himself. My mother lived in fear every evening. My father would come home from work, eat his supper and go over to the tipple and climb up (it was quite high) and tear it down all by himself. My mother was so afraid he would fall off and kill himself. Of course he didn't fall and he worked until the tipple was completely torn down. He used that lumber to build a two car garage on one corner of our property in Edna No. 1. That garage is still standing today and is still in very good condition. My father, Fred Macrania worked at the Edna No. 1 mine for many years. I also had a grandfather, Antonio Meneghini, uncles, William Meneghini, Arthur Meneghini, and Anthony Meneghini who also worked there during the early 1930's to sometime in the 1940's.
Olga Macrania Reott, Sept. 27, 2008

I lived in Edna No.1 age 6 to 12, climbed the Boney hill to fly my kite. Attended school in old Brush Creek 4-room with Olga Macrania. Moved to Erie in 1947, Erie had contract to supply miners with oil for their head lamps in the early years. No indoor plumbing, no gas, had coal stove. No mail delivery - walked to Adamsburg for the mail-mile away. Adamsburg was also bus stop for Lincoln Coach to Greensburg and took many trips to grandma's and movie theater. Had to pump water and in winter it froze - lots more hard times. Edna No.1 had three stores - Sasso's, white hotel and one almost empty. I am now 74 and proud to have had the tough experience.

Patricia Payha Chlebowski, Sept. 26, 2009

"Coal Miners Memorial, Edna No. 1 Mine,
Edna No. 1, Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania"
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