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Coal Miners Memorial, Hutchinson Mine, Hutchinson, Sewickley Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA


Djuro Klipa Relates Stories of the Hutchinson Mine, Hutchinson, Sewickley Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA


Coal Mines of Westmoreland Co., PA INDEX
Map of Westmoreland Co., PA
Map of R.R. Transportation System Westmoreland Co.
Hutchinson Mine,
Shaft and Slope Entries,

Hutchinson,
Sewickley Township,
Westmoreland County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

A Tribute to the Coal Miners that mined the Bituminous Coal seams at Hutchinson Mine, Hutchinson, Sewickley Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Compiled & Edited by
Raymond A. Washlaski

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

Updated Jan. 7, 2010

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Hutchinson Mine, Shaft and Slope Entries (ca.1924-1973),
Located on the Sewickley Creek, and Kelly Run, on the Yukon Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad, 9 mile south of Irwin,  off of PA Rt. 136, at SR3057, om T396, at 1st to 7th Streets, Hutchinson, Sewickley Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA
Owners: (ca.1924-1945) Westmoreland Coal Company, Irwin, PA
            (ca.1945-1973) Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company (ConSol), Pittsburgh, PA
            (ca.1973-ca.1979) Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company (ConSol), Pittsburgh,PA
                                        [Coal Prep Plant only in operation.]

Hutchinson Area, Sewickley Twp.
Topographic Survey Map of the Smithton Quadrangle, Pennsylvania, 7.5 Minute Series (Topographic), NW/4 Connellsville 15' Quadrangle. ca.1954
(Map courtesy of the U.S.Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.)

Englarged View of Hutchinson
The Village of Hutchinson, ca.1954, showing the layout of the town, and the Hutchinson Mine site. Taken from the 7.5min. Smithton, PA Quadrangle Map
(Courtesy of the U.S.Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.)

DESCRIPTION:
The town of Hutchinson, in Sewickley Township, Westmoreland County, consists of approximately 100 houses located in two sections, one adjacent to the mining complex and the other on a hill above the mine. Near the mine are two-story wood-frame double houses with gable and hipped roofs. Double houses and single-family houses stand on the hill above the mine.  The single-family houses are one-story wood-frame buildings with pyramidal roofs, central brick chimneys, and hollow clay-tile foundations.  The coal company store and school were destroyed by fire, and the mining complex, including the brick office building, lamphouse, machine shop, tipple, and generator house were all demolished in the summer of 1988.  The town of Hutchinson, however, retains the greatest variety of coal company-built house types found in Westmoreland County.

Hutchinson Houses Hutchinson Coal Company House
One of the coal company houses, ca.1960 in the Village of Hutchinson, Sewickley Twp.  The Hutchinson Company houses were not laided out as company blocks, but on large lots.
(Photo courtesy of John J. Wilson and "History of Sewickley Township", ca.1962.)
Hutchinson Mine Complex "Hutchy Mine" Tipple
The Tipple and coal loading facilities at Hutchinson Mine,  "The Hutchy Mine," Hutchinson, Sewickley Twp. The Hutchinson Mine Tipple was demolished in ca.1988.
(Photo courtesy of John J. Wilson and "History of Sewickley Township", ca.1962.)

HISTORY:
The Hutchinson Mine and company town of Hutchinson, also spelled Hutchison, were constructed by the Westmoreland Coal Company in ca.1924. Hutchinson Mine and the town were named after S. P. Hutchinson, president of the Westmoreland Coal Company.  The town was built on the farms of Sherrick Fulmer and David Kelley.  The Hutchinson Mine was known locally as the "Hutchy Mine."  The shaft-entry mine exploited the 75"-thick Pittsburgh coal seam.  The mine had many gas explosions during its construction and many times afterwards.  The first coal was loaded out on June 22, 1925.  The mine shaft entry is 258 feet deep.  The mine slope entry is 865 feet long.  Materials are were sent into the mine via the slope entry.  Men would walk in to work in the mine, by walking down the slope entry;  but would ride up the slope entry coming out-of-the-mine on the man trip.

Hutchinson Mine was, at the time it was constructed, the only mine in Sewickley Township not to use steam power.  It was an all electric mine from the very beginning, generating its own electric power at its' powere house.

When Westmoreland Coal Company laid out the town of Hutchinson, it was not a typical "Coal Company Patch town."  Individual houses were erected on large size lots.  Shade trees were planted.  The "Company Blocks" idea was not apparent.  This foresight was beneficial to all residents when the coal company sold the houses to its employees later.

When the town was first established, the Coal Company Store served as the post office.  The mail was brought to the store by the store manager.  He gave it out as a favor to the people.  For a while the mail came thru the Herminie Post Office and the Rillton Post Office.

On October 1, 1946 the post office was regularly established in the Coal Company Store and the company store manager became a bona fide postmaster.  In August of 1953, Mae Violet Meyers Steadman [Mrs. John Turner Steadman] was appointed postmaster and she moved the post office to a room in her home, were it remained for many years.

Hutchinson Mine quickly became one of Westmoreland Coal Company's largest producers with a daily output of 2,700 tons of coal.  Despite the sluggish market for coal in the early 1930's the company employed 425 men at the Hutchinson Mine;  however, it was operated only part of the year.  The Hutchinson colliery featured a modern preparation plant that included: mechanical Marcus screens, water cleaners, Menzies Tandem Hydro-Separator for removing the refuse and standardizing the preparation of the coal and loading booms.  Inside the mine there were fifty-six pumps, four continuous mining machines, four loading machines, eight electric trolley locomotives, 400 wooden mine cars, five rock-dusters and two 10-SC Joy Machines were employed. The company's powerhouse generated 600 kilowatts of electricity for use in the mine.

Mining activity at Hutchinson Mine increased in the mid 1930's.  During the Second World War the company employed over 500 miners and workers at Hutchinson Mine.

In the 1950's, Hutchinson organized the Hutchinson Fire Company.  They made great strides to take their place in the community.  The women of the town did their part to help the men pay of the obligations incurred in purchasing a fire house and a fire truck.

The Coal Patch town of Hutchinson has always been plagued with no water supply.  Large sums of money were spent by the people to drill wells and construct cisterns.  Even through the Municipal Water Company's line were only a mile away, the people were hesitate to get organized and bring the water lines into the town.  Possibly because of the vast expense they had already incurred in getting their own water supply.

Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company purchased the Hutchinson Mine in ca.1957.

In 1958, Frank Teacher, nephew of Frederick Potocher, was killed in a roof fall in Hutchinson Mine.  He was working alone, on a mining machine.  Half of the roof in his room fell on him.  Other miners near his work area heard him yelling for help, then the rest of the roof fell, killing him.  Frederick Potocher was called at home and told of the accident, and his nephew.  He became hysterical and ran to the mine, he tried to start a joy loader to dig Frank out, but it was too late.  Frank Teacher was 43 years old, and left a wife and 2 sons.

By the early 1960's miners were extracting 225,000 tons of coal each year.  The company employed 225 men at the Hutchinson Colliery which operated 220 days a year, five days per week.  In 1962, 100 miners were employed at the Hutchinson Mine.

Section equipment consisted of Joy 1CM continuous miner, which had a ripper head as opposed to the later milling head miners. A roof bolter was attached to either side of the machine allowing deeper cuts. Haulage was by rail using 4-ton wooden cars.

When the Hutchinson Mine was in full retreat mode auger holes had to be drilled into the face in some areas in order to avoid mining into old mine workings. This was a procedure similar to what had been advised at the Quecreek Mine, Somerset Co., PA.

Things were going very well for the Hutchinson Mine until Feb. 19, 1968, when we had a major flood at the Hutchy.  The flood at Hutchy was VERY simular to that of the Queecreek Mine in Somerset county in Julyof 2002, thank GOD there were no trapped miners.To make a long story short, all the miners at the Hutchy worked very hard and the mine was back in productionin in early May, 1968.

Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company operated the Hutchinson Mine until ca.1973. There were also several small mines, called "Country Mines" around in the township. They produced house coal during the winter months.

Though CONSOL closed the Hutchinson Mine in ca.1973 Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company continued to use the coal preparation plant at Hutchinson to process low-sulphur and low-ash content coal, called mat coal, till around ca.1979.  Trucks hauled coal to this facility from mines around Clymer in Indiana County, and from the Brownsville region of Fayette County.  The mat coal was shipped by rail to Ashtabula, Ohio, then transported by lake freighters to Canada for use in Canadian steel mills.

Recreation in Hutchinson was provided by Oakdale Park, which featured counry and western music, and at time they also showed movies on an outdoor screen.

Sewickley Pines Tavern, a local watering place, provided the men with a place to drink after a hard days labor in the mines.

Company Store at Hutchinson The Company Store
Hutchinson Company Store ca.1950's. The store was later operated ca.1960's by Adolph Baloh.
(Photo courtesy of John J. Wilson and "History of Sewickley Township", ca.1962.)

The First Fire Department in Hutchinson
The Hutchinson Volunteer Fire Department was organized in Hutchinson in the 1950's. The town was always plagued with no regular water supply.  Wells and cisterns supplied the town with water.
(Photo courtesy of John J. Wilson and "History of Sewickley Township", ca.1962.)
Fire Dept., Hutchinson
Cameron School, Hutchinson, PA
The school at Hutchinson was named Cameron School after the General Superintendent of the Westmoreland Coal Company when the school was built in ca.1927.
(Photo courtesy of John J. Wilson and "History of Sewickley Township", ca.1962.)
Cameron School, Hutchinson

The principle of Cameron School in Hutchinson, PA in the 1930's was Mr. James Mason. Later principles were Mr. Muha, John Podbesek, Mr. Ponebshek, and Mr. Yuvan.

Teachers at the Cameron School in Hutchinson were:  Miss Lawson , Miss Albright, Miss Bedford, Miss Scott, and Mr. Mason, the principle already mentioned.  Mr. Lash taught geograghy and was from another of the Lash farms.

The farmers around Hutchy are Lash's farm, Grushechky's farm, Poore's farm, Cherevnick's farm, Albright farm and Shyshuck's farm.  Shyshuck's farm along with Lash's is still there ca.2000.

Teachers at the Cameron School, Hutchinson, PA in the 1950's were: Grade 1, Mrs. Noswartz; Grade 2, Mrs Vanette; Grade 3, Mrs. Urana; Grade 4, Mrs. Pinkerton; Grade 5, Miss Dorothy Balentine; Grade 6, and Mr. John Cheselsky, the Principle of the school.

(History and description of Hutchinson Mines, adapted with additional data and pictures 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.);
(Excepts and pictures were also used from  John J. Wilson's "History of Sewickley Township", ca.1962.)

Courtesy of Edie Steadman Butler, we have the following information about Hutchinson, and the Steadman family.

John Turner Steadman Family:
My dad, John Turner Steadman worked in the Lober mine and also Hutchinson mine. My mother was the postmaster in Hutchinson. I really enjoyed this web site. thank you Edie Butler

Thank you for your response and the work you are doing. I am heavy into geneology and really am grateful for people like you. My mom's name was Mae Violet Meyers Steadman. The picture of the house [Hutchinson Company House above] on the web site is where I was born. I was born in the downstairs living room. The other six brothers and sisters were born in other coal mining towns at home. I believe a few were in Lober. My Uncle Ted Steadman lived in Lober and was road suppervisor for Sewickley Township. I am not sure if he ever worked in the mines or my dad's other brother Charles. I was eight when my dad passed away. I was the baby of the family and there is six years between me and the next child. I have contacted the remaining brother and sister living and will try to get some stories from them.
Thank you Edie Butler

I meant to ask you if you would put my brother Robert Henry Steadman on your list for Hutchie mine. He worked there until it closed and then went to West Virginia. My dad worked in Lober mine until 1944. Jim and Robert were born in Lober. We traded houses with a family in Hutchie. We moved in theirs and they in ours in Lober. Dad died in Aug of 1954.  He also thinks he might of worked in Wickhaven, he thought there was a mine in that area. I will try to clear this up

Edis Steadman Butler

Thanks to Edie Steadman Butler, another piece of Hutchinson history has been recorded.


From Pat Filicky Mihai we have these memories of Hutchinson.

My sisters and I attended Cameron elementary, from the late 1950's-60's -me from 1960-1966 - the teachers at that time were: 1st grade Mrs. Noswartz, 2nd -Mrs. Ackerman, 3rd Mrs. Urana, 4th ____ it's a blank,I believe a new teacher came that year -that's the year we got the news that JFK had been shot and school was dismissed. , 5th grade Mr. Potts new teacher - - who didn't last long as he liked to read too much poetry - particularly "Might Casey at the Bat". And, I believe that's when Mr. Stoll - a really cool teacher came to town in his bright orange 1960's mustang.. 6th Grade was Miss. Balentine - who was also the principal at that time - she owned a farm out on Herminie road and we would take walking field trips there for a day of adventure. Also, Miss Balentine loved to travel with her family and every fall in the music room we would be entertained with her home movies of her summer travels to Key West, Four Corners (those are the ones I particularly remember) and we were regularly entertained with other travel log films with those big reel-to-reel machines - remember? What a great way to be educated and catch a glimpse of what lied beyond our beautiful, little coal mining town. The pictures of the company store and the house which also served as our post office - what a fantastic trip down memory lane - and seeing the old elementary school, fire hall, and the dot that represents my house. The pictures don't show it, but in my memory the streets in Hutchy were all tree lined with big old - I want to say Poplar trees, and the neon sign on the front of the Mine office indicated "Idle or Work". You'd see the miners walking to work with their lunch pails, and head gear and the coal trucks rumbling out of the depths of the mine, weighing at the scales and then climbing slowly and clumsily up the big hill out of town - and we kids while walking to or from school would give them the sign and they'd blow their horns for us. We enjoyed that so much. Huthcy was a great place to grow up - the fun we had riding our bikes, playing at the play ground across from the Mine office, building cabins in the woods, or splashing in the sulphur creek, walking the tracks or climbing Elm's Rocks. Thank you for this wonderful memory and please add my father's name to the list of Hutchy coal miners. I have so many pleasant memories, I could just rattle on-n-on.

Pat Filicky Mihai

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, District Mining Operations, would like to obtain any pictures of the town of Hutchinson or the Hutchinson mine during the early days of construction. If you have pictures or information on the Hutchinson Mine, please contact:  

William S. Plassio | District Mining Manager
Department of Environmental Protection
District Mining Operations
California District Office
25 Technology Drive | Coal Center, Pa. 15423
Phone: 724.769.1100 | Fax: 724.769.1102
email: wplassio@state.pa.us

"Coal Miners Memorial, Hutchinson Mine,
Hutchinson, Sewickley Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania"
"Djuro Klipa Relates Stories of the Hutchinson Mine,
Hutchinson, Sewickley Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA"

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