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Coal Miners Memorial, Osborne Mines, Wyano, South Huntingdon Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA
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Osborne No. 1 Mine &
Osborne No. 2 Mine,

Youghiogheny and Ohio Coal Company,
Wyano (Company Town) (Osborne),
South Huntingdon Township,
Westmoreland County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

A Tribute to the Coal Miners that mined the Bituminous Coal seams at Osborne Mines, Wyano, South Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

Compiled & Edited by
Raymond A. Washlaski

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

Updated Oct. 6, 2009

Osborne No. 1 Mine (Slope Entry Mine) (ca.1902-1944),
Located off Pa. Rt SR 3061, Wyano (Osborne), South Huntingdon Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA
Owners: (ca.1902-1944) Youghiogheny and Ohio Coal Company, Cleveland, Ohio
                                        Company Store: Patterson & Robbins Company

Osborne No. 2 Mine (Drift Entry Mine) (ca.1910-1944),
Located off Pa. Rt. SR 3061, Wyano (Osborne), South Huntingdon Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA
Owners: (ca.1910-1944) Youghiogheny and Ohio Coal Company, Cleveland, Ohio
                                        Company Store: Patterson & Robbins Company

DESCRIPTION:
Only a single structure, the powerhouse, remains from the Osborne No. 1 Mine & Osborne No. 2 Mine.  This brick building was converted to a foundry in 1945,  the Wyano Foundry, and is now nearly enclosed by a larger metal-covered building.  All power-generating equipment has been removed.  The other mining structures at the Osborne Mines in Wyano, were either demolished during recent strip-mining operations or eventually collapsed after long-term abandonment.
The town of Wyano, was originally called Osborne, the town consists of five double rows and two single rows of approximately 100 houses located on a hillside above Hunters Run, east of the old Pennsylvania Railroad Line.  These dwellings are largely two-story wood-frame houses with gable roofs and brick chimneys. The old company store burned down in 1986.

Osborne Mines, Wyano, South Huntingdon Twp.
The Osborne Mines at Wyano, PA..  The Osborne Mines are marked as the Wyano Mine on the map.  Topographic map of the Wyano area of South Huntingdon Twp.  From the Smithton, Quadrangle, Pennsylvania, 7.5 minute Series (Topographic) NW/4 Connellsville 15' Quadrangle Map, ca.1954.
(Map courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.)

HISTORY:
In 1902 Frank M. Osborne of Pittsburgh established the Youghiogheny and Ohio Coal Company.  Along with C. W. Dains and E. Saeger. Osborne organized this firm in Cleveland, Ohio, soon after resignation as president of the Pittsburgh Coal Company, one of the largest coal concerns in the United States.  Osborne's firm sought to complete vigorously with his old company and leased coal lands in eastern Ohio and in Westmoreland County. The company planned to open five mines in Westmoreland County and sell its coal to the Monongahela River Consolidated Coal & Coke Company, another Pittsburgh-based coal concern and a strong rival of the Pittsburgh Coal Company.  These two rivals had an informal agreement that permitted Monongahela River Consolidated to control coal shipments via the Monongahela River and Pittsburgh Coal to dominate the Mon Valley's rail traffic. Pittsburgh Coal responded to the threat posed by the Osborne and Monongahela River Consolidatied interests by establishing its own river trade.  It began using its Saw Mill Run Tipple, located near the confluence of the Monogahela and Allegheny Rivers, as its primary water connection. (This heated competition ended by 1904 when Pittsburgh Coal Company acquired Monongahela River Consolidated Coal Company. )

The first mine opened in Westmoreland County by the Youghiogheny and Ohio Coal Company was the Osborne No. 1 Mine, which commenced operations in 1902.  By 1910 the company operated Osborn No. 1 Mine and Osborne No. 2 Mine, along with the Webster Mine in Westmoreland County, the Manifold Mines in Washington County County, and the Reilly No. 2 Mine in Allegheny County.


C. P. MacGregor of Wyano was superintendent of the Osborne Mines.  Osborne No. 1 Mine, a slope-entry mine and Osborne No. 2 Mine, a drift-entry mine, produced 29,000 tons of coal in 1910.  That year the company employed 102 workers;  however, they worked only seventy-five days, as the United Mine Workers of America launched their famous 1910 coal miners strike in the Irwin Coal Basin and south along the Youghiogheny River in an attempt to organize the non-union miners and mines.

On December 19, 1910, the Greensburg Daily Tribune reported. Three foreigners and one deputy were shot in a fight at Wyano."
On December 26, the papers reported:
Tony Wichkoski, an employee of the Youghiogheny & Ohio Coal Co., at Wyano, was shot by one of two strikers...  [One man] entered a house and fired a shot in the side of the house, then ran out.  A woman in the house... saw Wichkoski lying dead on the street and saw [two strikers] fighting on the ground.  [One] was down, and [the other] took a revolver from him, after which both of them ran away, and neither was ever arrested.
This strike ended unsuccessfully as the Coal Companies defeated the striking miners, and broke the strike.

In the 1910's the company employed as many as 576 workers at Osborne Nos. 1 and 2 Mines.

In 1916 there was an enormous fire at the Osborne Mines in Wyano. Several buildings burned to the ground and a lay-off occurred until the operation resumed. The source of the fire was never found, it could have been a labor discord.

Company House, Osborne Mine
Company House No. 51 and 52, Osborne Mines, Wyano, PA, ca.1930's. Urban Kwaczala lived in this house ca.1917.
(Photo courtesy of Georgia Kwaczala)

When tragedy struck the mines, the powerhouse's steam whistle began to sound and everyone went running to the mine entrance.  If during school hours, the teacher would send all miners' children home and hold the others.  The whole town would suffer the grief. If the accident was fatal, Yukon had an Undertaker, Mr. Peterson, to service the family.

Renko Family, Wyano ca.1918
Renko Family in Wayno, ca.1918
Renko Family in Wayno ca.1918: Front row (L to R) Mary (Renko) Duzzi, Johann Renko (father), Jenny (Renko) Sever; Back row (L to R) Joe Duzzi, Maria Renko (mother), John Sever.
(Photo courtesy of Mary Gorenc, and the archives of the Westmoreland County Historical Society, Greensburg, PA).
Renko Family in Wyano, ca.1918
Sever and Renko Family in Wyano, ca.1918
Sever and Renko Families in Wyano, ca.1918. First Row (L to R) Unkown, Stanley, Unkown, Paul, Unkown; Second Row (L to R) Annie Sever, Jenny Sever, Mary Duzzi, unkown, Maria Renko (Mother), unkown,baby held by Jenny Sever. Third Row (L to R) John Sever, unkown, Joe Duzzi, Johann Renko (Father), Angie; Back row: None identified.
(Photo courtesy of Mary Gorenc, and the archives of the Westmoreland County Historical Society, Greensburg, PA).

During the early 1920's Wyano was completely owned by the Youghiogheny and Ohio Coal Company. It had one company store on the main street east of the mines' entrances. The company store at Wyano was owned by Patterson & Robbins Company.  There were three schoolhouses, one built out of brick, which was located on the main road going south of the company store and there were two small wooden schools built on the north side of the "cement road" (Huntingdon Road) across from what was row six (Sixth Street).  The streets didn't have street names, just Row One, Row Two, etc.  There wasn't any private property in Wyano but possibly the church that is located on the corner of the cement road and the main street was privately owned.  Houses on private property began to the north of Wyano in Strikertown. There was several shacks, two small grocery stores and a building that was called a hotel in Strikertown.  This area of town must have originated during the the three major coal miners strikes.

Wyano had nothing in the way of entertainment or recreation for the villagers. You either had to go to Yukon or West Newton for everything not available in Wyano.

In 1920 Osborne No. 1 Mine worked 150 days and produced 161,565 tons of coal with 186 employees, with one fatal acident.  Osborne No. 2 Mine also worked 150 days, and produced 168,216 tons of coal with 187 employees, with one non-fatal accident.  The two mines each produced more than 250,000 tons of coal in 1930, and by 1938 Osborne No. 1 Mine was employing 349 miners and producing 1,600 tons of coal daily, while Osborne No. 2 Mine was employing 268 miners and producing 1,400 tons of coal daily.

The Company also owned and operated the Charleroi Mine and Enterprise Mine in Washington County and Windber Nos. 5 & 7 Mines in Somerset County in 1938.  Both Osborne No. 1 Mine and Osborne No. 2 Mine closed in 1944.

"Coal Miners Memorial Osborne Mines,
Wyano, South Huntingdon Twp., Westmoreland County, PA"

Dear Mr. Washlaski: What a wonderful surprise when I found your website, "The Old Miner" "Osborne One & Two." I was shocked to see my grandparents (Renko) and mother's photos were retrieved from the Westmoreland Historical Society and included. I wrote the story, My Family in Yukon and Wyano, in my 87-year old mother's name to immortalize Mother and her parents. I had to accomplish this while she was still alive. I have many more antidotes and stories from her about her childhood in Wyano and Yukon. You quoted the story extensively and I was very pleased. I have since sent more photos and my grandfather's "citizens paper" to the Society. Please do me one favor if the Osborne site is updated, please mention that the Renko and Severs were SLOVENIANS. As you are proud of your heritage, I am proud of mine. For more information on Yukon, please contact Professor Herman Preseren, 1908 Faculty Drive, Winston Salem, NC 27106, he is wonderful man who worked the "Mcgee" in Yukon. He could answer all you questions on Yukon. He also wrote an article for Westmoreland History magazine about the Slovenians there. Another individual is Mr. Ernie Laurich, Ruffdale, PA. Ernie is a great storyteller and he describes life in Wyano with such interesting detail one could listen to him for hours. One mistake in the Osborne site - Joe Duzzi and Johann Sever didn't work the mines. Joe was a German visiting from NY, he was married to my grandfather's sister. Johann Sever, my granfather's bother-in-law, owned the gasoling filling station in Yukon and lived there. I have much information from Coal Age, I started with Vol One and went through, page-by-page, and I am up to 1921. I copied anything pertaining to the area. If you want copies I will forward your needs. I would like some of your info, Do you have any info on the Yukon Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad which ran thru Wyano and Yukon? I have maps of all mines in the area, I couldn't believe the detail, everything is shown, surface and underground, RRs, rooms, wells, shafts, houses, schools, streams, . . . I also have the 1920 US Census for Yukon and Wyano. I am looking for any photos of the area, RR depots, THE TIPPLES, any mine building, etc. P.S. Wyano was originally named Osborne, my 90-year old cousin, Annie Sever, remembers this fact. I think Wyano was an acronym for Westmoreland Youghiogheny and Ohio.
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