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Coal Miners Memorial, United Mine & Coke Works, United, Mt. Pleasant Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA


History of Saint Florian Slovak Catholic Church, United, Mt. Pleasant Twp., Westmoreland Co., PA


Coal Mines of Westmoreland Co., PA INDEX
Township Map of Westmoreland Co., Pennsylvania
Map of H.C.Frick Coke Co. Mines
Map of R.R. Transportation System Westmoreland Co.
Map of West Penn System Light Power Railway
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United Mine,
& Coke Works,

United,
Mt. Pleasant Township,
Westmoreland County,
Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
 

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

Compiled & Edited by
Raymond A. Washlaski

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

Updated Oct. 15, 2009

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United Mine & Coke Works (ca.1880-1930),
Located 500ft. east of Sewickley Creek and north of United Rd., on the Sewickley Branch of the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad, later it became the Sewickley Branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad, United, Mt. Pleasant Twp., Westmoreland County, PA
Owners: (ca.1880-1895), United Coal & Coke Company, Greensburg, PA
                                       Company Store: United Supply Company
              (ca.1895-1930), H.C. Frick Coke Company, Scottdale, PA
                                       Company Store:  Union Supply Company, United

United Mine Tipple
United Mine Tipple, and coal processing plant, United, PA of the H.C. Frick Coke Company.  The H.C.Frick Coke Company, coal loading tipple, and head frame for the shaft entry United Mine, with the stacks of the power house in the background.  H.C. Frick Coke Company closed the United Mine & Coke Works ca.1930 and dismantled the United Mine tipple and coal plant ca.1931.
(Photo courtesy of the Kenneth H. Eichner and the Mt. Pleasant Bicentennial Committee)

A portion of the Donegal, PA 15min. Quad Map, ca.1922 showing the coal company patch town of United and the surrounding coal patch towns.  The Pennsylvania Railroad that serviced the mines and the West Penn Traction Company trolley line the served the coal patch towns.
(Map courtesy of the U. S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.)

H.C. Frick Coke Company Plat Map of United No. 1
H.C. Frick Coke Company Plat Map (ca.1959) of the Village of United standing (in black), company store, mine buildings, and coke oven batteries.
(Map courtesy of USX Corporation Resource Management, Uniontown, PA & The Coal & Coke Heritage Center, Penn State University, Fayette Campus, Uniontown, PA)

DESCRIPTION:
Although no mine structures remain from the United Mine, at United, Mt. Pleasant Township, part of the coke works survived ca.1994, along Sewickley Creek, adjacent to an old railroad grade of the Sewickley Branch of the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad, later the Pennsylvania Railroad.  About twenty bee-hive coke ovens, of brick construction with stone fronts and metal doors, survive along with associated achaeological features.  Archaeological resources include a large stone foundation wall and several concrete foundations north of the coke ovens.

The Village of United contains the former company store, and one single row of twelve company-built houses on United Avenue, west of Sewickley Creek.  Another residential section, of company-built houses lays east of Sewickley Creek, containing three double rows and one single row of approximately thirty-five houses.   The company-built residences on United Avenue are two-story wood-frame double houses with side-gable roofs, two brick chimneys, and stone foundations.  The residences east of Sewickley, off Hillcrest Road, are similar to those on United Aveneu:  two-story wood-frame buildings with side-gable roofs, two brick chimneys, and stone foundations.  Most of the houses have been extensively altered with asphaltic or aluminum siding, enclosed porches, and rear additions.  Many of the old double houses are now single-family dwellings.

The town's school was demolished a number of years ago.  The former company store is a two-story wood-frame building measuring 76 ft. x 43 ft..  It has been greatly altered from its original appearance:  vinyl and asphaltic siding have replaced the original clapboard siding, the main facade has been recontructed and its west facade has been rebuilt with a full-length two-story porch addition.  The building in ca. 1994, housed the Post Avenue Pizza Parlor and three apartments.

HISTORY:
In 1881, the United Coal & Coke Company, organized by a group of Greensburg businessmen, opened the United Mine and Coke Works in Mount Pleasant Township. Served by the Sewickley Branch of the Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad.  The United Mine had a shaft entry and employed nearly 200 men and boys.  The company constructed houses for its workers and operated a company store.  By ca.1886 United  Coke Works contained 300 bee-hive coke ovens.  That year, ca.1886 miners at United Mine produced over 177,000 tons of coal and its coke workers produced nearly 134,000 tons of coke.  F.M. Reynolds, who served as the initial head of United Coal & Coke Company, was succeeded by William C. Reynolds.

By the end of the 1880's, the H.C. Frick Coke Company had acquired a two-thirds interest in United Coal & Coke Company.  H.C. Frick assumed complete control of the United Mine property in ca.1895.  Five years later the H.C. Frick Coke Company produced 298,000 tons of coal and 194,000 tons of coke at the United Mine & Coke Works.  Frick had expanded the United Coke Works to 350 coke ovens, employing 341 men and boys in the mine and coke yard.  The company appointed R.E. Laughrey as superintendent at United Mine.

By 1910, however, H.C. Frick Coke Company was operating United Mine & Coke Works in conjunction with the nearby Calumet Mine & Coke Works. Robert Ramsay, a long-time superintendent and engineer at Frick's renowned Standard Mines near Mount Pleasant, was brought in to manage the United Mine & Coke Works and the Calumet Mine & Coke Works.  By this time the population of United had grown to 840 persons.

Through the 1910's United Mine produced annually as much as 300,000 tons of coal and 197,000 tons of coke. In 1919 the United Mine produced 297,115 tons of coal, and shipped 154,747 tons of coal .  The United Coke Works produced 87,515 tons of coke, with 157 coke ovens in operation.  The mine and coke works operated 271 days in 1919, with 315 employees.  There were 5 non-fatal accidents in 1919.

In 1920 the United Mine produced 208,553 tons of coal, and shipped 41,399 tons of coal.  The United Coke Works produced 104,920 tons of coke, with 174 coke ovens in operation.  The mine and coke works operated 273 days, with 290 employees.  There was 1 fatal accident and 1 non-fatal accident in 1920.

Production diminished in the early 1920's, dropping to less than 30,000 tons of coal a year.  By 1926, however the United Mine was reaching its greatest output, producing over 400,000 tons of coal, most of which was being shipped to other coking plants.  As with most of the H.C. Frick mines, coal at United was still extracted largely by hand.

The H.C. Frick Coke Company closed and abandoned the United Mine and Coke Works in ca.1930.  The United Mine's tipple was dismantled in ca.1931.  United Mine produced only about 36,000 tons of coal and employed 108 miners in its last year of operation. There were 350 bee-hive coke ovens still standing at the United Coke Works when the United Mine closed.

(History and description of the United Mines & Coke Works, 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.)

Propective Homesteaders for Westmoreland Manor
Propective homesteaders, waiting for news of acceptence in the new government housing project "Norvelt" in Westmoreland Co., in front of the Post Office, United, Westmoreland Co., PA, ca.1935.
(Photo by Ben Shahn, courtesy of Farm Security Administration, Office of War Information, Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.)

Layed off Coal Miners at United
Post Office and store at United,  the layed off coal miners were killing time waiting for news from the federal   government ca.1935, on their applications for homesteads.
(Photo by Ben Shahn, courtesy of Farm Security Administration, Office of War Information, Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.)

United Post Office, ca.1935
The Post Office and store at United, ca.1935.
(Photo by Ben Shahn, courtesy of Farm Security Administration, Office of War Information, Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, Washington, D.C.)

"Coal Miners Memorial, United Mine & Coke Works,
United, Mt. Pleasant Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania"
"History of Saint Florian Slovak Catholic Church
United, Mt. Pleasant Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania"
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