By Marilyn D. Rhinehart
The coal mine represented even more than a fashion of constructing a dwelling to the miners of Thurber, Texas, within the past due 19th and early 20th centuries-it represented a lifestyle. Coal mining ruled Thurber's paintings existence, and miners ruled its social existence. the massive immigrant inhabitants that stuffed the mines in Thurber represented greater than a dozen countries, which lent a forte to this Texas city. In 1888 Robert D. Hunter and the Texas & Pacific Coal corporation based Thurber at the website of Johnson Mines, a small coal-mining village at the western fringe of North significant Texas the place Palo Pinto, Erath, and Eastland counties converged. for nearly 40 years the corporate mined coal and owned and operated a city that by means of 1910 served as domestic to greater than 3 thousand citizens. Marilyn Rhinehart examines the tradition of the miners' paintings, the demographics and social lifetime of the group, and the advantages and constraints of lifestyles in an organization city.
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Extra resources for A Way of Work and a Way of Life: Coal Mining in Thurber, Texas, 1888-1926 (Texas A&M Southwestern Studies)
SOURCES: Twelfth Census, 1900, MS; computer analysis of data base, Thurber, Texas, 1900. ground. Ultimately, this sense of occupational community proved to be the primary link between them that enabled a diverse population successfully to challenge the company's control over their at-work and after-work lives. Page 18 II The Subterranean Community The bituminous coal mine was a city buried deep in the earth, where work was carried on in a perpetual blackout. George Korson The uninitiated visitor to a bituminous coal mine in the 1880s would see this subterranean city as a black "inextricable labyrinth" chaotic in its layout and haunting in the darkness of an interior that was broken only by the flickering of carbide lamps mounted on miners' caps.
Miners, thus, had to wait one month and twenty days before they received their first compensation. If Johnson could not meet the August payroll, little hope existed that he could pay the miners for their work in September. Nevertheless, at a mass meeting the miners awarded Page 8 Johnson a vote of confidence and continued to work, at Johnson's request, until the twenty-fifth. When the company did not distribute earnings on that date, the miners abandoned the shafts. While the mines stood empty, financial negotiations between Johnson and Hunter continued, culminating in a sale.
Marston, a New York financier, Hunter's son-in-law, and a future major stockholder and officer in the Texas & Pacific Coal Company, received a copy of the assay report performed for the Johnsons on the coal reserves that the brothers had purchased the previous month. In August, 1887, Hunter himself inspected the mine shaft, apparently at the behest of a Johnson associate, to assess the value of the property and to assist the struggling entrepreneurs in their effort to obtain a fifty thousand-dollar loan.