BUCKEYE COAL TIPPLE - 1937

This photograph of The Buckeye Coal Tipple was taken July 8, 1937. It is the second of two Tipples owned the Buckeye Coal and Coke Co. The first tipple was located in at the head of Buckeye Hollow just north of the town of Freeman, WV. This second tipple was located about 1 mile up into Buckeye Hollow.

Buckeye Coal and Coke Company, located at Freeman on Simmons Creek near Bramwell, WV, opened in 1886. This was three years after the first coal was shipped from the historic Pocahontas, VA coalfield. The Buckeye Coal and Coke Company was founded by the Hewitt family who came to Bramwell in 1885 from Torborough, Pennsylvania. The company had leases on 900 acres of land and operated two mines and 100 coke ovens with 200 employees in the early 1900s. Three years after opening there were 117 people working for Buckeye. Payroll records from that time show that miners received $1.05 for loading a coal car that held 2 1/2 tons. Timbers for use in the mines in those days sold for a cent a piece. Kirk Asbury's father is known to have cut timbers at this price. Many of us will remember Kirk Asbury who lived beside the Elizabeth Bowen Methodist Church and was 98 years old at her death in the 1980s.

The families that lived in the nine houses that were located in the immediate vicinity of the Buckeye Tipple are superimposed here in the general location of the houses for the 1920s and 1930s period. Four additional houses were located 1/4 mile up the tracks . The Cambell Family and the Buster Bailey family occupied two of those houses. The Office of the Buckeye Tipple Manager, Mr. Rickman is also depicted in the photograph where it originally was located. Mr. Rickman (Goldy Rickman's father) was the boss over the Buckeye Tipple crew while Mr. Richard Foster was the boss over the Buckeye Mine crew. In the far right of the tipple photo one can see a "Smoke House" that was used by the Murray family for curing meat. It was located beside the Murray House. Bill and Ella Patterson lived in the Patterson house. Bill was killed in a mining accident. After Bill's death Ella married Gaylord Petty and they lived in the same house. The W.H. Petty family bought one of these Buckeye Company Houses in 1937, dismantled it and used much of the old lumber to build another house on Pinnacle Mountain. That house still stands.

The well known Dr. Homer Luttrell worked for this coal company and delivered many of the coal miners children that lived in this coal camp, and along the Simmons Creek plus in the town of Bramwell. The Buckeye Coal Tipple was managed in the 1930s by Mr. Rickman, a well know and respected citizen of Bramwell. Although the tipple and coal camp are only memories now for many Bramwell and Freeman residents, they had a profound affect on many of their ancestors lives during the late 1800s and for the first fifty years of the 20th century.

Buckeye Mine Foreman Alex Bailey

Alex Bailey (Mar. 7, 1874 - Sept. 6, 1939) was the evening shift mine foreman for the mines located near the above Buckeye Tipple. His two sons are featured on the "Porter Mine Locomotive" shown below. Mr. Bailey lived on Sinai Mountain just above Goodwill, WV. He was well known in the Town of Bramwell and throughout the local coal fields. He kept his money in the Historic Bramwell Bank and refused to withdraw it during the Bank's decline foreclosure. He was a very respected community leader and was know for his lending of money to anyone who approached him. It is said that he owned the first car on Sinai Mountain. His death came at the mine " Sand House" on the morning of 6 September 1939; almost immeditely after finishing his night shift foreman duties at the Buckeye Mines. Alex Bailey and wife Lucinda Bailey ( May12, 1874 - June 21, 1949 ) are buried in Bailey Cemetery on Sinai Mountain near Goodwill, West Virginia. The home place ( Bailey House ) of Alex and Cindy Bailey is featured on this site.

Porter Mine Locomotive

( Porter Mine Locomotive photograph from the files of Raymond Bailey's family. )
The "Porter Mine Locomotive (shown here in 1937) was unique to the Buckeye Mine operations. This locomotive is being driven by a son of Alex Bailey; Cletus Bailey ( 1902 - 1949 ) with his brother Raymond riding on the front of the engine. Steam Loco in use 51 yrs. As late as 1937 this locomotive was used in and out of Mine No. 1 of Buckeye Coal & Coke Co; 7-8-37. The Buckeye operation opened in 1886, only three years after the first coal was shipped from the Pocahontas field.

The first coal shipped from this Flat Top Coal fields that included the Buckeye mine was in June, 1883, and, as shown by the statistics, the whole output of coal for the first year, 1883, was 55,522 tons, and of coke 23,762 tons.  A large number of collieries have been opened and are in operation in Mercer County, and there are a number of others opening up in the Widemouth Valley.  The following are among the collieries in the County of Mercer:
Caswell Creek Coal & Coke Co.
      Mill Creek Coal & Coke Co.
      Booth-Bowen Coal & Coke Co.
      Goodwill Coal & Coke Co.
      Coaldale Coal & Coke Co.
      Buckeye Coal & Coke Co.
      Louisville Coal & Coke Co.
      Klondike Coal & Coke Co.
The total output from these coal mines for the year of 1904 was 1,274,070
tons of coal, and of coke 190,132 tons.

ANOTHER VIEW OF BUCKEYE TIPPLE

McDOWELL 1896 DIRECTORY OF COAL COMPANIES

MAP FOR THE LOCATION OF BUCKEYE TIPPLE AND MINES

MORE ON ALEX BAILEY

VIEW BOOTH BOWEN TIPPLE & COAL MINES NEAR FREEMAN, WV

VIEW BOOTH BOWEN COAL TIPPLE NEAR FREEMAN, WV

RETURN TO FREEMAN,WV

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