Depots at or near coal mines in Missouri

Discussion in 'General' started by renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013), Mar 30, 2011.

  1. renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013)

    renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013) Passed away March 8, 2013

    I am sure coal is mined in Missouri just like is was in southeast Kansas. Can anyone tell me what Depots were at or near the coal mines in Missouri? Thank you.
    Richard E. Napper
  2. TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020)

    TAG1014 (Tom Galbraith RIP 7/15/2020) Passed Away July 15, 2020 Supporter

  3. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Clinton Sub

    Ash Grove Sub

    Rich Hill Branch was all about coal
    Rich Hill
    Carbon Center

    Parson Sub
    Mulberry KS/MO
    Minden Mines
    Will post map this evening
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2011
  4. renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013)

    renapper (Richard Napper RIP 3/8/2013) Passed away March 8, 2013

    Thank you.
    Richard E. Napper
  5. Rancho Bob

    Rancho Bob Member

    Karl...while your at posting the map...were all these mines, in one way or another, part of the Pittsburg & Midway Coal Company operations?

    Buck Dean
  6. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    Coal deposits, which were adjacent to the Frisco, are limited to two stratigraphic groups. A group is the next higher rock-stratigraphic unit or classification above formation, and groups contain formations which contain common lithologic features. These groups are the Cherokee Group and the Marmaton Group. The formations in these two groups are cyclothems, which represent unstable (tectonic) shelf conditions in which a cycle of sea transgression and then regression occurs. The non-marine sediments occur at the bottom of the cycle or formation, and marine sediments occur at the top of the formation. The non-marine sediments usual include fluvial sandstones and inter-channel, overbank(floodplain), and paludal(swamp) shales. The marine sequence includes shallow limestones and sandstones.

    Figure 1. from the Stratigraphic succession of Missouri, 1961, compiled by Wallace Howe.
    This is a “Type” stratigraphic section, which shows the “complete” stratigraphic succession. The section does not necessarily exist, in total, everywhere; it is a composite.

    The coal beds found in these two groups from youngest to oldest are:
    Laredo Coal; Nowat Fm
    Lexington Coal; Labette Fm
    Summit Coal; Little Osage Fm
    Mulky Coal; Mulky Fm
    Bevier Coal; Bevier Fm
    Wheeler Coal; Verdigris Fm
    Croweburg Coal; Croweburg Fm
    Fleming Coal; Fleming Fm
    Mineral Coal; Mineral Fm
    Tebo Coal; Tebo Fm; Largest producer in Missouri, St Clair, Henry and Johnson Counties; 28”-36” thick
    Weir-Pittsburg Coal; Weir Fm; mined Henry to Barton County
    Rowe Coal; Rowe Fm; mined Henry to Barton County


    The aerial extent of these two Groups can be seen in the Geologic Map of Missouri by Mary McCraken, 1961. The coal-bearing groups are mapped in 3 different colors/patterns:
    Pm: Marmaton Group; greenish gray
    Pcc: Cherokee Group, Cabaniss Subgroup; light green
    Pck: Cherokee Group, Krebs Subgroup; medium green

    Coal exists within this outcrop/subcrop area, although the bed thickness, coal quality, and overburden thickness are quite variable, and therefore its commercial value varies.

    Areas in which coal mining activity occurred are depicted in yellow(areas of “intensive” mining are depicted in darker yellow) on the Minerals Resources of Missouri Map by Kisvarsanyi and Searight, 1965. The producing coal bed in that area is identified by an alpha code:
    In some locations a numeric code is listed,e.g., 40/30-40. This translates to 40 feet of overburden; coal bed thickness equals 30”-40”. The map gives no indication of the source of these figures, I.e., borehole, pit sample, outcrop, etc.

    Mines adjacent to the Frisco produced coal from the Mineral Formation through the Rowe Formation. Depending upon location, the coal beds will range in thickness from a “smut” (carbonaceous clay/shale) streak to a maximum of 3 feet or so. Coal samples taken from Hume-Sinclair mine(Mulberry Coal) have an “as received”(un-dried and ash free) heat content of about 11,700 BTU, a moisture content of about 7.5%, an ash content of about 14%, and a sulfur content of about 3%. Fixed carbon falls in the range of 50%-55%. In a pre-EPA world, it’s good stuff.

    Although underground mines were used to extract coal in Missouri, most of the mines in Missouri were strip pits. As a rule of thumb, it is economical to strip coal at a ratio of 1:10. That is, a strip mine operation must produce one foot of coal for every 10 feet of overburden removed. The economics change slightly if more than two beds are mined in a single pit, based on the equipment used to uncover the bed, i.e., a dragline vs. shovel, or based on the heat content of the coal.

    Kansas Geological Survey publications indicate document that coal was being produced from the Marmaton Group in Kansas as early as 1872 -1873 for use in “Gulf Road’s” locomotives. It is no coincidence that the railroads built to and through the coal fields. A case might be made that the Rich Hill Branch was built to fuel the railroad’s locomotives.

    At present, there are no major coal mining operations underway in the state of Missouri.

    To re-quote my one of my geology professors, its always all about the geology.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2011
  7. john

    john Supporter

    In the early days when the routes were selected and coal was the fuel in use the Frisco tended to concentrate more on Kansas, Arkansas and Alabama for its coal. They were late to the party in Missouri and fell well short of being the largest mine operator/shipper there. That honor fell to the Missouri Pacific.

    The largest coal producers in Missouri (in order) per Winslow (ca. 1890) were:

    1 Rich Hill Coal and Mining Company
    2 Western Coal and Mining Company
    3 Lexington Coal and Mining Company
    (Bates and Lafayette Counties - all three openly owned by the Missouri Pacific System - see their annual reports)

    4 Kansas and Texas Coal Company
    (Macon, Ray, and Linn Counties)

    5 Keith and Perry Coal Company
    (Henry and Bates Counties)

    Kansas and Texas Coal Company was very closely associated with the Frisco and was a large supplier of coal to them from SE Kansas and Arkansas mines. The Kansas and Texas mines in Macon County didn't fit the "system" well and didn't tie directly into the Frisco so that coal was mostly sold on the open market to other railroads.

    Keith and Perry became the Central Coal & Coke Company and later absorbed Kansas and Texas Coal Company. After that date, for many years, Central was the largest coal company in the mid-south. Central Coal & Coke was by far the largest coal supplier to the Frisco. A large amount of that was strip mined coal from SE Kansas.

  8. trainsignguy

    trainsignguy Member Supporter

  9. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Karl, thanks for the excellent exposition on the coal-bearing formations. It's obvious that geology is near and dear to your heart. n But then, we can always count on you to provide great information on this forum.

    John, your direct insight of Frisco operations always lends directly to many discussions and your input is also greatly appreciated.
  10. john

    john Supporter

    Postscript to my previous reply:

    The important coal areas or mining companies in any state are determined by the era you are interested in. They changed over time. As my earlier post attempts to show, in the era when the railroads were totally dependent upon a reliable coal supply (late 1800's - early 1900's) the largest companies in any state in this region were owned/controlled by them. (Western and Central were also the two largest coal companies in Arkansas in the early 1900's as well as very large players in Kansas and Indian Territory/Oklahoma). As the importance of coal to railroads began to be reduced by conversion to oil burning locomotives the railroads slowly got out of the coal production business.

    Pittsburg & Midway is a good example of a early company which was not tied directly to a particular railroad. Like most independent companies they didn't flurish until the railroads began to see them as a customer rather than a competitor. They didn't hit their stride until the 1930's when relatively cheap, large mining shovels and other equipment became available and the railroads were actually looking for business. In the 1940's 1950's etc you would find a company like P&M or Peabody was the predominant shipper in a given area.

    Karl's comment on the depth of overburden provides a good example of why the era you are discussing changes everything. 1 foot of coal per 10 feet of overburden worked well as a rule in the more modern shovel/dragline days. In 1905 the rule of thumb (at least in Arkansas) was more like 1 foot of coal per 4 feet of (moderately hard) overburden.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2011

Share This Page