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Indian Territory Treasure Hunters Club
Tulsa, Oklahoma


Return to LeB Coal Mine Number 1

There were 29 ITTHC members in attendence for our fourth outing March 21st to the coal mining camp in the area of the LeB Mine No. 1.

The below photograph shows a scene from around 1900 of one of the mines in the area.  The weather was about perfect for an outing, cloudy with the high temperature of almost 70°.  Both of the mines were flowing quite a lot of water and the lower areas were standing in water.

The LeB C & M Co. Mine No. 1 operated from 1902 until approximately 1929 with peak activity from 1920 to 1925.  The company housing area grew to more than 50 houses for the employees (which they were charged for) plus the buildings for the mine operations.

There were in total quite a few items found and again only about 30% of those attending the outing sent their finds or photos.  Coins: Indian Head Cents, Wheat Cents, V-Nickels, Barber Dimes, and Mercury Dimes. Miner’s checks, a miner’s tools, carbide lamp parts, pocket watch parts, pocket knives, some jewelry items including a 10K Gold ring, shotgun shells, and loads of assorted copper, brass, iron & other metals.

Miner’s checks are a good find and a tie to the history of coal mining in the Indian Territory.  Here is an explanation of the miner’s checks taken from a 1907 “International Library of Technology” coal mining textbook from the days of “You Load 16 Tons and What Do You Get”:

“Where men are paid for mining coal by the weight they mine, they receive credit for the coal either as run-of-mine or as screened coal.  In the first case, the coal is weighed before it is dumped into the chute.  In the second case, it is weighed after it has passed over screen bars of a certain length and size and having a certain width of spaces between the bars, that is, over a standard screen for the given region, and the miners are then paid only for the screened coal.

Where coal is paid for by weight, the miners in many cases hire a check-weighman, whose duty is to check the weights as found by the company weighmaster and to see that full credit is given to the miners, and further to see that the scales are in proper condition to weigh accurately.  Each miner is usually designated by a number, and when he sends a car of coal to the tipple he hangs on the car a check, usually made of tin or brass, that has his number stamped on it.

As soon as the mine car is weighed and dumped, or damped without weighing, as the case may be.  The check is taken from it by the top man and hung on a board, or delivered to the check-weighman.  This must be done in the order in which the cars are weighed and dumped that the miner may receive proper credit for his coal. If the scale room is situated at some distance from the dump, the miners* checks are sent from the dump to the weighman through a chute, and if a docking boss is employed to dock for rock mixed with the coal, the dump platform may be connected with the weigh office by speaking tubes, so that thie docking boss can report to the weighmaster the dockage for each car as it is dumped.” .

Hope everyone had a good time, gained an appreciation of the history of coal mining in the Choctaw Nation, and the hard life of those early coal miners.  Even though it was hard, dangerous, and dirty work it was still some of the best paying jobs in that time.  If you missed this outing, don’t miss the next one!

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