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Mining in Springfield Quadrangle

The mines in the Springfield quadrangle underlie much of the west part of the city of Springfield. Mining began in this area early in the 19th century, but the first specific reference is to two mines that opened about 1865. Jacob Loose's mine was at the location later mined by Wabash Coal Company (Mine Index 313). The Old North Mine was probably located in or near the east part of the Panther Creek Mine No. 4 (Mine Index 618). The extent of these old mines is uncertain; the boundaries may extend beyond the mapped boundaries shown.

Records of annual production were not officially kept until 1881 when the first of the Illinois Bureau of Labor Statistics Biennial Reports was published. Sangamon County ranked among the top four coal producers in the state until the 1930s, but production gradually fell off and by 1953 the overall rank was 9th. The last production in this quadrangle was recorded in December, 1953.

The Springfield Coal formerly known as the No. 5 Coal, is the major seam mined in this quadrangle. The coal is 200 to 260 feet deep and about 6 feet thick. It is known to have clay veins, also called horsebacks, which created some problems in controlling the mine roof.

The Chapel Coal, found 90 to 190 feet above the Springfield Coal, is believed to have been mined in at least one mine in this quadrangle (Mine Index 2593). This coal is generally 1 to 3 feet thick and, where present, lies less than 100 feet below the surface.


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