Thurber Historic District
|Nearest city||Mingus, Texas|
|Area||1,006 acres (407 ha)|
|Built by||Texas Pacific Coal Mining Company|
|NRHP reference No.||79002936|
|Added to NRHP||August 17, 1979|
Thurber is an unincorporated community in Erath County, Texas, United States (near the Palo Pinto county line), located 75 miles west of Fort Worth. It was, between 1888 and 1921, one of the largest producers of bituminous coal in Texas and the largest company town in the state, with a population of over 10,000.The population of the community is 48 per the 2010 United States Census.
Coal-mining operations began in Thurber in 1886 and reached a peak around 1920, when the town had a population of approximately 8,000 to 10,000, from more than a dozen nationalities, though Italians, Poles, and Mexicans predominated. At the peak, Thurber was one of the largest bituminous coal-mining towns in Texas. Established as a company town, the mining operations in Thurber were unionized in 1903 and Thurber became the first totally closed shop town in the country.The Texas and Pacific Coal Company was not owned by the Texas and Pacific Railway, but it lay near its line and provided the trains of that company with much fuel. The Texas and Pacific Coal Company created a subsidiary company, Texas Pacific Mercantile and Manufacturing Company, to operate its mercantile operation, with company-run retail outlets like the grocery, dry goods, hardware, and drug stores, as well as saloons and other establishments.
The company that owned the town, the Texas and Pacific Coal Company, also produced vitrified paving bricks that were used throughout Texas and the southern half of the United States. : 95–119By 1920, conversion of locomotives from coal to oil reduced demand and lowered prices and miners left the area through the 1920s. The Texas and Pacific Coal company was instrumental in discovering oil in the Ranger, Texas, area, as part of the Texas Oil Boom; the company re-branded itself the Texas Pacific Coal and Oil Company, and, eventually, the Texas Pacific Oil Company.
Nationwide, there are several thousands of people whose roots go back to Thurber. There are several landmarks in Thurber such as The Thurber Cemetery (which has over a thousand graves), the restored St. Barbara's Catholic Church, a restored and furnished coal miner's house, New York Hill, and much more. A historic Thurber smokestack can clearly be seen from Interstate 20 near Thurber.Also at Thurber is the W. K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas, a museum containing information on historical Thurber (operated by nearby Tarleton State University), as well as the historic Smokestack Restaurant, and the New York Hill Restaurant built on what was once the site of the town's Episcopal Church at the top of New York Hill.
Erath County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. According to the United States Census bureau its population was 42,545 in 2020. The county seat is Stephenville. The county is named for George Bernard Erath, an early surveyor and a soldier at the Battle of San Jacinto.
Stephenville is a city in and the county seat of Erath County, Texas, United States. It is on the North Bosque River, which forms nearby. Founded in 1854, it is home to Tarleton State University. As of the 2020 census, the city's population was 20,847, and it is the principal city in the Stephenville Micropolitan Statistical Area. Stephenville is among several communities that call themselves the "Cowboy Capital of the World".
Anthracite, also known as hard coal, and black coal, is a hard, compact variety of coal that has a submetallic luster. It has the highest carbon content, the fewest impurities, and the highest energy density of all types of coal and is the highest ranking of coals.
The United Mine Workers of America is a North American labor union best known for representing coal miners. Today, the Union also represents health care workers, truck drivers, manufacturing workers and public employees in the United States and Canada. Although its main focus has always been on workers and their rights, the UMW of today also advocates for better roads, schools, and universal health care. By 2014, coal mining had largely shifted to open pit mines in Wyoming, and there were only 60,000 active coal miners. The UMW was left with 35,000 members, of whom 20,000 were coal miners, chiefly in underground mines in Kentucky and West Virginia. However it was responsible for pensions and medical benefits for 40,000 retired miners, and for 50,000 spouses and dependents.
Union Pacific Railway Engine No. 737 or UP 737 is a 4-4-0 "American" type steam locomotive. It is currently the oldest preserved Union Pacific steam locomotive. It was originally acquired by the Union Pacific Railroad (UP) in 1887.
A company store is a retail store selling a limited range of food, clothing and daily necessities to employees of a company. It is typical of a company town in a remote area where virtually everyone is employed by one firm, such as a coal mine. In a company town, the housing is owned by the company but there may be independent stores there or nearby.
Tarleton State University is a public university with its main campus in Stephenville, Texas. It is a founding member of the Texas A&M University System and enrolled over 14,000 students in the fall of 2020.
The history of coal mining goes back thousands of years, with early mines documented in ancient China, the Roman Empire and other early historical economies. It became important in the Industrial Revolution of the 19th and 20th centuries, when it was primarily used to power steam engines, heat buildings and generate electricity. Coal mining continues as an important economic activity today, but has begun to decline due to the strong contribution coal plays in global warming and environmental issues, which result in decreasing demand and in some geographies, peak coal.
The South Wales Coalfield extends across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen. It is rich in coal deposits, especially in the South Wales Valleys.
The term Cross Timbers, also known as Ecoregion 29, Central Oklahoma/Texas Plains, is used to describe a strip of land in the United States that runs from southeastern Kansas across Central Oklahoma to Central Texas. Made up of a mix of prairie, savanna, and woodland, it forms part of the boundary between the more heavily forested eastern country and the almost treeless Great Plains, and also marks the western habitat limit of many mammals and insects.
Luxor is an unincorporated community and coal town in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, United States.
James Riely Gordon was an architect who practiced in San Antonio until 1902 and then in New York City, where he gained national recognition. J. Riely Gordon is best known for his landmark county courthouses, in particular those in Texas. Working during the state's "Golden Age" (1883–1898) of courthouse construction, Gordon saw 18 of his designs erected from 1885 to 1901; today 12 remain.
The El Paso and Southwestern Railroad began in 1888 as the Arizona and South Eastern Railroad, a short line serving copper mines in southern Arizona. Over the next few decades, it grew into a 1200-mile system that stretched from Tucumcari, New Mexico, southward to El Paso, Texas, and westward to Tucson, Arizona, with several branch lines, including one to Nacozari, Mexico. The railroad was bought by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1924 and fully merged into its parent company in 1955. The EP&SW was a major link in the transcontinental route of the Golden State Limited.
The history of coal mining in the United States goes back to the 1300s, when the Hopi Indians used coal. The first commercial use came in 1701, within the Manakin-Sabot area of Richmond, Virginia. Coal was the dominant power source in the United States in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and although in rapid decline it remains a significant source of energy in 2019.
Bovard is an unincorporated community and coal town in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, United States. The community is located near U.S. Route 119, 2.3 miles (3.7 km) northeast of Greensburg and is also the former home of baseball standout, Anthony Marazza. Marazza, dubbed "MR. BOVARD", is notable for leading Bovard to 6 championships in the past decade in the ICL and Pittsburgh Leagues.
People have worked as 'coal miners for centuries, but they became increasingly important during the Industrial revolution when coal was burnt on a large scale to fuel stationery and locomotive engines and heat buildings. Owing to coal's strategic role as a primary fuel, coal miners have figured strongly in labor and political movements since that time. After the late 19th century coal miners in many countries were a frequent presence in industrial disputes with both the management and government. Coal miners' politics, while complex, have occasionally been radical, with a frequent leaning towards far-left political views. A number of far-left political movements have had the support of both coal miners themselves and their trade unions, particularly in Great Britain. In France, on the other hand, coal miners have been much more conservative. In India, Coal Miners Day is celebrated on May 4.
Pleasant Unity is an unincorporated community in a rural part of Unity Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is located at the junction of Pennsylvania Route 130 and Pennsylvania Route 981 6.3 miles (10.1 km) southeast of Greensburg.
Phelan is a ghost town in Bastrop County, Texas, United States. It is located 2 miles north of Bastrop near the intersection of Farm to Market Road 157 and Farm to Market Road 36. It is on private property.
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