Monday, February 1, 2010
History of Hiteman - A Mining Town
This book was written by Rosalie Mullinex in 1983
History of Hiteman
Coal was discovered in Iowa in 1836, and the mining of coal in Iowa began in 1840. The Burlington (C.B. and Q.) railroad was the branch which ran to the tower west of Albia.
The town was named after John H. Hiteman and it was located six miles northwest of Albia in Monroe County, Guilford Township, Iowa.
The Wapello Coal Company started buying their land in 1887 - 1893. This company was incorporated in 1880.
J.C. Peasly of Chicago, Illinois was the President of the Wapello Mining Co. Others needed to run the mines were: civil, mechanical and hoisting engineers, pit-bosses, top-boss, inside foremen, and blacksmiths along with many, many miners.
With the starting of a mine, came the starting of a town. People came from other mining towns. Sometimes they brought their houses with them or they leased them from the company. The houses were cut in half, moved to Hiteman, then put back together again. While the coal company did move in houses for the families, the lots of Hiteman were also leased to the people to put their own house on. One of the first leases dated May, 1891, stated that the person leasing the ground could erect a one frame dwelling and the necessary out building. Terms: one year for $7.00 in advance.
The first school house was named Hefron School. In the fall of 1890 there were 75 children enrolled in school. They were set up in one class. There were no grades back then. In 1891 a school board was formed. First order of business was to levy a tax for the purpose of erecting a new school. The four room building was ready on Dec 3, 1891 and by 1892, 389 children were enrolled in school. In 1895 a high school class was begun and in 1896 classes were introduced.
If you want to read more about this mining town, Rosalie Mullinex can be contacted at the Albia Historical Museum or a copy may be read at the Russell (Iowa) Historical Society in Russell.