By Marilyn D. Rhinehart
The coal mine represented even more than a manner of creating a dwelling to the miners of Thurber, Texas, within the overdue 19th and early 20th centuries-it represented a life-style. Coal mining ruled Thurber's paintings lifestyles, and miners ruled its social existence. the massive immigrant inhabitants that crammed the mines in Thurber represented greater than a dozen countries, which lent a distinctiveness to this Texas city. In 1888 Robert D. Hunter and the Texas & Pacific Coal corporation based Thurber at the website of Johnson Mines, a small coal-mining village at the western fringe of North principal Texas the place Palo Pinto, Erath, and Eastland counties converged. for nearly 40 years the corporate mined coal and owned and operated a city that through 1910 served as domestic to greater than 3 thousand citizens. Marilyn Rhinehart examines the tradition of the miners' paintings, the demographics and social lifetime of the group, and the advantages and constraints of lifestyles in a firm city.
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Extra resources for A Way of Work and a Way of Life: Coal Mining in Thurber, Texas, 1888-1926 (Texas A&M Southwestern Studies)
There the skilled worker commanded respect and retained an autonomy and independence unique among industrial workers in Gilded Age America. " Challenges to their notion of the value of their own labor, which was rewarded not at an hourly rate but according to individual production, raised their ire quickly. Even as the increase in southern and eastern European immigration transformed the racial and ethnic makeup of the mining population in the United States, the traditions in the pits remained surprisingly constant.
In the 1870s and 1880s, native whites and northern and western Europeans, most of them highly skilled and familiar with union organizations, filled the industry. 26 In the Southwest, mining companies transported the first mine workers by special train from Pennsylvania and the Midwest. From 1895 through the turn of the century, however, southern and eastern European immigrants, whose numbers entering the United States reached high tide by 1900, poured into southwestern coal mining centers like Thurber.
In the interim, Hunter turned to the cattle business, where he attracted considerable attention across the Southwest during and after the war as a cattle raiser, trader, and commissioner/broker. In 1873, "the Colonel," as his friends honorifically tagged him, joined with Capt. Albert G. Evans in forming Hunter, Evans & Company, which earned a reputation as one of the leading cattle commission firms in the country. The partners located one of their branches in Fort Worth, where they operated stockyards and sought buyers for clients' stock.