Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Donk Brothers Coal Company, Troy Mine

The family of Henry and Josephine Lucretia (Hinzen) Donk came to the United States from Crefeld, Prussia (now Krefeld, Germany). They settled in Peoria, Illinois, where their children attended private schools. The elder son, August Donk, founded the coal firm, A. F. Donk & Co. in St. Louis, Missori, in 1861. August's younger, Edmund followed him to St. Louis in 1868 and joined the firm. Later, Edmund and August became partners. Edmund assumed the presidency of the company upon his brother's death in 1894. The company was incorporated under the name Donk Brothers Coal Co. It owned three mines in Madison County near Collinsville, Marysville, and Troy.

Edmund Donk died in 1914 and at some point in the 1920s the company's mines in Illinois were leased or sold. One of the descendants of William Collins (1850-1917), who was my great great grandmother's second husband sent me a photograph of the coal mine near Troy.

Abandoned Donk Brothers Coal Co. mine near Troy, Illinois; photograph
courtesy of William A. Shaffer

Many of my Riggin ancestors worked at Donk Brothers. William Collins, my great great grandmother's second husband, was killed by a fall of slate at the mine on 23 July 1917. He died at home several hours after being injured.

Excerpt from the Coal in Illinois, 1918 (page 199) which may be found on Internet

"July 23, 1917, William Collins, miner, aged 68 years, married, was killed by a fall of slate in Donk Bros. Coke and Coal Company's No. 3 mine. He leaves a widow."

Such a terse description of tragedy.

The idea for this post came from

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