Submitted by Tamara Kincaide
ALPHA FRISBEE is thought to have the first mine in the state, located
near Yankeetown, stripping land on the Little Pigeon Creek. This mine
later known as HORTON MINE. In 1850 a mine was sunk by JOHN HUTCHINSON
in Newburgh, on the banks of the Ohio River. About this same time the
shaft was sunk for PHELPS COAL. The PHELPS MINE was later transferred to
WM. LOVE about the year 1868 and renamed LOVE MINE. This was located at
the mouth of Cypress Creek.
Nearby was the HAZEN MINE operated by ALBERT HAZEN and brother-in-law RUFUS ROBERTS, started about 1853 and operated for several years. ALBERT HAZEN also sunk a mine in 1866 at Locust Grove. The HAZEN mine quite prosperous had operated their own steamboats and barges to take the coal to Mississippi. MR. HAZEN married ELIZA ROBERTS the daughter of GAINES H ROBERTS a most prominent citizen of the county.
In 1881 O. P. SARGENT leased land to WM ROBERTSON to begin a shaft for mining near Sharon Rd., which he did for about 6 years when he allowed the lease to expire to EUGENE & MAURICE SARGENT the sons of O. P. SARGENT in 1887. The SARGENT brothers did well and opened a second mine on the west side of Newburgh. The brothers incorporated about 1907 and formed the SARGENT COAL COMPANY.
The purchase of the PHELPS BLOCK near the waterfront was a suitable site to locate the offices of the company, The PHELPS block was purchased from WM. & MARY DARBY. The brothers were ancestors of A. PHELPS who owned the land since it was originally acquired in 1837.
The SARGENT mines employed 200 men during its existence; the mines were managed by JOHN LIBBERT and WM. STAMPS. Mine NO. 1 was destroyed by fire in 1903 and closed. EUGENE SARGENT died in 1928 and the mine leased by SHAW MCCONNELL was continued in use until 1935 when it was closed and the land sold.
EUGENE PHELPS was by all accounts a generous man to the community to the land and his employees. His brother MAURICE started a furniture and bicycle business in Evansville. The brothers were the great nephews of A. M. PHELPS. Their mines were the largest employers in Newburgh.
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