McDowell County - Joseph Lawton Beury - 1903


Was interested in the Flat Top Field in its earliest history; Opened First Mine
on New River and was associated with other Prominent Coal Men

Colonel Joseph Lawton Beury died at 12:45 Tuesday morning, June 2, 1903, at his home at Beury, Fayette County, West Virginia. He was born in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, August 15th, 1842. Before he had completed his common school education he enlisted in his country's cause as a private of the Pennsylvania Regiment and was promptly promoted to a capitancy in the Army. About 1872 he married Julia A. Foulds of Trevorton, Pa., and moved to Fayette County, W. Va., on Laurel Creek, now known as Quinnimont. He was a member and manager of the first coal company ever organized in the great Fayette County Coal Field, known as the New River Coal Company. This was the first company to ship the celebrated New River steam coal, the first shipment being made in September of 1873.

Col. Beury remained at Quinnimont until 1876 when he associated himself with Messrs. Jenkin Jones, John Freeman, and others and developed what is now know as the Fire Creek Mines. From Fire Creek, he went on to Hawk's Nest and opened a mine in the extreme lower end of the New River Basin. Leaving Hawk's Nest, he leased and operated what is now known as Gauley Mountain Coal Company Ansted Mines, but after six months of successful operation, he was compelled to give up the mines on account of an unfortunate stipulation of the lease that the original owners might reenter and terminate the lease at the expiration of six months, at which stipulation they availed themselves. Leaving Ansted, he associated himself with John Cooper and Judge Williams and together they developed the old Caperton mine. Later Judge Williams retired--his interest being purchased by Mr. William Beury, a brother of Col. Beury and his father, Christian Beury. This latter proved to be one of the most successful ever developed in the New River Field.

In 1880 he became associated with the late O. A. and W. T. Thayer of Charleston, W. Va., and his brother William Beury, and acquired many valuable tracts ofcoal land incorporated under the name of the Little Fire Creek Coal Company. The firm of William Beury, Cooper and Company secured a lease under the latter property and developed the Echo mines.

In 1898 he acquired the interests of the late John Cooper and William Beury in the Echo lease and with his sons incorporated the Echo Coal and Coke Co., which latter property he was operating at the time of his death.

In 1884, Col. Beury with his father and brother William Beury and the late John Cooper organized a company to operate a lease in the Flat Top Field, which proved to be a very valuable one. However, he disposed of his interests in 1889 abd devoted his entire energies to the development and betterment of the New River Coal Field.

In 1896 he opened the Chapman mine at South Caperton.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
June 4, 1903

Submitted by June White


McDowell County