McDowell County News - 1904


NOTE: William Lang was the General Manager of SWVA Improvement Company, the first colliery to tap into the Pocahontas Seam at Pocahontas, VA. The VA Improvement Company, headed by Logan M. Bullitt of Philadelphia, PA, later formed a marketing firm to sell coal from the Pocahontas seam--including that in McDowell--nationally and internationally. One significance of this article is that it seems to hint at a national core out of PA that controlled not only the coal in WV and VA but also in other states as well. Evidently, it moved its administration around from one area or state to another according to decisions not made on a local basis -- or perhaps on a personal basis. Given the time period in American history, it's possible that SWVA Improvement Company was part of a national coal trust. It was an age of big businesses, trusts and corruption that President Theodore Roosevelt especially fought to break when he was elected in 1904.

A message from Bloton, Alabama, states that William Lang, Supeintendent of the coal mines of Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railway Company, at that place, who was shot from ambush on the night of November 12, succumbed to his wounds Wednesday.

Mr. Lang was well known in the coalfields and especially at Pocahontas at which place he was superindendent of the Collieries Company for a number of years, suceeding (sic) C. E. F. Burnley.
He went to that town in 1893 and remained until 1897 , when he accepted the position of superintendent of the Piney Creek Coal Company in Raleigh County. Two years later he took charge of the Logan Consolidated Coal Company at Matewan, where he remained about one year and then went to Alabama. The deceased was the son of Robert Lang, who at one time was president of the Hill Farm Colliery in the Connellsville field but who is now with the Frick Company.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph
November 20, 1904
Submitted by June White



McDowell County