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Justus Collins (1857-1934) Papers

Collection Number: A&M.1824

Scope and Contents

Justus Collins was an entrepreneur who opened his first coal mine in the Pocahontas- Flat Top coal field of Southern West Virginia, and thereafter operated mines in the New River, Tug River, and Winding Gulf coal fields. He headed a coal sales agency, speculated in coal and timber lands, headed a cement company, and was interested financially in rubber, oil, and gas companies. He played an important role in organizing the Tug River Coal Operators Association, the Winding Gulf Operators' Association, and the Smokeless Coal Operators Association of West Virginia.

The materials include correspondence, agreements, contracts, deeds, financial statements, ledger books, magazines, maps, minute books, pamphlets, photographs, production and shipping records, reports, and stock books.

The bulk of the collection concerns the development of the law volatile, or smokeless, coal fields of Southern West Virginia, ca. 1900-1934. Subjects include: Coal company operation, (coal & coke sales, costs, marketing conditions, price-fixing, profits, salaries, taxes); coal operators' associations; government investigation and regulation of the coal industry (Interstate Commerce Commission, mining legislation, N.R.A. code, U.S. Railroad Administration) labor (insurance "on transportation", strikes, United Mine Workers of America, wages, workman's compensation, "yellow-dog" contract); law and order (Baldwin-Felgs Detective Agency, courts, injunctions, mine guard system, National Guard, secret operatives, state troopers); life in mining camps (amusements, churches, health, housing, recreation, schools, stores); mining safety; railroads (Chesapeake & Ohio Railway., coal car distribution, freight rates, Norfolk & Western Railroad, railway fuel contracts, Virginian Railway- Organization of Winding Gulf Branch); state & local politics. Other non-coal subjects include cement business, lumber business, tire & tire gauge manufacturing, oil & gas drilling.

Correspondents include: S.R. Anderson; G. R. Collins; Jairus Collins; Justus Collins; Raymond DuPuy; W. J. Elgin; Lamar Epperly; H.D. Everett; T. L. Felts; A.M. Herndon; J.J. Holloway; L. E. Johnson; P. H. Kelly; E.W. Knight; John Laing; I. T. Mann; C. H. Mead; C. J. Milton; J. H. Renahan, P. J. RIley: P. M. Snyder; Holly Stover; W. P. Tams; Jr.: J.J. Tierney; E.E. White; George Wolfe.


  • 1896-1934


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

No special access restriction applies.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the West Virginia and Regional History Center.


23.3 Linear Feet (Summary: 23 ft. 4 1/4 in. (56 document cases, 5 in. each); (1 oversize folder, 1/4 in.))

Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL:

Related A&M Collections

1784, 1824
Justus Collins (1857-1934) Papers, 1896-1934
Staff of the West Virginia & Regional History Center
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Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US