Securing Coal: The Consolidation Coal Company

The Consolidation Coal Company (CCC) was an Iowa coal company founded in 1875 to tap into the coal of the south central part of the State. 

It was a product of the Iowa Central Coal Company, the Black Diamond Mines of Coalfield, in Monroe County, Iowa, and the Eureka Mine, in Beacon, Iowa.

Image: "Figure 56. Steel tipple, showing box car loader. Shaft No. 10, Consolidation Coal Company, Buxton."

In 1880, it was purchased by the Chicago & Northwestern Railway to secure a source of coal to power their steam engines. The company hired a large number of African-American workers, and for the most part, paid them equal wages to their White counterparts, in addition to promoting significant numbers to leadership positions.

The CNW would built a line from Muchachinock (northeast of present-day Eddyville, IA), and run 34 miles southwesterly toward mining camps known as Consol and Bucknell. The line served both passengers and coal hauling operations, although most of the passenger traffic was transporting workers to/from the mines. (Right of way)

The company would cease operations in the late 1920's amid overseas coal competition and the exhaustion of some coalfields. Service on the Muchachinock to Bucknell, IA route was abandoned in 1935. The end of service meant the end of life for many of the towns along the route, such as Buxton, who otherwise had no transportation options, nor other resources to survive.

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