This group of miners worked in the coal mines at Jenkins, Letcher County, Kentucky, in October 1935.

Troops Sent To Bell County To Suppress Mine War In 1924

Women And Children Were Removed From Scene Of Battle
The Harlan Enterprise – April 11, 1924 

This group of miners worked in the coal mines at Jenkins, Letcher County, Kentucky, in October 1935.

This group of miners worked in the coal mines at Jenkins, Letcher County, Kentucky, in October 1935.

That the warfare between miners and the Liberty Coal & Coke Company at Straight Creek, Bell County, Kentucky, has grown to alarming proportions is evidenced by the fact that additional troops from London (Laurel County), Frankfort (Franklin County), and Covington (Kenton County) have been rushed to the scene to augment the troops from Barbourville (Knox County) and Williamsburg (Whitley County), which arrived Sunday morning, April 6, 1924.

Upon the arrival of Troop A, 54th Machine Gun Company from Frankfort late Tuesday afternoon, April 8, 1924, the refugees hidden on the mountainside opened fire, and the Frankfort boys received a baptist of fire. Intermittent firing kept up during the entire night. A tank company from Covington arrived Wednesday, April 9th. A rifle company from London and Lexington (Fayette County) reached the scene of battle Monday, April 7th.

All women and children were taken out of camp at Straight Creek on Tuesday, and were being cared for at the Bell County Courthouse in Pineville. Some women, who were ill, had to be carried out on cots. The train running between Pineville and Straight Creek made two trips Tuesday afternoon to care for the refugees fleeing from the scene of the trouble.

The mine war is one of the worst that has ever occurred in this section of Kentucky. The trouble started last Thursday, April 3rd, when a man named Lucas was killed and another wounded when they were returning from work. Immediately following the killing of Lucas, Governor William J. Fields ordered troops from Barbourville and Williamsburg. The presence of troops seemed to have little effect upon the men hidden in the mountains, and the increase of the troops was found necessary in order to combat the deplorable conditions that have grown up in that community.

 

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