Pittsburg in Crawford County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Weir - Pittsburg Coalﬁeld
—Miners’ Memorial at Immigrant Park —
With the discovery of coal in Cherokee and Crawford Counties in the late 1860's, thousands came to work the mines. Some came from American towns and cities but most were immigrants from Europe. Over fifty nationalities settled in this area. Many landed at Ellis Island and continued here by railroad before heading out to the coal camps. Some came to find work. Some to escape repression. Some to find a new life in America. All were seekers.
What they found was not the "paradise on Earth" described in the broadsides distributed throughout Europe but a difficult and dangerous existence living in camps and digging coal on their hands and knees ten to twelve hours a day. Many were killed. Many more were maimed or died later of Black Lung Disease. Because coal was dug only part of the year, numerous miners established businesses and farms to provide for their families when mines were idle.
The Weir-Pittsburg Coalfield would eventually be home to more than one hundred coal camps. At one time, this region produced a third of the nation's bituminous coal and smelted lead and zinc ore in such quantities that southeast Kansas became an industrial giant. The mix of nationalities in these camps created an ethnic geography unique to Kansas that came to be known as "The Little Balkans." The miners not only dug coal but gave voice
This memorial is dedicated to the men and women who not only toiled to extract coal from the Earth and create a new homeland but also engaged in a courageous struggle for social reforms that advanced the cause of human and civil rights in America. A diverse populace of uncommon strength, ingenuity and heart, their presence lives on in their descendants and in the businesses, farms and towns they established throughout southeast Kansas.
[Bottom of Mining Camps of the
Weir-Pittsburg Coal Field]
With the closing of mines,
many camp disappeared
while some became cities,
towns, villages and hamlets.
[Honor Roll of Miners on several panels]
Erected 2008 by Miners' Memorial.
Location. 37° 24.556′ N, 94° 42.453′ W. Marker is in Pittsburg, Kansas, in Crawford County. Marker is at the intersection of 2nd Street and Walnut Street, on the right when traveling west on 2nd Street Touch for map. Markers are part of the Miners' Memorial. Marker is in this post office area: Pittsburg KS 66762, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Southeast Kansas Coal Mining (a few steps from this marker); Frontenac, Kansas (within shouting distance of this marker); The Weir-Pittsburg Coal Field in Cherokee County (within shouting distance of this marker); Wilkinson Coal Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Alexander Howat (within shouting distance of this marker); The Amazon Army (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Immigrant Park (about 500 feet away); The Freedom Tree (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pittsburg.
Also see . . . Miners' Memorial. (Submitted on September 11, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Civil Rights • Industry & Commerce • Labor Unions • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 10, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 2,489 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. submitted on September 11, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.