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Postcard of Miner with Mule-Drawn Cart in a Shaft of Buxton’s #12 Mine, 1910

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This photograph shows a miner with a mule-drawn coal cart in the shaft of Mine #12 in Buxton, Iowa, in 1910.
Courtesy of State Historical Society of Iowa, 1910


An unknown photographer captured this image that shows a miner in 1910 with mule-drawn coal cart in the shaft of mine #12 at Buxton, Iowa. In his interview, Paul Wilson remembers how mules and mine cars were used to move coal from the “rooms” in the mine to the entrance where they were loaded onto railroad cars.  According to Dr. Schwieder’s research in the 1915 Census of Iowa information, mule drivers made almost double the amount of money as a miner did.

Source-Dependent Questions

  • How would the low ceilings, darkness, dirt and muck impact workers in the mine?
  • How did the miner’s clothing and equipment help him do his job?
  • How does the annual income of this mule cart driver compare to other occupations in Buxton? Use to “Annual Income of Selected Workers” from  Buxton: Work and Racial Equality in a Coal Mining Community to help answer this question.