Westmoreland Coal Company. Winding Gulf and Imperial Smokeless Divisions.
In 1968 the Westmoreland Coal Company acquired the West Virginia bituminous coal properties owned by the Sprague family of Massachusetts and the Western Pocahontas Corporation, a subsidiary of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Company.
Charles H. Sprague & Son was an old Boston fuel wholesale company which had developed close working relationships with several operators in the newly-developing Smokeless Coal Fields of southern West Virginia before World War I. To secure greater control over supplies, they purchased the Imperial Smokeless Coal Company in 1947 and Winding Gulf Coals, Inc., in 1955.
The Imperial Smokeless Coal Company was incorporated in West Virgingia on June 5, 1919, by Quin Martin and Walter Seal Wood. It opened its first mine at Quinwood in 1920. Martin died in 1925, and Wood sold control of the company to the Vera Pocahontas Coal Company of Welch, W. Va., in 1940. They in turn sold the company to the Sprague interests in 1947. It was reincorporated in Delaware in 1963, sold to Westmoreland in 1969 and merged into Westmoreland as a division in 1971.
Winding Gulf Coals, Inc., was incorporated in West Virginia on November 1, 1955, for the purpose of effecting a merger of the several small coal companies owned by William Purviance Tams, Jr., and George R. Collins. The Western Pocahontas Corporation received a majority interest in return for financing the merger. Winding Gulf Coals, Inc., also acquired the Gulf Mining Company from the Snyder interests in 1956 and continued to purchase additional mines until 1963. After that year the company suffered a string of large losses and began searching for a buyer. Westmoreland streamlined and upgraded the operation after its purchase in 1968. It absorbed Winding Gulf Coals, Inc., as a division on December 30, 1970.
William P. Tams, Jr., was a major independent operator in the West Virginia Smokeless Coal Fields. He prospected the area in 1905 before it had been opened by railroad, and in 1908-09 he organized the Gulf Smokeless Coal Company and founded the town of Tams. He purchased the Gulf Coal Company in 1912 and organized the Wyoming Coal Company in 1914 and the Covel Smokeless Coal Company in 1919. In 1924 he attempted to effect a merger of all the major smokeless coal operators, but the plan foundered when Isaac T. Mann withdrew the support of the giant Pocahontas Fuel Company. Tams made another effort in 1927-28, but this time the Koppers and Berwind interests were the stumbling block. Tams thereafter confined himself to his own affairs, and he remained in the town he founded even after the sale to Westmoreland.
Winding Gulf Collieries, incorporated on August 7, 1929, represented a consolidation of the many companies founded by Justus Collins (1857-1934) and later managed by his son George and his partner Lamar Epperly. It was merged into Winding Gulf Coals, Inc., on February 29, 1956.
From the description of Predecessor company records, 1908-1971. (Hagley Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 86119106
|creatorOf||Westmoreland Coal Company. Winding Gulf and Imperial Smokeless Divisions. Predecessor company records, 1908-1971.||Hagley Museum & Library|
|associatedWith||Babcock Coal and Coke Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Baldwin-Felts Detectives, Inc.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Brackens Creek Coal Land Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||C. H. Sprague & Son Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Clifftop Smokeless Coal Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Collins, George R. 1890- .||person|
|associatedWith||Collins, Justus, 1857-1934.||person|
|associatedWith||Covel Smokeless Coal Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Eastern Gas and Fuel Associates.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Eavenson, Howard N. 1873-1953.||person|
|associatedWith||Gulf Coal Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Gulf Mining Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Gulf Smokeless Coal Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Guyan Collieries Corporation.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Imperial Smokeless Coal Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Junior Pocahontas Coal Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Lamar Colliery Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||MacAlpin Coal Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Mann, Isaac T. 1864-1932.||person|
|associatedWith||New River Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Pocahontas Fuel Company, Incorporated.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Pocahontas Land Corporation.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Pocahontas Operators' Association.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Royalty Smokeless Coal Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Southern Coal Producers' Association.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Tams, W. P. 1883-1977.||person|
|associatedWith||Western Pocahontas Corporation.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||West Gulf Coal Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Westmoreland Coal Company. Imperial Smokeless Division.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Westmoreland Coal Company. Winding Gulf Division.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Winding Gulf Coals, Inc.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Winding Gulf Collieries.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Winding Gulf Land Company.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Wyoming Coal Company (W.Va.).||corporateBody|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Coal mines and mining|
|Consolidation and merger of corporations|