Skip Navigation

Coal Resources of the Douglas Group

Prev Page--Contents || Next Page--Geography, Mining Methods


Purpose of the Report

In the spring and summer of 1942 an examination of the coal mining and petroleum industries in Kansas indicated to the directors of the Geological Survey that the people of Kansas might be faced with a fuel shortage during the coming war winters. Such a fuel shortage seemed imminent because of the greatly increased demands not only for coal but also for oil and gas, due to the rapidly expanding war industries located in Kansas, and to the lack of additional transportation facilities.

In an attempt to determine the possibilities of increasing our local fuel supplies, the Geological Survey undertook a program entailing, among other things, an investigation of coal mining and marketing from local sources in east-central Kansas. The purpose of this report is to present data on such local workings, including names, locations, dates of operation, equipment, exact or approximate quantities of coal produced and producible, places and conditions of marketing, quality of coal, and much additional information concerning mines that are now active or have been operated in east-central Kansas. This report deals with those coal beds found in rocks of the Douglas group of east-central Kansas. It is planned that similar data on other coal-bearing rocks will be presented in subsequent reports.

Field Investigations

July and August were spent in the field by Arthur L. Bowsher in a reconnaissance examination of mines producing coal from the rocks of the Douglas group in Leavenworth, Douglas, Franklin, Coffey, Anderson, and Woodson counties. Data on unused mines were also obtained and included with present mine data in the accompanying tables. The period of time available for field work was too short to permit an exhaustive survey but most of the pertinent data are herein recorded.


In the course of the field work Mr. Bowsher had opportunity to consult innumerable farmers, miners, coal operators, and merchants of eastern Kansas. These many citizens cooperated fully and their invaluable aid in preparing this report is appreciated. Special assistance by members of the State Geological Survey staff was given by R. C. Moore, John C. Frye, Norman Plummer, T. G. Payne, and Philip Kaiser. The report was edited by Dorothea Weingartner, and the illustrations were drawn by Eva Baysinger, Joan Justice, and Dorothea Weingartner. To all of these persons we express our thanks. The manuscript was critically read by John C. Frye, acting State Geologist, and the chapter on mining methods was read and criticized by Tell Ertl of the Department of Mining and Metallurgy of the University of Kansas.

We have made use of unpublished field notes and stratigraphic sections measured by R. C. Moore, N. D. Newell, J. M. Patterson, R. E. Whitla, and others. These records are in the files of the State Geological Survey.

Previous Publications

The first published comprehensive report dealing with coal beds of the Douglas group is included in an account of the coal deposits of Kansas by Haworth and Crane (1898). Many of these deposits are discussed briefly in a report, by C. M. Young and H. C. Allen (1925), which provides additional data with reference to engineering and production methods and chemical composition of the coals. R. C. Moore (1929) has described the geographic and geologic distribution of the most important coal beds of Kansas and has reported analyses showing their chemical character. An unpublished thesis by J. M. Patterson (1935) gives information bearing on stratigraphic relationships of coal beds of this group of rock in Douglas and Leavenworth counties. A report on post-Cherokee coal deposits of Kansas, by R. E. Whitla (1940), contains some descriptions of mines and mining in coal beds of the Douglas group. A chapter on coal by J. M. Jewett (Jewett and Schoewe, 1942) is included in Kansas Mineral Resources for Wartime Industries. Other persons who have written concerning post-Cherokee coal beds are Saunders (1873), Knerr (1896), Blake (1889), Crane (1898), and Landes (1937). The annual reports of the Kansas coal mine and metal mine inspector give data on production and mines.

Prev Page--Contents || Next Page--Geography, Mining Methods

Kansas Geological Survey, Geology
Placed on web Jan. 28, 2009; originally published Sept. 1943.
Comments to
The URL for this page is