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Series XVIII. Shaw Coal Company, 1890-1925

Historical Background

The Shaw Coal Company originated on July 2, 1900 as one of Henry Clay Frick’s many coal companies he helped to establish. Shaw Coal Company’s purpose was to mine, prepare, and sell coal located in the southwestern Pennsylvania counties of Allegheny and Washington. The company is believed to be named after George E. Shaw, who was on the board of the Midway & Oakdale Railway, and purchased the company’s property which was located on the same railroad line. Shaw was also one of the first five men that held two shares each in the coal company. However, after only two years, Frick took possession of the majority of the shares and the original five stockholders were replaced with Frick’s close business associates.

Frick’s initial role in the company was as the purveyor of land from which the coal would be drawn. It was John F. Atcheson who actually purchased the surface and coal lands, known as the “Pittsburgh Vein,” from local residents but then turned over the deeds to Frick. According to accounts payable receipts, both Frick and Atcheson financially benefited from this company practice. It is revealed that their stock dividend payments well exceeded those of any other stockholders. In 1910, the company’s capital stock was sold to the Pittsburgh Coal Company, but Frick and his associates remained stockholders and members of the board. For unknown reasons, the company dissolved on November 19, 1925.

Scope and Content Notes:

This series contains the administrative, financial, and legal documents of the Shaw Coal Company. Some of the materials include meeting minutes, accounts payable receipts, correspondence, and mortgages. This series is further broken down into five subseries: Administrative Records, Financial Material, Legal Material, Correspondence, and Record Books.

The administrative records are documented through the by-laws and meeting minutes which provide a list of board members and stockholders of the Shaw Coal Company. The receipts and mortgages in the Financial Material subseries document the origins of the company and some daily activities. The Shaw Coal Company ledger and journal in the record book subseries provide some financial information as to the daily business activities, including accounts payable, profit/loss, and Union Trust Company of Pittsburgh. What is lacking in this series are materials relating to the actual mining of coal, such as how much coal was mined, where the coal was sold, its selling price, and the number of employees. There are some maps of Shaw mines in Series XXVIII Maps and Architectural Drawings. The majority of the materials in the Shaw Coal Company Series are from 1900 to 1925, the dates in which the company was in operation.

Subseries 1. Administrative Records, 1900-1925

Scope and Content Notes:

The administrative records of the Shaw Coal Company include the minutes for Annual, Board of Directors, and Stockholders meetings for 1901 to 1924. In each of these meetings, the election of judges, officers, and directors is the primary activity. In this case, judges were elected for the purpose of monitoring the election of officers at the meetings. The researcher should note that the Annual Meetings did not begin until 1905. A volume located at the end of this subseries contains the handwritten minutes for each meeting. Material in this subseries dates from 1900 to 1925.

Box 567
Folder 1 By-laws and Articles of Association, 1900
Folder 2 Meeting Minutes, 1900
Folder 3 Meeting Minutes, 1901
Folder 4 Meeting Minutes, 1902
Folder 5 Meeting Minutes, 1903
Folder 6 Meeting Minutes, 1904
Folder 7 Meeting Minutes, 1905
Folder 8 Meeting Minutes, 1906
Folder 9 Meeting Minutes, 1907
Folder 10 Meeting Minutes, 1908
Folder 11 Meeting Minutes, 1909
Folder 12 Meeting Minutes, 1910
Folder 13 Meeting Minutes, 1911
Folder 14 Meeting Minutes, 1912
Folder 15 Meeting Minutes, 1913
Folder 16 Meeting Minutes, 1914
Folder 17 Meeting Minutes, 1915
Folder 18 Meeting Minutes, 1916
Folder 19 Meeting Minutes, 1917
Folder 20 Meeting Minutes, 1918
Folder 21 Meeting Minutes, 1919
Folder 22 Meeting Minutes, 1920
Folder 23 Meeting Minutes, 1921
Folder 24 Meeting Minutes, 1922
Folder 25 Meeting Minutes, 1923
Folder 26 Meeting Minutes, 1924
Folder 27 Meeting Minutes, 1925
Folder 28 Meeting Minutes, Pittsburgh Coal Company, 1902
Folder 29 Meeting Minutes, Midway & Oakdale Railway Company, 1900-1901
Folder 30 Meeting Minutes, Pennsylvania Mining Company, January 3, 1902
Folder 31 Meeting Minutes, Shaw Coal Company, June 8, 1900, October 21, 1925

Subseries 2. Financial Material, 1900-1926

Scope and Content Notes:

Included in the Financial Material Subseries are tax returns for the years 1909 to 1926. These records primarily consist of the tax returns with little or no additional information regarding the company’s financial matters. Tax returns are arranged in chronological order. Additional materials contained within this subseries include annual net income for manufacturing corporations, federal capital stock, accounts payable receipts, and corresponding outgoing checks. The accounts payable and outgoing check receipts were used in routine daily business activities, such as employee salaries, purchase of materials, and dividend payments. Receipt #92 stands out because it provides a complete list of employees, position, days worked, hours, daily salary, and total for April 1901. Receipts are arranged numerically following the Shaw Coal Company’s original numbering system.

Cancelled checks from the Shaw Coal Company are also found within this subseries. The majority of the checks correspond to an accounts payable receipt. However, the checks are intermittent for the period between 1918 and 1925. Additional financial materials can be found in the Subseries 5. Record Books which contains bound volumes of stock certificates, financial ledgers, and journals. Material in this subseries dates from 1900 to 1926.

Box 568
Folder 1 By-laws and Articles of Association, 1909
Folder 2 Tax Returns, 1910
Folder 3 Tax Returns, 1911
Folder 4 Tax Returns, 1912
Folder 5 Tax Returns, 1913
Folder 6 Tax Returns, 1914
Folder 7 Tax Returns, 1915
Folder 8 Tax Returns, 1916
Folder 9 Tax Returns, 1917
Folder 10 Tax Returns, 1918
Folder 11 Tax Returns, 1919
Folder 12 Tax Returns, 1920
Folder 13 Tax Returns, 1921
Folder 14 Tax Returns, 1922
Folder 15 Tax Returns, 1923
Folder 16 Tax Returns, 1924
Folder 17 Tax Returns, 1925
Folder 18 Tax Returns, 1926
Folder 19 Capital Stock and Loan Reports, 1900-1925
Folder 20 Employer’s Report (blank), 1901
Folder 21 Dividend Payment Report (blank), 1923
Folder 22 Income Tax, October 29, 1909, February 28, 1910

Box 569
Folder 1 Pittsburgh Coal Company, 1909-1910
Folder 2 Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, St. Louis Railway Company, 1901
Folder 3 Equipment Inventory, December 31, 1901
Folder 4 Insurance Policies, 1902 and 1904
Folder 5 Registration, 1902-1910
Folder 6 Dissolution of Company, September 30, 1925-January 5, 1926
Folder 7 Accounts Payable, 1-50, January 10-March 22, 1901
Folder 8 Accounts Payable, 51-100, March 23-May 8, 1901

Box 570
Folder 1 Accounts Payable, 101-150, May 8-July 13, 1901
Folder 2 Accounts Payable, 151-200, July 13-August 23, 1901
Folder 3 Accounts Payable, 201-250, August 23-October 28, 1901
Folder 4 Accounts Payable, 251-300, October 28-December 14, 1901

Box 571
Folder 1 Accounts Payable, 301-350, December 14, 1901-January 30, 1902
Folder 2 Accounts Payable, 351-400, January 30-October 3, 1902
Folder 3 Accounts Payable, 401-450, October 3, 1902-July 15, 1903
Folder 4 Accounts Payable, 451-500, July 20, 1903-May 26, 1904
Folder 5 Accounts Payable, 501-550, May 26, 1904-February 28, 1905

Box 572
Folder 1 Accounts Payable, 551-600, February 28, 1905-February 8, 1906
Folder 2 Accounts Payable, 601-650, February 23, 1906-January 16, 1907
Folder 3 Accounts Payable, 651-700, January 16-December 23, 1907
Folder 4 Accounts Payable, 701-750, December 23, 1907-December 23, 1908
Folder 5 Accounts Payable, 751-800, December 23, 1908-December 24, 1909
Folder 6 Accounts Payable, 801-850, December 24, 1909-August 4, 1917

Box 573
Folder 1 Accounts Payable, 851-880, October 16, 1917-December 31, 1925
Folder 2 Cancelled Checks, January 31-May 24, 1901
Folder 3 Cancelled Checks, May 25-September 24, 1901
Folder 4 Cancelled Checks, September 27, 1901-January 30, 1902
Folder 5 Cancelled Checks, January 30, 1902- March 31, 1903
Folder 6 Cancelled Checks, April 17, 1903-October 18, 1904

Box 574
Folder 1 Cancelled Checks, October 18, 1904-August 9, 1906
Folder 2 Cancelled Checks, August 31, 1906-January 19, 1909
Folder 3 Cancelled Checks, January 30, 1909-March 8, 1918, August 4-December 31, 1925
Folder 4 Cancelled Checks, Check Book, and Account Book from Union Trust Account, 1900-1901
Folder 5 Production Statements, July 15, 1902-August 17, 1908
Folder 6 Trial Balances, (intermittent) 1901-1913

Box 575
Folder 1 Receipts, June 23, 1900-July 2, 1901
Folder 2 Tax receipts, 1901, 1903-1909
Folder 3 Assessed Property Valuation, 1904-1907
Folder 4 Shaw Coal Co. and Midway & Oakdale Railway Co. Expenses, January-February, 1901
Folder 5 Midway and Oakdale Railway Co., October 24, 1900-December 13, 1901
Folder 6 Assets and Liabilities, 1901-1902
Folder 7 Pittsburgh Coal Co./Shaw Coal Co. Purchase Booklet, January 1, 1910
Folder 8 Misc. Financial Notes, 1901-1910, undated

Subseries 3. Legal Material, 1894-1916

Scope and Content Notes:

Material in this subseries includes the mortgages for coal and surface land purchased for the Shaw Coal Company. Blueprints are included for a number of the mortgage files. The first mortgage was known to have belonged to John Kelso, who owned sixty acres of coal land, but there is no material in this series that corresponds to this mortgage. There are also documents that pertain to the purchase of Shaw Coal Company property by the Pittsburgh Coal Company for $1,500,000. Material in this subseries dates from 1894 to 1916.

Folder 9 Mortgage, J.H. Wallace, 1900
Folder 10 Mortgage, M.A. Fisher, 1900-1901
Folder 11 Mortgage, Adam Lotz, 1900
Folder 12 Mortgage, Mevay heirs, 1900
Folder 13 Mortgage, Ella J. Hutchison, 1900
Folder 14 Mortgage, Henry and Sadie Crooks, 1900
Folder 15 Mortgage, Mark Kelso, 1900
Folder 16 Mortgage, William E. Ross, 1900
Folder 17 Mortgage, Alexander S. Dunbar, 1900
Folder 18 Mortgage, Gregg heirs, 1896-1900
Folder 19 Mortgage, William D. McCrory, 1900
Folder 20 Mortgage, James Meloney, 1900
Folder 21 Mortgage, James Meloney, 1900

Box 576
Folder 1 Mortgage, James A. McNall, 1897-1900
Folder 2 Mortgage, E. Boyles McKee, 1900
Folder 3 Mortgage, Mary M. Cook, 1900
Folder 4 Mortgage, William F. Woods, 1900
Folder 5 Mortgage, William H. Wilson, 1900
Folder 6 Mortgage, Edward McDonald, 1900
Folder 7 Mortgage, Estella S. McElhany, 1900-1916
Folder 8 Mortgage, Fife Heirs, 1900-1901
Folder 9 Mortgage, James R. Kelso and Trustee, 1900
Folder 10 Mortgage, Gabriel Walker, 1900
Folder 11 Mortgage, Joseph S. Bailey, 1900
Folder 12 Mortgage, Richard Crooks, 1900-1901
Folder 13 Mortgage, Samuel J. McAdams, 1901
Folder 14 Mortgage, William Bamford, 1900
Folder 15 Mortgage, Cyrus Ferguson, 1894-1901
Folder 16 Mortgage, Robert Stevenson, 1900
Folder 17 Mortgage, Andrew D. and Harvey H. Work, 1900
Folder 18 Mortgage, Sarah A. Smith, 1900
Folder 19 Mortgage, Thomas Donaldson, 1900
Folder 20 Mortgage, Evan C. Donaldson, 1900
Folder 21 Mortgage, Robert Bamford, 1900
Folder 22 Mortgage, Richard Donaldson, 1900
Folder 23 Mortgages Documentation, 1900-1904
Folder 24 John F. Atcheson Mortgage Agreement, June 18, 1900 and April 26, 1910
Folder 25 Deeds, undated

Box 577
Folder 1 Mortgage on $1,500,000, January 1, 1910
Folder 2 Certificate of the Union Trust Company of Pittsburgh, May 18, 1910

Subseries 4. Correspondence, 1901-1918

Scope and Content Notes:

The letters in this subseries directly relate to the business activities of the Shaw Coal Company. Included are the letters documenting the deeding of property to Shaw Coal Company from landowners in Allegheny and Washington counties. These letters are written by John F. Atcheson, board member and stockholder in the company, and signed by the property sellers. Additional letters include topics such as quality of Shaw coal, administrative concerns, and the resignations of the original members of the Shaw Coal Company in 1902. The majority of the correspondence is incoming.

The letterpress copybook contains the outgoing correspondence from 1901 to 1918 and relates to the daily business activities of the company. An index provides an alphabetical listing of individuals and businesses that corresponded with the Shaw Coal Company. The copybook includes financial statements that can also be found elsewhere in this subseries.

Folder 3 Correspondence, January 4, 1890-December 31, 1909
Folder 4 Correspondence, February 11, 1910-August 13, 1919 and undated
Folder 5 Letterpress Copybook, 1901-1918

Subseries 5. Record Books, 1900-1925

Scope and Content Notes:

This subseries contains bound volumes relating to the Shaw Coal Company’s administrative and financial activities. Included are a minute book, stock certificates, and ledgers. The voucher index directly corresponds to the accounts payable receipts that can be found in the Administrative and Financial Subseries. The Bills Payable volume includes a listing of the mortgages and the mortgage rate. Also included is the statement that each mortgage was “paid in full” and “satisfied.” The Transfer Book directly relates to the stock held by each person in the Shaw Coal Company. The Ledger from 1901-1925 is a financial record book containing the following headings: Union Trust Company of Pittsburgh, accounts payable, capital, interest and discount, and profit and loss. This volume allows for further examination of the financial aspects of the company. The volumes date from 1900 to 1925

Box 578
Folder 1 Voucher Index, undated
Folder 2 Bills Payable, 1900-1901
Folder 3 Stock Certificates, 1900-1910
Folder 4 Stock Ledger, 1900-1911
Folder 5 Transfer Book, 1901-1924
Folder 6 Journal, January 10, 1901-February 18, 1925
Box 579 Shaw Coal Company Ledger, 1901-1925