CLEARFIELD COUNTY - PRESENT AND
came to Clearfield county to do police duty during the miners' strike of 1872-3.
He was located at Houtzdale, where the miners, at that time Irish, Welch, Scotch
and English, he says, were ruled by the "Molly McGuires" with an iron hand.
Everyone else in the community seems to have been terrorized by this
Captain Clark came January 1, 1873, and started the
first colliery at Moshannon in February after it had stood idle for three
months, by bringing in a carload of native coal miners. Forty of them were
brought in a box car at twelve o'clock at night.
By ten o'clock next day they began to send coal out of
When the "Big Wheel", the local miners' organization,
found that coal was being and would be mined, they held a meeting and voted the
strike off. After that thousands of men came and applied for work.
At that time there were but six mines in the Clearfield
region. Now there are more than a hundred, and a majority of the miners of later
times have been non-English speaking foreigners.
When the Goss Run Mine. was opened in 1875, and the men
quit work, strike breakers were brought in, but 1000 men from among the miners
came and marched the strike breakers out of the county and over to the Summit
Thirty or more of these miners were afterwards arrested and brought to jail at
Clearfield, but on account of the Osceola fire were released on small bail so
that they could go home and look after their families and property. Later they
came back to court and stood trial, 30 being convicted under a new law.
Xingo Parks, a strike organizer, was sent to the
penitentiary for a year, but pardoned within a month.
Captain Clark, who is in his 84th year, took part in
the breaking of seven or eight miners' strikes up to 1906, when he retired.