Born in the throes of the local coal mining boom of the 1880s, Frontenac remains an important, thriving community of Southeast Kansas.

Born in the throes of the local coal mining boom of the 1880s, Frontenac remains an important, thriving community of Southeast Kansas.

“On Aug. 10, 1885, … Frontenac was born, when the Cherokee & Pittsburg Coal and Mining Co. [the coal branch of the Santa Fe Railroad] commenced sinking the shaft of No. 1 mine [Their first coal mine in the area].  John Kilholland bossed the gang that sunk the air shaft, and Lewis [Luigi] Noventa had charge of the work on the main shaft. Webb Thomas built the first houses, a row of old style company houses, and these with the boarding house … constituted Frontenac camp.

“Chas. Jenkins run the boarding house.  Jenkins was very nearly the whole thing at that time.  Besides the boarding house he opened a livery stable, owned a grocery store and was pit boss of No. 1. …

“The camp grew rapidly.  …  Three months after [sinking No. 1] work commenced on No. 2 mine, and eight months after No. 3 mine was sunk.  These three mines being sunk brought a great many miners to the camp and company houses cropped up everywhere.  Frontenac began to assume something of the appearance of a boom.”

Source:  The Pittsburg Daily Headlight, Monday, 2 September 1901, Vol. XIV, No. 119.

Information provided by Jerry Lomshek, Miners Hall Museum www.minershallmuseum.   Grand opening May 1, 2012, Smithsonian Exhibit May 11, 2013-June 23-2013