by Coleman 50th Anniversary Booklet
The establishment of the McGillivray Company in 1909 provided
a tremendous boost to the community. This company acquired the
coal seams to the north of International's and like its neighbor
was not long in getting into production. In succeeding years it
has produced large tonnages of high grade coal and has richly
rewarded those who made the original investment. Much of the
original capital was obtained from people living in the State of
Minnesota, many of whom have retained their interest in the
company to the present day.
The late Lorne A. Campbell served as first President of the
company and acted in that capacity during most of the years
until his death in 1947. Under the joint management arrangement
with the International Company he became president of both
firms, in 1936, and he, together with his associate, the late
George Kellock, placed the Coleman Mining Companies on a solid
foundation. Upon the death of Mr. Campbell, Mr. H. A. Howard
assumed the presidency of both companies. Mr. A. F. Short, who
had many years of service with the McGillivray Company, and
later also with International, became Executive Vice-President
of the companies following the death of Mr. Kellock in 1940. He
ably filled this position until his career was closed while he
was still in the prime of life in 1944.
The townsite at Coleman expanded its limits to include West
Coleman in 1910 and many lots were soon purchased by the new
employees coming to the McGillivray Company. In addition, the
Carbondale townsite was developed and further homesites provided
for the newcomers.
The company's peak production year was 1924 when over 484,000
tonnes of coal were produced in 223 working days. In 1929 the
mine employed as many as 600 men, which indicates its importance
to the community.
The company was always a leader in coal preparation and was
perhaps the first to introduce wet washery jigs and related
equipment to this area. Its mining properties extend many miles
to the north of Coleman and indicate excellent prospects for
During the past fifty years the Coleman mines have grown from
lusty infants to a maturity that is rare in western coal fields.
The men who first filled the ranks are being replaced by their
sons and grandsons, and new immigrants from across the seas. The
years have presented problems in wars, strikes, depressions,
booms and declining markets. Through them all, the workers and
management have adjusted themselves to all conditions and have
learned to face the future with the same confidence in their own
capabilities as have been evidenced in the past.
With the great world need to utilize our energy resources
wisely and well, coal has a promising future.
This article is extracted from Crowsnest and its People:
Millennium Edition (Coleman, Alberta, Crowsnest Pass Historical
Society, 2000). The Heritage Community Foundation and
the Year of the Coal Miner Consortium would like to thank the
authors and the Crowsnest Pass Historical Society for permission
to reprint this material.