While trying to inventory what is left in our region as far as coke ovens, it is necessary to find out what isn't there as well as what is. Lincoln Coke Works had 400 ovens at one time. Most of those were in a long bank that curved around the ridge below the town of Keisterville. Today all that is left are some traces and a couple of extremely deteriorated ovens.
A portion of the Lincoln mine map showing the layout of the ovens.
The A.L. Keister and Company's Lincoln Mine and Coke Works began operations in 1900 with 80 ovens. By 1902 there were 180 ovens and before the year was up they had a total of 300.
Abraham Lincoln Keister was born September 10, 1852 in Upper Tyrone Township. He graduated from law school at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio in 1874. He practiced law in Columbus, Ohio until 1882, when he came back and entered the coke business. He organized the First National Bank in Scottdale in 1889 and served as president for 28 years. In 1901 he organized the Scottdale Savings and Trust Co. and was connected with it until his death on May 26, 1917. From 1913-1917 he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the Pennsylvania 22'nd District.
The Lincoln Coal and Coke Company was incorporated in 1904. The directors were A.L. Keister, B.F. Keister, F.O. Keister, A.C. Overholt and Charles Loucks, all of Scottdale. By 1907 the plant had 400 ovens and had constructed a new steel tipple over the existing structure. The tipple was built by the Fort Pitt Bridge Works of Canonsburg. The plant was operated by a 150 horsepower engine built by the Buckeye Engine Company of Salem, Ohio.
The plant probably operated until the 1940's.
Abraham Lincoln Keister
The 1907 tipple. Featured in the March 1907 Mines and Minerals trade journal.
Detail from the March 1907 Mines and Minerals.
Bits and pieces. Here's a little bit of a wall.
Few remains of ovens scattered along the hillside.
Adjacent to the oven site is a cattle field. On the other side of this electric fence are miscellaneous pieces of coke ovens.
And this is the best they get.
Out of 400 ovens this is all we have.
The interesting thing about this is it gives us an opportunity to see the sections of a coke oven that are normally buried.
Coke oven biology.
A couple charts showing how ovens are constructed. What I think is interesting is that the floor tile goes in last.
A couple of photos of the patch at Keisterville.