The State Historical Society of Missouri’s collection of mining and mineral industry records preserve the history of mining and its impact on the state. SHSMO’s holdings include papers and records of miners and mining engineers, records of mining firms and mineral industries, records of professional and trade organizations, and miscellaneous materials dealing with mining and mineral industries.
Mining has played a significant role in Missouri’s history. In the 1840s, large-scale iron mining and smelting began in St. Francois County in the area around Iron Mountain. From the 1860s to the 1960s, the northern part of the county around Bonne Terre and present-day Park Hills was one of the world’s leading producers of lead. In the nineteenth century, coal mining became an important industry in regions such as southwest and northern Missouri; the state also became a significant source of mined materials such as zinc, copper, and limestone. Documentation of these mining activities can be found in collections like the American Zinc, Lead, and Smelting Company Records, the St. Joe Minerals Corporation Collection, and the Valle Mining Company Records.
Articles from Missouri Historical Review and Missouri Times
- Abramoske, Donald J. "The Federal Lead Leasing System in Missouri."
Missouri Historical Review 54 (October 1959): 27-38.
- Benac, David "Whose Forest Is This?: Hillfolk, Industrialists, and Government in the Ozarks."
Missouri Historical Review 101 (October 2006): 17-35.
- Bratton, Sam T. "Coal in Missouri."
Missouri Historical Review 22 (January 1928): 150-156.
- Christensen, Lawrence O. "Pains of Birth and Adolescence: The University of Missouri and Its Rolla Campus, 1871-1915."
Missouri Historical Review 79 (April 1985): 357-372.
- Cozzens, Arthur B. "The Iron Industry of Missouri."
Part I: Missouri Historical Review 35 (July 1941): 509-538.
Part II: Missouri Historical Review 36 (October 1941): 48-60.
- Culmers, Frederick A. "Emigrant Missourians in Mexico and Oregon."
Missouri Historical Review 25 (January 1931): 281-288.
- Denman, David D. "History of La Saline: Salt Manufacturing Site, 1675-1825."
Missouri Historical Review 73 (April 1979): 307-320.
- Ekberg, Carl J. "Antoine Valentin de Gruy: Early Missouri Explorer."
Missouri Historical Review 76 (January 1982): 136-150.
- Gardner, James A. "The Business Career of Moses Austin in Missouri."
Missouri Historical Review 50 (April 1956): 235-247.
- Gibbs, Christopher C. "The Lead Belt Riot and World War One."
Missouri Historical Review 71 (July 1977): 396-418.
- Gibson, A. M. "Lead Mining in Southwest Missouri to 1865."
Part I: Missouri Historical Review 53 (April 1959): 197-205.
Part II: Missouri Historical Review 53 (July 1959): 315-328.
- Gilmore, Grace L. "Missourians Abroad - Daniel Cowen Jackling."
Missouri Historical Review 17 (April 1923): 257-265.
- Green, Barbara L. "Slave Labor at the Maramec Iron Works, 1828-1850."
Missouri Historical Review 73 (January 1979): 150-164.
- Gregg, Kate L. "Missourians in the Gold Rush."
Missouri Historical Review 39 (January 1945): 137-154.
- Isern, Thomas D. "Exploration and Diplomacy: George Champlin Sibley's Report to William Clark, 1811."
Missouri Historical Review 73 (October 1978): 85-102.
- Klein, Ada Paris "The Missouri Reader: Lead Mining in Pioneer Missouri."
Missouri Historical Review 43 (April 1949): 251-270.
- Luckingham, Brad "A Note on the Lead Mines of Missouri: Henry R. Schoolcraft to William H. Crawford, 1820."
Missouri Historical Review 59 (April 1965): 344-348.
- Primm, James Neal "Yankee Merchants in a Border City: A Look at St. Louis Businessmen in the 1850s."
Missouri Historical Review 78 (July 1984): 375-386.
- Read, Georgia Willis "Diseases, Drugs, and Doctors on the Oregon-California Trail in the Gold-Rush Years."
Missouri Historical Review 38 (April 1944): 260-276.
- Reynolds, Bruce "Convict Labor: The Montserrat Experience."
Missouri Historical Review 77 (October 1982): 47-63.
- Rothensteiner, John E. "Earliest History of Mine La Motte."
Missouri Historical Review 20 (January 1926): 199-213.
- Shoemaker, Floyd C. "Herculaneum Shot Tower."
Missouri Historical Review 20 (January 1926): 214-216.
Missouri Historical Review 51 (July 1957): 362-372.
Missouri Historical Review 53 (October 1958): 1-9.
"Old Barry County, Mother of Eight Southwest Missouri Counties."
Missouri Historical Review 50 (July 1956): 371-380.
- SHS Staff "Sesquicentennial Issue 1821-1971."
Missouri Historical Review 65 (July 1971): 403-545.
- Stauter, Mark C. "From the Stacks: Walter Goodwin Swart, Mining Engineer."
Missouri Historical Review 103 (January 2009): 120-123.
- Suggs, George G., Jr. "Child Labor in the Tiff Mines of Washington County, Missouri."
Missouri Historical Review 87 (July 1993): 357-371.
- Swartzlow, Ruby Johnson "The Early History of Lead Mining in Missouri."
First Article: Missouri Historical Review 28 (April 1934): 184-194.
Second Article: Missouri Historical Review 28 (July 1934): 287-295.
Third Article: Missouri Historical Review 29(October 1934): 27-34.
Fourth Article: Missouri Historical Review 29 (January 1935): 109-114.
Fifth Article: Missouri Historical Review 29 (April 1935): 195-205.
- The Arkansas Gazette "Missouri in 1822."
Missouri Historical Review 16 (April 1922): 337-342.
- Trexler, H. A. "Missouri - Montana Highways."
Part I: "The Missouri River Route." Missouri Historical Review 12 (January 1918): 67-80.
Part II: "The Overland Route." Missouri Historical Review 12 (April 1918): 145-162.
"Efforts to Move Moses Austin's Body to Texas."
Missouri Historical Review 43 (April 1949): 284-287.
Many of the State Historical Society’s holdings are included in the SHSMO online catalog. The State Historical Society holds several books about the history of mining, mining accidents, and mining heritage in Missouri. To view a refined search on mining history in Missouri, simply add the subject term “Mining and Mineral Industries" to your search.
Historic Missourian Biographies
- Moses Austin - A prominent figure in Missouri’s mining history, Moses Austin was an important businessman and community builder on the American frontier. He improved transportation, trade links, and mining methods at sites such as Potosi in Washington County and Herculaneum in Jefferson County. Austin brought national attention to the mineral wealth of Missouri.
- Henry Rowe Schoolcraft - Henry Rowe Schoolcraft wrote the first published account of the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks, introducing the region to worldwide audiences. In the summer of 1818 Schoolcraft arrived in Potosi, the heart of Missouri Territory’s lead mining region, and surveyed the area’s mining and smelting operations. Schoolcraft then wrote and published A View of the Lead Mines of Missouri.
- François Vallé - François Vallé was a successful businessman who became one of the most influential figures in colonial Ste. Genevieve. Before settling in Ste. Genevieve, Vallé employed others in the early 1740s to help him in a seasonal lead mining operation at Mine La Motte in what is now Madison County, Missouri. Vallé continued to invest in mining operations, but stopped mining himself by the late 1750s. He used the profits from his early mining and trading ventures to buy vast amounts of land.
Society manuscript collections include papers and records of miners, mining engineers, and other individuals; records of mining firms and mineral industries; records of professional and trade organizations; and miscellaneous materials dealing with mining and mineral industries, including photographs, maps, and production data.
A number of Missouri newspapers on microfilm in the Society’s collection focus on mining and mineral industries.
For a list of all digitized newspapers, visit the Missouri Digital Newspaper Project.
For a list of newspapers on microfilm at The State Historical Society of Missouri, visit the newspaper catalog.
Mining Newspapers in SHSMO Holdings
|County||City||Title||Also Available On||Date Range|
|Bates||Rich Hill||Rich Hill Daily Review||Microfilm||1886-1955|
|Jasper||Joplin||The Mining News||Microfilm||1872-1875|
|Madison||Fredericktown||Farmer and Miner||Microfilm||March 18, 1876|
|Newton||Granby||Granby Miner||Microfilm||October 4, 1973-September 16, 1876; February 21, 1913-February 27, 1914|
|Newton||Granby||Granby Miner-Missourian||Microfilm||April 14, 1916-December 31, 1920|
|Newton||Neosho||Daily Miner and Mechanic||Microfilm||September 23, 1879-March 25, 1880; October 25, 1879-January 6, 1961|
|Newton||Neosho||Neosho Miner-Mechanic||Microfilm||September 23, 1966-December 31, 1971|
|St. Louis||St. Louis||St. Louis Mining News||Microfilm||May 7, 1887|
|Washington||Potosi||Miner's Prospect||Microfilm||September 20, 1849|
The State Historical Society of Missouri's holdings contain the following photograph collections depicting the Mining and Mineral Industry of Missouri:
- Mining and Mineral Industry Photographs, the State Historical Society of Missouri-Columbia Digital Photograph Collection.
The vertical files contain magazine and newspaper clippings, handwritten information donated by patrons, bibliographies, programs, brochures, flyers, and other materials that, by reason of their physical formats, cannot be placed on the shelves with books. Materials on mining and mineral industry include:
- Mining-Mines and Mineral Resources-Missouri
- Mines and Mining-Missouri
- Mines and Mining-Missouri-Barite-Tiff
- Mines and Mining-Clay
- Mines and Mining-Coal
- Mines and Mining-Copper
- Mines and Mining-Gold
- Mines and Mining-Iron/Maramec Iron Works
- Mines and Mining-Lead
- Mines and Mining-Magnesium
- Mines and Mining-Radium
- Mines and Mining-Silver
- Mines and Mining-Zinc
- Mines and Mining-U.S.
- Mines and Mining-U.S.-Copper
- Mines and Mining-U.S.-Gold
- Mines and Mining-U.S.-Iron
- Mines and Mining-U.S.-Silver
- Mines and Mining-U.S.-Zinc