Iris Glebe 

Brief History of the Coal Industry of White County, Tennessee / 1882 - 1936

Iris Webb Glebe is the daughter of Earl Webb who began his major league career on the baseball diamonds of Bon Air Mountain. He still holds the major league record for the most doubles in a season while playing with the Boston Red Sox.  

Coal Miner's Daughter - by Joann England Vaughn

You have all heard the song - but I really was a coal miner's daughter. My father, William David England, worked in the coal mines at Bon Air, Ravenscroft, Clifty and the areas around Bon Air. He got his nickname from his job in the mines, Trap, he was known more as Trap England than he was by William or David.  He drove the mine cars loaded with coal out of the mines. They were called trappers, thus his nickname of Trap became his name for most people.

Times were not easy but we were a happy family and the community was a happy place to live.  The miners were all close and the families of the miners were close.

I can remember how in the winter we could hear my Daddy and the other miners coming home from work because the mines were wet sometimes inside and their pant legs would be frozen and we could hear them walking home for some distance.  They would have coal dust all over their faces so their eyes looked white and their teeth gleamed real white. This I remember so well because my Daddy always had a big smile for us as soon as he came in the house. We always had his hot bath ready for him so he could get the coal­ dust washed off.

I grew up in a house called Spearmint Cottage.   It was called this because the Wrigley Gum Company bought stock in  the mines.  The house I grew up in was where all the officials of the mines met.  The house had 4 bedrooms upstairs, 2 bedrooms downstairs, a living room, dining room, den, and kitchen. The living room and dining room had a fire­ place in the joining wall, open on each side to enter the living room from the dining room. We had a really big front porch which I still miss.  I remember when the spring rains and storms came that we loved to sit on that porch and watch for rainbows.   I guess I will always love a big porch because of the happy times I spent on that one.

Daddy bought the house from Dr. W. B. Young for $300 when the mine at Bon Air closed. Dr. Young was an official of the mines and he moved to Nashville, Tennessee.

The Spearmint Cottage had a walk in front shaped like the arrow on the pack of gum.  The point of the arrow was at the front porch. The point of the arrow is still there.

 I can remember Dr. Young coming to see us and his old homeplace whenever he came to Sparta to visit his relatives.

Spearmint Cottage will forever by a very happy memory for me, a coal miner's daughter.

Spearmint Cottage as it was in 1960