Two Fayette County, W.Va., natives with a lifetime history of service to the mining industry will be inducted into the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame at the organization’s 15th annual induction ceremony, scheduled for Friday, May 4, at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, W.Va.
Charles T. “Charlie” Holland and Paul Morton will be inducted posthumously in the hall, which was established by the West Virginia Coal Association, the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute and the West Virginia Mining and Reclamation Association in 1998. The hall resides in the Mineral Resources Building of the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at West Virginia University.
Holland was a native of Winona, W.Va., and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mining engineering from WVU in 1928 and 1932, respectively. After working as a mine superintendent and mining engineer in Fayette County, he joined the faculty at his alma mater as a professor of mining engineering until 1948. He served two stints at WVU, retuning in 1961 as professor of mining engineering, dean of the School of Mines and director of mining extension. He retired from WVU in 1971.
Holland also spent more than a decade on the faculty at Virginia Tech, serving as head of its Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering from 1948-1961. He was active in the management of the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute, serving as its president in 1971 and as secretary-treasurer. He was named president emeritus of the organization in 1981. That same year, WVU conferred the Order of Vandalia upon Holland, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the coal industry, the University and the state.
Holland died on April 14, 1983, at the age of 78.
A native of Burnwell, Morton was the third generation of Mortons to serve in the state’s coalfields. After graduating with a mining engineering degree from the New Mexico School of Mines, he returned to his home state in the early 1940s and became general mine superintendent for AMES Mining Company, which was located in Fayette County. A decade later, he became general manager of Royalty Smokeless Company, A.T. Massey Company’s first coal production company.
In 1952, Morton was offered a superintendent position at Cannelton Coal Company, which started mining operations in the Kanawha Valley in 1871. He was later named president and chairman of the board of Cannelton, positions he held until his retirement in 1979. Under his tenure, Cannelton’s operations expanded, opening four deep mines as well as one of the first mountain top surface mines in the state.
Morton served in leadership positions with the New River Coal Association, the Southern Coal Producers Association, the Kanawha County Coal Operators Association, the West Virginia Coal Association, the National Coal Association and the Bituminous Coal Operators United Mine Works of America contract negotiating committee. Morton died in 1999.
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CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon