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Osceola 1878
Ivill 1881
Catsburg 1889
Rostraver 1890
Gallatin 1897
Johnetta 1899
Hazel 1902
Marianna 1907
Francis 1903
James Jones 1835
John H. Jones 1866
Thomas P. Jones 1868
William I. Jones 1869
David G. Jones 1871
Harry P. Jones 1873
Mary Agnes Jones 1877
E. Frank Miller 1882
William Ivill 1819
Ann Agnes Ivill 1845
John J. Ivill 1862
William C. Ivill 1881
Harry E. Ivill 1885
W. F. Holsing 1840
W. J. Holsing 1869
Fredrick Holsing 1896
Stella Holsing 1900
James J. Holsing 1902
Holsing Family Photos
Patzsch Family 1912
James Jones 1912
Ann Agnes Ivill 1895
David G. Jones 1915
William I. Jones 1905
W. J. Holsing 1929
John H. Jones 1959
John H. Jones Mayor '05
James Jones B-day '07
National Labor Tribune, front page National Labor Tribune
Pittsburgh, PA
Thursday April 4, 1929
Front page; 2 columns.
Continued on pages 2 and 8.

William J. Holsing, aged 59, a pioneer in modern mining and widely known in the development of the most modern mines in this country, died suddenly of heart failure at his home, 248 Smithfield Street, between the hours of 12 and 1 o'clock, Saturday.

Returning home, after accompanying Mrs.Holsing on a short Easter shopping trip, he carried from their automobile, into the home, Easter potted plants in beautiful bloom and some Easter eggs, upon one of which was written, in icing, "Junior". These he had bought for members of the family and his niece and nephew, Jessie and Joseph H. Vitchestain, Jr., of Pittsburgh, spending the Easter vacation with their uncle and aunt.

His Last Word
Setting the plants and Easter gifts aside to be presented Easter Sunday morning, Mr. Holsing went to his room to lie down, he complaining of not feeling well. He remained in his room but a short time, and, coming downstairs into the library, he again spoke of pain in his side, as he seated himself in his library chair. Mrs. Holsing, gathered with the family for the noonday meal, suggested that the doctor be summoned, but Mr. Holsing protested, replying he was going "down street" at 2 o'clock and would see the doctor then. But the daughter, Stella, hurried to the phone, and as she went, Mr. Holsing was heard gasping for breath. Seemingly but a few minutes before, Mr. Holsing, with Mrs. Holsing driving, had been seen by the doctor riding in their car, but before he could arrive, Mr. Holsing was dead.

The news of his death was received with a decided shock, Mr. Holsing being prominent in the affairs of the community, as well as serving on the school board as a director for several terms, he refusing re-election against the urgent appeals of the leading citizens of the town.

He was a deacon and a most active member of the First Baptist Church, serving since the organization of the congregation after locating in the town.

W. J. Holsing abt. 1890His Early Days
He was born in Greenock, PA, a rather prosperous mining community in the Youghiogheny Valley. His father {William F.} was mine foreman for Sam Brown & Sons, when the latter were the largest miners and shippers of coal in the Monongahela and Youghiogheny valleys.

With his brothers, he had been taught by his father the details of the mining industry. His early boyhood was spent when the Monongahela Valley was alive with huge coal shipments loaded for the southern shipping points, such as Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis and New Orleans, the principal tonnage going by water, The great shippers then were Sam Brown & Sons, W. W. O’Neil & Co., Joseph Walton & Co., Charles Jutte, T. M. Jenkins and James Jones & Sons.

Later, the family moved to Monongahela, PA, the industry shifting to the upper Monongahela, and, finding employment in the Ivill mine, owned by James Jones & Sons, the family located in Monongahela.

James Jones & Sons later purchased the T. M. Jenkins interests, making James Jones & sons at the time the largest shippers of coal in the Pittsburgh district, the river shipments extending to all large cities along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans.

Built First Big Mine
It was about this time, in 1895, that Mr. Holsing married Mary Agnes Jones, daughter of James Jones: and a few years later, about 1901, with the formation of the Monongahela Consolidated Coal and Coke Company, the first of the coal trusts, the Consolidated company bought the interests of James Jones & Sons, Mr. Holsing leaving the combine and moving his family to Canonsburg, where he became an outstanding factor in the development of the Hazel Mines, the finest and most modern, electrically-equipped mines, at the time, in the country.

Unknown source While he maintained his residence here, he played a leading role with James Jones & Sons in developing the largest producing and most modern equipped mines, as well as the most modern mining communities and miner's homes in the world.. His work extended through Washington County, in which James Jones & Sons owned 20,000 acres of the richest coal seams, into West Virginia and Kentucky.

Under the Pittsburgh & Buffalo Company, these holdings were developed in West Virginia and Kentucky, adding 10,000 acres more to their holdings.

Expert in Modern Mines
He well might have posed as an expert in the development of mines, with a knowledge of conditions and circumstances in successful operation equaled by few. He knew the dangers of mining and the problems, which had to be met. He had met them, having a crystallized experience, he having wrestled with the most exacting mining problems.

It was such ability and knowledge that the associated companies sought when after the passage of the first compensation act, he was invited to help work out a solution for the insurance of mines, the basis of which was to play an important part in establishing a premium for coal operators for the protection of themselves and their employees under the new laws, regarded as one of the most difficult tasks in that particular line of development.

Up to this time, insurance companies had refused to insure mines, the risk being entirely too great; but the basis once worked out, the State of Pennsylvania established it's own insurance, and the manufacturers also followed. The new compensation act demanded this. It was monumental undertaking.

He Solved Insurance
Having established this, the Associated Insurance Corporation left the field to others, Mr. Holsing retiring from active work after giving several years of his time inspecting mines for this insurance group.

He was a man whose strength seemed to be unlimited, but no man took better care of himself, though never shirking a duty. He always sacrificed himself for others. At all times he was cool and collected, never disturbed under the gravest dangers or terrible hazards. With his powerful strength, by which he could almost lift the end of a loaded car, he was tender and sympathetic, always carefully admonishing but never excited or alarmed. He was true to his convictions, and was found each Sunday, when at home, at the head of the Men's Adult Bible Class in the First Baptist Church. He was a regular attendant at church. With his family, he could be found present; the sons and daughter there too, until the boys, grown to manhood, left home, their positions calling them to other cities.

At the time of his death and many years prior thereto he had served as Deacon in the church of which he with his family, was a member. He carried his religious convictions into the mines and into every transaction in which he was engaged or interested.

He was beloved by all who worked under him during the long period of which he served as foremen, superintendent, or officiated in an executive position.

Unknown sourceHe was never heard to blaspheme, never irritable, or heard to burst forth in indignation, always cool and collective even under the most exacting of trying difficulties. He never used tobacco and was held in the highest esteem by all who worked under him or sought his advice. He was an exemplary citizen, respected by all.

His death is a distinct loss to the community in which he played an important part, coming here with his brother-in-laws, the Jones brothers, John H., W. I., D. G., T. P. and Harry P. Jones, to open the first of several that followed of the most modern electrically equipped mines in the country, the industry later attracting thousands of workmen and several new industries that later made this beautiful town in the Chartiers Valley one of the most progressive and enterprising villages of its size in the country.

Besides his widow, he leaves two sons, Frederick, of New York, with the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, and James J. of Newark, NJ, {also with AT&T} and one daughter, Miss Stella, at home.

Surviving him also are three brothers and three sisters; Thomas L., of Johnetta, PA; Joseph P. and Albert Z., Ridgeway, KY; Mrs. Lydia Foltz, Dunbar, PA; Mrs. A. J. Kirkpatrick, Canonsburg, PA, and Mrs. A. S. Cram, Roanoke, VA.

The funeral services were held at his residence on Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock, and his body was interred in the family plot here.

*I changed the date to March 30. The original was misprint with March 31, Easter Sunday.
Transcribed from the original by Jay Holsing, June 2004.