Coal Rights
(a report submitted by Dave Anderson)

At the turn of the century and a few years afterwards a Mr. William Benton and Mr. John S. Scully of Parkersburg and Pittsburgh respectively, purchased almost all of the coal rights from the farmers and other land owners in Northern Webster County. Some owners resisted the temptation and did not sell. The Webster Echo reported that the local merchants were doing well due to the recent influx of money from these sales.

On 11 November 1950 John Hoover, Deputy Commissioner for Delinquent Lands auctioned all the coal holdings of Benton and Scully, in Northern Webster County, for back taxes. They were purchased by Minerva O'Dell, Olive Culpepper and Harry Wallace whom I presume were siblings. I could not track
down their bid for all of the property - each tract was deeded and listed separately - but  my grandmother's coal rights, for which she recieved $940.00 in 1907 for were bought for $1035.00 at this time.

On 9 February 1976 the coal rights were sold to Meadowlark Farms (Illioinis ?) for $1,286,445.00. Several tracts were excluded from the sale and deeded to members of the family, evidently heirs.

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