The Little Cities Archive

Shawnee, Ohio

Ed Love, Coal Miner

Posted by JRW on March 1, 2013



   My great grandfather, Edward Love, emigrated  from Sweden when he was seventeen years old and settled in Jobs to work in the coal mines.  Edward’s birth name was Karl Enock Lof and he grew up in Vartofta, a small  farming community in southern Sweden.   Edward’s brother, Charles, immigrated first in 1885, and Edward and his brother, John, followed in 1887.  Their sister, Hulda, joined them in 1892 and brother, Axle, arrived in 1893.     All of the brothers worked in the Jobs mines.


A mine safety inspection was conducted on Sunday Creek Mine Number 3X on February 13, 1914, and the Love Brothers were ordered to “procure blankets, stretchers as required by law and to procure boxes to hold powder.”  During their August 10th inspection, conditions were satisfactory.  On September 11, the scales were measured and found to be inaccurate.  On November 24, 1914, everything was “satisfactory” once again.


In Jobs, the Love family lived with other Swedish immigrants.   John Johnson, his wife Hattie, and their seven children were among these Swedish families.  Johan Viktor, who changed his name to William, was the first in the Johnson family to emigrate from Sweden  to Jobs in 1879.  He was followed two years later by his sister, Hedda, and eleven years later by his parents, four sisters, and brother Oscar.   One of the sisters, Selma Johnson, would eventually marry my great grandfather, Edward Love.   According to the 1900 census, the area where John Johnson’s family lived was known as “Sweed Hill.”  John Johnson’s job was to check the cars as they emerged from the mine entrance.  John Johnson’s son, Oscar, settled in Murray City and worked as a coal miner all of his life


Edward Love’s daughter, Sigrid Love, who was born in Jobs in 1894, left this journal entry about visits she made to Jobs to visit the Johnsons after the Love family had moved to Nelsonville:  “My grandparents lived very close to the entrance of the Jobs mine.  There was just a small bridge between the mine and their home.  Little did I think when I went on the train to visit grandmother and sit on her porch and watch the cars do down, that it was at that time the biggest coal mine in the world.  I went with grandmother to the company store which carried everything which thrilled me.”


An excerpt from a Letter to the Editor of the Athens Messenger dated July 8, 1932 signed by “An Old Timer” described why the Love Brothers left the coal mining industry:
“Dear Editor:

The following is a list of some of the coal companies about Nelsonville that were put out of business on account of losses greater than investments or ability of owners of the mine to continue bearing:  New Pittsburgh Coal Co….Love Brothers…Doanville Coal Co…and other.” (38 coal companies were listed)


And the following are some of the Nelsonville citizens who invested in coal mining properties and were forced out of business by heavy losses:  J. M. Lama….John Love…Edward Love…Dr. Dew…


The cause of these losses were high wages and drastic conditions imposed by the miners’ union which forced many large operators and large consumers of coal in the five unionized states to open mines in the West Virginia and Kentucky fields where there is no miner’s union.”

In her journal, Sigrid Love summed up the pride our family feels about the accomplishments of the Love and Johnson families:  “I don’t supposed there’s a family living that has a history like ours in Jobs.  Just think—they came here from Sweden and didn’t know a word of English.  I’d say they did a pretty good job and we should be proud of them.  I wonder what we would do if we went to Sweden to get work and not know any of the language.  I feel proud of our ancestors!”





One Response to “Ed Love, Coal Miner”

  1. Sandra (Sanborn) Moore said

    I’ve enjoyed reading about the Love family. I was born and raised in Nelsonville, and took piano lessons from Sigrid Love in the early 1960’s. I recall the cost being 50 cents for a one hour lesson. I still drive by her house occasionally when I visit Nelsonville.

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