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aug 17, 2017 welcome back to the hometown heritage blog! this weeks post marks the second in a 3-part series on the abandoned towns and the history of coal mining in iowa this weeks post is by author darcy maulsby.darcy is an iowa native, former dallas county resident, and author of three history books, including the soon-to-be-published dallas county.coal mining was also the life blood of places such as oskaloosa, what cheer and albia. In ottumwa coal was considered so important that the town built a monument in its honor-- the famous ottumwa coal palace. iowa coal towns stood over the vast supply of soft coal that lay beneath counties in the south central part of the state.the consolidation coal company was formed in 1875 by the merger of the iowa central coal company, the black diamond mines of coalfield, in monroe county, iowa, and the eureka mine, in beacon, iowa. By 1878, consolidation coal company had 400 employees, and in 1880, it was purchased by the chicago and north western railway in order tp preduce a dec 24, 2012 abandoned mined land reclamation iowa department of iowa has more that 12,000 acres of abandoned coal sites that were mined prior to 1977 and are eligible to be reclaimed under title IV of the federal surface mining more detailed.iowa coal mining grew rapidly from 1870 to 1920. the graph, coal production in iowa, 1860 1938, shows the decline of coal production after 1920. mining declined for several reasons. the railroads began buying coal from other states such as illinois and kentucky. As a result, the mining industry in iowa was thrown into competition with the