It is a noteworthy fact that most of these rich bed: of coal are now owned by non residents of the county, and await only the construction of a railroad in the vicinity to be developed to the fullest extent. The tract of about 650 acres of land, situated in the heart of this valuable field, owned by Wilcox & Osborn, has already been mentioned. Much of the coal has been purchased by foreign capitalists from parties who still own the land. One company of seven, consisting of Mr. Thompson (now deceased), formerly president of the Pennsylvania Central railroad, Thomas Scott, ex-president of the same road, Mr. Shaw, a vice president of this road, Judge R. C. Hurd, of Mount Vernon (now deceased), General G. A. Jones, of Mount Vernon, now receiver of the Cleveland, Mount Vernon and Delaware railroad, Samuel Israel, vice president of the same, and Colonel P. Metham, now own about 800 acres of the coal in this and Jefferson townships.
The Dresden branch of the Cleveland, Mount Vernon and Columbus railroad, which was partially constructed in 1873, but then suspended operations by reason of the panic, passed through this region and would have offered the desired outlet to a market had it been completed. The road entered the northeastern part of the township from Jefferson, and passed up the narrow valley of Simmons' run, in a southwesterly direction, for about three miles to "Tunnel Hill," on William Noland's farm, lot 32 of the military section. The company was at work in this tunnel when it ceased operations, had it been completed, the construction of the balance of the road to Dresden would have been comparatively easy, as the little valley of Wakatomica run could be followed the entire distance.