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J. Tracy Walker


Treasurer of Pinnacle Coal & Coke, McComas, WV (circa 1910)
Information, pictures and stories provided by J. Tracy Walker, III Charlottesville, VA 
(grandson of J. Tracy Walker and son of J. Tracy Walker II)
J Tracy, son of John Floyd Walker (a personal guard of General Pickett), was born at Eggleston in Giles County, VA.  John Floyd's father, George H Walker moved from Craig to Giles during the war.  When the war was over, John Floyd, paroled at Appomatox, walked without shoes to Craig County only to find his father had moved away.  The neighbors told him that he had moved to a location somewhere on New River.  John walked to Ripplemead in Giles County.  Not knowing where his father had moved, he turned down river and walked all the way to Charleston WV.  At that point he crossed the river and walked up river all the way to Eggleston (just a very few miles from Ripplemead) where he found his father.  J Tracy graduated from Roanoke Business College about 1897.  I assume his first job was for Mr. Parrott (who was from Roanoke).  He married my grandmother, Barbara Emmons in Giles County 9 Sep 1902 and, as far as I know, their first home was in McComas..
My father (J. Tracy Walker II) was born there (McComas) in 1908; his father worked for the American Coal Company (I think).  He was the company's local treasure, or something to that extent.  I have his large safe.  My uncle told my me my grandfather used to ride a mule to Bluefield once a month to bring back the payroll; he carried a .44 pistol and a rifle.  I have the pistol.  It was an overnight trip and he usually would stop and build a camp fire and sleep at night.  But one night two wild cats came near his camp sight before he was asleep; I guess the mule knew they were there and made his fears known.  My uncle said these wild cats were very smart hunters; one stayed just outside the camp fire light and make noise to try to keep the attention of my grandfather while the other came in quietly from the rear.  But my grandfather knew there hunting habits and shot the one behind him before it jumped.  My uncle also told me that my grandfather didn't sleep the rest of the night and kept the fire burning brightly. I tried to find McComas once about 15 years ago, but couldn't find it.  Maybe I was there and didn't know it.
My father told me one winter, when he was very young (must have been in
grade school at the time since they moved to Bluefield where he attended
high school), he and his brother Chapman went sled riding on a high hill
where there were railroad tracks.  It was very cold, snowing and sleeting,
so they got under a box car and built a fire to get warm.  The weather
didn't improve; they were cold and hungry, so they went on home.  They were
sure the fire would burn out in the cold and snow.  It did and so did the
box car!  I asked him if his father was very mad.  He replied: "Would you
be mad if you had to buy a burned box car?"

He told me that the mine closed at some point when the union men, on
strike, would sit on the opposite mountain and shoot at the non-union
strikers coming out of the mines.  I guess that is when they left McComas
and moved to Bluefield.
Request from J. Tracy Walker III
I would like to know his (J Tracy Walker's) title, Payroll Clerk, Manager, or what ever.  I would also love to find an American Coal Company cancelled check with his signature.

Barbara Emmons and J. Tracy Walker
    Supplied by his grandson J. Tracy Walker III
J. Tracy Walker on his mule at McComas 1910.
    Supplied by his grandson J. Tracy Walker III
N&W Passenger Train in front of Pinnacle Coal & Coke Store at McComas 1910.
    Supplied by his grandson J. Tracy Walker III
Tipple at McComas 1910.
    Supplied by his grandson J. Tracy Walker III
Does anyone know if this Pinnacle or Crane Creek?

Pinnacle Coal & Coke Store (1910) Walker House behind it
    Supplied by his grandson J. Tracy Walker III
Note from the Webmaster: I believe the large house to the left was the home of Mr. Warden the President of American Coal Company (I'm told Mr. Warden added additions onto the sides of this house after this photo was taken). Richard Cole Superintendent of of Crane Creek Mines was the last to live there in the 1960s. Mr. Sanders a later Treasurer for American Coal lived in the house to the left of the store in the 1940s/50s (the Rodgers family currently live in this same house).

Building beside the Pinnacle Coal & Coke Store (1910)
    Supplied by his grandson J. Tracy Walker III
This building was probably used as a testing area for the mined coal. A more elaborate (?) building was on this same site in later years and used as a coal testing facility. J. Tracy Walker is standing to the right.

Pinnacle Coal & Coke Store(1910) with Coke Road view
    Supplied by his grandson J. Tracy Walker III
Pinnacle Coal & Coke Store to the left with a view of the Coke Road area looking back towards Pinnacle. The present day road sits to the right in the area where the coke ovens are in the picture. Note how bare all the trees and shrubbary are in these pictures.

Pinnacle Coal & Coke Stables(1910)
    Supplied by his grandson J. Tracy Walker III
I think theses stables were up Thomas Hollow. The view in the background is going back down the hollow towards the Thomas Community. The grandfather, of this Webmaster, Robert Huffman worked at these same stables tending the mules during his earlier years at McComas.

J Tracy Walker Treasurer, Pinnacle Coal & Coke (1910)
    Supplied by his grandson J. Tracy Walker III
J. Tracy Walker in a buggy at Pinnacle around 1910.

Pinnacle Coal & Coke Tipple(1910)
    Supplied by his grandson J. Tracy Walker III
This tipple sat in the Pinnacle Hollow area not far from Thomas.

Thomas Coal & Coke Tipple(1910)
    Supplied by his grandson J. Tracy Walker III
I believe this is the Thomas Tipple which sat at the beginning of Thomas Hollow. If I'm wrong I hope someone can identify which tipple this is.