La Salle County IL Towns and Villages
Thatcher Tucker Bent and the Oglesby Coal Company
Thatcher Tucker Bent, well known as a pioneer coal operator in Illinois, died at his home in Oglesby,
111., Saturday, November 28th, aged 75 years. He had served longer with a single company than any other man connected
with the Illinois coal industry, having been with the Oglesby Coal Company since 1867. He was born at Weymouth
Landing, Mass.. September 4, 1833, and came west in the 50s, locating at Kenosha, Wis. After a time spent in a
mercantile establishment, he and a brother entered business as civil engineers and surveyed and had charge of the
Western Union Railroad, afterwards absorbed by the Chicago & Northwestern. He then became a pioneer in the
match business in the West, and had a factory at Kenosha, which burned, was rebuilt and then sold. In October,
1867, he came to Oglesby, where things were then in a bad way, and, though he owned no stock and this was the first
coal mine he had ever seen, assumed charge. His first experience was a strike lasting nine months, but it ended
in the company managing its own property in its own way, that and not wages being the question at issue. As he
prospered and the business grew, he became financially interested and now the mine is owned by his three sons,
E. T. Bent, general manager; H. A. Bent, secretary, and J. R. Bent, superintendent. To almost the very last Mr.
Bent kept in close touch with the mine, not a day passing without his knowing the details of what was going on.
He practically lost his health over thirty years ago, but despite his feeble condition preserved an amiable disposition
and a lively interest in business. About ten days ago, Mr. Bent took a severe cold which developed into pneumonia,
of which he died. The funeral services will be held at Oglesby, 111., Wednesday, and the remains will be taken
to Springfield, Mass., for interment. A delegation from the Illinois coal operators will attend the funeral. A
handsome floral design has also been sent by the association. (Source: Fuel Magazine: The Coal Operators National
Weekly, Volume 12, Chicago IL, November 3, 1908, Prominent Western Operator Dead, Thatcher T. Bent, Page 125)
Thacher Tucker Bent had five children, which I am trying to locate photos of. They all lived in Oglesby at
one time, and the men were all involved with the Oglesby Coal Company at one time.