Following the Civil War, somewhere around 1890, a community named Logtown sprung up near Ayrshire. Logtown was given its name because of the log cabins the black coal miners lived in, they weren’t allowed to live in company houses. Old timers pass down the story of them being hard workers and good people. But they were treated differently because of their race, they were only allowed to live in this area and they had to be home by sunset.
The story is that sometime in the late 1800s, David Ingle was riding his horse one day in Ayrshire and came across the group of black people. One of their group had died and they had not been allowed to bury them in Winslow because they were black. They did not know what to do. Mr. Ingle told them he owned land in the area and told them to pick out land for their cemetery. He also gave them land for their church. He employed the men in his mines.
They operated the coke ovens and worked in the coal mines at the Ayrshire Ingle mines. Soft coal was burned at high temperatures to form coke, used to make steel. Many of the coke ovens are still visible today on Logtown Road near the railroad. But nature is taking them over. Some just look like mounds of dirt and others you can see a crack of the brick oven showing through.
The 1880 census of Pike County does not list any black families living here, but by the 1900 census there were several in Patoka township working at the coal mines. The 1890 census were destroyed by fire. However, in the Annual Reports of Officers of the State of Indiana 1890 Page 105 Census for Patoka Township is 651 white males 4 colored inhabitants.
They worshipped at Mt. Hebron Baptist Church. The Mt. Hebron cemetery has been carefully restored by Bobby Winn. The Patoka Vally Longrifles now meet near here.
Congressional Serial Set Issue 2655 1889 Pg. 399
In our last report we referred at length to the operations of the Laclede Coal and Coke Company at Ayrshire, Pike county. The work has been pushed at the ovens of the company. The coal used is slack, which is crushed in a Scaife crusher made at Pittsburgh, and washed in the Osterspey washer. If the lump or run of the mine is used it is crushed to 1-inch cubes or smaller. The coke is dense and hard, with a good luster. The market is principally west of Saint Louis, though the coke has been used in steel-making, silver-smelting, and iron cupola practice with good success. It had not, at the time this report was made, been used in blast furnaces.
For the following very interesting table of analyses, showing improvements made in the manufacture of this coke, we are indebted to Mr. George A. McCord, secretary of the company. The last analysis, I am informed, was of a 60-pound lot selected by a party not connected with the company, the pieces being taken from cars, oven and the wastepile.
Analyses of Ayrshire (Indiana) coke.
The first sample was made in a crucible; the second in an oven not fully heated; the fourth was a selected sample; the remainder are regarded as lair samples of the product of these works.
Annual Reports of the Officers of the State of Indiana 1891 Pg. 25
Ayrshire Mine Owned and operated by David Ingle & Brother; located at Ayrshire, a station on the L., E. & St. L.R.R., about seven miles south of Petersburg, the capital of the county; 56 foot slope: men employed – inside, 56; outside 8.
This mine produces a most excellent steam and coking coal; it is also very fine for domestic use. In connection with the mine are 54 coke ovens, producing as good coke as is made in the West. Some of the ovens, however, are idle, as it is not found profitable to use anything but slack for coking.
The Iron Age: Volume 84 Issues 23 – 27 1909 Pg. 1794
The Ingle Investment Company has been Incorporated at Oakland City, Ind. With $50,000 capital stock by W. D. and David Ingle and others. The company owns a battery of 50 coke ovens at Ayrshire, Ind., not operated for several years. It proposes to rebuild 24 of them, as a new coal mine has been opened near them, again furnishing a supply for the ovens, which had exhausted the old mine nearby. The ovens are of the beehive type.
Annual Report of Indiana State Board of Health 1910 Pg. 62
Ayrshire, Indiana September 16, 1908 Request for condemnation of Ayrshire Schools.
Buildings: Three one room, frame; two shingle roof, one iron. The latter the colored school. Two of the buildings, the white schools, occupy the same lot, one half acre, high, dry, clay soil. Building in which upper grades are held, should be condemned outright. The other white school building could be repainted and enlarged to accommodate the upper grades and the colored school should be repainted. The whole town is dirty and derelict. Mining is the industry.
White schools: grades 1, 2, and 3, Ayrshire: Seats single and double, all sizes; badly scarred. Ceiling and walls wood, unpainted. Pupils face south; blackboard on south. Nine foot ceiling. Vestibule 10 x8 feet. Forty five pupils in room. Each pupil has 13 feet of floor space. Light space one ninth of floor space. Open well. Typhoid fever in schools one year ago. Blackboards on north end and south sides.
Grades 4, 5,6,7,8, Ayrshire: Pupils 30; face north. Seats double, bad. Ceiled with wood, not painted. Floor bad. Flue smoky. Buildings one to two feet from ground. No Foundation. Outhouses bad. All door 3×7 feet. Each pupil has 20 square feet of floor space. Light area one ninth of floor area. General conditions bad.
Colored schools. Ayrshire: Pupils, 15, face west. Board on west. Tin roof. No foundation; props; two feet from ground. No well. Closets bad. Ceiling and walls plain boards, unpainted. Each pupil has 24 square feet floor space. Light area on fifth floor area. Seats all sizes, single and double, badly scarred.
These buildings are in keeping with the town.
Condemnation issued for June 1, 1909.