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Joseph Squire was an important figure in the development of coal mining in Alabama.
1829 Born in Rochdale, Lancashire, on 24 November, the son of a Royal Navy officer. Joseph's education was leading to enrolment in the naval academy, but on his father's death his mother opposed a career in the navy. He started work in the Lancashire coalfield, where his study of navigation helped him undertake underground surveys. He made efforts to learn and carry out every type of work in the pit. At 17 he started work on carding engines in a cotton mill.
1849 Having saved enough money, he emigrated to the USA, and spent a year at the Peabody Furnace in Providence, RI. He then went west, to the lands which were to become Kansas and Nebraska, using his geological knowledge to find coal deposits. He opened mines, for himself and others, to supply frontier settlements and steamboats on the Missouri. He then went to Alabama, with partners, to exploit coal deposits. .... For much more, see 'The Story of Coal and Iron in Alabama'