In 1883, at the age of 24, Francis S. Peabody started a retail coal business in Chicago. This was just the beginning of what would become the largest and most famous coal-producing company in the nation’s history.
Mr. Peabody guided his company through good times and bad by following a carefully laid plan for success which included planned growth, ongoing modernization, and prudent management. He foresaw the need to own his own coal sources. He expanded operations and began operating his first four mines between 1895 and 1901. By the time the U.S. entered World War I, Peabody Coal Company was mining 12 million tons of coal per year in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Virginia, and Wyoming. During the coal crisis of 1917, Peabody was named Chairman of the Council of National Defenses’ Coal Production Committee.
Francis Peabody, a man of vision and determination, established the foundation upon which the mightiest coal empire in the United States was built.