• Consol, Haydock & Buxton Iowa, USA • 1871 - 2014


Carl Virgil Blomgren, "A Coal Miner's Son"

Carl Virgil Blomgren Video Speach in Albia, IA July 30, 2009 Video

Carl Virgil Blomgren was born in Buxton, Iowa in 1924. He was the son of coal miners that included his great grandfathers who immigrated from Sweden to the southern Iowa coal mines in the 1880’s. Carl lived in the Monroe County coal mining camps of Buxton, Haydock and Rex 5. The Rex 5 coal mine remained operational until 1935 when the train tracks were removed and the mine closed. Mines #18 and #19 at Bucknell had been closed in 1927. Carl’s family remained living in Rex 5 coal mining camp until 1937. They then moved to Albia, Iowa a distance of 10-12 miles.

Carl’s great grandfathers, grandfathers, his father and his uncles all worked in the mines. Carl was truly a “Coal Miner’s Son”. Carl’s Uncle’s, Art and Manny Blomgren, even had the Four Star coal mine on the Blomgren family farm just north of Buxton in Mahaska County. The mine produced 80 tons of coal per day. Uncle Manny was a Pit Boss in the mines. After my grandparents died in the late 1950’s while living in the Bloom house (Mark and Lisa Keeton’s current home), Manny moved in to the Bloom house with his son Loren and daughter Mabel.

Carl Virgil Blomgren
The Rex 5 mine in the mining town of Rexfield, circa 1930. There were about
125 homes in Rexfield when the mines closed in 1935. The highest building in
the photo is the company store. The school house is just to its right.

The video is of Carl’s presentation at the Monroe County Museum on July 30, 2009 during the 150th year celebration of Albia and Monroe County. Carl remembers his life in the Rex 5 coal mining camp, especially when the train tracks to the Rex 5 mine were removed in 1935. When that happened he realized his life was about to change forever. Carl’s family moved to Albia and Carl went on to graduate from the Albia High School and Iowa State College. He became a very successful Civil Engineer and was honored with a place on Albia High School’s “Wall of Fame”. He served in the Armed Services during World War II.

Carl Virgil Blomgren
Present in 2009 at the 150th Year celebration of Monroe County and Albia at the Monroe County
Museum in Albia were from left to right ; Gordon Peterson, a tour guide for Consol, Bucknell and
Haydock, Paul Hagglund from Ottumwa whose mother Betty was a sister to Carl Blomgren’s father, Carl
Blomgren senior. Carl Virgil Blomgren, the speaker is on the far right. Carl Virgil’s grandmother Tekla and
Gordon’s grandmother Emma were sisters. Paul’s father Albert Hagglund and my grandfather David
Peterson owned a grocery store together in Coopertown. Albert’s sister Mayme married my grandfather
David Peterson’s brother Oscar. They lived in Chariton,Iowa.

Carl jokes during the video of being poor and he didn’t like it. He and his wife Twyla live in Overland Park Kansas, near Kansas City. Twyla recorded the video of Carl’s Presentation and made it available for use on the website.

Carl is quite the traveller. He has visited Sweden many times and keeps close contacts with his relatives there. One of Carl’s greatest joy’s is recalling all of his friends from when they lived in Rex 5 that went on to fame and fortune in spite of being raised poor and all being “Coal Miner’s Sons”.

Welcome Home Soldier an impresive sight to see

Albia Union-Republican Thursday, May 28, 2015
Opinion Page - Page Two

Carl Blomgren and Gordon Peterson at the Welcome Home Soldier Monument in Albia, Iowa on Memorial Day 2015
Carl Virgil Blomgren son of Carl senior and Edna (Olson).
Carl lives in Overland Park, Kansas with
his wife Twyla Dell. 2015 Photo.
Carl Blomgren and Gordon Peterson at the Welcome Home Soldier Monument in Albia, Iowa on Memorial Day 2015
Carl Blomgren and Gordon Peterson at the Welcome Home Soldier Monument
in Albia, Iowa on Memorial Day 2015.

Carl Blomgren, who graduated from the Albia High School in 1942 and is a WWll Veteran, and I visited Albia and the Monroe County coal mining camps on “Decoration Day” to remember our family ancestors by decorating over 20 grave sites. This year was special since we also visited the Welcome Home Soldier Veterans Monument. The nearly 100 flags waving on Humble Hero Hill was impressive, so much so, that we had a photo taken of the two of us standing together with the flags waving in the background.

Thank You Albia and Monroe County for helping Carl and me to remember ”Memorial Day” and honor all those who have served our country. God bless our service men and women and their families.

Carl Blomgren and Gordon Peterson at the Welcome Home Soldier Monument in Albia, Iowa on Memorial Day 2015
Carl Blomgren and John Toigo at the "Quilts for Veterans" day at the VFW in
Albia, Iowa. Carl was born in Buxton, IA in 1924. John was born in
Haydock in 1924. August 2015 Photo.

“The nation which fails to honor its heroes, the memories of its heroes, whether those heroes be living or dead, does hot deserve to live, and it will not live.” -Abraham Lincoln Quote

Gordon R. Peterson
Minneapolis, MN