Some men were born to be miners

Some men were born to be miners. So it was with James H. Pascoe, who began his career at age 12 as a trapper boy, in the coal mines of the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company in Coos Bay, Oregon. Jim was born in 1875 and is shown in this circa 1895 with fellow coal miners at Coos Bay. He is the second miner from the right, with white shirt and vest. Orphaned as a teenager, Pascoe struck out on his own traveling from state-to-state working a variety of jobs in both coal and metal mines. While in Illinois he took up a course of study with the International Correspondence School and completed a series in mining engineering. By July, 1909, Pascoe arrived at the Fairfax mines in Pierce County Washington where he was employed as fire boss and mine foreman for a year, then departed for Roslyn. By 1919, Pascoe had transferred to the Bellingham Coal Mines Company where he served as general superintendent for the next 33 years. As the top safety official in the mine, Pascoe would rise each day at 4 a.m. to enter the mine and receive inspection reports of the fire boss. After supervising his miners at the start of their shift, Jim would return home, have breakfast, read the newspaper then go back in the mine for the rest of the day. His nickname was Smiling Jim. He retired in 1951 at age 76, having worked in the mining industry for 64 years. Pascoe died in 1965 in the city of Bellingham, the place he’d called home since 1919. This photo comes courtesy of Jim Pascoe’s grandson, Roy Asbahr and great-grandson, Nathan Asbahr both of Portland, Oregon.
Some men were born to be miners. So it was with James H. Pascoe, who began his career at age 12 as a trapper boy, in the coal mines of the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company in Coos Bay, Oregon. Jim was born in 1875 and is shown in this circa 1895 with fellow coal miners at Coos Bay. He is the second miner from the right, with white shirt and vest. Orphaned as a teenager, Pascoe struck out on his own traveling from state-to-state working a variety of jobs in both coal and metal mines. While in Illinois he took up a course of study with the International Correspondence School and completed a series in mining engineering. By July, 1909, Pascoe arrived at the Fairfax mines in Pierce County Washington where he was employed as fire boss and mine foreman for a year, then departed for Roslyn. By 1919, Pascoe had transferred to the Bellingham Coal Mines Company where he served as general superintendent for the next 33 years. As the top safety official in the mine, Pascoe would rise each day at 4 a.m. to enter the mine and receive inspection reports of the fire boss. After supervising his miners at the start of their shift, Jim would return home, have breakfast, read the newspaper then go back in the mine for the rest of the day. His nickname was Smiling Jim. He retired in 1951 at age 76, having worked in the mining industry for 64 years. Pascoe died in 1965 in the city of Bellingham, the place he’d called home since 1919. This photo comes courtesy of Jim Pascoe’s grandson, Roy Asbahr and great-grandson, Nathan Asbahr both of Portland, Oregon.