E.B. Leisenring, Jr. photographs1954-1994
0.5 Linear Feet
General Physical Description
He was born to Edward Barnes Leisenring, Sr. (1895-1952) and Margaret Pierce Leisenring (1897-1970) in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. During the latter part of World War II, Leisenring participated in non-combatant military training and service. In 1949, he graduated from Yale University with a bachelors in English. Upon graduating he went to work for Stonega Coke and Coal in Big Stone Gap, Wise County, Virginia. In 1959 Leisenring Jr. became president of Stonega Coke & Coal in 1959 and by 1961 was president of Virginia Coal & Iron and Westmoreland Coal.
In 1964, Westmoreland Coal Company merged with the Stonega Coke and Coal Company, retaining the name Westmoreland Coal Company. Virginia Coal and Iron Company absorbed Westmoreland Inc., which later became Penn Virginia Corporation, a land, mineral rights, and investment company. By 1972, Westmoreland Coal and Penn Virginia officially separated.
The Westmoreland Coal Company doubled in size in 1968 after purchasing more West Virginia mines from Sprague & Sons and Imperial Smokeless Coal Company. This made Westmoreland the largest “coal-only” firm in the industry. In 1970 Westmoreland Resources, Inc. is formed to mine coal in Montana on the Crow Tribe land in Big Horn County, Montana.
Leisenring Jr. served as president of the National Coal Association from 1970 to 1971. In May and June of 1970, he led a group of nine delegates to the USSR to visit with leaders in the coal industry. The USSR had seven delegates visit the United States coal regions in October 1969.
Leisenring served as chairman of Bituminous Coal Operators Association from 1976 to 1978. At this time the United Mine Workers went on strike for 110 days, and Leisenring represented the operators. Negotiations halted in a stalemate for a period of time and Leisenring held off on resuming negotiations even at President Carter’s request. A settlement was reached, primarily in the miners favor, although they did not receive their principal goal.
After retirement as president of Westmoreland Coal Company in 1988, he continued to serve on several boards, including Westmoreland Coal Company. He was the senior director and later chair of the Philadelphia Contributionship. Leisenring also was a director of the Southern Railway Company, and played a role in its successful merger into Norfolk Southern Corporation, forming one of the two surviving big eastern railroad systems.
Scope and Content
In 1964 Leisenring participated in a “Directors’ Inspection Trip” to Virginia and West Virginia. He owned an album devoted to the trip which contains more than sixty photographs of leaders in the coal industry traveling aboard a train, visiting mine sites (Wenz Mines and Hampton Mines), mining equipment, engineers, and social events. There are a two photographs of trains being loaded at Wentz Mines in 1967.
There is a large amount of snapshots of the National Coal Association Delegation to the USSR. These include arrival and greeting at the airport, meetings, dinners, visits to coal sites, buildings, and monuments. There are also extra passport photographs for the delegates, although the individuals are not identified. Shortly after the delegations visit, Leisenring met with the Secretary of the Interior, Walter Hickel. There is a photograph of Leisenring with a few other individuals in Hickel’s office and a photograph of a the same few men with Hickel holding a painting that was a gift from the USSR.
The collection also contains individual photographs of Leisenring with Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
Language of Materials
E.B. Leisenring, Jr., papers (Accession 2558), Manuscripts & Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- E. B. Leisenring, Jr. photographs
- Laurie Rizzo
- Description rules:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description:
- Script of description: