The story of bootleg coal is told through the words of the people who lived it. This is a list of the most prominent people quoted in the book. Most of them are bootleggers themselves, though some community leaders are also noted. If you are a descendant of these people and have any more information about them, please get in touch! Thank you!
Branchdale / Newtown / Llewellyn
- Andy “Red” Drebitko, bootleg miner, born 9/29/1927, died 6/24/2010.
Vice president and co-founder of the Independent Miners Association.
- William H Adams, bootleg miner, PA Dutch, born 7/22/1914, died 11/26/1998.
Coaldale / Lansford
- James H. Gildea, newspaperman, born 10/21/1890, died 6/5/1988.
President, Panther Valley Equalization Committee. Chairman, Coaldale Relief Society.
Founder & editor of the Coaldale Observer and The Schuylkill Legal Record
US Representative, 1935 to 1939
- Reverend John Pounder, Lansford Baptist Church, English, born 5/3/1885.
member of the Panther Valley Equalization Committee
- John Wetzel, bootleg miner, PA Dutch, born 3/1/13.
- John Demcher, bootleg trucker, born 3/28/1905.
- Father P. J. Dougherty, Saint Kieran’s Parish.
- Jack Campion, bootleg miner, Irish & Ukranian, b. 12/26/1925.
- P. Joseph Brennan, bootleg miner,(Coal Castle), died 8/11/1943.
President of Minersville Bootleggers Union.
- Jack Campion, bootleg miner, Irish & Ukrainian, born 12/26/25.
- “Scrappy” Byron
- Farmers and Laborers Unemployed Union
- Albert “Al” Akulauckas, bootleg miner, Lithuanian, born 1906.
- Peter Joseph Paul (Paulakaitis), bootleg miner, born 7/29/1898, died 10/16/47.
President of the Minersville Bootleggers Union. Member of the Communist Party.
- Gomer Paul (Paulakaitis), brother of Peter, bootleg miner, Lithuanian.
- Carl Herman, bootleg miner, Lithuanian, born 3/7/1887.
Member of the Communist Party.
- Michael “Mick” Kozura, bootleg trucker, Ukrainian, born 2/14/11, died 1/31/70.
- Helen (Onuszko) Kozura, wife of Mick, seamstress & bootleg trucker, Ukrainian and Polish, born 3/9/96.
- Mike Demchak, bootleg miner.
Member of the American Workers Party (Musteite)
- Con Foley (Cornelius Francis Foley), Irish, miner, barber, and socialist, died 4/21/1934.
- Kenny Burrows (Kenneth B.), bootleg trucker, born 5/15/1913, died 8/31/07.
- Bill Heintzman, bootleg trucker, born 3/29/05.
- Clarence “Mooch” Kashner, bootleg miner, Polish, born 12/16/1916.
President, Independent Miners’ Association (1970s)
- William Earl Humphreys, bootleg miner, born 5/17/1905(?). Sometimes written as Humphrey (no “s”)
President and spokesperson, Independent Miners’ Association.
- Joseph “Joe” Agor, newspaperman, born 1894, died 10/14/1952.
Editor of the Shamokin News-Dispatch
I’ve just recently discovered this resource and was wondering if you have any history of my father’s involvement, he was a mi er and passed in the 1970s due to health issues. C.Ernest Troutman.