Mining at Picher, Oklahoma
The Independent Miners
Photos by John Schehrer
After a mine would begin to play out, it became uneconomical for a large mining company to operate a mine. Independent miners, called gougers, would then lease the mine and work what was left over. Here, a group of miners pose for a picture in their workings at the old Dobson mine at Hockerville..
This small derrick was built topside to haul the ore to the top where it was then trucked to Central Mill at Cardin. Dobson Mine, 1965
This miner is pushing a can of ore through a drift at the Dobson mine. The filled can was placed on a small car and pushed by hand to the shaft where it was then hoisted to the surface and dumped into the ore pile in front of the derrick. Gougers used primitive mining techiques since they couldn't afford the expensive machinery of the big companies. That box on the right side of the shaft is filled with dynamite and those are rolls of fuse beside it.