Early Families in Bridgeport, Texas
William Howel John

Mr. W.H. John was born in Mt. Carmel , Pennsylvania , in 1868. His father moved to Virginia when William was eighteen. In 1900 he was brought to Bridgeport , Texas , by W.H. Aston to operate the recently formed Bridgeport Coal Com­pany mines. At that time there were two mines: the Cocklebur, later abandoned, and the so-called No. 2. Mr. John's first task was to pump the water out of No. 2 and get the mine in operation. Later he opened a third mine, called No. 3. About 500 men were employed in various capacities. A good proportion of the miners were Mexican. Mr. John donated a small building for use as a school for the Mexican children when local prejudice debarred them from the regular schools. He also gave land for a Methodist Mexican church where his wife conducted a Sunday school for these people. Mr. John always had the admiration and loyal support of the men and with the aid of his mine superintendents, especially the late T.F. McAfee and the late Tom Byrnes, work went smoothly. At this same time the company also operated a general store, of which one of the managers for many years was Mr. E.T. Bingham. Mr. John was the manager and operator of the mines until the use of oil and gas as fuel forced the closing of most of the mines in 1931. Mr. John died in 1935 after a long illness.

The W.H. John house has been designated as a Historic Site in Bridgeport
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