David Zegeer

a tribute to david a. zegeer


cool people v1.jpg

We would like to dedicate the Sixth Edition of the Kentucky Coal Mining Reference Book to David A. Zegeer, P.E. Mr. Zegeer has had a dramatic impact on mining, not only on the Kentucky Mining Industry, but nationally as well, and has mentored many people over his career including myself.

Mr. Zegeer began his career in Kentucky in 1946 with Consolidation Coal Company and was Division Superintendent in 1956 when Consol’s Kentucky holdings were sold to Bethlehem Steel. He then became Manager and Division Superintendent from 1956-1977. After retiring to Lexington and serving as a consultant, he accepted the position as Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration in 1983 where he remained until 1987. He retired again to Lexington where he worked as a consulting engineering for the remainder of his active career.

Mr. Zegeer will always be remembered for his concern for safety and overall improvement of coal mining in this country. He traveled throughout the world with MSHA, always touring mines wherever he went. He has always been active in many state and national associations, including KMI. The coal industry of Kentucky and the nation has benefited from his work in mine safety and his lifelong involvement in the coal industry. His personal safety philosophy is embodied in “The 3 E’s – Enforcement, Engineering and Education.”

J. Steven Gardner, P.E., P.S.



Mr. Zegeer received his bachelor's degree in Mining Engineering in 1944. After two years in the U.S. Army Engineers, he joined Consolidation Coal Company in Jenkins, Kentucky. The mines were sold to Bethlehem Steel in 1956, and he became Division Superintendent.

He retired as Manager of Beth-Elkhorn Corporation in 1977. Mr. Zegeer was confirmed as Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety & Health in 1983, serving in this capacity until retiring again in 1987 to return to private consulting.


Mr. Zegeer will always be remembered for his concern for safety and overall improvement of coal mining in this country. 

/ J. Steven Gardner, P.E., P.S.  /


David A. Zegeer Coal-Railroad Museum

The David A. Zegeer Coal-Railroad Museum is a local history museum located at 102 Main Street in Jenkins, Kentucky, across from the former Jenkins High School. The museum was dedicated on May 9, 1998.

The museum is housed in an authentically restored, 1911 train station which it shares with a bank. Included in the museum's collection are photographs of historic and modern coal mining, actual tools and other artifacts used by railroads and mines, and scrip formerly used in the company stores. All of the exhibits illustrate the history of Jenkins and the Consolidation Coal Company., and many of the exhibited items belong to local residents.