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Labuco (formerly called Lacey-Buek) is a former coal mining community located south of Quinton and east of Praco, along the Locust Fork River in western Jefferson County. Its slope mine worked a 48-inch thick head of the New Castle seam and shipped its coal on the Mary Lee Railroad, later acquired by the Southern Railway.

A small school operated in the area between 1882 and 1893, when it was replaced by the Flat Creek School.

The Tennessee-based Lacey-Buek Iron Company gave the community its name once it took over operation of what was known as the Williams Coal Property in 1905. It merged into the Southern Steel Company in 1906, but closed when the company was bankrupted in 1907.

The Walker Coal Company of nearby Quinton took over the mines in 1911 and sent W. H. Staton to Labuco as superintendent over 40 men working three slopes. Many of the miners boarded at Maw Meeks' house. Mining operations came to a close in 1915.

Demand for iron in World War I led to a resurgence in mining. The newly-organized Birmingham-Trussville Iron Company purchased Labuco and prepared to reopen the mines. Labuco Baptist Church was organized in 1917, and a Labuco Post Office was established on May 3, 1918. Two miners, Bert and Jean Tucker, died in a rock fall on July 15 of that year.

During its early heyday, Labuco was divided into three camps along ethnic lines (white, Black and Italian). George Brasfield and a Mrs Clements operated boarding houses. Monroe McGraw operated a hot dog stand that sold soft drinks. Pappy Short kept a small store and James Olvey ran a barber shop. Additional mines, sometimes called "North Labuco", were operated by Isaac Skelton and Skelton Hollow and by the Flat Creek Mining Co. at Flat Creek Mines. Logan Snead opened a sawmill at Labuco in the 1930s.

In the 1930s the mines around Labuco were operated by the Hammond Iron Co., which sold the operation to the Alabama By-Products Corporation (ABC) in August 1939, but the mine didn't reopen until 1941. The company was hit with a series of wildcat strikes at several mines, including Labuco, in 1944.

In September 1949 Brownie Lollar opened a small truck mine within the Black miners' camp and kept it going through 1959. In 1952 the Tucker Coal Co. was operating one of the mines. By 1958 all of the mining was being performed by ABC. The Labuco mines were closed on August 31, 1963.

The Labuco Baptist Church is the community's only surviving landmark. One of several tornadoes spawned by Hurricane Danny seriously damaged a home in Labuco on August 16, 1985.


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