This town with a purely Scotch name, was born to die.  To one who had traversed its busy streets, observed the army of miners engaged in delving for coal, made a note of the numerous stores filled with merchandise and the busy artisans plying their various trades, such a fate would have seemed beyond the reach of possibilities.  Briefly stated, it was a child of the coal mines.  While they prospered and their output was great, it flourished and grew in size and population, when the crop of “black diamonds” were all above the earth’s surface, the town collapsed like an egg shell – its occupation and need of existence was gone.  Angus was only partially in Greene county, but enough of its territory paid taxes in Jefferson to warrant notice in this volume.  There was a collection of shanties built about the opening mines in 1880 and in 1881 the hamlet was named “Coaltown,” and two years later, when it began to assume city airs, named “Angus.”  The town was platted in 1881, and later it received annexes in the form of eight additions.  The Climax Coal Company bought property in 1880 and when business was at its best, mined one thousand four hundred tons daily, and their shipments for 1885 was two hundred thousand tons, employing five hundred miners.  The Eagle Coal Company employed one hundred miners, producing about three hundred tons daily.  The Standard Coal Company owned five hundred acres of land, employed two hundred and fifty men and elevated about fifty thousand tons annually.  Besides these, there were several smaller shafts, supplying a local demand for coal the year round.  All at once the supply began to fail, and realizing that the supply was exhausted the companies began to remove their machinery, the miners sought labor elsewhere, the stores were without supporting patronage and the merchandise was transferred to more hopeful fields, houses were deserted and moved away and today there are not a dozen buildings of any sort to mark the place where a busy, bustling little city, with two good newspapers and a population of four thousand people once stood.  The multitude of lots, forty by one hundred and fifty, as originally laid out, have been swallowed up in productive quarter section farms.  Possibly there is not another instance of the rise and decay of such a town as Angus once was and now is, to be found in the state of Iowa.  It once boasted of an opera house seating eight hundred; a school system with principal and four assistants and a roster of three hundred and sixty pupils; four churches and seven civic societies.  What a dream!”

 

(From “Past & Present of Greene County”, pgs. 196-197, Jefferson Public Library)