304 JiUTOBIOGRjiPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
into the vaUey where he Uves, and amongst the neighbors who dwell around him. The Valley and the Neighbors wifl be spoken for to-mght by one of Mr. Fritz's old and trusted friends, Mr. Oliver WilUams.
SPEECH OF MR. OLIVER WILLIAMS.
Mr Willl4MS: — Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: Seventy-five years ago the Lehigh VaUey was practically an unknown district. At the upper end a few cranks were endeavoring to persuade their neighbors that the black stones that were outcropping aU around them could be burned, but with very Uttle success. Thirty years after¬ ward, by the course of evolution, these black stones became black diamonds, and the cranks became coal operators. Twenty years later through the same evolution, the opera¬ tors became coal barons. I did not know until a few weeks ago how they obtaflied this name, and it was only when I went to John Markle, Dr. Wentz, and George McCreary, and half a dozen more, with tears in my eyes, to beg for a carload of coal and couldn't get it, that I found out why each one of them was caUed a coal barren. (Laughter and applause.) It has always been a question where the coal measures ended and the slate measures conmienced. John Markle and the rest of them say that the slate measures appear round about Slatington. My wife says they begin up around Hazleton, judging from the coal bin that she has had filled at different times. (Laughter.) The slate cUstrict of the vaUey has been one of tremendous importance to us. The boom in slate has been caused largely by the poUtical bosses of Pennsylvaifla and the adjoining States. Their demand was very great. There has been, by the order of wise Providence, another measure just below the slate measure, and that is the cement measure, made, apparently, because in the last few years the common people have