Still Life in Family Homestead

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Family herlooms include an organ topped with family pictures in the living room. <br />
It took several years and a lot of money and determination, but kin of the Caudill family fought to keep their family homestead on Mud River from being taken over by St. Louis-based Arch Coal Company. Nearly swindled out of their homestead, they battled all the way to the West Virginia Supreme Court where they finally won their case.<br />
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For 100 years, Miller's wife and family owned the 75-acre tract that includes a farmhouse, built in 1920, several small barns and a garden. <br />
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John Caudill, a coal miner who was blinded in a mining accident in the 1930s, and his wife, Lydia Caudill, raised 10 children in the home. Today, the family no longer lives there. The heirs spend almost every weekend there. <br />
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Arch Coal wanted to tear down the family's ancestral home. It stands in the way of the company's plans to continue to expand its Hobet 21 mountaintop removal complex. Last year, <br />
Hobet 21 produced about 5.2 million tons of coal, making it among the largest surface mines in the state. Under Hobet's <br />
plans, "a valley fill and in impoundment pond would destroy <br />
and inundate the farmhouse and outbuildings and bury the immediate surrounding land under the valley fill."  A lower court agreed with the company, but in the end, the family won.
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