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Coal and Coke


The Coke Oven

 Restauraunt Proposal

Green Bituminus Coal

Locations: Washington D.C., Miami ,Florida, Atlanta ,Georgia, New York City, Chicago, Illinois, Pittsburgh, PA, Cleveland, Ohio, Columbus, Ohio

Food prepared as Coal Coke was produced by My Grandfather, Lewis Irvin Diggs, who lived with his wife, My Grandmother Martha Battles Coles Diggs. Without his Big Brother, Dan Diggs' support, it would have been hard to build such a West Virginia Southern Ohio Empire of the day, especially as black men less than 50 years after Slavery. "Mama Gay and Poppa Gay Diggs" as they were known became America's first black millionaires during World War I. Before World War I, they owned a small restaurant in Washington, Pennsylvania. Grandpa Diggs was known as the "Beehive Oven King" by Steel Industrialist Andrew Carnegie, which whom grandfather had met with. His Beehive Ovens produced the best Coke by ingeniously using heat to manipulate the molecular structure of Coal producing Coke. It is estimated that our Coal Coke products produced about 1-2% of all steel made in America during World War I until World War II. When Poppa Diggs retired to his nearly Square-Mile Estate in Jackson County, Ohio. The Estate is now called "Diggs Farm" located on Diggs Road where I spent the first years of my life. 

Papa Diggs owned one Coal Mine, one Sawmill, and four Coal Coke processing plants where he gave fulltime jobs to over a thousand men from 1909-1940.

In 1923, Papa Diggs met with Henry Ford, who purchased the Nuttallburg Coal Mine in Fayette County, West Virginia. The Nuttallburg (Fordson) Mine was located in the middle of the four Diggs' Coke Oven plants. The Nuttallburg Mine is a famous tourist attraction on the banks of the New River Gorge, the white water rafting resort. Henry Ford had the longest conveyor belt in the world, taking the coal down to the new river bank where the riverside railroad tracks, used for hauling Coal/Coke, are still there. Papa Diggs cooked Henry Ford's coal into coke.

Method: Using the Beehive Shaped Ovens we produce the best flavor with tenderness. Cooking with Coke tempers steel but tenders meat. Instead of Coal Coke we can produce the best cooked meat and vegetables with the best taste, the best atmostphere with a theme appealing to the working man, families, perfectionists, and the Wealthy Connoisseur.

Digg's Hall of Fame after 110 Years!

Dr. Delores Ann Diggs
Was Featured on Front page of Jet Magazine 1960- First African American Peace Corp Regional Director-Ethiopia - She left $1.3 Million to Diggs Family Members. She was favored by Emporer Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. 
BA,MA, PHD Grandaughter of Martha and Lewis Diggs

Phillip Michael Thomas, Arthur T Hodge Aviation Inspector/Businessman ( Lewis Diggs I son in law and Son of the Coke Oven workers Dr. O.W. Hodge), Lewis Diggs IV (Retired Ca, Social Worker)

Imaj Thomas, Daughter
Phillip Michael Thomas

America'a New Rising Star in Country Western Music

Star Actor, Miami Vice TV Show and 10 Movies Grandson of Martha and Lewis Diggs



Anthony Ervin, BA. MA.
U.S Olympic team gold medal winner, (Swimming 2000), athlete, singer , and musician. Anthony is the first Olympic athlete skipping two Olympics,  returning to win a second gold medal. He is the oldest althlete to win a second gold medal. He is named  after his cousin Dr.  Anthony Hodge
Great grandson of Willie and 
Dan Diggs






Dr. Catherine Diggs Thew Smith and  Vassar Grad, Philanthropist, Multi-Millionaire, (Mother of 3)

Col. Arthur O. Diggs M.D. OSU Medical School Graduate, Operated 2 Medical Clinics,
3rd Army Medic under General Patton during World War II, and General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippines.
Son of Martha and Lewis Diggs the I
Lewelyn (Jack) Coles

The Chief of Staff,
To the late Ohio Governor
James Rhodes, Jack was appointed acting  gov. of Ohio for one week, Jack was the first black governor since the Civil War. He also published a newspaper.

Martha Diggs Nephew

Attorney Bruce B Jackson
Bruce B Jackson (Left of Image), Dr. Anthony T Hodge (Right of Image)
Law Professor, First African American Attorney to settle a Billion Dollar Estate(the late W.Clement Stone).

The Coke Oven Dr. Anthony T. HodgeDr. Anthony T. Hodge, Founding father of Earth Temple Corp. and
Owner of The Coke Oven

AA, BS, J.D. first African American Private Investigator/Criminologist to advertise nationwide Author of 5 books, Peace Corp- Vista Alumni, and Founder of Earth Temple Organization, Helping people in need for over 25 yrs, 25,000 families served, continuing the humanitarian work of his grandparents Lewis and Martha Diggs. Feeding the homeless and those hoping the trains (Hobo's). As well as Dr. O.W. Hodge and wife Marie C. Hodge RN. who provided free medical services to those in need. 

Grandson of Martha and Lewis Diggs

Dr. James H. Banks, Esq.
Attorney, Theologian

Grandson of Aunt  Willie and Dan Diggs

Dr. William (Billy) Banks, Dentist and Family Man.

Grandson of Aunt Willie and Dan Diggs

Att. Gabriel Banks Esq.
(State / Federal Prosecutor)

Great-grandson of Aunt Willie and Dan Diggs