There are vast coal fields in the county, which in 1913 employed over 3,000 men. It was these mines that drew James Muir to Mystic.
The following excerpt is from Past and Present of Appanoose County, Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement edit by L. L. Taylor and published in 1913:
The newest little city in the county is Mystic and it is the largest town in the county outside of Centerville, its population now numbering about 3,000. The plat of Mystic was filed for record 28 May 1887. The site was surveyed by S. T. Stratton for James S. Elgin, and is in the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 17, township 69, range 18. Several additions have since been made and the village is still growing.
|From Past and Present of Appanoose County|
The coming of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railroad in 1886, made the future of the projected city certain, as it gave an outlet to the products of the splendid mines then operated and later to be opened in that vicinity. The town grew apace, but in 1910 and 1911 disastrous fires overtook it and practically destroyed all of the business district entailing heavy losses. No one seemed to be discouraged, however, and frame buildings were replaced by substantial and neat-looking brick structures. Building is still going on and Mystic's street looks well indeed. The traveling public, which enters the place by way of Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway and the interurban from Centerville, is entertained nicely at a new brick hotel. There are quite a number of mercantile concerns, two banks, churches, lodges, and a moving picture theater.
|The Interurban station in Mystic. The Interurban ran between Centerville|
and Mystic 17 times per day; photograph from Past and Present of
Appanoose County, Iowa