Archive for July, 2015

#52 Ancestors No. 25 – Francisco Mine #2 1926 Coal Mine Disasters – Two Roll Family Members Lost

This is post 25 of the 2015 #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of u52ancestors-2015 Images blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy Johnson’s site at Amy’s website.

Coal mining without a doubt is dangerous work. Toxic gases, coal dust, explosions, fires and flooding occur; taking the lives of over 10,000 just in the last two centuries. Tragedies continue today as the world continues to mine for precious minerals, gemstones, and energy sources. Health issues from mining may affect miners after they stop working in the mines.

Coal has been mined in Indiana and Kentucky since the early 1800’s. Coal was the fuel for steamships and railroads that helped expand the growth of United States. I have two family lines who settled both Indiana and Kentucky. Members of these families migrated from the back breaking, drought or disease ridden and labor intensive farming to the more dependable coal mining employment.

My own great-grandfather Oliver Cromwell Roll worked on the railroad. As did his uncles and cousins. My grandfather, Hugh A. Howes, did not want to work the mines or railroad and headed north to Detroit to work in the auto factories.

Inscription by Laufa Helsley Lockwood, the widow of Frank Helsley

Inscription by Laufa Helsley Lockwood, the widow of Frank Helsley

The probability that my collateral ancestors would be affected by a mine disaster may have been marginal. Nevertheless, two of my relatives died in the same mine incident. My third great Uncle, Samuel W. Roll, son of Isaac Roll and Elizabeth Weir, lost a son and a grandson.

1926 Francisco Mine #2

The explosion occurred on December 9, 1926. 37 miners lost their life. The cause of the explosion was undetermined. Francisco Mine #2 was located near Princeton, Gibson Co, Indiana. Workers came as far as Evansville, IN, 40 miles away to work the mines.

Two of Samuel sons, John R. (b. 1863) and Shelby Jackson Roll (b. 1868), ended up as miners. John R. Roll mined in Spottsville. Shelby moved up to Evansville and mined at the Francisco Mines. John’s son, Ollie Roll (b. 1895), lived in Ohio Township, located near Evansville.

It is quite possible the two men, one an uncle, the other a nephew; rode to the mines together or stayed nearby in lodgings. Shelby was one of the missing after explosion and fire. His body was found the next morning. His was 58 years old. Shelby married late in life to a widow with three daughters. He did not have children

Ollie Roll was 31 years old on the day he died in Francisco Mine #2. He was survived by his wife Emma and their four young daughters.

Sources:

Princeton, IN Coal Mine Explosion and Fire, Dec 1926, originally submitted by Stu Beitler.
http://www3.gendisasters.com/indiana/19995/princeton-in-coal-mine-explosion-fire-dec-1926
Mining Accidents https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mining_accident
Mine Safety and Health Administration www.msha.gov
Coal in Indiana – http://www.indiana.edu/~librcsd/etext/hoosier/CO-09.html
FindAGrave.com – Memorial Headstone, tlws (#47311297), http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=20754686&PIpi=43644854
Indiana Coal Mine Disasters http://www.indystar.com/story/news/history/retroindy/2014/01/29/coal-mining-explosions/4795285/

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#52Ancestors: Week 24 – Olga Cartwright – Planted a Family Tree

This is week 24 of the 2015 #52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge where a group of u52ancestors-2015 Images blog about a different ancestor for each week of the year.  To learn more about the 52 Ancestor Challenge visit Amy Johnson’s site at Amy’s website.

On a far off branch of the Pittman section of my tree lies the Cartwright family. And wouldn’t you know it…the Cartwright family included a son named Ben Cartwright. Cue! Bonanza.  “On this land we put our brand, Cartwright is the name, fortune smiled, the day we filed the Ponderosa claim.” Yes, there were lyrics to the opening tune. Humming the theme song now, aren’t’ you?

Olga Cartwright married John Barnett in 1912. This couple starts the twig in the line that descends down to lost cousins I have yet to connect. They are the grandparents to Kenneth Ralph Barnett, written in the 2014 series of #52Ancestors – No. 33.

Olga is the daughter of Mathew Thompson Cartwright (1857-1935) and Susan J. Melton (1859-1930). She had nine siblings including her brother Ben. The family lived in Cleaton, Muhlenberg Co., Kentucky. The unincorporated town south of Central City, KY, still has a rural appeal.

Olga and her husband John had a total of 12 children. John earned his living a miner in the coal mines. Olga lived from 1893 to 1974. Her relationship to me is labeled as mother-in-law of first cousin twice removed.

Bonanza Lyrics written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. http://ponderosascenery.homestead.com/lyrics.html

 

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