|Inside #7 Mine, Stoneboro, Pa. Gust Doyle is center back.|
My coal miners included my father, his father, his grandfather, and his great-grandfather, Lee, Gust, William, and Andrew Doyle. The three younger of them dug a mine on their farming property. They may have used the coal to heat their own home or sold it for additional income. After Gust died in 1933, there was a bill to the hospital. Lee and William traded hand-dug coal to pay that bill.
Andrew and William emigrated from England in the mid 1870s. They had both been coal miners in the Northumberland area of England.
Abel Armitage, an ancestor on my mother's side of the family, was also a coal miner. He grew up in West Yorkshire and emigrated from Durham, England in the mid 1860s. He worked in the mines in both areas of England and in his new home in the Steubenville area of Ohio. His sons followed his footsteps and worked in the mines, too.
I don't believe any of the Doyle men were hurt in mining accidents but it's possible that Abel may have been hurt: he appears as disabled in the 1880 U.S. Census.
For other posts about my coal mining ancestors click here, here, and here.
Steel Mill Workers
My brother, Bob, and my brother-in-law, Chuck, also worked at Copperweld Steel. It was summer work for my brother, but Chuck retired from Copperweld.
There were steel workers on my mother's side of the family, too. They worked at La Belle Iron Works. With a name like La Belle you might imagine a beautiful place but its only beauty may have been because it was a source of income for a family.
Two of my mother's paternal uncles were killed at La Belle. Walter Meinzen, an engineer, was just 24 in 1907 when he was "instantly killed while at work in the blooming mill at the LaBelle . . . when he had the right side of his head and face crushed in by being struck with a large piece of iron." So reported the June 7, 1907 issue of The Steubenville Weekly Gazette. The article describes what happened but since I'm not familiar with the workings of a steel mill, I don't quite understand other than that a 600-pound piece of metal snapped off and flew 20 feet to hit Walter in the head. He left a wife, parents, and 10 siblings.
The second death in the family happened 10 years later when one of Walter's younger brothers, Jacob Meinzen, was killed. Jacob was a pipe fitter at the mill. His death was caused by a 100-foot fall in the blast furnace department. Jacob left a wife, a 2-month-old daughter, his parents, and 7 siblings.
Accidents can happen at any time, of course, but some places of employment are more dangerous than others. I'm grateful so many of my ancestors and relatives came safely through the work environment and sorry for those who didn't and their families.
Please visit Sepia Saturday 279 for more more photographs and some stories and experiences.
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