Newspaper articles often bare witness to family members caught up significant moments in history. The Buck Coal Mine disaster fueled a growing concern for the safety of workers in a newly industrialized country. Calvin Harrison Croy and all of his sons worked in the coalmines that proliferated at the height of the Industrial Revolution. Regulation was a word unknown during those early days and three of his sons died in work related accidents, one in a railroad accident and two in coal mining incidents. His son Justus Croy, my grandfather, was to die of Black Lung, a common coal related illness of the time, but, as this article shows, he and these early workers regularly came close to disaster. Ironically, my father remembered Justus, as a mine foreman, warding off unionizers at gunpoint and then later challenging a bank official with gun in hand to get payroll for his workers. Obviously, the union efforts of the time were a matter of life and death. One of my dad’s favorite songs was Tennessee Ernie Ford singing, “Saint Peter don’t you call me ‘cause I can’t go. I owe my soul to the company store.”
Treat #7: The Buck Mine Explosion
Croy Family History and tagged Buck Coal Mine, Calvin Harrison Croy, Joe Berkey, Justus Croy, Ralph Croy. Bookmark the permalink.