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Treat #7: The Buck Mine Explosion

article on 1903 mining accident J CroyNewspaper 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.”

About croywright

The author, a writer of history and historical fiction, always yearned to go back in time.

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