Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Last Shift

Saying for the Day: Miner is not the safest occupation in the world.

This is another of the family stories that need to be passed from one generation to the next.
On May 5, 1911 Richard Web Yelled and his son William ( My great grandfather and great uncle ) were ready to start their own bakery. They had saved up money from working in the mine and had arranged a bank loan. The family was about to begin living its dream. Now they would not be miners but business people. Now they could put to work all that talent.
So On May 5, 1911 they left to work one last shift in the Iron Mine. One last trip underground. Great Grandmother was really happy because mines were not the safest place in the world to work.
However the dreams of running a bakery were never to come to pass. Instead what great grandmother feared worst would happen.
That day there was a fire in the mine. The men started up the shaft ladders to escape and probably would have made it but the supervisor decided to save the mine and not the men. He turned a high pressure hose into the shaft which knocked the men off the ladders. (The supervisor eventually committed suicide as he heard the screams of the men over and over again). Not a single man was saved.
Great grandmother lost husband and son all at the same time. Shortly thereafter the baby ,Grace, got the flue and died. Those were rough times. Four of her children died before the age of two.
Despite all of this great grandmother raised 11 kids to adulthood.

News from Pigeon Falls-(The little town in my back garden) -Pigeon Falls is a mess. There is pigeon poop everywhere and nobody to clean it up. With the town government paralyzed by the constitutional crisis there is nobody to hire a part time street cleaner. A few of the merchants have cleaned in front of their place of business but that’s it.
Tom Grasp and Elizabeth Scivvo who intend to get married in a couple of weeks now need to find some way to get to the county seat to get a wedding licensee. Not being a legal town is continuing to cause problems.
Nancy, who wants you to notice that her sidewalk is poop free, says the Bishop stories are the talk of the day. It seems he was seen eating at the
Railside Restaurant with that cute young blond that showed up yesterday. They were having “an intimate” conversation. From time to time he touched her hand.
They think she stayed all night at his place and then left this morning on the milk train. According to Nancy they were seen hugging on the station platform.
No dead pigeons today. That’s something to be thankful for. The present Great and Exalted, High and Wonderful, Grand Pigeon head of Pigeonelle Lodge number 1, says they are thinking of offering a reward to anyone catching the person killing the pigeons.
Dr. Fortress has announced that trains will be a bit behind schedule since work on the Crippled Creek trestles has forced him to use an alternate route.
There is a rumor going around town that the company that runs Six Flags Great America is thinking of building an amusement park in the county. Perhaps they could call it “ A Flag or Two Over Da UP “.

Beautiful day. We tore the waterfall out on the layout and have begun rebuilding it. It was leaking too badly for little repairs. Betty is cleaning getting ready for the grandsons who are coming this week end. Well I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger Mimi said...

I just don't know what to say. That is just awful. Your great grandmother must have had such a aching heart. But it's amazing she still raised 11 children.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Ole Blue The Heretic said...

When looking back at the trbulations that our great granparents and others befor them went through ours seem trivial in comparison

6:32 AM  
Blogger Dr. Cissa Fireheart said...

I cannot even grasp what it must have been like for your great grandmother! She was a strong woman to carry on and continue to raise her family. God Bless Her Soul.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Chana said...

i understood your message in the comments and took it to heart..and now reading this post, i am speechless (it doens't happen often i tell you). What a horribly and heart breaking thing to happen...She must have been a woman of great Faith and strenght. I don't think i would have come out of that well in the head-but that is me...You are like that, strong, full of courage and Faith. It runs in the family..As sad as the story is, it's also full of hope;How she went on and lived and raised a huge family...Hope and Faith are such a wonderful combinations. Million thanks-again.

6:38 AM  
Blogger starbender said...

God bless U'r Grandmother-
What a strong person she must have been!
Being a minor is a lousy job.
I lost my father-in-law 2 the mines.

6:47 AM  
Blogger jafabrit said...

Your story brought back memories. I was born in a mining village called hetton-le-hole (I used to imagine the slag heaps in the next village were beautiful mountains). What a story dr.john, and what a testament of strength and character your dear grandmother had.

7:41 AM  
Blogger Lori's Minute said...

If there is cotton candy at the amusement park, I will be there every day (after getting coffee at Nancy's, of coutse). Oh wait, I do not drink, there is always something.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Pennie said...

Well it is nice that I am not going Crazy. I always thought Grandpa Linna died of heart attack in the mine. When the story was told I must not have understood great great grandfather. Well I have a suggestion for the leaders in the Pigeon Falls. They should hire David Johnson he is running a ski resort or something. I heard that his uncle and aunt are great.

4:37 PM  
Blogger kristi said...

I have been trying to post all day but every time I try blogger needs to act up on me!!!!!

It is a shame that your grandmother had to endure such pain, I believe that is why so many people back then had so many children.

As for Pigeon Falls, I have been missing my updates everyday so I am a little behind. I am very nosey as to who the mysterious blonde was with the Bishop???
As for the city problems, somebody needs to step up and get a handle on things. It can be done, maybe if we all get together at the coffee shop and devise a plan....

7:58 PM  
Blogger Catch said...

I am so sad thinking of how your Grandmother must have felt...what heartache and dispair she must have went through. very very sad.

I think the blonde is related to the bishop...maybe his daughter or his neice.

8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your great grandmother sounds like a very strong woman. She had so much heartbreak, and yet she endured. To go on and raise eleven children after experiencing the loss of her husband and two kids would be overwhelming for most women. I am glad that she was able to move forward with her life.

8:34 PM  

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