Monday, November 2, 2009

Will Known Miner Is Killed By Fall of Coal

Daily Iowegian - 15 June 1920
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Was Caught Beneath Fall at 8 O'clock This Morning
George King, 63, Had Been a Miner For Many Years
And Was Prominent in His Community
  George King, 63 years of age and a well known miner at Numa, was instantly killed about 8 o'clock this morning when he was caught under a fall of coal at the Martin mine near Numa. The fall came just as King had kicked the sprag out from under the coal in preparation to starting his day's work, the fall striking him on the head  and shoulders.
  King had entered the mine as usual and going to his place had passed a few words with his fellow workers before going to his own working place. The coal which he had intended to load today had been spraged on Monday for the night and when he entered his pit he had only to kick away the coal sprag and after the fall had been made, begin his loading. It is presumed that he did not anticipate the fall would be so sudden, and when he loosened the sprag he did not get entirely in the clear. The fall came and striking him upon the head  bore him to the ground.
  Miners in adjoining entries found him a few minutes later with his head and shoulders entirely buried under the fall. The body was taken to the top of the shaft where it was placed in the tool house until the arrival of the coroner. As soon as word of the accident could be spread among the workers in the mine, all came to the top and the mine was closed down for the day.
  King lived in Numa at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Edward Sexton, his wife having passed away several years ago. He has a son, Charles, who lives in Numa, and two daughters, Mrs. Mattie Gerard and Mrs. Marie Davis, both of whom live in the northern part of the state.
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Daily Iowegian - 17 June 1920
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Miner Killed in Martin Coal Mine
George King Crushed Under Fall of Tons of 
Falling Coal Early Tuesday Morning
  In attempting to kick away what is known in the coal mining parlance as sprag from under tons of coal in the Martin mine near Numa, George King, a miner, was instantly killed in the resulting fall of the loosened drift, shortly after 8 o'clock Tuesday morning. The released mass, coming sooner than the miner anticipated crashed down upon him before he was able to rush to safety, burying his head and shoulders under the great weight of coal.
  When fellow workmen, coming to his rescue a few moments later released the body from the mass of fallen drift, it was found that life was extinct. The body was brot out of the mine to the surface and the coroner's office was immediately notified.
  Coroner Harris being out of the city Justice of the Peace D. W. Bryan assumed the duties of the office and coming to the scene of the accident, empaneled a coroner's jury, which brot in a verdict of dath from accidentlay cause shortly after noon.
  King was about 63 years of age. He was a widower of several years standing. He had been living with his daughter, Mrs. Edward Sexton, at Numa, altho he had resided at Seymour for a number of years before coming to Numa. He leaves surviving him, besides Mrs. Sexton, one son, Chas., Numa, and two other daughters, Mrs. Marie Davis and Mrs. Martha Gerard who reside in Nortern Iowa.
  Funeral services were held at Seymour Tuesday afternoon. Interment was in the Seymour cemetery. 
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 Appanoose County, Iowa, Cemeteries - Lincoln Township
[Centerville IA: The Appanoose County 
Genealogical Society]
Jerome Cemetery - Row 6
George King - Aug 29, 1852 - June 15, 1920
Cynthia, His Wife - Mar 17 1862 - Aug 1895
Frances, Their Dau - Oct 2, 1884 - Oct 16, 1896 
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The History of Coal Mining In Appanoose County, Iowa
By W. M. Heusinkveld [2007], Page 36
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#220 Numa Coal Co. at Martinstown
  SE NW SW of Sect. 17, T-68N R-18W, Bellair Towp., J46 one mile E. of Numa
  Years of Operaton: Martin Block: 1911-23, Numa Coal Co.: 1923-37
  Vertical, longwall, 96 acres, 150 ft. shaft
  The large Martin Block Coal Co. was started by Archie F. Martin, and the village of Martinstown was platted in May, 1913.
  The mine employed 155 men and hoisted 300 tons per day. They loaded an average of 175 cars per month. It loaded three grades of coal, commercial chunk, railroad egg and nut. The shaft was 8 by 14 1/2 feet. 
  In 1913 there were 40 or 60 houses in Martinstown. The village was more commonly known as Shantytown. There was a large foreign element among these miners. Many of the Italians came from the same villages in the Florenzo and Bolomi provinces of northern Italy. There were also immigrants from Austria, Croatia,m Germany, England and Belgium. Most came from large families and, after serving their military duties, came to seek a better life. Many went back later to return with their families or future brides.
  William Fox died in this mine in 1916. Then in 1920, George King, age 63, was kicking away some sprag from under the coal and was killed by falling drift.
  By 1923 the mine was called the Numa Coal Co. It closed in 1937 and Archie F. Martin then began the Martin Coal Co. mine in Section 9 of Bellair Twp. Dr. J. L. Sawyers was president, J. W. Martin was general manager and H. W. Fox superintendent. Bert Arbogast was Supt. in 1943.
  The Rock Island Railroad discontinued passenger service and then removed the tracks in 1978. All of the streets and the houses are now gone, and Martinsburg has reverted to agricultural land. The only road remaining is now called 171st Ave., which runs north and south on the west side of the former town.
  THe old railroad right of way is evident by the line of trees going diagonally across the area. ... The remains of the large shale pile are quire obvious among the trees, a short distance to the east.

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