The Fraterville and Cross Mountain mine explosions of 19 May 1902 and 9 December 1911 killed a total of 300 men and boys.  Two hundred sixty-eight were identified.

At the Fraterville mine, John Allen and Mary Elizabeth (Dew) ALLRED lost 3 sons.  Eliza J. "Elizabeth" (Breeden) CHILDRESS lost her husband, Peter C. CHILDRESS, and her 3 oldest sons.  Isaac and Kizzie (Richardson) COOPER lost 3 sons.  George W. and Melcena J. (Leinart) EVANS lost 3 sons.  Edith Ada (Hightower) MCKAMEY lost her husband, John C. MCKAMEY, and 3 sons.  Elvina Parthenia (Pitman) WALLACE lost her husband, 2 brothers, and a brother-in-law.  John Quincy and Hannah (Bullock) REYNOLDS lost 3 of their 4 sons.  Eliza F. "Lizzie" (Stansberry) REYNOLDS lost her husband and 2 brothers.  Mary (Ault) VOWELL lost her husband, Banister VOWELL, and 3 sons.  Rosa (Sharp) MILLER lost her husband, Leon C. MILLER; father, Jacob SHARP, and 2 brothers.  Parthenia (Roberts) SLOVER lost her husband, William Houston SLOVER, and 2 sons.  Sarah Ellen (Webb) VOWELL lost her husband, 1 son, and 2 brothers.  Brothers, Charles A., William E., and John C. WALLACE, sons of Pharaoh and Martha A. (Lamar) WALLACE, both deceased before 1900, were killed and left 7 siblings.  Mary E. (Webb) WOODS lost her husband, 1 son, 2 brothers, and a nephew.

At Fraterville, the known parent(s) who lost 2 sons not included above are:  James A. and Melcena Nancy (Adkins) BENNETT; James L. and Oma (Smith) BROOKS;  Abraham Thomas and Mary Frances "Frankie" (Dinkins) GOANS; William G. "Bill" and Drucilla (Davis) GREEN;  Leander "Lee" and Susan A. (Branscom) HIGHTOWER; William and Mary Jane (Chapman) LEACH; Richard and Rhoda Caroline "Sentha" (Bradshaw) MARTIN; Brownlow and Caroline (Hankins) MCLIN; Mary J. PITTMAN; Elias M. RIGGS - his wife, Sarah Catherine "Cattie" (Brooks) RIGGS, died before 1900; Samuel Maynard and Amanda M. (Carver) SLOVER; James Franklin and Mary "Pop/Polly" (Woods) SMIDDY (both deceased before 1900); William Francis and Elizabeth (Reed) STANSBERRY; Chesley V. and Caroline Matilda (Hansard) VANDERGRIFF; Pharaoh and Martha A. (Lamar) WALLACE (both deceased before 1900); Robert (deceased before 1900) and Sarah E. (Sharp) WALLACE; Elias (deceased before 1900) and Mary Elizabeth (Ault) WEBB; James R. WEBB - his wife, Eliza J. (Hays) WEBB, died in 1885; and, Christopher (deceased before 1900) and Nancy Amanda (Wallace) WEBBER.

At the Cross Mountain mine, Minnie E. (Sharp) COOPER lost her husband, James Kelley COOPER, and 2 brothers.  Lela (McQueen) FARMER lost her husband, Joseph H. FARMER, and 2 brothers.  Mae L. (Haynes) JOHNSON lost her husband, Thomas Andrew JOHNSON; her father, Americus Alonzo HAYNES; and her brother, J. F. HAYNES.  Bertha J. "Bertie" (Peters) LEATHERWOOD lost her husband, Tilman A. LEATHERWOOD, and 2 brothers.  Hattie (Marlin) PHILLIPS lost her husband, Daniel "Dan" PHILLIPS; her father, James MARLIN; and her brother.  Rachel (Robbins) ROBBINS lost her husband, James ROBBINS, and 2 sons.

At Cross Mountain, the known parent(s) who lost 2 sons not included above are:  Alfred T. and Anna M. (Prater) AULT; Wilson W. and Serelda (Vowell) DUNCAN; Jesse Hoskins and Sarah Jane (Shinliver) FARMER; William and Clara (Phillips) MARLOW; Rufus B. and Martha Ann (Pemberton) MARTIN; Lizzie MCQUEEN; William Thomas "Tom" and Sarah L. "Sallie" (McElroy) OLVEY; Thomas Sithard (deceased before 1900) and Mary "Mollie" (Hamilton) PETERS; William Frank and Matilda Ann "Tilda" (Cox) RIDENOUR; Elizabeth ROLAND; George W. and Phoebe (Lay) SHARP; and, James and Mary (Tilson) VALLALAY.

Finally, at Fraterville, a widowed Catherine (Wininger) DEZERN/DEZARN lost her 5 youngest sons and 2 sons-in-law.  Her two married daughters, Martha Victoria "Vesta" (Dezern/Dezarn) WALLACE and Mary A. (Dezern/Dezarn) ALLEN each lost a husband, James H. WALLACE and Robert H. ALLEN, respectively; five brothers; and a brother-in-law.  In addition, Martha Victoria lost 2 of her 3 small children earlier in 1902 (one died just 18 days before the mine explosion).  Were the losses of Martha Victoria, Mary A., or their mother the single greatest tragedy for 1 person?

copyright, P. Bailey Francis, April 2011