|Wedding Photo of Samuel Thomas Carter and Mary Alice Warnick|
Samuel's father died when he was only four years old, just before the birth of his baby brother Jack. I don't know anything about his early years, but I can imagine they were hard. He became a coal miner, probably at a young age. Artie never remarried.
Artie moved the family to what would become Hueytown, in Jefferson County, Alabama. Her daughter Mary Agnes had already married Walter Millwood, and remained in Georgia. In the 1900 census, all the boys listed their occupation as coal miner. Artie and daughter Lela list no occupation. The boys all stated that they had been unemployed between 2 and 4 months the previous year.
December 22, 1901, Samuel married a neighbor, 18 year old Mary "Alice" Warnick. They were married at Bethlehem Methodist Church in Rutledge Springs. The church was organized in 1818, and is still in use today.
|Bethlehem United Methodist from Hueytown Historical Society|
Tragedy struck February 20, 1905 at about 4:00pm. The coal mine where Samuel was at work, known as the Virginia mine, had an explosion and cave in. The entrance to the mine was blocked. There are many accounts of the disaster in newspapers all over the country, some with much more graphic details than we see today. Some headlines from local and national papers:
“More Than 100 Men Entombed in Mines Frightful Catastrophe at Virginia City”Birmingham Age-Herald 21 Feb 1905: 1.
“Every Home in Virginia City House of Sorrow: With Pick and Shovel Men Race with Death” Birmingham Age-Herald 21 Feb 1905: 7.
“Over Hundred Lives Probably Lost at Virginia Mines” Birmingham News 21 Feb 1905: 1.
“Little or No Hope Hold Out for Entombed Men but the Rescue Work Goes on Day and Night” Birmingham News 21 Feb 1905: 1.
“100 Miners Entombed; All Perhaps Killed: Explosion of Dust Causes Disaster in Alabama Pit” New York Times 21 Feb 1905: 1.
"Fifty Bodies Taken from Wrecked Mine: Hope for the Remaining Sixty-Six is Now Abandoned; 300 Children Destitute" New York Times 22 Feb 1905.
“One Miner was Found on Knees in Prayer” Birmingham Age-Herald 24 Feb 1905: 5.
“Two More Bodies are Brought Out” Birmingham Age-Herald 27 Feb 1905: 6.
"Charge Deaths to Operators: Coroner's Jury Blames Mine Men for the Explosion"Atlanta Constitution 8 Apr 1905: 1.
"Official List of Entombed Men: One Hundred and Seven in All” Birmingham News 21 Feb 1905: 1.Special to The Birmingham News
Bessemer, Ala. Feb 21. - "Following is a complete list of coal diggers entombed in Virginia mine, as given by their check weighman, Tinning:
Fred Morgan, has wife and one child.
E. L. Cargo
|The Citizen, Berea, KY|
J. H. Dammer
Pat Meekin, son of above
W. M. Dickinson
Barney Kiker, has wife and two children
W. A. Meeks
Robert Beal, has wife only
James Brown, has wife and one child
M. L. Turner, has wife and three children
S. T. Carter
E. H. Bryant, has wife and one child.
Charles Crawley, has wife and eight children
O. M. Parsons, has wife only
W. W. Shoemaker
J. H. Pool
Sandy Nelson, has wife and two children
N. R. Pool
W. M. Wright
W. H. Donaldson, has wife and child
J.D. Wells, has wife and four children
Richard Tidmore, has wife and four children
John Cohely, has wife
Ben Chastine, has wife and family
G. L. Pendley, has wife and three children
____ Lawrence, has wife and four children
Dave Harris, has wife and one child
Jerry Keel, has wife and two children
Kirby Powell, has wife and one child
Ira Powell, has wife and one child
Sam Slogett, has wife
R. E. Hassell, has wife and two children
P.M. Stucky, has wife and four children
Luke Bailey, has wife and one child
Jim Jordan, has wife and one child
Walter McCoy, has wife and son
Total Whites - sixty-five
W. M. Howard
|The Red Cloud Chief, Webster County, NE|
J. E. Durden
A. J. Jackson
Ivy Walker, has wife and two children
Dave Smith, has wife and two children
Steve turner, has wife and two children
Total Negroes - twenty-seven
Following is a list of company men, that is, those employed by the company by the day, including drivers, pumpers, trappers, etc.
John Brown, a driver boss, has wife and one child, a son who was in the mine with him.
Neil Brown, trapper
Tom Caldwell, has wife and family
Will Green, pumper
Charles Pickett, chainer
M. J. Vance, has wife
|The Brisbane Courier, Australia|
John Nelson, driver
Up to 12 o'clock today many bodies had been brought to this city and had been prepared for burial by Kennedy Bros. undertakers, who were given the contract to take care of and register the entire list of the dead. They have been assisted by Moore Bros., Vermillion & Adams, and by the Z. R. Steen,undertakers, but the entire list of bodies brought to Bessemer have passed through Kennedy Bros hands, who will have a complete record of the disposition of every body.
Below will be found a list of all bodies received here, together with the place of burial, where instructions have been received.
John Coheley, unknown
Fred Morgan, Adger
Tolsey Veresto, Blocton
J. G. Tidmore, Pratt City
Henry Meachim, Pratt City
James Meachim, Pratt City
Charles A. Crawley, Pratt City
Steve Crawley, Pratt City
J. M. Brown, Ensley
|The San Francisco Call|
Tom Caldwell, Pratt City
W. H. Donaldson, Valley Creek
Robert Pierson, Johns
J. E. Jordan, Gentry's Gap
Ed Bryant, McDonough, Ga
Will Dickson, Dolomite
Will Green, Sumter (Masonic)
J. M. Lawrence, Bibbville (Masonic)
Steve Hawkins, Blossburg
Sam Slogett, Adger
Bert Slogett, Adger
N. R. Pool, Valley Creek
J. H. Danner, Adger
John Pendley, Jr., Adger
Roda Raffael, Blocton
M. L. Turner, Tuskaloosa (Masonic)
George Pendley,Sr., Adger (Masonic)
J. L. Nelson, Pratt City
Ollin Pool, Valley Creek
Lanzi Ciro, Blocton
W. Alonza Meeks, Blockton
Will Meeks, Blockton
Fred Smedley, Whitwell, Tenn
Sandy Nelson, Pratt City
B. M. Chastine, Adger (Masonic)
A. Lancy, Blocton
Roland Bennett, Blocton
Thomas Cody, Adger
Charles Moreland, Adger
Robert Beals, Adger
Charles McFalls, Valley Creek
W. B. Wright
Sam Burchfield, Valley Creek
Pat McCoy, Pratt City
|Daily Press, Newport News, VA|
Pearl Toles, Ravine, Ala
Ike Hooks, Pratt City
Sylvester McCarthy, Ravine
Dave Hall, Bessemer
Bob Hall, Bessemer
General Hooks, Pratt City
J. A. Sterling, Pratt City
unknown, Pratt City
Will Howard, Pratt City
John Dudley, Bessemer
Ira Walker, Cedar Hill
Sam Thorn, Cedar Hill
Oliver Houston, Cedar Hill
Amos Brown, Cedar Hill
A. J. Jackson, Cedar Hill
H. R. Johnson, Cedar Hill
Sam Simpson, Cedar Hill
Wade Jonson, Marion Junction
Jim Burton, Vances
Homer Dawson, Vances
Henry Stevenson, Vances
George Huffman, Sumter
Elisha Hale, Pratt City
Jim Huffman, Sumter
Alice may not have even known at the time, but she was pregnant with another daughter. That daughter was my grandmother, Flora Jane, born August 13, 1905.
Samuel Carter was buried in the cemetery adjoining Bethlehem Methodist, where he was married only a few years before.
Alice remarried in 1909, which you can read about here: http://rootsbranchesandnuts.blogspot.com/2013/06/wedding-wednesday-james-harve-hamaker.html