Fallen Miner Biographies
Fallen Miner Biographies of Those Gone But Not Forgotten
Stories told by Family and Friends

Scripture Selection is 23rd Psalm.

Music Selection: When the Roll is Called Up Yonder


Harold Chester Meadows

Harold Chester Meadows was born December 06,1924 in Virginia and died February 01,1978 in Cleveland,Ohio.He was married to Carmel Louise Myers and together they had eight wonderful children.Harold worked in Cannelton,West Virginia coal mines.He worked as a mine foreman and was with the coal mine for about ten years.He later died of a dreadful disease called Black Lung.We will remember him always in our hearts and in our memories.


Oran Curtis Duncan, Sr.

My grandfather Oran Curtis Duncan, Sr. was born June 14, 1906 in Blackwater, VA, the son of Christian France and Emma Celia (Reedy) Duncan. The earliest record I have of his mining occupation is that of his Social Security Card application which shows Virginia Iron, Coal and Coke Company in Inman, VA as his employer in 1936. I have no doubt he was mining well before that date. He married Cora Scalf of Fairview, VA in 1926. Their family, once complete, consisted of six sons and two daughters. Oran was seriously injured in a mining accident that left him with a permanent limp. He wore a shoe with a built up heel which reduced that limp somewhat.

After raising their "first" family, my grandparents became caregivers again. This time to two grandchildren. I and my sister came to live with them upon the divorce of our parents. I spent the next 13 1/2 wonderful years growing up in the very small rural village of Ben Hur, VA in Lee County. My grandfather taught me many things, the most important was his work ethic. No matter what the circumstance, he would always tell me if something wasn't worth doing to its best, it simply wasn't worth doing.

One of the most vivid memories of my childhood was the purchase of a home with indoor plumbing. Grandpa bought it with the "large" settlement check he received for his Black Lung compensation. Sadly, three years later in November 1975, Grandpa suffered a heart attack and a brain aneurysm within minutes of each other. I could never find the inner strength to visit him in the hospital because I wanted to remember him as I had left him that day. After the funeral, ten years passed before I would go to the cemetery again. This was to bury Grandma in the plot next to him. Another 13 years passed before I could find the inner strength to visit the cemetery again. Finally, I found the inner strength to visit and say my good-byes and find peace from those occurrences.


Leonard Perkins

Leonard Perkins was born in Swords Creek, VA on August 1, 1920. Swords Creek is located in Russell County in the southwestern part of Virginia. Leonard is the son of Harrison Perkins (March 6, 1894 August 24, 1967, born and raised in Sword Creek, Buried in Call Cemetery in Swords Creek) and Mallie Dye (June 14, 1902 January 13, 1982, Buried in Call Cemetery in Swords Creek).

As a young man he went to work in the mines. At age 23, On September 13, 1943 he married Lovera Ester Miller (Daughter of Rufus Elden Miller and Lydia Marie Hale). He joined The Air Force Branch of the US Armed Forces. During WWII He served as a Corporal, stationed in Florence, SC and received an honorable discharge after his assignment was completed.

Leonard and Lovera had five children. May 23, 1945 she gave birth to twins, Harry Lee and Larry Dee while stationed in Florence, SC. He and his family then returned to Russell County where he continued his work in the mines. Ernest McDavid was born September 18, 1946 in Swords Creek and Gladys Carolyn was born June 24, 1950 in Maxie, VA.

In 1951 He relocated to Easley, South Carolina at the plea of some friends (McDavid and Gladys Jackson) who had helped him locate work. In August 9, 1952 Kathy Lovevill was born in Easley, SC. Leonard went to work Painting water towers for a few months, then landed a job with Boone-Reeves constructing roads. He hauled gravel to build the original road where present day 123 is located. Leonard eventually went to work at the Dunean Plant of JP Stevens Company located in Greenville, SC where he worked until he retired in 1985. About 1955 Leonard built the house where he and Lovera raised their family.

In addition to being a loving father and husband, Leonard enjoyed fishing, camping, painting ceramics and crocheting. Lovera was a wonderful mother and faithful wife. She not only raised her own family but was left to take care of her sisters and brothers after their mother died at the age of 42 from a brain tumor.

In early 1980s Leonard was diagnosed with Black Lung Disease as a result of hi work in the mines. In May 1992, Leonard was diagnosed with Lung and Esophagus Cancer. Christmas Day that year was the last time he was able to sit up at the table to eat dinner.

Approx. 11 weeks short of their 50th year together Leonard died on June 25, 1993 with his family at his side. He is now at eternal rest at Greenlawn Memorial Park in Easley, South Carolina. He left behind his precious wife, two boys, two girls, twelve grandchildren and nine great grandchildren with many to follow. His son Ernest McDavid who died October 9, 1966 as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident predeceased him.


Laymon Newton Hamilton

June 17, 1902 to December 5, 1944

From the Coalfield Progress came the following entry:

Two miners were killed instantly and a third injured in a slate fall at the Peerless Coal Corporation mine at Glamorgan on Tuesday, December 4, 1944.

The dead are Laymon Hamilton of Esserville, survived by his wife, Ruth and three children, Paul, Jean and Joyce, under the age of 16, and William Gibson, 30 of Hurricane, survived by his wife and three children under 10 years old.

Claude Frazier, barely missed death by a couple of feet and is in a Norton hospital. The piece of slate was reported as 19 x 13 feet and 18 inches thick.

Funeral services for Mr. Gibson were held Thursday afternoon and for Mr. Hamilton will be held on Friday.

Funerals Held for Victims of Mine Accident:

Funeral services for Laymon Hamilton, one of the victims of a slate fall in the mine at Peerless Coal Corporation at Glamorgan on Tuesday afternoon, were held at the Union Chapel at Glamorgan with internment in the Wise Cemetery. He is survived by his wife, Ruth Kilgore Hamilton, one son, Paul and two daughters, Jean and Joyce, and his father Charles and some brothers and a sister, all of Esserville, near Wise.

On Thursday the body of William Gibson, the other victim of the accident at the Glamorgan mine was interred in Neon, Kentucky. Mr. Gibson was a resident of the Hurricane section near Wise, formerly of Kentucky, is survived by his widow and one child.

It was told to the family by surviving miners working the same section that Mr. Frazier was angry and kicked one of the supporting timbers, knocking it free, causing the roof to fall, crushing Laymon and William.

His wife, Ruth, never remarried saying many times that I married the best man there was and didnt feel the need to try again.

Laymon was the son of Charles and Callie Kilgore Hamilton.




Gorman Walker Sutherland

Gorman Walker Sutherland was born on May 26, 1912. He was the 7th child born to Noah Deel "Coujar" Sutherland & Mary Polly Anne Counts. He married Garnette Owens, they had 2 daughters, Shirley and Jeri Sutherland. He was only 25 years old when he was killed. We Love him and he will live on in us forever.




Hershel B. Scott Sr. My father Hershel B Scott Sr was born Feb 27, 1928

My father Hershel B Scott Sr was born Feb 27, 1928. He was the son of John Henry and Lou Sade Scott. He was born in Blackwood Va. He was married to Lucille Thacker Scott and they had 6 children myself being the youngest. My father was a coal miner and growing up I heard the stories of the wonderful friendships he had made throughout the years and the days of hard work. He worked for over 50 years in the coal mines. I heard stories of the days of working for a $1.00 a day to picking and shoveling his own coal for the same amount $1.00. He later was partners in a mines in Dorchester with two other men and they called it the Dorchester Coal Company. There most faithful emplyeee was Snowball. She was a white mule and my brothers and sisters family pet. One quote I read in an article about my father and his mines was " Only assests we have are our labor and and if you want to consider Snowball over there. A real one horse operation you might say.My father was a wonderufl man and proud to be a coal miner and I guess you could say I am proud of him and to be a coal miners daughter. My father continued to work in the coal mines until he retired from Pittston Coal Company a far cry from the job he had 40 years prior he still loved the mines and to see that black coal roll out of the mines. My father passed away in Feb of 2001 from Lung cancer he was a wonderful father who filled my memory with his endless stories and I will cherish them forever.


Submitted by: Susan Ray
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