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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
July 13, 1961     Times
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July 13, 1961

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MINE DISASTER HERE KILLED TWO COAL MINERS IN 1906 Charles Fultz and Charles Cox Were Victims of Mishap (Friday. Sept. 14, 1906) The most shocking and tragic accident that ever happened in Mt. Pulaski occurred last Monday morning about 7:00 o'clock at the Mr. Pulaski coal mine, when two men were killed by falling in the shaft a distance of 360 feet. The local mine had just been purchased by.Lincoln part- ies, Wm. Conners, J. F. Murphy and George Lehman They were just starting that morning with full control, and the engineer, J. F. Murphy, in attempting to let : the second cage down in the mine, grew faint and sent the cage upwards completely wreck- ing the top works. Charles Fultz and Charles Cox were killed by falling, but the other men on the cage escaped with bruises Immediately news of the dis- aster spread over the city and : a large crowd of sorrowing peo- ple assembled at the scene to give what assistance they could Rescuing parties were formed and set about to recover the bodies of Mr. Fultz and Mr. Cox. Everybody expressed deepest sympathy for the bereaved ones. The sad accident was a great shock to the whole county. In the long existence of the mine only one other man, a Mr. Miller was killed by falling down the shaft, and that was when the mine was being sunk. Joseph Englehardt died several years a- go of injuries received in the mine. The new coal company had just assumed complete control of the local mine that morning and the engineer had lowered one cage of men to the bottom in safety, they being John Waters, Jr., Will Connolley, Allen & Will McVey, Gee. Johnson and John Miller. These men were waiting for the next cage-load of men to come down before they started out to their different rooms to commence work, and while thus waiting for their comrades, they heard a terrible crash at the top of the shaft and to their horror, heavy timbers and other debris began falling to the bottom. Wit/ this came the bodies of Charles Cox and Charles Fultz. The men in their bewilderment as to what had happened, im- mediately came to the top thru the escape shaft A rescuing party was at once formed and returned into the mine by way of : the escape, which was then the only means of reaching the bot- tom, to recover the bodies of the two unfortunate men. At the bottom of the main shaft there is a sump containing about 40 feet of water and coy- of the shaft they wondered what it meant. Mr. Fultz was heard to remark: "What is the matter with the engineer, he must have been used to letting miners get on the cage at the landing." Mr Drobisch gave the second signal, when suddenly the cage like a shot started upwards to the large pulleys and wrecked the whole thing, drawing the substructure several feet to the east. Four of the men were holding to the iron rods at the top of the cage and held on, but the men that were killed tried to jump to safety. John Ray received two gashes on the head and one on his leg, and was given medical attention immediately. Walter Bertrang was considerably bruised, and is barely able to be around Ferdi- nand Bobell and Chas. Schultz escaped without injury. The men hardly know how they did escape from being killed so quickly did things take place. No one can realize what an awful experience they went through in those few short seconds. Statement of Engineer Murphy James F. Murphy, the engineer in charge of the engine, fainted away and remained unconscious until late in the afternoon. His father came here from Spring- field as did also his brother from Lincoln, and that evening they took him to Decatur, and over the interurban to Springfield to the father's home where he might rest away from the scene of the awful accident, and recov- er from the prostration. In Springfield he made the follow- ing statement: "There were six men in the cage and I commenced to low- er it, to let them down to go to work. After they were about 25 feet down, I fainted and fell for- ward with the throttle, and had already let down the first six men safely. When I fell forward and set the reverse, the engine brought the cage to the surface again. About that time I recov- ered consciousness and stopped my engine Then I left the build- ing, going to the open air but again fainted. "Two of the men, Charles Cox and Charles Fultz, jumped from the cage when the machine had been reversed. That was the cause of their death Had they stayed with the cage instead of jumping, they would not have been hurt. This is shown by the fact that the other four men were uninjured. The body of Charles Fultz was not recovered until 5:30 Monday afternoon The mine had not been used for some time and the fact that the sump was 40 feet accounts for the inability of the rescuers to find the body." ered was a platform of heavy t Will Repair 3-inch timbers. When the bodies J The management of the New struck the bottom, Cox went JCoal Company will in a few days I begm to repatr the wrecked up through this platform into the, " " " r beneath h per works, and m the meantime wate , from where t e " " body was not recovered until will ship in coal for the trade. 5:30 p.m. The body of Fultz was found lying on the edge of the platform where it landed, and was soon found by the rescu- ing party, but as Cox could not be located after several hours search, Fultz was gotten ready and drawn up out of the mine at 10 o'clock by means of a block and tackle. The men below con- tinued the search for their oth- er comrade and much difficulty was encountered in getting the body after it was located. The body had fallen with such force that it was under 30 feet of wat- er and pumps were used to re- move this obstacle before it could be recovered. Men On Second Cage On the second cage, the one that was jerked through the top of the tower or tipple and wreck- ed it, were Charles Fultz, Charles Cox, Ferdinand Bobell, Charles Schultz, Walter Bertrang and Ray. One of the men stated that they were on the second cage, and Gus Drobisch signaled the engineer to lower them to the bottom. They got on the cage in the and when it sto about 25 down or at mouth Charles Orpheus Fultz Charles Orpheus Fultz, one of the unfortunate miners, who met such a tragic death in the mine disaster on Monday morning, September 10, 1906, was born in Indianapolis, Ind., April 9, 1867. i He was therefore aged 39 years, 5 months and 1 day. Fultz was married to Miss Shively in 1896, but she preceded her husband in death in 1899. One daughter, Maudie, was born to them; the little girl died last May. Deceased is survived by three sisters, Mrs. John Kuntzi, Chest- nut, Ill; Mrs. Win. Scroggin, of Beason, Ill; Mrs. John Jackson, of Abiline, Kansas. The remains were taken to! Chestnut Tuesday morning, and in the afternoon funeral services were conducted by the pastor, Rev. M. B. McFadden. Interment was made in Yankeetown ceme- tery just west of Chestnut. The pall bearers were Messrs. James and John Miller, Josep Hell, Wal- ;ter Bobell, Will McVey and Gee. Johnson, all members of Local Union No. 27, United Mine ers of of Mt. Pulaski SIL.TEHNIAL EDITION, (Times.News, Mr. Pulaski, ILL) THURSDAY, JUL PICTURE OF COAL SHAFT AFTER DISASTER the deceased also being a mem- ber. About 40 sorrowing miners, the wives of several, and friends, went to Chestnut to attend the funeral of their departed friend, whose sudden and untimely death will always remain vivid- ly in their memory. Charles H. Cox Charles H. Cox, the other vic- tim of the coal mine accident, Monday morning, September 10, 1906, was born near Shelbyvillle, Illinois, July 7, 1865, and at the time of his death was aged 41 years, 3 months and 3 days. He came to Mt. Pulaski in 1883, and began working in the tile factory which was located at the terminus of West Cook street, and owned by David Vanhise. He commenced working in the coal mine in 1887, and was said to be the best, most careful and thorough miner that ever work- ed in the mine. Charles H. Cox on February 10, 1886, married Miss Maria War- ren, and to this union four child- ren were born, namely: Bessie, aged 17; Hazel, aged 14; Mary, aged I0; Steven, aged 7, who survive him, as does also the wife. Deceased also leaves to mourn his untimely death, his mother, Mrs. Mahalah Cox, of Tower Hill, Ill.; one sister, Mrs. Prescott Goforth, of East St. Louis, Ill; one brother, Steven Cox, of Mt. Pulaski, Ill.; and a half-brother, Thomas Cox of Jop- lin, Me. The funeral services were con- lucted in the M. E. church Wed- nesday afternoon, September 12th by Rev. A Good, pastor of the German Evangelical church, and were largely attended. A choir composed of Mrs. Gus Drobisch,! Mrs. Christian Wagner, Messrs. G. J. Lobberecht and Will Lach- enmyer, with Miss Mary Ober- miller as organist, sang several beautiful and appropriate hymns. The remains were laid to rest in Mt. Pulaski cemetery. The pall bearers were Messrs John and James Miller, Will McVey, Joseph Hell, Will Klotz and Allen Mc Vey, all members of Local Un- ion No. 27, United Mine Workers of America, of which the deceas- ed was a member. The miners attended the funeral in a body. TRUCK LOAD OF RELIEF SUPPLIES SENT FROM HERE (JcaL 2S, 1937) A big truck carrying the spon- taneous and volunteer contribu- tions of scores of residents of this community, pulled away from in front of the Times-News office late yesterday afternoon, loaded with 36 big boxes contain- ing, 1500 pieces of bedding and clothing of all kinds to be de- livered at Marion for the flood sufferers. In response to a call sent here Tuesday morning for clothing, and bedding by the Illinois Emergency Relief Commission at the request of Governor Homer, immediate action was taken to inform the community of the urgent need. The business and was flooded with handbills of the call and asking for action. POLITICIANS OF OLDEN DAYS BETTER "SPORTS" THAN PReseNT "Bury the Hatchet" Cloaks and wraps to .. the la' Day" Followed All National Elections. Listed among bits of infor- mation of days more than 60 years ago was found a "Bury The Party Hatchet" invitation, (1876-1896) to attend a turkey dinner in the old Scroggin Opera House in which the participants were both Republicans and Dem- ocrats, the date being Tuesday evening, Dec. 1, 1896. Readers today will find the information of 1896 very interesting as it tells how members of opposite politic. al parties reacted to the results of November elections of national scope. Folowing is what was on the invitations:l 1876 Bury the Party Hatchet 1896 By Virtue of having establish- ed with Mr. Isom Birks the cus- tom of giving Aftermath Politic- al Campaign Friendship Turkey Dinners, commencing with the election of President Hayes in 1876, continuing with that of Garfield in 1880, Cleveland in 1884, Harrison in 1888, Cleveland in 1892, and McKinley in 1896, and for the sake of "auld lang syne" and a better political friendship, I hereby desire and propose to commemorate and re- new said mark of good-will so auspiciously inaugurated and happily enjoyed, by again tend- ering a similar post-election feast, to the end that party heat and campaign excitement may be lost in the "buried hatchet", love of country, joyous patriotism and the better emenities of good citizenship. The wager consideration (that is) that the vanquished p a r t y supply the turkeys, while the victors proceed to arrange and set up the square meal, will hold good. Further, each member of the winning side names some one of the opposite party as a political guest at such dinner, and said Republican inviting friend will be discovered later by being seated opposite his guest at the banquet table. Re- presenting the different political parties, three hundred plates will be laid. Accordingly, yourself and wife are very courteously invited to be present and participate in this, the Sixth Presidential Cam- paign (sans partisanship) Turkey Feast, to occur in Scroggin Opera House, Mount Pulaski, Ill., at 7 o'clock Tuesday evening, Dec. 1, 1896. This token of respect to the memory of my worthy compeer and deceased friend, Mr. Isom Birk, and the other dear old associates of those joyous and happy occasions. Sincerely and Truly, S. Linn Beidler, Host. will be checked in of Attorney A. G. joneS, head of the hall stairway left. _ _ getl. Hats and overcoats tor., $. men will be checkea "'at l" Fryer's saddlery ro,r o  head of the hall stairw right, j . Social intercourse anpo a occurs in the hall, -fl" stage, and in the .seCul,tel parlors of the Scroggin J'- til the supper hour. *,e - Singing, music by t and Prayer by Elder I* m" son. Cigar Maker. Trained PulaSki Firemen's Teem March 2, 1939 er - rs a for W. Y. Saunde , - -nt known resident of MO^ at ks a" - ki, dmd two wee .. e home in Wilmette, Ill'-tsl ' was employed in the w- vice a number of yearS, v.t# The passing of Mr',-io brings back many reclltVhe the older residents o "91.' concerning the yearSrl of , when he, a sprint.v.nt Iap trained the old Mou cea. ent hose ", ' fire departm o ,,e 90s,  those early days oI t, .  ,. Mount Pulaski was t _nnia winner of the state hose team, at the tffate given by the IlliniS.:;igg_ men's Association, w' 19 honors in Lincoln .aOt Ottawa in 1892 au _ a., 1893 They establiSn 0, -- - t 0 ! of 35 215 seconds ^rd t which stands as a recv day, in 1939. e" The conditions on race hose fbrJ  pionship were to -  ante of 600 feet to a lay 200 feet of ling and attach P ipe  turns. , li_#. f While Mr. Saundc'ci. the city he operated F eifi tory with the late r Four surviving rne:$a "l championship hSe.uat lted most 50 yeas agi'.i W: pOdy( ia93: 'tGe pi:  .  "; --d I,O Magazine, Ark., ." ner, of Springflet "Dad, I've got n a p-r .  a play," annou.ncu-vt o  " ct tile E " u actor. I a ._ for, who's been maret,m '  -x "That's not baa, ."7o . the father. "If yo' they might give :..,ttt v part in the next P r`' Mrs. Beidler, Hostess. THE PROGRAM Adam and Guests will arrive, commenc- the animals. that one a hi] ing at 6 p.m. said. Supper at 7:30 o'clock. "Why?" Adam Followed by a joyous season of "I don't knoW. toasts and responses, ju looks more for amus any Adj and the Cam of 1900. * * i