Cherry, IL Coal Mine Disaster, Nov 1909

Cherry IL The morgue scene.jpg Cherry IL Mine Day After Disaster.JPG Cherry IL Caskets Loaded On Train.JPG Cherry IL Mine Disaster Ruins of Fan House 1909.jpg Cherry IL  The Morgue where Bodies Lay.JPG Cherry IL Historical Marker Of Mine Disaster.jpg Cherry IL Remains of the Fan House today.jpg Cherry IL Remains of the Tipple at the entrance.jpg CHERRY ILL MINE

Company Makes Statement.
Chicago, Nov. 13. -- A statement declaring that of the 485 men who went into the Cherry coal mine this morning, 200 have been taken out alive, was issued tonight by the officials of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway company.
The statement denies that the fire started as the result of an explosion of mine dust, declaring that the accidental firing of a load of hay on the second level by a careless miner probably started it.
The Cherry mine is one of the newest and best equipped coal mines in the country, the statement asserts, the shaft having been sunk only four years. There are two levels, one 300 feet below the surface and one 550 feet below the surface. Most of the miners in the mine when the fire started were at work in the lower level.
The mine was well equipped with modern machinery, says the statement, and was well lighted throughout with electricity. In order to eliminate the chance of fire. The statement adds that the exhaust fan installed to draw foul air from the mine broke shortly after the fire started, rendering it necessary to close all of the shafts, excepting the hoisting shaft, in order to check the spread of the flames.

Pour Water In Mine.
Late tonight special trains carrying fire apparatus were sent to Cherry and the volunteer firemen began to pour water into the mine in the hope of checking the flames. The work was greatly hampered, however, by the fact that there is little water at Cherry and the engines had to carry it three miles from Ladd in tank cars. Several hundred men, some of them armed with buckets, were set to work dumping the water into the shaft.
President EARLING, of the railroad, and General Manager BUSH expressed the belief that some of the entombed men were still alive and that when the fire has been checked and the smoke cleared from the shafts, rescuers may be sent down safely and efforts made to communicate with any of the miners still surviving.
These hopes are not shared by the practical miners of Cherry who declare that even if the imprisoned men could get air, they could never survive the intense heat of the fire.
It was stated at Cherry tonight that the officials of the local miners union were formulating a demand for a complete investigation of the disaster and the circumstances surrounding it. Miners were heard to declare that if the exhaust fan had not broken at a critical moment, some of the men now entombed might have been taken out alive.



Anton Masenetta

My Great Great grandfather dies in the Cherry mine disaster. I am trying to find information about his children. My great grandpa George and his twin sister were adopted separately after the accident. I am told that their mother died in childbirth and Anton was left to care for the twins on his own. Does anyone know how I could possibly find out this information or possibly what Anton's daughter's name possibly was?

Reading this story and all

Reading this story and all the comments from relatives makes for a very poignant and terrible tragedy. I am from a mining town in Canada and my grandfather died in a mine at age 36. I cannot imagine leaving a family member buried underneath, always wondering what happened to them.
These are incredible stories, thank you for sharing

Anton Vesel

emilio tonelli

i would like a list of names sent to me
emilio was a great grandfather that died
in the disaster. also we were told that a
petro lancelotti and a mane named gudatti
was ther can you please send me anything thanks

looking for relatives

I´m looking for list of victims. My grandfather had two brothers, Karl Johan and Axel Johanson who I´ve been told died in an explosion in young age.. They arrived to Illinois from Sweden in 1907. At least one of them worked as a "stonecutter"
The explosion should have taken place in Rockford Ill. I appreciate any help where to search.

Anton Vesel

My husband name is Kenneth Vesel. His father was Victor. Victors mother was pregnant with him when Anton died in the mine. We are trying to find information about Anton and where he was born and who his parents were. We know that Frances met him in La Salle Il. He was staying at a boarding house that her and her mother ran. We are also trying to find out why he had the alias attached to his name.

anton vesel

Hi Alice
Anton is my great grandfather.
Would like to hear from you. I did locate his tombstone . I attended the 100th anniversary of Cherry Mine disaster, were you there? Please contact me @

Re List of Survivors of Cherry Coal Mine Disastor - 1909

Yes There Are List Of Those Who Survied The Cherry Coal Mine Disastor of 1909 and Those Who Got Settlements
Contact The Cherry, Illinois and Spring Valley, Illinois Historical Societies. - Very Nice People - They Will Help and Direct You.
If I Were You - I Would Call Them Via the Phone and Talk With Them.
Good Luck In Your Search.

Cherry Coal Mine Disastor - 1909 - List Contain Incorrect Info

My Two Third Cousins - Sam and Alfred Howard (Develeschoward) Both Died Side By Side In The Cherry Coal Mine of Black Damp.
The Mine List and The Book " Trapped" Incorrectly State That Alfred Was 16 Years Old At The time He Died in The Mine. However, According To Family Records - Alfred Was Born in 1895 - Thus, He Was ONLY 14 At the Time He Died In The Mine and NOT 16.

The Author of The Book " Trapped" Incorrectly States That Alfred and Sam's Mother, Celina Was of Italian Descent - This is Totally Wrong.
Celina And Her Ancestors Were Of French Descent And Alfred and Sams' Father, Charles Devleschoward (Howard) was of French/Belgium and Flemish/Belgium Descent.

So Do Not Depend To Much On What The Records and List State.
Further, Given that Many of The Mine Workers Were Not Amercan Born There Are Errors In Spellings of Last Names, As Well As First and Middle Names.

If I were You, I Would Contact The Cherry and Spring Valley Illinois Historifcal Societies - I Found Them To Be Helpful when I Was Doing My Family Search. Also, Another Place That is VERY HELPFUL is The LDS - Church of Jesus Christ of The Latter Day Saints - Family Library - They Do Everyones Genealogy - Look Them Up in The Phone Directory and Call Them - They Are Very Nice People and You Do NOT Have To Be of Their Faith In order For Them To Assist And Help You. Give it A Try - I Think You Will Be Happy With The Help The Provide To You.

Good Luck To You

Cherry Mine

Sue, I believe Anton was my grandfather and the child Franceska was carrying was my dad. I dont know a lot about the story, other than that, and that his name wasnt on the marker (as Anton) anyway, and I dont remember hearing WHY it wasnt..