North Lake, MI Terrible Mine Disaster, Nov 1926

Negaunee MICH 1926 mine 1

SETTLEMENT IS ROBBED OF MALE POPULACE.

2 MEN SURVIVE OUT OF FIFTY-THREE.

AT NORTH LAKE.

Disaster From Mines Wednesday Leaves 160 Orphans Homeless.

Ishpeming, Mich., Nov. 4 (AP) -- This little settlement which grew up around the development of the BARNES-HECKER Iron Mine at North Lake, was robbed of nearly every man resident by the disaster Wednesday which took 51 lives.
Today, as the slow work of recovering the dead to their families proceeded, there were only two men residents of the community to help. The others lay in a morgue or in the mine where they were caught Wednesday by the collapse of swamp land and the subsequent flooding with water.
In the homes the widows sat comforting their children and accepting their loss with the heroic stoicism common to their English ancestry.
The disaster left 160 orphans and the school house near by where 32 children from the community usually attended was closed today as only six children appeared today.
Only seven bodies hve been recovered so far. Fifty employes of the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company perished, as did WILLIAM HILL, County Mine Inspector who was on a trip through the mine.
About forty men are working to recover the bodies, one crew is preparing to bail the wrecked shaft. Another is working in from the third level to reach the shaft from beneath.
Mine officials believe that men were working on all three levels of the mine and that most of them were on the first level, six hundred feet below the surface.
The shaft is thought to be a mass of wreckage from two hundred feet below its mouth to the bottom.

Plattsburgh Sentinel New York 1926-11-04

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Listings taken from The Daily Globe Ironwoods Michigan 1926-11-04
Sole Survivor:
WILFRED WILL, 23 years old.
Dead:
SALOMON VALIMEA.
NESTER SOLOMAN.
ELIAS RANTU. [last name is actually RANTA]
JAMES SCOPEL.
WILLIAM KAKKURL.
WILLIAM HUOT.
Capt. WILLIAM TIPPETT.
SAM PHILLIPPI.
NEIS HILL.
JOHN SANTTI.
PETER MONGLATT.
JOSEPH MANKEE.
THOMAS DREW.
RAYMOND CARLYON.
ALBERT VICKMAN.
FRANK JANKINEN.
EDWARD CHAPMAN.
HERMAN CHAPMAN, son of EDWARD.
ED TOMO.
ARVID UELNO.
LOUIS TRUDELL.
GEORGE HILL.
EMIL MAKL.
HARRY QUAYLE.
HERMAN AHO.
ARVID KALLIO.
FRANK HEINO.
UNO KOSKINAN.
GUST FRENDI.
GEORGE LAMPSHIRE.
RICHARD LAMPSHIRE, brothers.
ED LAITURA.
THEODORE KUFRT.
JOHN WILJAMER.
WALTER MATTILA.
HENRY HANPALA.
WILLIAM CARLYON.
PETER CARLYON, brothers.
WILLIAM TUEMELA.
EARL J. ELLERSICK.
CLEMENT SIMONEAU.
JACK J. HANNA.
JOHN LUOMA.
SOLOMON MILLIMAKI.
THOMAS KIRBY, SR.
THOMAS KIRBY, JR., his son.
JAMES GREEN.
PETER DUROEHE.
NICK VALENTI.
JOSEPH CELMI.
HARVEY VESPOLA.
WALTER TIPPETT, brother of WILLIAM.
WILLIAM E. HILL, of Lahpening, County Mine Inspector.

Comments

Elias Ranta

Can you contact me regarding Elias Ranta? I was a co-chair of the 2016 Barnes-Hecker Remembrance, which commemorated the 1926 disaster. We are hoping to learn more about what happened to the surviving families. We know that four of the widows were pregnant, and your posting is the only verification I've seen regarding the unborn child of the Ranta family. The accident report from Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company shows 6 children.

Our Facebook page is Barnes-Hecker Remembrance, and you can PM us through that page or reply to this message if you'd like to connect.

I am one of the grandchildren of one of the lost men.

Elias Ranta

Hello Christine Smith,

Thank you for your information regarding Elias Ranta, your great grandfather. I am sorry for the tragedy that befell your family on November 3, 1926. Surely, your family has had to endure a great loss.
My name is Jane Huynh and may be related to Elias Ranta through a sister or brother of his. My grandfather informed our family that an uncle of his had his life has taken in the Barnes and Hecker Mine in 1926. Our family has been searching for my grandfather's family for over fifty years. I have found this connection through DNA testing and would appreciation so much to converse with you to see if in fact we are related. I am not even sure if you have any information regarding Elias' siblings, or where he came from in Finland. CHristine, I recently found information about Elias' immigration to the U.S. with his wife, Amanda, but it is not clear in the documentation. I am searching to find Elias' family in Finland, or where they may have settled in America to confirm my family's history.
I ask you sincerely, Christine, and if you are comfortable, to contact me through the above mentioned e-mail address, at your convenience.

Thank you for your time in reading my email and inquiry.

Most gratefully,

Jane Huynh

Elias Ranta

Hello Carrie Kay,

Thank you for your comment regarding the family of Elias Ranta. I am sorry for your family and the tragedy that befell them on November 3, 1926. Carrie, there is a strong possibility that I may be related to a sister or a brother of Elias Ranta.
Just recently, I found Elias Ranta in Ishpeming, Michigan and that his life was taken in a mining accident. My grandfather told our family that his uncle was killed in the Barnes and Hecker Mine.
Our family has been searching for our relatives on my grandfather's side for over fifty years. If you wouldn't mind, I would appreciate so much to converse with you via e-mail to verify information that could connect with our family.
Thank you in advance, Carrie for any time you may put into a response to my inquiry.

Sincerely,

Jane Huynh

Elias Ranta

Your information is not entirely correct. Only two children were left behind in Finland, the two oldest, Waino and Hilja. They were left to stay with relatives when Amanda and Elias came to the USA, where all of the rest of the children were born. The two children joined the rest of the family later in Ishpeming, Michigan.

Elias Ranta

Information from Carrie Kay, great granddaughter of Elias Ranta, one of the men killed in the mine -

Elias Ranta came to America from Finland Around 1914, and his wife's name is Amanda. He left behind 5 children and his wife was pregnant.