1892 Death of Hugh Vallely:|
By Tom Vallely
My great-grandfather, Hugh Vallely was born in County Antrim Ireland
on August 9, 1843. He died in a mining accident April
19,1892 in Birmingham, Alabama.
The newspaper article is interesting because of the style of writing.
It is from the Birmingham Age-Herald of April 20, 1892. The article
is next to an ad for Carter's Little Liver Pills and an article about how
hot it is in Texas.
I might add that it may be a
bit presumptuous of the reporter to assume what my great-grandfather was
thinking, although Vallely men are not very alert at 7 A.M. I know
my great-grandmother was probably thrilled by the stirring
minute-by-minute account of his death.
From a Birmingham newspaper
Run Over by Coal Cars
While Going to Work in a Coal Mine
Of the DeBardeleben Coal and Iron Company--Hugh Vallely
the Unfortunate Man
Hugh Vallely was run over while going down into mine No. 5 of the DeBardeleben
Coal and Iron Company at Adger, yesterday morning at 7 o'clock, and instantly
Vallely was about 50 years old
and with only his mine lamp fastened in his cap as a guide light, he went
down into the mine for the purpose of going to work.
There are two tram car tracks
running down into the mines, one of which is used for hauling loaded cars
out of the coal mine. The other is used for letting them down after
Vallely evidently must have
thought that he was on the track used for empties and was going along not
dreaming of impending danger, as he knew that no empties were sent
into the mines at that time of day.
His error cost him his life.
He heard the rumbling of cars
before him, but thinking they were on the parallel track to the one on which
he was, he walked, and in so doing, walked into the very jaws of death.
The cars were on the track on
which he was, and before he could discover his error they had ran him down
and crushed his body into a bleeding mass.
He must have died instantly, as
the cars are very heavy and his body was terribly mutilated. He leaves
A Probate Court document filed in February, 1893 by William Grady
(son-in-law) lists the following heirs:
The court and the honorable M.J. Porter awarded the family the sum of $300
from the DeBardeleben Coal and Iron Company for the negligent killing of
- Bridget Vallely Widow
- John Vallely Son Age
- Mary Grady Daughter Age 23
- Charles Vallely Son Age
- Patrick Vallely Son Age 17
- James Vallely
Son Age 13
- Rose Vallely Daughter Age 11
I'd like to acknowledge the contribution of
Barbara V. Carney of Tyler, TX who provided copies of these
and other important family documents.