The town was named after Mr. James Cherry who was superintendent of the St. Paul mine at Cherry. James died two months
before the disaster.
|James Cherry and his wife Elizabeth
|Photo contributed by relatives
JAMES CHERRY, superintendent of the Seatonville coal mine, belonging to the Chicago, Wilmington & Vermillion Coal company,
was born in Northumberland county, England, February 24, 1841, and is a son of William and Jane (Forbes) Cherry, the former
a native of England and the latter of Scotland. They remained in England, where the father died at the age of sixty-six, and
the mother some time later at the age of sixty. By trade he was a plasterer. Our subject is the oldest of their four children,
the other being Elizabeth, the wife of George Liddle, of England; Joseph, who died in that country at the age of twenty-two;
and William, who is married and is a miner of England.
The educational privileges afforded our subject were rather limited as he began work in a coal mine when only eight years
and three months of age. He has therefore for almost half a century been connected with mining interests, and has filled almost
every position from "trapper boy" up to superintendent, so that he is thoroughly familiar with the business in its
various departments and is well qualified to fill the responsible position which he now occupies. He passed the required examination
at the last session of the state board for mine managers and received a certificate for his proficiency.
The year 1868 witnessed the arrival of Mr. Cherry in America and he at once began operations as a miner at Braidwood,
Will county, Illinois, where he remained for twenty years, during which time he worked his way steadily upward until becoming
"Pit boss." It was in 1889 that he accepted his present position in the mine at Seatonville, which he has filled
with honor to himself and the satisfaction of the company. The mine was opened about 1878 and ten years later was transferred
by Mr. Seaton to the present company. They take out about eight hundred tons of coal daily although they have a capacity for
lifting one thousand tons or over. It is a good grade of bituminous coal in three veins, and three hundred and twenty-five
men are employed on an average all the year round, the number being increased during winter season.
On the 16th of December, 1863, in England was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Cherry and Elizabeth Lonsdale, a daughter
of Thomas and Elizabeth Lonsdale, of that country, where her mother is still living. The father died in 1860, at the age of
sixty years. Mrs. Cherry is one of a family of eleven children, seven of whom are still living, three sisters being residents
of Braidwood, Illinois, and a brother Abraham, a miner of Seatonville.
Eleven children graced the union of Mr. and Mrs. Cherry, namely; Elizabeth, married James Kibble, by whom she had five
children; James, Fred, deceased; Mabel, Edith, and Bell. John died at the age of one year and nine months. John T., the second
of that name, works in the Seatonville mine, being night watchman and overseer of the pumps, whichposition was formerly held
by his father. He married Julia Smith, and has one daughter, Pearl. William, a farmer by occupation, married Edith Swan, daughter
of Newton B. Swan, of Hall township. James who works on top of the mine, still lives at home. Jane Ann, Hannah, Isabel, Esther,
Joseph and Thomas [believed incorrect: Robinson] Lonsdale are still under the parental roof.
In his political affiliations, Mr. Cherry is an ardent republican, a strong supporter of Major McKinley, for whom he voted
in April, 1896, when a delegate to the congressional committee at La Salle, and he has been called upon to fill a number of
minor offices. He is a member of Braidwood lodge, No. 704, F. & A. M., and is also a Knight Templar, being connected with
the commandery at Peru, Illinois. He is in the prime of a vigorous manhood, is a jovial, genial gentleman, and although an
Englishman by birth has become thoroughly Americanized, giving his earnest support to all our free institutions. He is a thorough
believer in protection for American industries, and is one of Seatonville's most worthy citizens.
Source: The Biographical Record of Bureau, Marshall, and Putnam Counties, Illinois, published by The S. J. Clarke Publishing
Company, 1896, pp 296-297, transcribed by HJ, February 24, 2014
The coal mining town, Cherry, Illinois, was named for James Cherry, who was then Superintendent of the St. Paul Coal
Mines. The St. Paul Coal mines were owned by the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad (C.M. & St. P), which had opened
the mines in 1905 to supply coal for its trains. The coal mine in Mark, Illinois, was also owned by the St. Paul Coal Co.
James Cherry eventually transferred to the Berry Coal Company, of Standard, Illinois. On November 13, 1909, the Cherry Mine
was the site of the infamous Cherry Mine Disaster, when 259 men and boys lost their lives in the burning coal mine. James
Cherry died two months before the disaster.
John Cherry, of Seatonville, Illinois
Mrs. James Kibble, of Montana
Mrs. Charles Carlson, of Wisconsin
Check out this link to find out where James Cherry was buried, etc.