Cherry Coal Mine Disaster

James Cherry
Cherry Mine Disaster Story
Story of Disaster by Steve Stout
The Fatal Day
Story in a Nutshell
Mine Site photos
Description of Cherry Mine
James Cherry
page two mine pics
Page Three Mine Pics
Page four Mine photos
Page Five Mine Photos
Page Six Mine Photos
Page Seven Mine Photos
Page Eight Mine Photos
Page Nine Mine Photos
Bell Signals etc.
Page Ten Mine photos
New Mine photos
Aerial Views
Cherry Mine Artifacts
Sunday Morning Crowds
Cherry Mine Model
Model Pics Set Two
Twelve Heroes Story
John Flood: Hero
Alex Norberg (Hero)
Read about Eight-Day Men
John Thomas Brown
George Eddy
Which Story Deserves Movie?
The Memorial and More
Miners Tombstones
Cherry Depot
Soldier Trains and more
Morgue Tent
Names of Victims
Names of Victims section two
Coal Mining Words
Map Diagrams
No Respect For History
The Day the Tipple Fell
Farewell letters
Sam Howard's Letter
More on the Subject
"Oneness" Press release
TRAPPED: Karen Tintori's new book
Ray Tutaj Model Projects
Last Days of The Milwaukee Road
Milwaukee Road Car
St. Paul Coal Mine Office
Remembering the disaster.
100th Anniversary/Car Show
100th Anniversary Photos
100th Anniversary photos by Candy Brown
100th Anniversary pics from Karen Tintori
We need Your Help (1909 song)
Cherry Word Puzzle
Favorite Links
About me
Tour of Mine Site
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100th Anniversary Documentary Available and More!
Cherry Mine Disaster Historical Society
T-Shirts, Sweatshirts etc.(100th anniv.)
Train Photo CDs Available
Train Video DVD's Available
Train -e-books NEW!
Workers Compensation
Cherry MIne Enthusiasts Remembered
How You Can Help

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.

James Cherry

Any additional photos/info on James Cherry will be welcomed!