For the FROSTBURG EXPRESS
by Bucky Schriver
ANTHONY CORNELIUS NEWTON CLUPP & son JOHN CLUPP
(Editor's Note: Each week "Miner Recollections" will spotlight Georges Creek coal heritage, and the sacrifices made by those who mined it, by drawing upon biographical sketches, family narritives[sic] and historical research.)
Clupp family members suffer same fate
On Monday, July 30, 1894, Anthony Cornelius Newton Clupp, a veteran miner aged 62 years, was killed in a roof collapse at the Pine Hill Mine near Gilmore in Allegany County. Mr. Clupp was a miner of great experience and left behind a wife and eight children.
Anthony Clupp's death in the coal mine was the first in a series of tragedies that would shake the Clupp family for decades to come.
(Courtesy of Pat Sullivan)
On April 1, 1901, Anthony Clupp's son John was killed in that same Pine Hill Mine, in an accident similar to the one that took the life of his father seven years prior. Father and son are buried in Saint Mary's Cemetery on Water Station Run Road in Lonaconing.
John's son, Leonard, remembered this day in 1901. In the words of Leonard Clupp's daughter, Pat Sullivan,
"My father, Leonard Clupp, told me many stories of being the son of a coal miner. On the spring day of April 1, 1901, the alarm sounded at the Pine Hill Mine in Gilmore, Maryland.
My father often told me how, at 8 years old, he recalled going with his mother to the mine site, standing and waiting to hear word of the fate of his father. One of the mine supervisors eventually came and told them that John Clupp had lost his life in a roof collapse. My father's life was forever changed from that time forward, until his natural death at age 69.
He told me of his recollection of standing by the curb with their suitcases, holding his mother's hand, waiting for their ride to Turtle creek, Pennsylvania, to live with my father's Aunt Catherine ("Catie") and Uncle Jim. My grandmother wanted to remove her son from the Georges Creek area so that he would never become a coal miner and suffer the same fate as his father and grandfather.
My father was forced to go to work as a child to be the sole supporter of his mother, and he never had the privilege of attending school again.
He went to work at the Westinghouse Air Brake plant in Pittsburgh with his uncle, and relocated to the Philadelphia area in 1914 to become an apprentice with Westinghouse.
In 1921, my grandmother passed away at the age of 51. A lifetime of hardship and grief had taken its toll."
"But knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll.
Chill penury repressed their noble rage
And froze the genial current of the soul"
-- Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard, Thomas Gray
The Coal Miner Memorial Statue Fund is accepting contributions for the placement of an educational memorial near the crossroads of state Route 36 and the National Road in Frostburg.
A bronze statue will honor all of our George's Creek Valley Miners, and name those who perished while mining.
Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to the Foundation for Frostburg CMMSF, P.O. Box 765, Frostburg, MD 21532.
Historical research uncovers sources that are not always accurate. We welcome updated information and encourage your participation.
Polla Horn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bucky Schriver at email@example.com
to share your thoughts and stories.
Be on the lookout for future Miner Recollections.
(Courtesy of Pat Sullivan)
Posted August 8, 2015