for The FROSTBURG EXPRESS
by Polla Hammond Horn
Alonzo Howsare was born in Chaneysville, Pennsylvannia on December 13, 1873. He quit school at an early age and went to work in the coal mines. He spent most of his time in the mines except for short periods of time working around saw mills.
On December 25, 1898 he married Anna Porter and that union produced four children. He was always an active church member and was the superintendant of the Allegany M.E. Sunday School for 25 years. He also served as church treasurer, and sometimes took the place of janitor.
From the Annual Report of the Mine Inspector we learn of Mr. Howsare’s death.
“On February 17, 1936, at 11:00 AM, Alonzo Howsare, a miner employed by the Potomac Big Vein Georges Creek Coal Company in their Union #1 Mine located in Zihlman, MD, (This mine was also know as Broken Heart Mine) was fatally injured by a fall of roof rock, and died from such injuries in Miners Hospital, Frostburg, on February 22, 1936."
Mr. Howsare was working with Mr. Edward Skidmore. A driver had just pulled a car in place, and as the driver, Mr. Gary, and Mr. Howsare and Mr. Skidmore pushed the car up to the face of the place, a large piece of roof rock fell catching Mr. Howsare’s head on the end-gate of the car, fatally injuring him. The rock was 6 feet long, 5 feet 6 inches wide, tapering from nothing to 10 inches thick.” He died five days after the accident and services were held at Allegany M.E. Church with Rev. J. Wesley Webb presiding.
Thanks to Neal Sween for providing his grandfather’s biography and photograph[not provided here].
As a side note, Mr. Sween tells us that Alonzo’s brother-in-law, Levi Porter, lost his arm in a fan in the same mine.
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 our Georges 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.
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