I have a copy of a manuscript "compiled and abstracted" by Thurman SHULLER, M.D. that was first printed by the Pittsburg County Genealogical and Historical Society (Pittsburg Co., Oklahoma) in 1990 and copyrighted in 1990. The title:
FATALITIES IN THE COAL MINES OF INDIAN TERRITORY AND SOUTHEASTERN OKLAHOMA 1885-1962
Dr. SHULLER provides a valuable record for researchers and descendants of miners who were injured or killed while working as employees of coal mine companies in early Oklahoma. For several decades prior to statehood in late 1907, much of the eastern half of Oklahoma was known as "Indian Territory," as the land was owned in common and governed by several tribal nations (Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Osage etc.). This manuscript concerns miners who worked in Indian Territory and southeastern Oklahoma from 1885-1962.
The 232 page book is only a partial compilation of newspaper articles, church records, individual reports and a few mining company records. The author, Dr. SHULLER, indicates that many many coal miners died. But scant records were kept by mining companies other than mere lists of the number of men or boys who were lost in a particular month or year. Names and personal information were seldom kept by their employers. Newspapers of the day would list the number of dead--but not always list their names, ages or hometowns. Families of survivors who did not live nearby remained unaware of their loved one's death. A few local churches started collecting data, but many of their records were not preserved over time.
INDEX: There is a lengthy INDEX in the book and I am willing to do lookups if you provide me with a SURNAME (last name) and any other data you may know about the miner. (I've found that not all names mentioned in the book are contained within the INDEX) Dr. SHULLER writes that records were often difficult to read due to fading print or damaged papers. Names of foreign workers (yes, there were many immigrants seeking employment in the Territories) were often misspelled. Nicknames were sometimes all that was known about a coal miner.
So if I do not find your ancestor mentioned in the book, please do not stop researching. Have you "googled" his name, using the "advanced" feature at Google?http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en
Try posting a query to this message board. In the "subject" line AND in the message itself, type all last names in caps so that they can easily be seen. Most people JUST read the Subject lines, and don't bother to click open the messages unless they find a relevant Subject or KEYWORD. And put your miner's surname in the SURNAME box. Separate surnames by comma, such as: DIMINYATZ, THOMPSON, MARIANI, COFFEY
Why? Surnames in the Surname box will be entered into Rootsweb's search engine, enabling others to quickly find your post.
Messages I've posted on Rootsweb or GenForum.com's message boards have often brought helpful replies years later. Post your query here or at the board created for your miner's surname. And if you find data about him, please SHARE it here. It will help another researcher.