About

GrandfatherWe recall the stories from our youth, told by Earl O'Neal born 1919 (pictured right) and his Father, Charley O'Neal who marched on Blair Moutain at 27 years old. Charley went into the mines at 8 years of age and it is truly hard to imagine that as a man he had already been in the mines for 19 years. Suffering harship was the coal miners plight and while the Industrial Revolution razed on it was reared on the hardworking backs of people like Charley and Lettie O'Neal from Cabin Creek. They lived 2 and 1/2 years in tents off and on during the notorious Paint and Cabin Creek Strikes. Earl was taught to hit his belly when he heard a train coming as a small child because a coal company had once mounted gattling guns on a train (called the Bull Moose Special) and the miners never forgot the killing of innocents living in tents while striking. It is hard today to fathom the depravity of one Charley O'Neal called "Corporate Master". We hear the story today and can not believe that such things happened less than one hundred years ago, yet it did happen and we can not forget.