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George Brady - accidents

Accidents - Fitzhugh Burrell Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


GAIL: Were there any other accidents or things that you remember and want to share?

GEORGE: There were several accidents at Shallmar. My Dad had several close calls when I was a kid. I remember him coming home. Remember the hardhat we saw at Mr. Bray’s. He had a hat, we had that for years and years and his carbide light. He came so close to getting killed one time by a rock fell and pinched his head that it squeezed his head right out of his hardhat and mashed his carbide light as flat as your hand. I mean he brought it home and it was as flat as your hand, by a big rock.

Jackie's Dad, not at Shallmar, was working in the mines and was covered up one time, broken all up. He was crushed a couple times and his ribs all broken up. I don't think he ever stopped working, did he?

JACKIE: No. His knee impression was right in here. He said he could just feel it when it went out. But whenever they was coming in he was just thinking "Don't let them leave me."

GEORGE: He was running out of the place, the guys were working with him.

JACKIE: His mine was off of Route 38, and I don't remember the year.

GEORGE: I was there when his accident happened when her Dad was hurt.

GAIL: You were?

GEORGE: Yes. We were both working on the outside of the mines at the tipple. He said there was no point in both of us standing out here and said he would go in and help the guy on the cutting machine. They called it scraping on the cutting machine. As the machine drilled under the coal it drilled out fine cuttings and someone would be there with a shovel kind of keeping it shoveled back. That's what he was doing, and a big rock fell on him. He was on his hands and knees. It crushed him right down. It was so heavy that it crushed the breath out of him, and he couldn't breathe back in. Before he became unconscious, he could hear the footprints of the guy running the machine, or his footsteps running out of the place, and he kept thinking "please don't leave me, come get this rock off of me 'cause I’m not dead." They came back and got him out from under it. He wasn’t breathing. They did, in those days, not like artificial respiration, they did chest compression and got him breathing again. He had, his back was broken, and where his knee came up in his chest, it broke his ribs and ankle or leg.

We took him to the hospital, and Dr. Alvarez was the surgeon. He was telling Dr. Alvarez what kind of cast he wanted on it so he could be able to walk. I remember Dr. Alvarez saying Mr. Burrell, you maybe not have to worry about a cast, you may not be able to walk again. Before we came home that night, he was in his bed doing exercises, pulling hisself up. This is Jackie’s dad. He came back, got healed up and came back to work in the mines loading coal after that. The toughest man I've ever known in my life, worked like that. No one can believe how hard these guys worked. I seen him shovel coal under the rock low like this, this high and double shovel it and double shovel it to get it to that trailer down there. Just so he could get it to where he could load it in the car. Unbelievable.

I can't express how they worked. I've seen him sit here at the table in this room, and be eating, and just go to sleep. Or stand up and go to sleep. Physically, no one could comprehend how those people worked. Unbelievable

JACKIE: This was the last mine to have ponies in the area. Wasn’t it?

GEORGE: Uh huh.

GAIL: Your father’s?

GEORGE: This was the mine I worked at.

GAIL: Could you describe the location of the mine?

GEORGE: We had two mines. He had one that a…

GAIL: First, his name.

JACKIE: Fitzhugh Burrell

GAIL: You were describing the location.

GEORGE: This mine that he was injured in, and the one that I worked at, was off Route 38. The further mine they had was down the river from Kitzmiller. What they called Pee Wee. They had no electricity there. Everything they did was by hand or had gasoline motors. In fact, right before he took this mine over and was operating it, there were five men killed there. They had a gasoline motor operating the fan that caught on fire one night. It blew bad air back in and the carbon monoxide killed five. Fellows here from town.


George Brady, Gail Herman

George Brady

Kitzmiller Mine Rescue Team in 1927. Left to right - J.J. Walker, F.L. Burrell (George Brady's father-in-law), H.A. Marshall, J.B. Watkins, C.E.Paugh, D.E.Sowers, and L.C. Hutson. The team were the Maryland Champions in the International Mine-Rescue Contest.

The photograph was provided by George and Jackie Brady.

audio 1992-06-08, photograph 1927

Collection Location:
Garrett College, McHenry; photograph, George Brady

Coal miners--Maryland--History; Coal miners--West Virginia--History; Garrett County (Md.)--History; Allegany County (Md.)--History.

Western Maryland, 1930-1980

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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