I too am a Coal Miner's Daughter... from both sides of my family. No, my Mother didn't work in the mines but here's the way it happened....
My mom's family came from England in the early 1700's.... settled in New Jersey, then on to Pennsylvania as farmers. My g-g-g-g-g-g grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War. I don't know why, but they moved on to Ohio... and somewhere along the road quit farming and became coal miners.
My dad's family, the Wallace's, came from Scotland sometime back. So far I haven't been able to find out exactly when. I think they probably came into the US through Maryland or Virginia. They lived in Clay Co Virginia, which is now West Virginia. They probably moved around as work became available. My Grandmother Wallace was born in Kentucky in 1857... she was named Cynthia Ann, after the town of Cynthiana, KY.
I can only think that 1929-1930 must have been pure hell for my mothers family. My mother contracted scarlet fever, which, at that time, was a devastating illness. She was 15 years old, a sophomore in high school. The illness kept her bedfast for months. On August 6, 1929, Chris, her favorite brother (she was the next to the youngest of 10 kids) fell off a roof he was mending and as a result got Lockjaw (tetanus) and died a horrible death.
November 5, 1930, was the Millfield Mine Disaster. Her brothers George and Sam were among the 82 men who died. Her father and another brother worked in the mine but weren't scheduled to work that day.
This disaster, along with numerous other mining incidents, led to mine safety regulations and union organizations that paved the way for better working conditions, wages and benefits.
I make a joke when I say that we had a picture of John L Lewis hanging on our living room wall.... but that's really not so far from the truth.
My Grandfather Wallace, who had passed on long before I was born, was an organizer and a leader... as was my own father as well.
Which brings me right to the point of all this...
When my father passed on in 1983, my Mom came to live with me and Bill. She moved from a HUGE house to a small apartment-like area in our big farmhouse. 50 years of stuff got given to kids, got sold, got given away or thrown away. One thing that I remembered seeing was my father's Social Security Card.
My mother passed on in 1990. Bill & I lived in the house another 10 years before we stored everything and became full time RVers.
We were in Ohio briefly this spring. My brother brought out to me something he thought I might want.... it was my Dad's Social Security Card. It is probably the original one.... looks just the way my dad always signed his name... kind of a scrawl and yet quite legible. I really thought it had been lost forever.
(I have erased Daddy's SS number in this photo)
Bill has been working with genealogy for about 25 years now. He told me that I could request a copy of the original application... for a cost of $27.00..... and he went on-line and got me a form for the request.
Now... keep in mind that the Social Security Act went into effect in the fall of 1934. There's a lot of records in their files! Just last week I got back the copy I'd requested.
This is a copy of the original application
On November 30, 1936, D. Lawrence Wallace, of 13 Lookout St, Glouster, Ohio, age 38, born January 22, 1898, and employed by the Poston Consolidated Coal Company, of Columbus, Ohio, applied for an account number.
All this was before my parents had even met and before me or my siblings were born.
This post has absolutely nothing to do with the state of Social Security as we know it today or what we surmise it will be for our kids or their kids.
As for coal mining, my Dad was hurt in the mine later... a leg injury that was a problem for the rest of his life... along with black lung and emphysema. By the mid 1940's my mother decided she'd had enough of coal mining and definitely did not want her son, my brother, to ever work in the mines. So we moved to a city where other work was available. Little did she know that the mines would play out and would close. (later long-mine drilling and strip mining came into being.... and I read now that some of the old mines are reopened and working again)...
Mostly, as I look at that old SS card... and read that application.... I try to think of what Daddy was thinking his future would be... what signing up for that card would do for the future of jobs, for workers, for families... for everyone's well-being.
He passed away in 1983.... wonder what he'd think of the world today?
That's All For Today...