Help Identify These People
Tim Gilley, who was born and raised in Coalwood, is asking for readers' help in identifying some of the people in these pictures. All of the pictures would have been taken in and around Coalwood in the era from 1925 to 1934.
If you can identify any of these people, please e-mail Tim at Gwvhills5960@aol.com. Be sure to tell Tim the picture ID number. Thanks!
You may click on a photo to enlarge it.
Photo ID: unknown01 Identified!
"Just wanted to tell you that I was able to identify the unknown person in photo 01. He is my Grandfather, William F. (Bill) Freeman. I asked my Mother to see if she agreed with me, and she said Yes, it is my Grandfather. My Grandfather was the supply clerk for Olga Coal Company, and my Grandmother (Clifford Freeman) was the payroll clerk. I sent a note to Tim Gilley. He was happy to learn the identity of the unknown person, and we all think that the unknown person in photo 07 with Tim's Father is my Granddaddy. I have wonderful memories of Coalwood. Thank you for this web-site!!" Jerri Swank
Photo ID: unknown02 Partially identified!
Our family has looked at these photos for some time, and I decided to write. The woman in both of these photos is my paternal grandmother, Rio Loretta Tucker McConnell. II believe that the man to her left in the photo ID'd as "unknown04" is my grandfather, Carl Hiram McConnell.
It is also possible that the man to her left is my uncle, Robert Lucas McConnell, in which case my grandfather may have taken the photo.
These two gentlemen were very similar in facial features; I have included a photo taken of them in 1917 in Radford, Va. (http://lib.radford.edu/archives/ruhistory/mcconnellfamilymen1910s.htm)
Both gentlemen have prominent nose lines, chins and rather prominent ears. Carl is taller and generally wore his hair combed upward and parted in the middle. It is most difficult to decide which of these two gents is in the picture, but our family is certain that it is one or the other.
Rio L. Tucker McConnell was from Beckley. She and my
grandfather, Carl Hiram McConnell lived in Coalwood for 2-3 years and were
the teachers at the Coalwood School. They moved to Coalwood after
Carl McConnell graduated from The University of Virginia. They had
heard that Coalwood had no teachers at the school. She, being
from West Virginia, and he, wanting to do meaningful work during the early
years of the 1930's decided to move there. As my grandfather was
trained in math and science, he took on the duties of teaching math and
My grandmother was trained as a schoolteacher and took on the duties of teaching English Grammar (writing and reading) and whatever social studies were actually part of the school curriculum in the 1930's.
Later, in about 1932, they moved to Oneonta, NY, where he worked and earned his Ph.D. at Hartwick College. She later taught in the public schools in Bridgewater, Va.
As for the gent to her right, we are unsure. As for the gentleman that is standing in "unknown04", we have no idea.
- Carl McConnell
Photo ID: unknown03 Identified!
I have enquired from family members about the above photo (unknown03) shown in your COALWOOD site. There is a consensus that this is a photo of two brothers that worked in the Coalwood area in the 1920s named Mason Webb and Montie Webb. My father Mason worked there a short time, Montie and his wife Zada lived in Coalwood for a few years, and their son (Billy) Wayne Webb was born there on March 20, 1928. The brothers came from Hillsville, Virginia, about 100 miles from Coalwood, also the town where George L. Carter of Carter Coal was born.
As a side story, all
Hillsville citizens knew about the Carter house, a impressive house for
it's time which had an elevator installed. Hillsville is a small town
where this is normally unheard of. Upon returning to Hillsville, Mason
worked hourly for Mrs. Carter at 10 cents an hour on their property
building fence. Mrs. Carter would supervise the construction, even in the
rain with her umbrella!