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24 July 2011

Sunday’s Obituary - Oscar Armstrong (1886-1920) part I

Streator Daily Free Press.
Friday, February 20, 1920, pg 3
Oscar Armstrong Dies From Injuries in Mine Accident
  Oscar Armstrong, a well known resident of Reading township died at St. Mary’s hospital at noon today as result of an accident yesterday when he sustained a fracture of the spinal column when he was knocked into a ravine by a runaway coal car.
  Mr. Armstrong was at work on the top of his mine yesterday which is located on the south side of the Vermillion river, just a short distance from the Santa Fe railroad bridge, southwest of town. The shaft is a strip mine and when the coal is cut out of the earth it is put in small flat cars and hauled over to the railroad where it is taken into the city. Yesterday morning a car had been loaded and was being taken away from the shaft. The car was traveling at a slow rate of speed and Mr. Armstrong was walking in front of it. In some manner the cluth [cluch] on the car slipped causing the brakes to be released. Mr. Armstrong did not notice this until the car was almost upon him and before he could gain a place of safety he had been hit and hurled down into a ravine which has a depth of about twelve feet. Mr. Armstrong was struck on the back of his neck and shoulders and when picked up be fellow workmen was unconscious. He was given first aid treatment at the mine and then hurried to the hospital. A doctor was called and after an examination stated that the man had fractured his spinal column in several places and was in a very serious condition. The injured man continued to grow worse during the day and late last night Dr. Beesley, a specialist from Chicago was called. After examining the man the specialist gave the relatives little hopes for his recovery.
      Married Local Girl.
  Mr. Armstrong was very well known in Streator having married Miss Genie Patterson, a local girl. The couple have one little girl. He has been employed by the road commissioner of Reading township for a number of years and has just lately finished grading a road on Stump street and one from Bloomington street to the Streator Clay Works. During the recent coal shortage he leased the mine from Herbert Miller and supplied coal to the Western Glass factory until the coal trouble was settled. Mr. Armstrong had not been in the habit of working at the shaft and was there yesterday overseeing some new work that had been started. The injured man was the son of John Armstrong, one of the bet well known farmers in Reading township and resided in the village of Reading.
  At noon today came the sad news that Mr. Armstrong had passed away. The community of Reading is grief stricken over the terrible catastrophe which has robbed the township of one of its most valuable men. The decedent is survived by his parents, three brothers, James, Clyde and Ray, and one sister, Mrs. Lulu Defenbugh. His wife and one little daughter, Phyllis, aged three, also survive.