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Archive for April 26th, 2014

Originally published in the Black Diamond Bulletin, Summer 2011

By JoAnne Matsumura

The photograph of Rees T. Reese and eulogy were loaned to the society in 2001 by his granddaughter, Rachael Frederickson Fagnan, now deceased.

The photograph of Rees T. Reese was loaned to the society by his granddaughter, Rachael Frederickson Fagnan, now deceased.

It was Friday, April 26, 1907, at 6:50 a.m., when an explosion occurred at the sixth level at the Morgan Slope of Mine 11. The explosion took the lives of seven miners—one of them Rees Reese.

Reese was the son of Thomas and Mary Reese, who resided near Castell Craig Y Nos Braconshire, South Wales. He came to America in April 1884 at about the age of 25. He soon married Rachel Walters, the daughter of William and Ann Walters of Hirwaun, Aberdare, South Wales, on December 6, 1885, in Cleveland, Iowa. The two settled there and began their family.

Reese, along with his wife and 2-year-old daughter, Mary Ann, relocated to Franklin, W.T., in 1888. Entertainment options in the early days were sparse. The Welsh, however, are well known for their singing, poetry, and storytelling. He began singing for choirs, gatherings, and parties, and was soon included in the Franklin choir. His ability to recite poetic verse in the Cambrian tongue was another one of his many talents. (more…)

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