John Charles Clark

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John Charles Clark
Born 1882
Died 1914 (aged 31–32)
Hillcrest, Alberta
Cause of death Hillcrest Mine Disaster
Resting place Hillcrest Cemetery
Nationality Welsh
Occupation Miner

Early Life


Born 26 Nov 1882, Wales


Charles William Clark married Elizabeth John at Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales, 1/4 of 1882

Miner and Siblings (in birth order)

  • John Charles Clark (born Wales)
  • William F Clark (born Wales)
  • Mary Ann Clark (born USA)
  • Elizabeth Clark (born USA)
  • Albert Clark (born Wales)
  • Aldred Clark (born Wales)
  • Margarette Clark (born Wales)
  • Robert T. Clark (born Alberta)


John Charles Clark married Katharine Herrington 16 Aug 1905, aged 23, Katharine age 18, at Blairmore, Alberta


  • Charles Clark (not mentioned 1916 census)
  • John Charles Clark
  • Rosaline Clark
  • Violet Clark
  • Elizabeth Clark (age 1 1916 census - therefore born after death of father)

Census Records

  • 1901 Lethbridge, Alberta (South) - The Territories, age 18
  • 1911 Bellevue, Alberta, age 28, occupation miner

Immigration to Canada

(About 1885 the family went to United States)

  • 1897 Ship Parisian, John's father Charles, from Liverpool - destination Macleod, Northwest Territories (Welshmen for Crowsnest Pass)
  • 1898 Ship Galia, the rest of the family, John age 16, going to Lethbridge



Hillcrest Mine Disaster June 19, 1914 - Killed


John is buried in the Masonic Section of the Hillcrest cemetery. Headstone: J.C. Clark, 1882-1914

After the Hillcrest Mine Disaster

In 1916 Katharine, widow age 27, was still in Bellevue with 5 children - the oldest 10.


Schedule A

Alternate Names or Alternate Spelling of Names

Official sources at the time of the accident used the spelling Clarke - most others use Clark.

Interesting Facts

John Charles Clark's uncle, John William Clark, was killed in the Frank Slide.

After the Book

My grandfather, John Clark, was killed in the Hillcrest mine disaster. My grandmother, Kathleen Clark, had four children under the age of five and was pregnant with my mother when the explosion occurred. Because of issues around women and property rights she lost the house they were living in when he died. He was a pit boss and had been very concerned about the build up of coal dust on the tracks but the mine managers felt it was cheaper to have the occasional accident than to hire anyone to clean the tracks. I note that there was supposed to be compensation for widows, but in my grandmother's case the payments were sporadic. My grandfather was a Mason and the Masons sued the Hillcrest Colliery several times to get the payments re-instated but they finally petered out when my mother was about 12. The Masons provided my grandmother with work sewing their gowns on the old Singer sewing machine that we still have but life was very tough for her and the children. My uncle Charlie developed polio about the time of his father's death and my aunt Violet fell from a table and fractured her skull. She developed meningitis and this left her handicapped for the rest of her life. The Masons sent my uncle Charlie to the Mayo Clinic for surgeries and to be fitted with braces. My grandmother was 12 when she came to Alberta. Her father lived in Chesterfield, England and sold her as an indentured servant to a Crowsnest area farm family of 18 men whose wife and mother had died. She was a very small woman - little over five feet and was proud of her 14 inch waist. She was responsible for the cooking, cleaning, laundry and dairy while the men did other things. No wonder the woman she replaced had died. My grandfather bought her indenture and married her when she was sixteen. She was twenty and pregnant with my mother when he died. From Mike Camppbell.

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