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Helvetia Mine

Mr. Joslin: My grandfather, Thomas D. Thomas, began working in the mines at the age of 13. At about 18 he went off to the Iron City Business College in Pittsburgh. He became superintendent of the Helvetia mine at some point in the Thirties and remained in that position until the late Forties. (I was born in 1944 at the Maple Avenue Hospital in DuBois, and can clearly remember my grandfather taking me to work one day, so he must have not have retired until at least 1947 or 1948.)

He was a good man - went down into the mine EVERY day and at the end of the war received a commendation from the Bureau of Mines for being the first mine boss ever to get a perfect 100% score in a safety inspection. (I last saw the document about about 10 years ago, when I was still living in the UK; alas, I apparently lost it in the move.)

He and my grandmother (and, during the War, my mother)lived in a big house, owned by the mining company, whose driveway, as I recall, was the first turn on the right after the RR crossing on the road coming out of Helvetia.

The tragedy in West Virginia is what motivated me to google Helvetia.


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