Coal Creek Labor Saga

becomes part of

State curriculum for

Tennessee high school students


October 2013

Thanks to Bill Carey, Coal Creek history is now part of the state’s curriculum for high school students as described at   The booklet “Raise the children the best you can: A history of Tennessee since 1870” can be found at  

As it says, The title of the booklet comes from a note written by a doomed coal miner named Jacob Vowell.  Vowell was one of the 216 miners killed in 1902, during a mining explosion near Briceville "Ellen I want you to live right and come to heaven," Vowell wrote, in a note found near his dead body. "Raise the children the best you can. Oh! How I wish to be with you."

An excerpt from the booklet can be found aT, which will enable future generations of Tennesseans to learn about Coal Creek miners such as Jacob Vowell, Philip Francis, James A. Brooks, and the Dezern brothers. 

As described in the October Issue of The Tennessee Magazine at, the addition of the Coal Creek labor saga to the state’s school curriculum should help attendance at the new Coal Creek Miners Museum.  “Bring on the field trips.”


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