"Allegheny Moon"


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The house that Edna Schrader Bell grew up in.  It was on a hill overlooking the railroad tracks the coal trains followed

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Edna Schrader and John Francis Bell

“Allegheny Moon" (c) Charles Stacey

"Allegheny Moon" Is the biography of Cynthia’s grandmother, Edna Schrader Bell. Edna was born and raised in a house overlooking the rail line where, as a small child, she would lie in her big feather bed and listening to the coal trains roll by throughout the night. Her father was a coal miner and then worked for the rail road.  Edna’s family became the foster home for four year old John Bell when his father died of TB.  He and Edna fell in love and married and moved north to a succession of homes just outside Morgantown, West Virginia.  They raised four children on John’s coal miners pay.

He eventually was diagnosed with black lung and for a while the family lived off his 90 dollar a month black lung payment from the United Mine Workers Union and by share cropping on a small farm up Peddlers Run from Core, West Virginia. While this is Edna’s story it is typical of so many of the women of the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia.              

© Charles Stacey 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017