Coal Mining in Illinois

Carbon Hill People

Carbon Hill Home Businesses Education People Recreation


Mine Examiners Certificate

Mine Examiner Certificate of Competency,
John Tracy of Carbon Hill, IL from the early 1900's

John Tracy

John Tracy, Coal Miner
Early 1900's


(L-R) Ernesta, William Joseph, and Peter Bonucci

(L-R) Ernesta, William Joseph, and Peter Bonucci

In 1905 Peter Bonucci returned to Fanana, Italy to find a bride. He married Ernesta Muzzarelli and returned to Carbon Hill. They had one son, William Joseph. When Benjamin Trotter closed his store in Carbon Hill, they opened their store on Seventh St. Peter Bonucci died in 1935. Ernesta continued to run the store until her death in 1956. William worked as a pumper in the area strip mines until retiring in 1968. William married Frances Hutton and they spent their entire married life in Carbon Hill. Their home was at the northwest corner of Sixth and Lacy. They had four children.




(L-R) Joseph, Peter, and Anton Bonucci

(L-R) Joseph, Peter, and Anton Bonucci
arrived in Carbon Hill to work in the coal mines in 1899.
They resided in property they purchased on 7th Street.



Frank & Anne (Martinec) Testa

Frank & Anne (Martinec) Testa
wedding, August 23, 1923. The best man was Tony Tarizzo and maid of honor was Cora Testa (Frank's sister). The wedding was held at Richards Street Methodist Church in Joliet. Anne's father and brothers were miners. Her father narrowly escaped the Diamond Mine Disaster.


Mr. & Mrs. William Clark

Mr. and Mrs. William Clark

"Granny" Clark's 2nd marriage. She was Mrs. Alexander Bell (Mary Burkhart). Mr. Bell died at an early age and left Mary to raise 5 children (Mary Ann, William, Sarah, Irene, Lizzie). Mary met & married William Clark who was a dynamite tamper for the mines. He was killed when one of his charges didn't go off and he went back to check it, then it exploded. "Granny Clark", as she was known, worked as the custodian for the Carbon Hill School until her death in 1935.

Farrero Family

Farrero Family
The Farrero's emigrated from Italy and this is their family in about 1907 or 1908.
(L-R): Talia, Costanza "Cleva", John E, David P, Alibino, Angelo


Carbon Hill Group Photo, early 1900's

Carbon Hill Group Photo, early 1900's

Vacca family and friends in the early 1900's

(L-R): Margaret Vacca Brown, Tee Farrero Pierard, Elizabeth Nina, Theresa Vacca Born,
Kate Baudine, Katie Vacca, Jimmy Vacca, Victoria Vacca, John (Bill) Vacca,
Domenic (Knuth) Vacca, Victoria (Vacca) Vecellio


Walker Family, early 1900's

Walker Family, early 1900's
Top row (L-R): John R., Andrew, Hugh, Jeane, Annie, Amie
Front row (L-R): William, John L. (Grandpa), Jean (Grandma), Alice


Tarizzo Family, taken sometime between 1902 and 1903
Photo courtesy of Dr Richard Tarizzo

They are (from back left), coal miner Matteo Tarizzo (1863-1904), his wife Maria Caterina (Baudino) Tarizzo (1867-1920), her mother Caterina (Vittone) Baudino (1838-1916), their son Anton Peter (Tony) Tarizzo (1891-1979).
They came from the small village of Favria near the town of Rivarolo, north of Turin, Italy.

According to the state coal report in 1904 found at the library at NIU, "Jan. 4, 1904.  Matteo Tarizzo, miner, aged 42 years, married, was fatally injured at the face of his working place by a fall of rock, in Taylor & Cavanaugh's No. 5 mine, Carbon Hill, Grundy county. 
Deceased was brushing his roadhead when a large rock fell on him causing injuries from which he died the following day. 
He leaves a widow and one child."

According to local resident and historian, Dick Joyce, "Miners were required to keep a certain height in the roadways in order to allow for the passage of the filled coal cars, donkeys, men, etc...  'Brushing' refers to digging out the clay and rock, in the roadway.

Matteo (Matthew) was rescued from the mine and taken home by horse carriage where he survived through the night before passing away. He and his wife are buried at Mt Olivet Cemetery in Braidwood. Tony Tarizzo was born in Coal City and married Elizabeth Depratt (1897-1983) from Carbon Hill; they later moved to Joliet. Their son, Dr. Richard Tarizzo, a retired vascular surgeon at Silver Cross Hospital, Joliet.