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Uriah Minor
(1834-1874)

Uriah Minor was born in about 1834, probably in Columbiana County, OH, one of 15 children of Jacob and Julianna (Forney) Miner. He is one of a disturbingly high number of cousins to lose his life in a railroad-related accident. Most of what we know about him is contained in a gruesome reports about his death.

As a young man, Uriah went by the spelling of  "Minerd," though the name was shortened to "Miner" or "Minor."

Uriah's early adult years are not known and may well be lost to history. Whether he had a wife, or family, is shrouded by the misty haze of the past. He has not yet been located in the 1860 federal census. 

He may well be the same "Uri Miner," age 39, who is shown in the 1870 federal census in Warren, Trumbull County, OH. In that record was a wife Elizabeth (age 47, born in England), daughter Martha (14), son George (11) and daughter Mary (8). "Uri" is shown as a day laborer.

In 1874, when he was 40 years of age, Uriah was employed as a switchman at the railroad yard in Leavittsburg, Trumbull County. 

Tragedy struck on July 16, 1874, when Uriah walked between two railroad cars to uncouple them. The cars were detached from the longer train, but he may not have known that. He gave the signal for the locomotive to back up, but when it did so, it struck the coupled cars. The jolt "caused him to fall across the rail," read an official report. He "was caught by [the] wheel of [the] car, dragging him thirty feet." 

Fatally mangled, Uriah died the same day. No inquest was held, said the report.

Official report about Uriah's grisly death on the railroad

The incident was described in Part 1 of Annual Reports for 1875, Made to the Sixty-Second General Assembly of the State of Ohio (page 1097). 

Uriah's resting place is not yet known. 

He is not to be confused with a first cousin, Ohio-born Uriah Minerd (also "Miner"), a Civil War veteran of Montcalm County, MI.

Copyright 2009 Mark A. Miner.

Annual Reports for 1875 images courtesy of Google Books.