Coal miner Charles Thomas Minerd and friends pose for this photograph circa 1910 at the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad depot in Smithfield, Fayette County, PA. The image captures the men leaning against a fence that surrounded a water pump, with the Barton Hotel in view at right.
Left to right: Cal Black, Guy Dills, Charley Wise, Polly Huhn, Pedro Morgan, Charles Minerd.
The depot building had a second-floor apartment. It fell into disuse over the years as local rail service declined, with only a few Chessie System steam engines passing by each day. The vintage image was published in Marci Lynn McGuinness' 1996 book Yesteryear in Smithfield and Point Marion.
Thomas was one of 10 children of Thomas and Kate (Ramsey) Minerd of Smithfield and Uniontown, PA. He grew up in the rough-and-tumble coal and coke country, and lost a 10-year-old brother in 1901 when shot by a toy pistol during a game of "Buckskin Bill." His uncle, Jack Ramsey, was a member of the notorious Cooley gang which committed brutal robberies throughout the region. Thomas entered into marriage with Perie E. Monteith, and together they bore a family of four -- James Thomas Minerd, Alice Conn, Virginia Minerd and Charles Irvin "Bud" Minerd.