John Ackroyd: (1849 - 1903)
Charles was born on the 31 March 1849 In Rotherham, Yorkshire,
England and was christened on the 29th of April 1849 in
Conisbrough, Yorkshire. He is
the 2nd child of Thomas Ackroyd and Susannah Holmes.
He immigrated to the United States with his mother and his brother
Walter in 1851. His father
had immigrated a year earlier in 1850.
the death of his parents, who died of cholera in August of 1854, Charles
went to live with a man by the name of John Margeson, a blacksmith, who
lived in Hennepin, Illinois. After
Charles had lived several years with John Margeson, they moved to
Carbondale, Illinois. John
Mageson joined the army to fight in the civil war and was killed during
that conflict. Charles
subsequently went to live with Richard Mowbray (his uncle who married his
mother’s sister) in La Salle County, Illinois.
He stayed with him for some time, and on the opening of the
coalmines in Steator, Illinois he left Mowbray’s and went to work in the
mines. After this he went to
Iowa, where he married in April of 1881 a lady by the name of Mattie Powell.
She died in Feb 1882 giving birth to a baby son, James Blandford
Ackroyd, who also died at birth.
remarried in April of 1891. His
wife, Mary Jaggers, bore him
2 children; Charles Warren Ackroyd and Caroline Ackroyd.
Mary too passed away from complications of childbirth some 10 days
after Caroline was born (4 Oct 1894).
1901 he married for a third time to a widow by the name of Nancy E
Johnson. To this union was
born a single child, name unknown. At
this time Charles, Nancy, Nancy’s son – Lester Johnson and the baby
were living in Frank, Alberta, Canada where Charles was employed as a coal
miner. In the early hours of
the morning on the 29th of April 1903, a large portion of
Turtle Mountain broke away and fell into the valley below burying a large portion of the town. Charles’ home was at the edge of the slide however he, his
wife and infant child were buried by the slide.
Their bodies were never recovered.
Lester Johnson, who was in the same house, miraculously survived.
Charles brother, Walter, writes that Lester, age 11, “ was thrown
out of bed and into a creek, and several large splinters were run through
his body. He crawled out of
the icy water and walked to a neighbor’s house and was taken in.
He pulled one of the splinters out himself.
The doctor came and made an incision and took out a handful of
feathers, some cloth and a lot of splinters.
He finally recovered. Of
Charles’s property we found a battered truck and a few old letters.
Part of the house was thrown outside of the slide and took fire
from the stove and burned.” (end quote)
also indicated that his brother spent the last 25 years of his life mining
and prospecting in the Rocky Mountains, part of the time in Venezuela in
South America and some time in Old Mexico as well as Montana and Canada.
Copyright © Beverley Kent Ackroyd 2003 - 2013