Carnegie Hero Awardees - Macoupin County Illinois

Carnegie Hero Awardees
presented by
The Macoupin County Historical Society
Macoupin County Illinois
August 2016

Official Carnegie Heroes site.

The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission was founded in April, 1904 and has recognized nearly 10,000 through  2016 for acts of heroism throughout the United States and Canada.

IVAH  J. COLES: On June 8, 1904,  Ivah Coles, age 21, of Bunker Hill, IL  and Richard Cromwell, age 20, of Centerville, IL,  went swimming in the Superior Coal Company Mine reservoir near Gillespie.  Cromwell began cramping and sinking and Coles attempted  to save him, but both victims drowned. Coles’ award was presented to his Mother posthumously.

ROBERT H. RUTHERFORD: On July 18, 1931, Robert “Bob” Rutherford of Greenridge, IL, rescued Andrew E. Thomas from a cave-in. Thomas, age 54, and Rutherford’s  father were standing upright at the foot of a ladder at the bottom of a well when brick and earth dropped covering them, except the upstretched hands of Rutherford’s father, Cecil.  Bob Rutherford, age 19, a  student,  descended to the top of the debris and removed bricks  and dirt  from around his father’s head and arms. His father then assisted in freeing himself.  Bob then crept closer to Thomas and removed bricks and debris from Thomas’ body. Thomas then assisted in freeing himself with Bob Rutherford’s aid. Bob then ascended the ladder with falls of earth and bricks surrounding him.  After all three were safe, the top totally collapsed.

ROBERT B. OGG: On June 4, 1931, Robert B. Ogg, age 9, saved John Rice, age 9, from drowning at Gillespie Country Club.  Robert Ogg dove and swam to his submerged friend, John, and then  swam with him to wadable water.

GENE  BURKE: On March 2, 1939, Girard, IL native, Arthur Eugene Burke, age 16, saved John Wilson, age 76, from being killed by a train at Girard.  Wilson walked rapidly toward a railroad track on which a train was approaching at a speed of 60 M.P.H.    From a point a few feet on the opposite side of the track,  Gene Burke ran ten feet to Wilson, crossing the track, grasped Wilson and forced hin down and away from the track.  Burke fell on top of him and he cleared the train by about five feet.  Gene Burke is the brother of  Betty Burke Garbin  of Girard.

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