Raites in Wyoming, Iowa and Kansas
James Rait seems to have followed his younger brother John and son Archibald to America, presumably with wife Jane and children James, Jenny and John, though there appears to be no record of their arrival. However, a miner, named James Rate, aged 20, arrived in New York aboard the State of Indiana, on 28 January 1886 from Glasgow. He was said to have been born in Motherwell - which is just down the road from Wishaw. However, there is no trace of him yet in the 1900 census.
James Rait emigrated in 1889 it seems, but since there is no 1890 census, it is unclear where he went first. It is possible he went to Iowa to join his son Archibald, but instead of moving with him to Kansas, he went to Wyoming. Daughter Jennie married James Massey in Carbon, Wyoming on 6 March 1891. And James’ wife Jane Harkes died in 1898 in Hanna.
James Rait is recorded in the 1900 census living in Hanna, Carbon County, Wyoming as James Raite, 65. widowed, born June 1834 in Scotland, both parents born Scotland. He immigrated in 1889 and had been living in the US for 11 years and he was naturalized. Also in the household is his son John Raite, 25, head, labourer in a mine, born September 1874 in Scotland (as were both parents), no immigration date given; and his wife Mary A. Raite, 16, born September 1883 in England (as were both parents), immigrated 1888. John and Mary had been married for less than one year.
Son John Raite died in one of the worst coal mine disasters in history on 30 June 1903 in Hanna. Work was progressing as usual in the Hanna No. 1 Mine just south of Hanna, owned by the Union Pacific Coal Company when an explosion took place. There was no warning and no chance to escape the mine. The explosion was so powerful that it blew timbers, masonry, coal, rock, and earth from the mine and the blast was heard over 15 miles away. One hundred and sixty-nine men lost their lives - over half the male population of the town. Not all men were found quickly - the body of John Rait (sic), check no. 6, was not found until 3 December 1903, outside 5th cross cut, entry 28. Also killed in the explosion was John’s brother-in-law, James Massey, fire boss of the mine, who was found on 6 December at the back face of entry 26. Other casualties included John’s father-in-law, James While Snr and his brother Job While, both found on 8 August at the outer edge of 17; and John’s brother-in-law James While Jnr, found earlier on 23 July at entry 20. Of those miners killed, 96 were Finnish, 48 were English-speaking, and 25 were Black.
John was buried plot 244 in the Hannah Cemetery (image below). His monument says John Raite, June 30, 1903; Aged 27 yrs. 10 mo. In the same plot is his mother Jennie Raite; died “Feb. 20, 1908; Jennie Harkness wife of James Raite; Aged 82 years, 11 months, 17 days.” (this is I believe a mistaken reading, for there is another entry reading simply Raite, Jennie Harkness, Feb. 20, 1898; Aged 62 yrs. 11 mo. Died 1960 (obviously a mistake) - and this would explain why James was a widower in 1900.) Also James Raite, "1834-1909; In Loving Memory"; and Agnes Purdie Raite, "Mar. 12, 1861 - Mar. 4, 1936; He That Believeth In Me, Though He Be Dead, Yet Shall He Live". In the same plot too, besides John’s parents is John’s sister Jeane Harkes Massey, "Jun. 11, 1870 - Oct. 17, 1964; In Memory Of Mother”; her husband, James Massey who died with John “Born Mar. 11, 1868 - Died Jun. 30,1903; Born in Scotland”; and their son James Massey "1892-1946; Ever in Our Hearts.”
There is some interesting additional information given in the Hanna Cemetery Records for various members of the family.
Raite, John (Inquest) (Monument); Aka: Rait, John (MIR); Raite, J. (MM)
Monument: "June 30, 1903; Aged 27 yrs. 10 mo."
Note: John, an English speaking miner from the United Kingdom, metal mine identification check number #6, married, was killed in the June 30, 1903 explosion of Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 1 mine in Hanna. He was found outside the 5th crosscut of entry 28 at room 28, identified and removed from the mine on August 18, 1903 day 51 after the explosion. He was buried in Plot 244 in the Hanna cemetery. (BL)
Plot: 244. Born: 1876. Died: June 30, 1903. Age: 27
Note: John Raite could be identified by his teeth and a piece of gunny sack wrapped around his ankle to keep the dirt out of his shoes. (Rawlins Republican, Dec. 5, 1903) (BL)
Massey, James (Inquest) (MIR); Aka: Massey, J. (MM)
Monument: "Mar. 11, 1863 - Jun. 30,1903; Scotland"
Plot: 244. Born: March 11, 1868. Died: June 30, 1903. Age: 35
Note: James, an English speaking miner from the United Kingdom, married, was killed in the June 30, 1903 explosion of Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 1 mine in Hanna. He was found at entry 26 back at the face, identified and removed from the mine on December 4, 1903 day 160 after the explosion. He was buried in Plot 244 in the Hanna cemetery. (BL)
While, James Jr. (Inquest) (MIR); Aka: While, J. Jr. (MM)
Note: James While Jr. was killed in the Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 1 mine in Hanna, but buried in Carbon, Wyoming. He has a monument in the Carbon cemetery. (BL). Headstone in Carbon
Born: 1880. Died: June 30, 1903. Age: 18
Note: James Jr., an English speaking miner from the United Kingdom, not married, was killed in the June 30, 1903 explosion of Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 1 mine in Hanna. He was found at entry 20, identified and removed from the mine on July 23, 1903 day 24 after the explosion. He was buried in Plot 109 in the Carbon, Wyoming cemetery. James Sr. was the father of James While Jr. and the brother of Job While (BL)
While, James Sr. (Inquest); Aka: While, James Sr. (MIR); While J. Sr. (MM)
Note: James While Sr. was killed in the Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 1 mine in Hanna, but buried in Carbon, Wyoming. He has a monument in the Carbon cemetery. (BL) Link: Headstone in Carbon
Born: 1862. Died: June 30, 1903. Age: 41
Note: James Sr., an English speaking miner from the United Kingdom - England, married, was killed in the June 30, 1903 explosion of Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 1 mine in Hanna. He was found at entry 17 at the outer edge of the dip, identified and removed from the mine on August 8, 1903 day 40 after the explosion. He was buried in Plot 109 in the Carbon, Wyoming cemetery. James Sr. was the father of James While Jr. and the brother of Job While. (BL)
While, Job (Inquest); Aka: While, Job (MIR); While, Job (MM)
Note: Job While was killed in the Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 1 mine in Hanna, but buried in Carbon, Wyoming. He has a monument in the Carbon cemetery. (BL) Headstone in Carbon
Born: 1868. Died: June 30, 1903. Age: 35
Note: Job, an English speaking miner from the United Kingdom - England, married, was killed in the June 30, 1903 explosion of Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 1 mine in Hanna. He was found on the outer edge of the dip at entry 17, identified and removed from the mine on August 8, 1903 day 40 after the explosion. He was buried in Plot 109 in the Carbon, Wyoming cemetery. (BL)
While, James; Aka: While, J. (MM); While, Jim (BL)
Momument: "Oct. 5, 1880 - Jan. 19, 1921; Father; Gone But Not Forgotten."
Note: James While was killed in the Union Pacific Coal Company's No. 4 mine in Hanna. He was buried in Plot 234 in the Hanna cemetery. (BL) Born: 1880. Died: 1921. Age: 41
Note: James While, English, age 40, married, widow and seven children, six of them under the age of sixteen, killed in No. 4 on January 19, 1921. Loader, he was employed by the Union Pacific Coal Company at their No. 4 mine, Hanna, Carbon County. Deceased and his son were working as partners loading coal in No. 4 room north "E" plane. They had worked all day in the room and were in the act of connecting wires, making preparations for shooting when a large slab of coal fell from the face, part of which struck him inflicting injuries from which he died two hours afterwards. Deceased was credited with being a very practical mining man. (MIR)
Note: James wife Eliza Ann (Allen) While died in March 1972 and was buried in the College City Cemetery near Arbuckle California. (BL)
Massey, Jeane Raite
Monument: "Jun. 11, 1870 - Oct. 17, 1964; Mother"
Plot: 244. Age: 94
Note: Mrs. Jeane Massey, 94, died at the home of her daughter in Denver, Colorado. Mrs. Massey was born in Scotland June 11, 1870 and had lived in Hanna for the last 75 years. Her husband died in 1903. Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Robert Norris of Hanna and Mrs. Margaret Foley of Denver; one son John Massey of California; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Raite, Agnes Purdie
Monument: "Mar. 12, 1861 - Mar. 4, 1936"
Plot: 244. Age: 75
Note: The community of Hanna was saddened by the passing of one of its pioneer residents when Mrs. Archie Raite died on Wednesday, March 4, after a short illness. Mrs. Raite was born at Wishaw, Scotland, on March 12, 1861. She became the bride of Archie Raite on March 18, 1879, and came with him to this country in 1881, settling at What Cheer, Iowa. In 1891 the family moved to
Hanna, remaining there until 1893, when they moved to Kansas and remained there till Mr. Raite’s death in 1900. Mrs. Raite then returned to Hanna with her six children where she raised and educated them. One daughter, Mrs. Austin O’Malley, passed away in Hanna in 1918. Mrs. Raite leaves to mourn her passing five children: Mrs. Frank Amoss, Mrs. David Milne, Mrs. W.K. Burford, Mrs. Henry Jones and William Raite, all of Hanna; a brother, John Purdie, and a sister, Mrs. James Barr of Scotland; and ten grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.
The website provides much information on Hanna and its mines, along with links to the mining disaster inquests, and many photographs of the town and miners.
Following John’s death, his widow Mary moved to Pennsylvania with her mother (and possibly other members of her family). Mary remarried in Allegheny, Pennsylvania on 31 May 1905. Her mother also remarried there. Mary’s husband was Edward Kuhns and both were marrying for the second time occasioned by death. Mary’s date of birth was given as 23 September 1883 and we find that her maiden name was Mary Ann While and she was born in Barnsley, Yorkshire. John’s father James Raite, born 1834 died in Hanna in 1909. John’s sister Jenny Massey remained in Hanna with her children and died there in 1964.
The ancestry of James Rait (1834-1909) will be found at the top of the page.
In the 1841 census for Wishawtown, Cambusnethan, we have John Rait, 30, (1811) tailor; wife Margaret, 45 (1796); and daughter Agnes, 1 (1840) - all born Lanarkshire. Son James, may be the James Rate, 5, found nearby in Carluke Bridgened, Carluke, Lanarkshire.
In the 1851 census for Low Wishaw, Cambusnethan, Middle Ward, Lanarkshire we find John Rait, 39 (1812), a tailor, born Lanark; wife Margaret, 47 (1804), born Lanark and children: James, 16 (1835), coalminer; Agnes, 10 (1841), George, 8 (1843) and John 6 (1845) - all born Cambusnethan.
According to his children’s birth extracts, John and Margaret Rait’s son James, coal miner, married Jane Harkes on 17 October 1854 in Wishaw, Cambusnethan, though no marriage extract is found. James and Jane Rait had at least six children: Archibald born 1855-1859 in Lanarkshire, though no birth extract is found; Agnes, born on 28 August 1860 at 85 Main Street, Wishaw, Canbusnethan; John, born on 1 Jun 1863 at 136 Main Street, Wishaw (died 31 December 1866 at 136 Main Street, Wishaw); James, born on 21 April 1865 at 136 Main Street, Wishaw; Jane, born 24 August 1867 at 136 Main Street, Wishaw (known as Jeannie and died on 26 January 1870 at 55 Marshall Street, Wishaw); Jeannie, born on 11 June 1870 at 54 Marshall Street, Wishaw - presumably named after her sister); and John, born 24 September 1873 at Wilson’s Rooms, Wishaw. James Rait was the informant in each case and made his mark (i.e he was illiterate).
In the 1861 census for Main Street, Cambusnethan, we have James Rate, 26 (1835), coalminer, born Wishaw; wife Jane, 25 (1836), born Berwick, Berwickshire; and brother John Rate, 15 (1846), coalminer, born Wishaw. Neither their son Archibald, nor daughter Agnes appears to be in the census. Archibald could be the Archibald Reid, born Wishaw in 1859, being wet nursed by Margaret B. Bailie in Caledonian Rd, Wishaw, Cambusnethan. Brother John seems to have emigrated to the USA in 1880 (see ) and Archibald followed in 1882 (see below).
In the 1871 census for 57 Marshall Street, Cambusnethan, there is James Rate, 36 (1835), miner, born Wishaw; wife Jane Harkes, 36 (1835), born Berwickshire; children: Archibald, 12 (1859), miner, born Airdrie, Lanarkshire; Agnes, 11 (1860), scholar, born Wishaw; James, 6 (1865), scholar, born Wishaw; and Jane, 0, (1871), born Wishaw. Also in the household is mother-in-law Jane Campbell, 73 (1798), widow, born Inveresk, Haddingtonshire (East Lothian); and Archibald, Morton, nephew, 20 (1851), miner, born Airdrie.
In the 1881 census for 162 Main Street, Cambusnethan, we find James Rate, 47, coal miner, born Lanarkshire; wife Jenny, 46, born England; and children: James, 15, coal miner, born Wishaw; Jenny, 10, scholar, born Wishaw; John, 7, (1874), born Wishaw; married daughter Agnes Rate 20, born Wishaw; son-in-law Samuel Tweedley, 24, coal miner, born Old Monkland, Lanarkshire; and Peter Tweedley, grandson, 0 (1881), born Hamilton, Lanarkshire. Another son George Rate had been born on 14 February 1877 at 88 Marshall Road, Wishaw, but he died in 1878 in Cambusnethan, aged 2.
The eldest son of James Rait and Jane Harkes, Archibald Rait, was born about 1859 in Airdrie, Lanarkshire according to the 1871 and 1881 censuses (though in 1855 according to that of 1900). Seemingly found nursing outside his home in the 1861 census, he is back at home with his parents and siblings in Cambusnethan, aged 12 and already down the mines, in the 1871 census.
On 26 March 1880 at 79 Marshall Street, Wishaw Archibald Raite, aged 21, coalminer, residing at 89 Main Street, Wishaw, married Agnes W. Purdie, aged 18 (born as Agnes Williamson Purdie on 12 March 1862, Cambusnethan), domestic servant, residing at 79 Marshall Street. Archibald’s parents were given as James Rate, coalminer and Jane Rate, Mrs Harkess and those of Agnes were William Purdie, distiller bellman (deceased) and Rachel Purdie, Mrs Ramsay. The witnesses were James Purdie and Maggie Purdie.
In the 1881 census for 2 West Quarry Street, Cambusnethan, Archibald Rate, 22, coal miner, born Cambusnethan and his wife Agnes, 19, born Cambusnethan are living with her mother Rachel Purdie, 53, widow, born Gladsmuir, Haddingtonshire (East Lothian). Also in the household is Rachel’s son George Purdie, 12, scholar, born Cambusnethan; and grandson James Rate, 0 (1881) born Cambusnethan. James Raite was born 3 July 1880 at 79 Marshall Street, Wishaw. An unnamed daughter was born to Archibald Raite and Agnes Purdie just after the census on 2 June 1881 in Cambusnethan.
Archibald Raite, age 23, born 1859 in Scotland, occupation miner, emigrated to the United States, arriving in New York, Castle Garden on 15 February 1882 from Glasgow aboard the Anchoria. He appears from the passenger manifest to be alone, although it appears that wife Agnes and sone James also arrived that year.
We find him in the Iowa State census for 1885 living in North Maple Street, Washington Ward 3, Keokuk, Iowa. Archibald Raite is 26, born Scotland, a miner; married, with wife Agnes, 23, born Scotland; and daughter Racheal, 0, born Keokuk, Iowa. Presumably their children James and unnamed daughter had died. Nearby is his uncle John Raite and family (see ) About 1891, when he was 33, Archie Raite was subject to military duty in What Cheer, Keokuk, Iowa. While his uncle John subsequently moved to Colorado, Archibald elected to move to Kansas some time between 1891 and 1895. Why his father, James, chose to go to Wyoming rather than Kansas where his son was when he arrived in 1889 is not known.
In the 1900 census for Wall Street, Mineral, Cherokee, Kansas we have Archibald Raite, 44 (born June 1855 in Scotland - as were both parents), a coal miner, naturalized, immigrated in 1882, and 18 years in the US, and 20 years married; wife Agness, 40 (born March 1860 in Scotland, as were both parents), immigrated 1882, 18 years in US, married 20 years and borne 12 children, six of who were still living; and children: Rachael, 16, born September 1883 in Iowa; Jenny, 14, born March 1886 in Iowa, at school; Maggie, 10, born March 1890 in Iowa, at school; Willie, 5, born March 1895 in Kansas, at school; Agness, 3, born April 1897 in Kansas; and Isabell, 10 months born July 1899 in Kansas.
Not long after the census, Archibald Raite died on 12 September 1900 while residing in Scammon, Cherokee County, Kansas. From his grave we learn that his date of birth was 1 June 1858. He was a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, Lodge no. 335, Scammon. His widow, Agnes, moved the family to Carbon County, Wyoming fairly soon after Archibald’s death - presumably to be near (and possibly care for) her elderly father-in-law, James Raite, who would, no doubt, have been pleased to see his grandchildren.
In the 1910 census for District 6, Carbon, Wyoming we have Agnes Raite, 49, born Scotland (as both parents), head, widowed, employed as a laundress in her own home and on her own account. She immigrated in 1881 and had had 12 children born of whom six were still living. In the household are children: Jennie M., 24, born Iowa, working as a school teacher; Maggie, 19, born Iowa; William, 15; Agnes, 13; and Isabelle, 10 - all born Kansas. Daughter Rachel appears to have married Austin O’Malley around 1902 since she had the first of several children with him in Hanna, Carbon, Wyoming in April 1903. The family is not found in the 1910 census. Rachel died in Hanna in 1918.
Son William was drafted in the 1st World War - his registration card, dated 5 June 1917, gives his name as William Archie Raite, age 22, home address Hanna, Wyoming, date of birth 18 March 1895 in Scammon, Kansas. He was a payroll clerk for the U.P. Coal Company in Hanna. He had a mother who was solely dependent on him and he was single. He was of medium height and slender build with blue eyes and brown hair and no disabilities. Private William A. Raite, service number 3423416, departed New York on 25 September 1918 aboard the City of York as part of the Headquarters Company 127th Field Artillery, 34th Division. The person to be notified in case of emergency was Mrs R. Raite (the R. is crossed out and Agnes added in handwriting), mother, at Box 334, Hanna, Wyoming. William A. Raite returned home from Bordeaux, France aboard the Powhatan departing on 25 December 1918. [Ironically, the USS Powhatan was originally the German passenger steamer Hamburg caught in New York when WWI began in August 1914, then chartered by the American Red Cross, and then seized when the United States joined the conflict in April 1917 and turned over to the Navy.]
In 1920 living at 199 Bakerslop, Hanna there is Agnes Raite, 58, widowed, immigrated 1882, naturalized 1889; and children: William A., 25, born Kansas, office clerk; Agnes Purdie, 23, born Kansas, clerk in a store; and Isabell, 20, born Kansas, office clerk.
In the 1930 census for 108, Hanna and Elmo, Carbon, William A. Raite, 35, material clerk in a coal mining company, is now head; and in the household is his mother Agnes Raite, 69, immigrated 1881; sister Jeane Amos, 45, married at age 27; and nieces Agnes Amos, 13, and Jean Marie Burford, 0.
William’s sister Jeannie H. Raite married Frank W. Amoss on 15 April 1915 in Kemmerer, Lincoln, Wyoming. Sister Agnes Purdy Raite married Ward Burford in Wyoming about 1920. Their mother Agnes Purdie Raite, born 12 March 1861, died in Hanna on 4 March 1936, aged 74. We learn from the 1910 and 1920 censuses that Agnes had given birth to 12 children - though there is mention of only six in the censuses. She had two children born in Scotland before she went to America: James and an unnamed daughter and they likely died there before she left. She also had William born 20 August 1883 in What Cheer Keokuk, Iowa - but he also seems to have died which is why she named another son William a few years later. He might have been a twin of Rachael who seems to have been born in September 1883 according to the 1900 census.
In the 1940 census, still at the same address, there is W. A. Raite, 45, single, born Kansas, material clerk in a coal mine office; and sister Jeane H. Amoss, 55, married, born Iowa. Jeane’s husband Frank died in 1942 in Hanna.
From his World War II registration card (serial no. U 996) dated 27 April 1942, we have William Archie Raite, resident at PO Box 334, Hanna, Carbon, Wyoming, age 47, born 18 March 1895 in Scammon, Cherokee, Kansas. The person who would always know his address was Mrs Jean Amoss at the same address. His employed was Union Pacific Coal Company in Hanna. He was 5ft 8in tall, weighed 200 lbs, had blue eyes, brown hair and a dark complexion.
William and his sister Jeane moved to Laramie, Wyoming at some point, for William died there on 23 May 1961. His sister, Jane Amoss, residing at 1714 Kearney, Laramie made an application, dated 28 July 1961 for a stone or marker for her bother. The application gives his name as William A. Raite (with Archie written above), service number 3423416, date of enlistment 14 June 1918, (honourable) discharge date 22 January 1919, state Wyoming, rank private, branch 127 Field Artillery (HQ Co. 34th Div added); date of birth 18 March 1895, date of death 23 May 1961. The type was to be a flat granite marker with a Latin (Christian) cross - to be delivered to Green Hill Cemetery, Laramie. And it was approved on 8 September 1961. Jeane H. Amoss died in Laramie on 19 June 1969. Their sister, Agnes Purdy Burford, born 1 April 1897, obviously moved there too, as she died in Laramie on 3 May 1964.