In Memory of Arthur William Broughman, 1873 - 1914
Arthur W. Broughman was born in 1873, possibly Botetourt County, Virginia,
the son of Charles L. Broughman and Mary Laticia Watson. Arthur was a brother
to my great-grandfather, Otho Wilson Broughman. During the early 1900's the
Broughman family came to Raleigh County, WV, where Arthur sought work in the
I do not know how Arthur met his wife Sarah M. McComas of Cabell Co., WV, or
where they were married, but her love for him was strong. In my possession I
have a small notebook in Sarah's own handwriting which contains several poems
she wrote to him and also mentions how much fun it was to spend time
together. Sarah writes of how one evening they both sat on a hill and watched
the section men working below. Her words are joyful and she writes "What a
jolly good time we had. Don't you wish you were there."
Arthur and Sarah lived in Rush Run during the early 1900's where Arthur was
employed at the Eccles coal mine. They had one living child, a son named
Joseph Arthur Broughman, who was born in Fayette County in 1904.
On the 28th of April 1914, Arthur Broughman lost his life in one of the worst
mine disasters in West Virginia when the Eccles No. 5 mine exploded. He was 41
years old. When the danger was over and the officials began the task of
recovering the bodies in the mine, Arthur was one of the first group of
bodies discovered. His body was found within a few yards of the entrance.
Arthur's wife returned to Cabell County, WV with their young son where both
lived out the remainder of their lives. Sarah M. McComas Broughman lived to
the ripe old age of 96 and died the 8th of May 1976 in Huntington, WV. Her
son, Joseph Broughman, died the 1st of May 1967 also in Huntington. Joseph
was the father of one son, Charles Arthur Broughman, now deceased.
Arthur Broughman's grave lies only a few hundred yards from the original
entrance of the Eccles No. 5 mine. It is my understanding that the men were
first buried close to the entrance of the mine but were moved to a nearby
knoll later on. A memorial listing the names of those who died was erected
in the cemetery and stands solitude on the small hillside giving tribute to
those who died that faithful day in April 1914.
Candace J. Freeman, gg-niece of Arthur W. Broughman.