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Ten men killed during construction of Dale Hollow Dam honored with plaque

Plaque for nine men killed during construction of Dale Hollow Dam"Ten men killed during construction of Dale Hollow Dam honored with plaque"

By ED CAHILL

Citizen-Statesman Editor


"An open house held at the Dale Hollow Dam Power Plant on Sunday, June 10, 2001 featured a dedication ceremony for a plaque listing the names of nine men who were killed during the construction of the dam.

The nine men listed on the plaque are:
 
Alex West, who died in a vehicle accident hauling supplies on April 17, 1942. 
Harry Nicholson, who died when he fell to his death on Aug. 26, 1942. 
R.R. Langston, who died while working with heavy equipment on Oct. 2, 1942. 
Ress White, who died in a vehicle accident on his way to work on March 10, 1942. 
Fowler Dulworth, who died in a vehicle accident on his way to work on March 10, 1943. 
Herbert White, who died on March 11, 1943 after being in the same vehicle accident on his way to work on March 10, 1943. 
Boss Hestand, who fell from a raft transporting workers across the river and drowned on May 6, 1943. 
Jack Johnson, who died when trash racks fell on him on July 22, 1943. 
Irvin Roberts, who died when the trash racks fell on him also on July 22, 1943. 
Also recognized during the brief ceremony was Arley Hood, who lost his life during the clearing of the lands around

According to Shirley Cherry, administrative assistant to the superintendent of the Dale Hollow Dam Power Plant, the names of the nine men listed on the plaque were gathered from different sources, including newspaper stories, former workerson the dam project and family members.  "If anyone was overlooked, it was due to lack of records or information and we greatly apologize," Cherry said. "We just had to go on the information we had."  "An attempt was made by COE staff to cross reference the Construction Completion Report of six fatalities with the research by Mrs. Cherry of nine fatalities based on all available information at the time. Fatalites related to transportation to and from the work site were not counted toward a work related fatality by the construction contractor. In addition, there are no records to other possible fatalities related to other work such as land clearing. This information is unknown at this time.

 

In 2018 it was learned that Emmett Uriah Wray, an iron worker died when he fell near the top of an intake bulkhead recess to the bottom of a shaft on May 31, 1943.


The plaque, which is mounted on a post beneath a small shelter, is located near the entrance to the Dale Hollow Dam Power Plant."

 

Known Fatalities Related to Construction Activities of Dale Hollow Dam

TEN Fatalities: Research by Shirley Cherry, DHP Retired

1) Alex West, who died in a vehicle accident hauling supplies on April 17, 1942.  A truck driver was killed when his lumber truck plunged off the road on a curve on the mountainous road between Livingston and the dam.

2) Harry Nicholson, who died when he fell to his death on Aug. 26, 1942.  A form stripper missed his footing at the end of a catwalk and fell on his head onto the concrete.

3) R.R. Langston, who died while working with heavy equipment on Oct. 2, 1942.  An oiler had his head crushed between the tracks and the cab of a Northwest Shovel.

4) Ress White, who died in a vehicle accident on his way to work on March 10, 1942. 

5) Fowler Dulworth, who died in a vehicle accident on his way to work on March 10, 1943. 

6) Herbert White, who died on March 11, 1943 after being in the same vehicle accident on his way to work on March 10, 1943.

7) Boss Hestand, who fell from a raft transporting workers across the river and drowned on May 6, 1943 In addition another truck driver as he was coming off shift was drowned when crossing the Obey River below the dam on an overloaded raft. Compensation as paid by the insurance company for this death but the accident was not charged against the project.

8) Jack Johnson, who died when trash racks fell on him on July 22, 1943. 4 Two painters were crushed when the intake gate gratings on which they were working collapsed and fell upon them.

9) Irvin Roberts, who died when the trash racks fell on him also on July 22, 1943 5 Two painters were crushed when the intake gate gratings on which they were working collapsed and fell upon them.

6 An iron worker pulled out a form bolt he was using as a ladder near the top of the intake bulkhead recess and fell to the bottom of the shaft. (**"Emmett Uriah Wray, fell 70 feet down a shaft, May 31, 1943")

10) Uriah Wray died as a part of the Dale Hollow Dam Construction Project. Article from The Nashville Tennessean, June 1, 1943 "Nashvillian Dies In 70-Foot Fall At Celina Dam. Emmett Uriah Wray, 34 of 4308 Nevada Avenue, a rigger working at the Dale Hollow Dam near Celina, was killed early yesterday morning wwhen he fell 70 feet down a shaft on the project, landed on a concrete apron, and rolled into the waters of the Obey River. Workmen rescued the body from the water after it had been submerged 20 minutes. Wray was taken to a hospital in Celina where he was pronounced dead. The body was later removed to Nashville. Prior to becoming a construction rigger, Wray had been employed at the Tennessee Enamel Company plant in Nashville for approximately 13 years.  This information was received October 10, 2018.

According to Shirley Cherry, administrative assistant to the superintendent of the Dale Hollow Dam Power Plant, the names of the nine men listed on the plaque were gathered from different sources, including newspaper stories, former workers on the dam project and family members.

Dale Hollow Lake, and the 118 individuals who have lost their lives as a result of drowning in Dale Hollow Lake.