A biography/family history and portrait of Michael Francis Purcell, Secretary & Treasurer of the Montana Coal Operators in Montana, are included in "Montana, Its Story and Biography", Vol 3, pages 1112 & 1113?
Born 23 May 1867, Scranton, PA. His father, Patrick Purcell, was born in County Mayo, Ireland, in 1839, and as a young man came to Scranton where he was an ironworker. Patrick Purcell married Catherine Kelly, born 1841 in County Mayo, and died in Scranton, PA, in 1905. Six children: John, a steel worker in Buffalo, NY, died in the influenza epidemic 20 Oct 1918; Michael (Montana); James, a govt worker in the shipyards of Hoboken, NJ; Mary (living with her father in Scranton); William, a paper cutter in Hoboken, NJ; Agnes, a sister in a convent in Williamsport, PA.
Michael Purcell did not attend school after age 8 when he went to work as a slate picker in the coal mines of Scranton for five years, then for four years as a puddler at the iron mills of Scranton. For a time he worked in a steel mill; in 1888, he went to the mines of PA for two years and in 1891 was employed by Quintard's Shipyards. For the next two years worked in the steel works at Sparrow Point, MD and then worked in the mines and telephone business for a year in Scranton.
In 1895, Michael F. Purcell came to Montana and for four years worked in the coal mines at Belt. Then he was transferred to Stockett, MT, running a drilling machine. In 1903, was chosen the first president of the Mine Workers Association of Montana and Wyoming, with other appointments to follow.
In 1892, Kingston, PA, Michael F. married Miss Annie May, daughter of James and Mary (Comerford) May. Her father was a Pennsylvania miner.
Purcell children: James, Michael F., William, Thomas, John, Leo, Marie.