(11/29/2019)
It was among Calhoun's worst tragedies, happening in 1916.

Five small children were burned to death on Wolf Run near Orma.

Mrs. James Hardway, the mother of three of the children, received serious burns and injuries, in a fire that destroyed their home.

The dead are Rosa Hardway, 14; Pearl Hardway, 9; Johnny Hardway, 6; Gay King, 3; and Naman King, 5.

Mrs Hardway was alone with the children when the fire started, receiving serious injuries while trying to rescue the children.

The origin of the 1 a.m. fire was not known, but it is presumed that a spark from a wood fire caught the paper on the wall. Mrs. Hardway was not wakened until the flames had reached her bed.

A newspaper account said she took her little baby which was sleeping beside her, and made her way through the smoke and flames to the outside.

She then returned and attempted to rescue the other children unsuccessfully.

She did manage to drag the oldest girl to a door before the heat became so intense that she was forced to abandon her. Mrs. Hardway was described as a small, fragile woman who had been crippled for some time.

The husband and father, James Hardway was employed in the lumber camps of the Interstate Cooperage Co. on Frozen Run, and was away from home at the time.

When daylight came, the bodies of the five children were found almost entirely consumed, only the charred and blackened trunks of the bodies remaining in the smoldering ruins of the house, said a newspaper account. The two King children who were burned were children of William King, whose wife died the previous year. Since her death, the children had been living with the Hardways.

This 1916 disaster was described as the worst in the county for many years, equaled only by the Spring Fork (off Leading Creek) gas explosion and fire in September, 1902, in which six grown persons lost their lives.


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