1887

Carnegie donates money toward cost of marker honoring 17-year-old William Hunter who drowned in a rescue attempt of a boy in Scotland.

1889

Carnegie writes “The Gospel of Wealth,” an essay in which he stated his belief that, beyond providing for a family’s needs, excess wealth should be regarded as a trust fund to be used for the benefit of the community. –A Century of Heroes

1901

Carnegie sells Carnegie Steel to JP Morgan, who merged it into his recently formed United States Steel Corporation, and retires.

Immediately after selling the Carnegie Company and receiving bonds worth $225,639,000 par value of the new US Steel Co., he created his $4 million Relief Fund.

1904

Jan 25: The Harwick Mine Disaster

179 lives were claimed when the Harwick Mine exploded. 16-year-old Adolf Gunia was the sole survivor. Two men, Daniel A. Lyle of the town of Leechburg and Selwyn M. Taylor of Pittsburgh, heard of the disaster and came to help search for any survivors. Both were overcome by afterdamp, a suffocating mixture of residual gases left after an explosion of firedamp in a mine, and died. The Cheswick Relief Committee was organized and over $40,000 was collected from the general public for the families.

Jan 28:

Carnegie writes to close friend and former business associate Charles L. Taylor stating, “I can’t get those widows and children of the mine out of my head.”

Feb 18:

Carnegie donates $40,000 to Harwick relief committee, and presents two gold medals to commemorate acts of heroism displayed by Mr. Selwyn M. Taylor and Mr. Daniel Lyle.

Adolf Gunia
At a makeshift morgue, friends and relatives identify remains of the explosion’s 179 victims, some as young as 15. (Photo courtesy of Allegheny Kiski Valley Historical Society, Tarentum, Pa.)
Excerpt from a letter written by Andrew Carnegie to his friend, Charles L. Taylor.

March 12:

Carnegie signs the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission Deed of Trust, with Louise Whitfield Carnegie, his wife, as witness.

April 15:

Charles L. Taylor

Official founding date and first meeting of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission

Oct 19:

21 Commissioners defined and approved the Hero Fund’s limitations and scope

First Special Agent, George A. Campsey

First President, Charles L. Taylor, 1904-1922

 

1905

E. Caldwell & Co. of Philadelphia is selected as the designer and manufacturer of the original Carnegie Medal. It is designed by artist Charles Osborne and modeled by Charles F. Hamann.

May 24:

The Commission approved its first class of Carnegie heroes

Louis A. Baumann, first awardee

Ernestine F. Atwood, first female awardee

Alexander Cameron, first Canadian awardee

$10,000 donation to Grover Factory Disaster relief fund

Dec 1:

John B. Hill is the first African American to be awarded the Carnegie Medal

baumann
Louis Baumann
Ernestine F. Atwood

1906

May 16:

Following the California Earthquake Disaster, CHFC donates $29,462.06 to Lawrence Phipps and H.T.R. Vail (Santa Barbara), and $25,000 to the Citizen’s Committee (San Francisco).

Dec 11:

Patent of medal design issued

1907

July 11:

Peter Dean and George Saltamah are the first Mohave Indians to be awarded the Carnegie Medal

Dec 23:

Following Monongah Mine Disaster, CHFC donates $35,000 to relief committee

1908

May 20:

$25,000 given to Darr Mine Relief Committee

$10,000 donated to Lick Branch Mine Relief Committee

Sept 21:

United Kingdom establishes Hero Fund

1909

France establishes Hero Fund (1909-2011)

Medal and bronze tablet, issued by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, circa 1912.

1911

Norway, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, and Denmark establish Hero Funds

1912

Oct 25:

CHFC issues a medal and bronze tablet commemorating the bravery and heroism demonstrated by those aboard the Titanic.

Nov 1:

$10,000 given Jed Mine Disaster relief committee

$15,000 donated to MC Curtain Mine Disaster relief committee

1913

April 25:

$10,000 granted to Pittsburgh Flood relief committee after Ohio and Indiana Floods Disaster

1919

Aug 11:

Andrew Carnegie dies of pneumonia

1923

William Jacob Holland

Second President, William Jacob Holland, 1923-1932

The last gold medal is awarded to Charles L. Coe

1924

Henry Naumann is awarded the Carnegie Medal for the first time

1927

Henry Naumann is awarded the Carnegie Medal for the second time

1929

A. James “Jimmie” Dyess is awarded the Carnegie Medal. He is the only person to be awarded the Carnegie Medal and Medal of Honor, America’s two highest awards for heroism.

Plaque dedicated to Charles L. Coe
A. James “Jimmie” Dyess

1932

Third President, Thomas S. Arbuthnot, 1932-1956

1937

Jan 27:

$10,000 given to American Red Cross for Ohio and Mississippi Flood disaster relief

Thomas S. Arbuthnot

1956

John James O’Neill, Sr., awarded the Carnegie Medal for the first time

1957

Fourth President, Charles A. McClintock, 1957-1967

John James O’Neill, Sr., awarded the Carnegie Medal for the second time

1959

May 8:

After the Springhill Mine Disaster, the Commission adopts a resolution, and presents two gold medals mounted on a bronze plaque, to the officials and workmen of Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation, Limited, and local doctors who risked their lives attempting to rescue 174 miners who were trapped by an underground convulsion in a company mine in Springhill, N.S., Oct. 23, 1958.

Rudell Stitch is awarded the Carnegie Medal for the first time

Charles A. McClintock
Resolution and two gold medals mounted on a bronze plaque presented to those who acted bravely to attempt to save workmen of the Springhill Mine, N.S.
Rudell Stitch with his wife and kids

1960

Stewart McClintic

Rudell Stitch is awarded the Carnegie Medal for the second time, posthumously

1964

Daniel Stockwell is awarded the Carnegie Medal for the first time

1968

Fifth President, Stewart McClintic, 1968-1978

1978

Aug 9:

Following the Mobay-Dravo Fire Disaster, two cast bronze tablets, on which were mounted the obverse and reverse of a bronze Carnegie Medal, were awarded, one to Mobay Chemical Corp. and the other to Dravo Corp. The reverse of the medals bears the inscription: “Awarded to employees of the Mobay Chemical Corporation and of the Dravo Corporation for their heroism in attempting to rescue workmen in a chemical plant fire New Martinsville, West Virginia. January 31, 1978.”

1979

Sixth President, Robert W. Off, 1979-2001

The last two silver medals are awarded to Brian Mervyn Clegg and Robert Stephen Grant

Resolution issued by the Hero Fund to those of the Mobay Chemical Co., and the Dravo Co., who heroically attempted to rescue their fellow workmen.
Robert W. Off

1986

Sept 8:

$20,000 in disaster relief granted to West Virginia Recovery Foundation following West Virginia Flood disaster

1989

Oct 26:

$25,000 given toward Hurricane Hugo disaster relief

$25,000 given to San Francisco Earthquake Relief Fund

Daniel Stockwell

1990

Simons and Co. began supplying Carnegie medals directly after having been subcontracted by J.E. Caldwell for the striking process of creating the medal

1992

Sept 17:

$25,000 given to Church World Service following Hurricane Andrew Disaster

Daniel Stockwell is awarded the Carnegie Medal a second time

1996

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission issues a roadside marker along Pittsburgh Street in Springdale, Pa., near the sites of both the mine and the cemetery in which many of the victims of the Harwick Mine disaster are buried.

Kayla Jean Garrigan is posthumously awarded the Carnegie Medal. At 7 years old, she is the youngest person to be recognized by the Commission.

1999

The Harwick community dedicates a memorial to all of its miners. The monument is made of a large block of black granite. It’s etched with a rendering of the mine’s tipple and shaft buildings and situated in the center of a small parklet. Carved into bricks surrounding the memorial are the names of individual miners.

Roadside marker honoring the heroic acts that followed the explosion at Harwick Mine.
Community memorial to those who lost their lives in the explosion at Harwick Mine.
Mark Laskow

2001

Seventh President, Mark Laskow

2002

July 1:

In response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, CHFC donates $50,000 to the Todd Beamer Foundation and $50,000 to the September 11, 2001 Children’s Fund, Inc. The Commission also issues a resolution honoring those who acted heroically during the collapse of the trade center towers and the struggle with hijackers on flight 93.

2004

Carnegie Hero Fund Commission Centennial Celebration

A Century of Heroes is both an homage to the thousands of men and women who have demonstrated their willingness to sacrifice everything for other human beings, and a lavishly illustrated celebration of the unexpected heroes that walk among us.

Heroes Among Us showcases a brief history of the Commission and the individuals it recognized for extraordinary acts of heroism.

Greco Industries produced medals for the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission from 2004-2012

2007

Charles T. Carbonell is awarded the Carnegie Medal for the first time

2012

The current Carnegie Medal is produced by Simons Brothers Co. of Philadelphia, Pa. Metallic content of the bronze used is copper, 90%, and zinc, 10%.

2014

Charles T. Carbonell is awarded the Carnegie Medal for the second time

2018

June:

Celebration of the 10,000th and 10,001st awardees

“The Power of One – A Tribute to the Power of the Individual,” marked the second in a year-long series of events around the world to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Carnegie’s death in 1919. The evening’s program celebrated the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission’s 10,000th and 10,001st Carnegie heroes, Vickie Tillman and Jimmy Rhodes.

Calligraphy

During the event, two pieces of calligraphy by tenured letter artist, calligrapher, and designer John Stevens, were revealed. The first is an artful rendition of founder Andrew Carnegie’s original deed of trust for the organization and the second features the first few pages of the Roll of Heroes and Heroines. The roll of honor fulfills the last line of the Commission’s deed of trust, which requires that “A finely executed roll of the heroes and heroines shall be kept displayed in the office at Pittsburgh.”

The Heroic Age

The Heroic Age is an updated history on the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission and the individuals it recognizes for extraordinary acts of heroism. It features accounts by Vickie Tillman and Jimmy Rhodes, heroes 10,000 and 10,001, of the acts for which they were honored.

2019

Aug 11:

Centennial Anniversary of Andrew Carnegie’s death

The stage is set at the June 12, 2018, Power of One event held in Pittsburgh that celebrated Andrew Carnegie’s legacy and his own 10,000 heroes.
Vickie Tillman, Carnegie Hero #10,000, pictured with Police Cpl. Billy Aime, who she rescued from assault.
Carnegie Hero #10,001 Jimmy Rhodes, pictured next to Karen Mahany, widow of Patrick E. Mahany, Jr., the man rescued by Rhodes.
An artful rendition of the first few pages of the Roll of Heroes and Heroines by tenured letter artist, calligrapher, and designer, John Stevens.

2020

Sept:

Fusako M. Petrus is posthumously awarded the Carnegie Medal. At the time of her death she was 19 days older than the previously oldest medal recipient, also 86 years old, who was awarded in 2003.

Fusako M. Petrus