Charles Noland Pierceall attempted to save W. Carie Hayden and G. Lindell Ellegood from suffocation, Fancy Farm, Kentucky, August 19, 1953. Hayden, 39, was overcome from a deficiency of oxygen in a cistern 16 feet deep. Numerous townspeople, including Ellegood, 32, arrived. When Ellegood descended a ladder into the cistern and then called out that he needed help in removing Hayden, Pierceall, 20, a laborer who had responded, entered the cistern. Ellegood lifted Hayden partially, and, breathing with difficulty, Pierceall also obtained a hold on him. Ellegood suddenly released Hayden and fell atop him. As Pierceall turned Ellegood over, Ellegood mumbled to him to leave the cistern, and he then lost consciousness. Pierceall, who was dizzy and nauseated, climbed with difficulty to the top of the ladder and was pulled from the opening. He was aided to a nearby house but refused the pleas of others to rest. He returned to the cistern and, although still weak, climbed down the ladder again, with a rope tied to him. Pierceall had difficulty breathing but fastened a light chain around Ellegood’s chest. Becoming much weaker, he could climb only 10 feet on the ladder and was drawn out of the cistern four minutes after his second entry. Ellegood was lifted toward the top of the cistern but became caught and dangled head downward. At Pierceall’s request, he was lowered head first to Ellegood. He seized Ellegood by the hair, and they were pulled from the cistern. Hayden was drawn to the surface by others nearly 45 minutes after he was overcome. Neither he nor Ellegood could be revived. Pierceall, who was rushed to a hospital and given oxygen, recovered.42968-3911
WASHINGTON, Ill. – Charles Noland Pierceall, 89, of Washington, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on March 5, 2023.
Noland worked as a supervisor in the dietary department at OSF St. Francis for 42 years.
He was fondly remembered at his retirement for taking personal interest in his employees, driving them to and from work when weather would make it a hardship for them to walk or take the bus.
He was also respected for his mechanical skills at the hospital. He applied those skills in his retirement, buying and refurbishing rental property.
In 1953, he was awarded The Carnegie Medal for risking his life to save two men trapped in a cistern of toxic gas in Fancy Farm, Kentucky.
Noland, and his twin, were the eighth and ninth of 12 children born to Carl and Martha Pierceall in Fancy Farm, Kentucky, on Nov. 24, 1933.
He was preceded in death by his son, Joe; and great-grandson, Skyler; his parents; and nine of his siblings.
He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Dorothy Sue; two sons, Bob (Karen) and Ken; two daughters, Donna (Tony) and Paula (Troy), eight grandchildren and 10 great-children.
Published by The Mayfield Messenger on Mar. 11, 2023.